45 cal in a 50 cal muzzle? Can it be done?


July 25, 2014, 12:27 PM
Just a silly question maybe but I was wondering if a molded bullet for a 45 caliber muzzleloader could possibly be fired from a 50 caliber muzzleloader if a 50 caliber sabot was used.
I have hundreds of excellent maxi ball style bullets in 45 caliber just sitting around.
These sabots hold a .452 diameter bullet. http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Thompson/Center-Super-Glide-50-Caliber-Sabots-Only-50-pack&i=402349

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July 25, 2014, 12:53 PM
Better option is to send me those .45 projectiles as they are less common than 22lr in Kentucky. Seriously I would be interested, and I'm sure others would be as well. Sabots haven't ever done well in my rifles so I absolutely do not recommend them, but yes they would work with a properly sized sabot.

July 25, 2014, 02:28 PM
I'm not sure, but I'd think that if the muzzleloader has the deeper grooves for PRB's it may need a felt wad to help seal the bore.

July 25, 2014, 03:09 PM
It will shoot them with sabots. However, the sabot-bullet combination matters as does the twist rate of the rifling as to how accurate they will be.

Testing them in your gun is the only way to find out.

Jim K
July 25, 2014, 04:52 PM
Sabots should work fine, as would thick patches.


July 25, 2014, 08:00 PM
Anyone tried a thick patch in leu of a sabot?

July 25, 2014, 08:14 PM
I've tried them in a cva an tc they did not work well 3-4 inch group 50 yards both guns had 1-48 twists

Dmitri Popov
July 25, 2014, 11:47 PM
I wonder if paper patching would work with that big a difference?
To the Google-mobile!

July 26, 2014, 04:58 PM
I think I need to get a good caliper and check to see if these bullets I have are either .452 or .458. That would make a difference in what sabots I should get. They make them in different thicknesses to match the bullets. I used a cheaper caliper and they look to be slightly over 11 1/2 mm so I am guessing they are .458 but I am not going to mess around with badly fitting projectiles. This is the way to go as I have probably a 175 bullets already made up. I slide one into a 45-70 spent cartridge for fun and it was exactly the same diameter. Went in easy and snug and came out with a pop! I think they are .458 in diameter.
I am going to weigh them too. I'll get some images up here when I get this project hammered out. I'll also post my lousy shooting skills of how they ended up on paper.

4v50 Gary
July 26, 2014, 05:25 PM
I don't see why not. The key is a tight sabot and a tolerance for plastic fouling.

Archie Otto
July 27, 2014, 02:29 AM
There are .50 caliber sabots available for .452" bullets and there are bullet sizing dies for slightly larger lead bullets. Provided the barrel rate of twist is fast enough like 1:48 or 1:28 it should stabilize the longer bullets. Understand though muzzleloaders are finicky beasts and may not like any given bullet/powder combination and seem to offer no obvious explanation why. In the end the only real way to know is to get out there and try it.

July 27, 2014, 12:13 PM
The mold boxes on mine says their 452 dia.

July 27, 2014, 04:12 PM
Anyone tried a thick patch in lieu of a sabot?

I would expect the results to be somewhat disastrous. The patch can't guarantee that the bullet is held so that the axial center line is in the middle of the bore.

Technically a round ball won't do this either. But with the tight pressure and smaller surface area of the riding band of the bullet it'll tend to press out the fold to a thinner and lesser difference.

July 28, 2014, 11:11 AM
I wouldn't have thought it would be very good, but had to ask.

July 28, 2014, 09:31 PM
I used a digital caliper today and my bullets are .458
Don't know the weight yet but most are like this, some are round nose and some are HP with one more ring. and a tad longer. My barrel has a 1:28 rifling twist.
There is some sort of grease or beeswax in the grooves. I don't think they would matter much unless they cause drag on the sabot from separating after firing. I can locate .457-.458 sabots here. http://mmpsabots.com/store/orange-hph-sabot/

July 31, 2014, 11:45 AM
Question: See that wax like lubricant in the grooves in the image I provided?
Would this bullet be better of with some lubricant on the bullet in the sabot or without any lubricant at all? It is a bit gummy, but I am sure the bullet and sabot get pretty hot by the time it leaves the muzzle.

August 1, 2014, 07:13 AM
Those .458s will shoot fine with the MMP orange sabots. Your 1 /28 barrel should deliver them accurately.

August 20, 2014, 10:34 PM
Got to try out the bullets and sabots. These were pretty darn snug getting down the barrel but they sure shot straight. I had a tight 1.5 inch group at 40 yds of 5 shots.
I was quite pleased.
I will most likely try a little lube ( ball grease ) on the sides of the sabot next time out.

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