Reusing bullets using sabots


January 25, 2008, 09:03 AM
I picked up a older book about the Kennedy assasination. One claim in the book that I hadn't heard before was that the possibility that several rounds were fired from Oswald's rifle into water and the bullets were recovered.

Those bullets were then loaded into 30-06 cases using sabots and then used to kill President Kennedy. The author claims that the bullets would retain all the characteristics from Oswald's rifle and none of the 30-06. The rounds would also have more velocity, accuracy, and power.

Does this sound plausible? (the sabot idea, I'm not asking if they really were used or not)

I've used sabot in my shotgun and blackpowder rifles before, and I know there are rounds like 357sig that use smaller caliber bullets in larger cases. So I'm not questioning the use of sabots, but the idea that the reused bullets would still be stable in flight and accurate. I can see doing this to plant fake evidence but I wouldn't think that I rely on them to be "kill shots".

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January 25, 2008, 09:25 AM
Reusing bullets by putting them in a sabot is possible.
Sometimes you could even reload a fired bullet without a sabot depending on how much it deformed after it hit something.

You can buy 30 caliber sabots for 22 caliber bullets.

Now...I dunno about the Kennedy thing. His rifle was a 6.5mm right? Putting a 6.5 into a 7.6 bore would probably work but it'd be one thin sabot. Of course if you're assassinating someone you'd probably find the resources to make such a sabot.

January 25, 2008, 09:27 AM
It's certainly possible to do, even though it would probably have to be a custom sabot. Such would not be impossible to manufacture on a piece-by-piece basis by machining or custom molding, given the vast technical resources of certain agencies.

The Remington line of "Accelerator" bullets for the .30-06 and .30-30 rounds contained a .223 bullet with resultant velocities in the 4000 f/s range. Since the 6.5 mm bullet is a little bigger than the .223, the sabot would be thinner in the walls. How this would affect accuracy, etc, is beyond my knowledge.

However, it is certainly possible to have custom sabots work in this "application."

Remington has discontinued their line of "Accelerator" cartridges/bullets.


January 25, 2008, 10:21 AM
Becarefull with what you speak of, someone may be listening. I can just hear some panic stricken legislator who just figured out that a sabot round will not have a ballistic fingerprint unless you also recover the sabot/shell itself.

Interesting reading on other uses of sabots:

January 25, 2008, 10:50 AM
I've picked up .45 acp FMJ rounds out of the berm that, except for rifling marks and a little dirt, looked brand new.

January 25, 2008, 11:55 AM
I have seen a lot of rounds in bullet traps that look like you might well be able to reload them. And that is after striking a steel plate and a pile of lead at the bottom.

I have heard of people who mine bullets out of berms, resize them, and re-shoot them.

I can't think of any reason why a sabot could not be made for a carcano round to fire it in some other caliber rifle. I really don't think it is likely that is what happened though.

January 25, 2008, 12:41 PM
The composition of most sabots is polymer based and though it would show the rifling of the barrel it was shot from, the polymer has memory and would actually distort the original balistic finger print on the sabot. It would be a hard sell in a court to conclusively say it came from that particular firearm.

Be safe.

January 25, 2008, 12:49 PM
Interesting theory.

In theory, it would be possible, but I doubt that you could make a sabot thin enough to effectively hold a 6.5mm bullet in a 30-caliber bore. I would think you would need to use something like a .35 Whelen or .416 Rigby, but yes, it could have been done.

January 25, 2008, 02:28 PM
more likely that ALL the shooters were equipped with 6.5 Carcanos.

January 25, 2008, 02:38 PM
Maybe this explains the "pristine" bullet found on the hospital gurney??????:what:

January 25, 2008, 02:42 PM
It's certainly possible to do, even though it would probably have to be a custom sabot.

I know a guy right down the road who does it all the time with cast bullets and a 45-120 Sharps rifle. It's called paper-patching, and the flippin' thing is deadly waaaaay out yonder.

