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Mark whiz 05-28-2005 01:09 PM

Tried the new Saber Tooth bullets............
......... from Harvester yesterday.

These are Harvester's answer to Powerbelts - a full caliber bullet with a 3/8inch long sabot cup on bottom. I shot the 300gr & 350gr models (the weights my Knight USAK seems to like the best) and I have to say I wasn't inpressed with their performance.

I set up targets at 75yds and started the 300gr bullets with 80gr of 2fg 777 (which works best with every other 300gr sabot & powerbelt) and group size was almost 2". Upped the charge to 85gr and group sunk to 1.5". Then I tried the 350s with 90gr of 777 - the 3 shots didn't even stay on half a 8.5X11 sheet of paper. [:'(] .

As a point of reference, my best loads in those weight classes with XTPs, SSTs, and several Precicsion Rifle sabots will all the the same hole at 75yds, with the 348gr Powerbelts close to that too. So, these Harvesters really ain't cutting the mustard for me at this point.

I did retrieve most of the spent sabot cups at the 25yd mark and I think they tell the tale as to why performance wasn't great. Everyone of them was expanded to a diffent size - .010 of an inch from least expanded to most expanded. And the least expanded only opened up .01" more then bore diameter and half of it didn't even contact the bore rifling at ALL. At first glance I'd have to say that there are some quality control issues that keep these from shooting more consistantly. Also, they are labeled as "Copper-Clad" bullets - But I believe they are actually PLATED bullets because they DID leave some leading behind in the bore....... which is something the lead No Excuses Conicals don't even do in that rifle.

These bullets ARE cheaper than PowerBelts................but it looks like they may be a reason why they are cheaper. For a full-caliber bullet - the No Excuses 460s still get my nod.

But that's just my 2 cents worth.

Roskoe 05-28-2005 01:36 PM

RE: Tried the new Saber Tooth bullets............
Thanks for the report, Mark.

cayugad 05-28-2005 04:54 PM

RE: Tried the new Saber Tooth bullets............
Good report Mark. I think I will hold off on any of them before I hear more information about them.

MLKeith 05-28-2005 05:44 PM

RE: Tried the new Saber Tooth bullets............
I bought both the 300gr. and the 350gr. ones also and have only shot a few. I was shooting over my chronograph and concentrating on that rather than accuracy; however, on a very limited basis I also was less than impressed with the results. The bullets appear to be cast and copper coated with a thin coat and I am not surprised that the copper sluffs off. The quality of the bullet leaves a little to be desired. I was a little disappointed as Harvester usually does a good job especially on sabots. I am seriously considering using the Harvester sabots and casting my own bullet. I just need to find a good shape mold for a .451 bullet in the 300 to 400 gr. range for elk.

cayugad 05-28-2005 06:42 PM

RE: Tried the new Saber Tooth bullets............
MLKeith.. I've been casting a .458 diameter 405 grain pure lead flat point. It is the same bullet that was used in the 45/70 government rifle. I have been getting excellent accuracy with them also. I am thinking even though they have a flat point, with their weight they might do a nasty job on bigger critters. I shoot them out of orange Knight sabots. They load easy and shoot great. Just something to think of.:D

Mark whiz 05-28-2005 08:45 PM

RE: Tried the new Saber Tooth bullets............
I didn't have the time to set up my Chrony when I tested these, but by the looks of the sabot cups & shot groups - I'd be willing to bet there was quite a lot of velocity deviation between the shots.

I agree with you also in the fact that these bullets look rough - their surface is as potmarked as the moon's surface. After seeing them in person, I wasn't really expecting great things from them accuracy wise - and I wasn't disappointed. :(

Triple Se7en 05-30-2005 09:32 PM

RE: Tried the new Saber Tooth bullets............
Thanks for the heads-up Mark! Bore Butter in the hollow cup of the base may improve the looks of that base next time you retrieve a used one. Will improve on the leading issues also. Not sure how many SaberTeeth you have leftover from the original box you purchased. Also not sure if you still even keep Bore Butter laying around with your other ML supplies in order to try this experiment.

Mark whiz 05-30-2005 10:31 PM

RE: Tried the new Saber Tooth bullets............
Oh yeah Se7en, I keep bore butter around - more for my cap & ball and for lubing my homemade wads, but I got it. Still got about a dozen of the Saber teeth - so I can try the butter on them next time I can get to a range.

Tahquamenon 06-07-2005 12:23 PM

RE: Tried the new Saber Tooth bullets............
Thanks for the report Mark.

I almost bought a pack recently at Gander Mountain. They were priced only a couple bucks less than Powerbelts and sure do look roughly finished.

MLKeith 06-07-2005 06:40 PM

RE: Tried the new Saber Tooth bullets............
Cayugad: What rifle are you loading the heavy .458 bullet in? I am not sure I could get it down the Omega barrel although I am not familiar with the orange sabot which obviously is thinner than the black ones I have from Harvester. By the way there are a couple of guys that really like flat point bullets for game. Elmer Keith for example and Ross Seyfried.

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