If you are looking for maximum velocity using modern projectiles, the sabot bullet is the sure thing for your modern muzzleloader.
The sabot bullet is nothing new. Coming from the French word for “peasant’s shoe,” the sabot could be of wood or cloth and was frequently used in cannons.
Why? The sabot is used so a shooter can load undersized projectiles down bore yet take up windage in the bore for a tight fit. Today, the modern muzzleloader is often shot with modern sabot bullets that use a plastic cup to take up windage and engage the rifling allowing an undersized pistol or rifle bullet to go to its target with great speed and energy potential.
Here is the breakdown:
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I started my own muzzleloading path with sabot bullets. They are widely available at the big box stores and online shops where some conicals and lead balls might be unavailable. Yet the sabot rounds are a bit more expensive than their counterparts.
The sabot cups are normally bought and cannot be made as easily as the solid projectile it will use. The sabot’s bullet will keyhole in slow twist rifled guns. I found that out in my own experiences shooting sabots out of round ball rifle. But if the rifling is fast enough, you can take your game to a new level of speed and energy. Don’t forget to check out Part 1: The Lead Round Ball and Part 2: The Conical Bullet for more muzzleloading options.