January 25, 2008, 03:30 PM
There was a reneactment done about 2-3 years ago, where someone took a shot from the same height as the Book Depository window, into 2 almost anatomically perfect ballistic dummies, seated as JFK, and the TxGov were in the car. The Rifle used was a Carcano, with the same type of scope, and the ammunition was Original 6.s frm the same year as that used in the Kennedy assassination, and, IIRC, from the same LOT. That bullet caused damage that matched to something like 94% the damage from the shot to Kennedy and Connoly, even to the poing ot only lodging a small bit tinto the thigh of the Connoly dummy, and looking almsot exactly like the one recovered at the hospital. Pretty much blew the "Magic Bullet" theory out of the water, mainly because they took a look at the ACTUAL seating arrangements, instead of assuming that JFK and Connoly were sitting directly in front of another.

January 25, 2008, 03:37 PM
Along the lines of a "saboted" bullet/round, we find for the Carcano:

Multiple Ball/"Cartuccia a mitraglia"
There are two types, both use the standard cartridge case and contain a very long (about 2"/50.8mm), however it is seated deep and the overall length of the cartridge is the same as a ball round) bullet that is made of a jacket with closed bottom and open top with 3 (or sometimes 4) slits cut lengthwise through its sides, inside are 6 clyndrical lead slugs stacked on top of each other. It uses a reduced powder charge. In the older style the top slug is actually a small full metal jacket bullet. In the later type, the top slug is lead and the lead tip is exposed at the top of the bullet. The later type seams to have come out about 1937. This was a round for short range work (it would be an excellent choice for a sentry on night duty), its effective range was likely less that 50 yards, and its effect is like a small buckshot charge. These cartridges are not rare, so they must have been issued in fairly large numbers.


January 25, 2008, 03:51 PM
remember it was 1963 and oswald was not the brightist bulb in the box.or he would not have been caught so quick.that was the trouble with the 6.5 cal
they went right thru and did not do to much damage.the Italian and japs changed cart because of this the japs made it the itialian did not.I like the to load.
remember he dumped the gun because he could not get it out unseen,so where is the 06.:uhoh:---:confused:----:)

January 25, 2008, 04:14 PM
remember he dumped the gun because he could not get it out unseen,so where is the 06

The shooter on the grassy knoll handed it off to the shooter in the storm drain, and it now sleeps with the fishes.

January 25, 2008, 05:30 PM
Well, I don't know how believable/valid this is, but the plot line in "The Shooter" was ****WARNING SPOILERS!****

The plot in the shooter was that they had taken a round, wrapped it in paper/cloth of some sort, and shot it out of a higher caliper weapon. This would get around needing a really small sabot.

As for the Kennedy assassination, there was a special on Discovery not long ago (a few years, might be the same one above) where they not only had a shooter of decent proficiency shoot 3 shots out of the caranco in the time Oswald was supposed to have, but they recreated the 'magic bullet' path identically, based on angle, and then was able to get it to rebound exactly like the medical reports.

We'd like to think our president is fairly untouchable, and that it would take some sort of conspiracy to take him down, but when it comes right down to it, all that is necessary is one individual with the determination to make it work.

January 25, 2008, 06:30 PM
episode of CSI Miami showed a light load .223 round that was like under 20grains that was fired using a small plastic sabot cup to make it where the rifling wasnt left on the bullet... i doubted the validity of it, but knowing how the show operates, there had to be some factual basis for the stuff they were showing

January 26, 2008, 11:36 AM
Would it be physically possible? Probably.

Accurate? Not a chance.

"Reusing" a bullet means you've recovered it after being fired. If it was fired, it had to be stopped--by water, ground, backstop, whatever. Stopping the bullet would have caused it to deform, and most likely not in a uniform manner (I'd consider a uniform deformity a miracle, to say nothing of no deformity). That deformity will result in irregular weight distribution and/or aerodynamic abnormalities, both of which would cause erratic flight.

Sabots are great for what they do, but reusing a projectile isn't in the cards.

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