Sabot Loading Question?

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Sabot Loading Question?

Postby celem » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:11 pm

Recently, for $35 and trade for a little junk that I didn't want, I picked up a 50-cal Traditions Yukon In-Line Percussion Modern hunting rifle. I only got it because of the price because I no longer hunt. I thought that I'd shoot it at the range because the owner swore that it was real accurate.

Today I shot it at the range and I will agree that it is very accurate - very! However, that's where the joy ends. I had picked up some Thompson/Center 50-cal XTP sabot bullets to shoot in it. They are ultra, ultra-hard to load. I bent the ramrod trying to seat the rounds. I shot it about 4 times and gave up, figuring that I needed to switch to an appropriate size bullet because the Thompson/Center bullets are apparently wrong. I initially thought that it would be easy to push the saboted bullet down the barrel - not so - I had to almost hammer down the round, bending the ramrod on my 4th round..

When I returned home, I drove a lead ball through the barrel and then measured it with my micrometer. It reads .502 between the lands and .515 between the grooves.

The empty plastic sabots have a waist that measures .501 measure ~.501 (.499 to .501) at the widest points (the base and waist). Once the bullet is inserted into the sabot, the outside of the bullet area of the sabot measures .506.

Given that the lands are .502 and the saboted round is .506, it would seem that the sabot round is too large, after all. The plastic sabot base is hollow, like a Minnie-ball, and they were obviously designed to expand into the grooves, just like a Minnie-ball. It would seem correct, to me, that the saboted round should measure .502 maximum and depend upon the Minnie-ball base to grab the rifling. This would yield an accurate but easy to load round. Am I wrong here?

Any experience and advice regarding loading with loading an In-Line Percussion Modern 50cal???

P.S.: The website Choosing The Right Sabot & Bullet Combo For Your Bore, By Toby Bridges, provided some useful information, especially that a proper fitting sabot should load easily.
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Re: Sabot Loading Question?

Postby Dwayne » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:03 pm

First off. . .
Sabots. . .The barrel MUST be clean inbetween EVERY shot if you are using Any kind of Blackpowder or Blackpowder substitute. (If you use BH209, you usually do NOT have to clean in between shots).

Now, with that said. . .

Your first time loading it will be the easiest, because there is no "Crud" from the gunpowder in your barrel. From your second shot on, you must swab between each shot when using a sabot.

Now, with that said. . ..

If you use PRB (Patched Round Ball), and stuff like "Wonderlube" or "Bore Butter", or any kind of bore lubricant WITH a round ball, you can load up your gun MUCH easier (usually) without swabbing between shots. I never swab between shots with PRB and bore butter.

If you use a conical like REAL's. . .chances are, you will not have to swab inbetween shots either. . .

There are other lubricants similar to Bore butter that will work just as fine.

But your problem lies in one thing. . .spent leftover gunpowder in the barrel. Not removing this stuff will cause your loading of the Sabot next to impossible.
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Re: Sabot Loading Question?

Postby mjac » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:09 pm

Sabot + Bullet total diameters:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9798
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Re: Sabot Loading Question?

Postby celem » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:14 pm

Re - "But your problem lies in one thing. . .spent leftover gunpowder in the barrel..." While it would have helped with rounds 2,3 and 4, I started with a shiny clean bore and loading the first round was just as hard as the subsequent rounds. I had to put the ramrod against the wall and force it in with my body weight - there was no way that I could just push it down with my hands. And this was after starting the round with a ball starter.

So far I'm not liking this whole sabot thing.
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Re: Sabot Loading Question?

Postby ShawnT » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:44 pm

celem,

You did not mention what powder you were using. The only reason I mention this (swabbing between shots was mentioned) is that powders like Bh209 do require more pressure for complete burn so a Tight fitting sabot is needed. IF you are shooting Black powder, Pyrodex, or 777 you can go with a sabot that fits your bore a bit looser. You can try the "Easy Load" type pre-package bullet/sabot combos. Most of us here go with bulk packed pistol bullets and then buy sabots seperately so we can match the sabot that fits the rifles bore best and provides best accuracy. You may find that you need a Crush Rib Sabot such as those made by Harvester to fit your bore best. Another option for you to try is to look for the pre-packed bullet combos for a 50 caliber rifle that have a .44 caliber (.429-.430 diameter) bullet and a green sabot, they might work better for you. Most Prepacked combos that have a smooth black sabot and provide a .45 cal (.451-.452 diameter) bullet. Check out the Sticky at the top of the forum that shows pictures of bullet sabot combos and their diameters.

As for the sabot pedals engaging the rifling, yes it should to some degree. The plastic should allow the sabot to be engraved by the lands. They should not be a easy slip fit. If you remove the breech plug and push a sabot/bullet combo all the way through the bore and out, you will see that the lands engraved the pedals. You should have a combo that requires a firm hand to load so it stays on the powder and helps build enough pressure for full ignition, but you should not have to "Hammer" it down.
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Re: Sabot Loading Question?

Postby celem » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:27 pm

TripleSeven pellets - but - difficult loading was the same for the first load on a shiny, clean bore. I feel that the sabot/bullet is simply too large. I have ordered some of the crushable 50 Cal. Sabot e/w 260 gr. .451 Funnel Point Mag Bullet. I put a .451 ball into my existing sabots and it can be easily inserted down the barrel.
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Re: Sabot Loading Question?

Postby Hornet22savage » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:36 am

I would go out and get yourself some of the T/C superglide sabots these are a two petal sabot compared to the 4 petal you are currently using and should load easier. You could also look for some of the Red Hornady's these are a 3 petal ez load sabot. If this fixes your poading problem then just order some MMP 3- petal ez sabots direct form MMP or look up Harvester and order some Curshribs.
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Re: Sabot Loading Question?

Postby a1smokepole » Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:06 pm

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Re: Sabot Loading Question?

Postby muskrat30 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 5:49 am

You need to mix & match to get the right fit, that includes sabot and bullet. The 1st thing is get a sabot for the bullet you plan to shoot, 44 or 45 cal usually. I'd get some 'easy-glide' or 'crush rib' types. The company called 'Harvester' has some on their website, great to deal with. Then you have the bullet, I usually use 45 cal, 44 will work too. They come in slightly different sizes, round down a tad if you need an easier fit.

It should never be that hard to load a M-L, even without cleaning between shots. When I used to shoot Pyrodex I never swabbed between shots, and was still able to load just fine.
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