Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Great Shooting And Hard Hitting Muzzle-Loaded Sabot And Bullet Combinations That Don't Come Packaged

Great Shooting And Hard Hitting Muzzle-Loaded Sabot And Bullet Combinations That Don't Come Packaged

By Toby Bridges

Finding that just right combination of a specific powder...charge...sabot...bullet... and the primer used for ignition that shoots the absolute best from one of today's hot modern in-line ignition rifles can take a great deal of experimenting. This is especially true for the shooter who is looking to achieve top end velocity with great accuracy and tremendous big game knockdown power.

Generally speaking, most of today's rifles are fully capable of getting just about any properly sized sabot and bullet combination to shoot well enough at a hundred yards to take big game. However, to really tweak the accuracy and punch that most of these rifles are capable of delivering these days, you just may have to play around with sabot and bullet combinations that do not come prepackaged.

accurate sabot bullet combinations

The nice 3/4-inch center-to-center group above was shot while doing some early testing with a pre-production run of Blackhorn 209. It was shot with a .50 caliber Knight DISC Extreme (Long Range Hunter model), shooting 110-grains of the new powder - and a saboted 250-grain polymer tipped .451" diameter Barnes all-copper "Spit-Fire TMZ" bullet.

Loading with the special sabot Barnes had developed for the boat-tail base of their TMZ bullet, the rifle and powder charge would easily keep this sleek polymer-tipped spire point bullet in nice 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch clusters at a hundred yards. But, fortunately, I was also testing a new sabot for Harvester Muzzleloading. And that design combined the styling of the Barnes sabot with Harvester's patented new "Crush Rib" design - with nearly microscopic ribs running lengthwise along each of the four sabot sleeves, or petals as some like to call them. By just switching to the new sabot design, my groups immediately tightened. I also found that the narrow ridges or ribs of this sabot allowed me to push the sabot-bullet combo down the bore with a lot less effort.

More recently, I have been doing a great deal of my test shooting with a .50 caliber T/C Triumph that I quickly discovered had an extremely tight bore, making it just as extremely tough to push a standard sabot and bullet combination down to seat on the powder charge - especially with the ramrod that comes with the rifle. Using a heavier duty "range rod", I could wrestle pre-packaged sabot-bullet combinations, like the Hornady "SST" or the Barnes "Spit-Fire TMZ" down the bore, but it still took more effort than it should - making it difficult to be sure that the round was seated exactly the same from shot to shot. So, I began to load with the Harvester "Crush Rib" sabots (one for the flat-based bullets, one for the boat-tail based bullets). Loading got a whole lot easier, and accuracy improved significantly.

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