.458 SOCOM with Sabots


June 28, 2011, 01:38 AM
Does anyone have any experience with sabots in this cartridge?

I know it sounds counter intuitive because we have gone to so much trouble to get a big heavy bullet on the AR platform, but I want to shoot a heavy bullet such as a Sintered Tungsten, a machined non-lead, a bullet without a guilding metal or copper jacket in the rifle. Those materials (unless they have a polymer binder like some of the frangible bullets) won't engrave or engage the rifling well so I am looking at .45/.40 and .45/.357 sabots or anything in between. Actually a .375 bullet would also give a nice BC for a machinable tungsten projectile.

We're not talking about hyper velocity bullets once you pass 250 grains so I'm assuming that the sabots normally used for Muzzleloaders should work at those velocities. Also many may not realize it, but black powder burns hotter than smokeless powders and if the polymer sabot will survive excessive melting with BP loads then the sabots should do well with seasoned .458 barrels with up to 2,000 fps loads.

Also, does anyone have any experience with the ribbed sabots in this rifle or even the muzzleloaders?


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June 28, 2011, 02:31 AM
I spent some time messing with sabots loaded in 500s&w from a carbine. At no point even with magnum sabots could I find a low enough pressure load that the sabot wouldn't "blow" out around the bullet. As evidenced by the sabot confetti recovered downrange. Needless to say accuracy was nonexistent.

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June 29, 2011, 05:12 PM

What caliber bullets? I have wondered if the .40 caliber bullets in a sabot would leave fragile petals.

I have experience with .30 caliber sabots pushing .22 caliber bullets above 4,000 fps so I know they can work. This is why I am asking, I don't want to spend time sorting through less tough sabots designed for muzzleloaders.

However a .458 SOCOM isn't a super high pressure high velocity cartridge and I wouldn't think it would be way out of the realm of practicality.


Aaron Baker
June 29, 2011, 05:42 PM

My best advice is to ask Marty. Surely if someone has been using sabots in .458 SOCOM, he'd know about it, since it's his baby.

I personally haven't done it, and honestly, it had never occurred to me. But then again, my purpose was a bear defense gun, so big ole .458 rounds were fine by me.


June 29, 2011, 06:54 PM
The biggest issue is the sabots themselves. Marty made some proto types but hasn't fired them yet. They were based on the design for the slap rounds since Marty used to run the plant that made them.

He's overseas right now and I think someone may be working to bring the sabots to the testing phase soon.

June 29, 2011, 07:10 PM
Pure speculation but after a little thought on the matter I believe the main issue is that soft ML sabots are designed to be fired from a tightly fitted bore where you already engraved the rifling onto the sabot when you loaded it.

But in a cartridge firing barrel you have a certain amount of freebore and leade the sabot has to jump through before it gets to the rifling (remember muzzleloaders are rifled all the way to the breach). This leaves the sabot unsupported around the sides and skirt at the most critical time when chamber pressure is highest. The result is sabot confetti.

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June 30, 2011, 12:46 AM
I had read something to that effect, I didn't know he was out of pocket though. Thanks...

I believe you are right about that. The ML sabots are all (or the ones I find) Polypropylene which facilitates them being loaded. The centerfire .30 caliber sabots were usually Nylon and the Remington Accelerators may have been PEEK. I can see how the PP sabots would strip, you have the same problem with dead soft lead bullets in microgroove barrels above 1,600 fps. Again, that's why I am asking. I really didn't want to machine sabots or make a mold, on this one I just want to shoot.


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