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Testing Lehigh Sabotless (Conical) Bullets

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Testing Lehigh Sabotless (Conical) Bullets

Old 09-19-2010, 02:36 PM
  #1  
Dominant Buck
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Default Testing Lehigh Sabotless (Conical) Bullets

Sabotloader and I have been talking about the new Lehigh Sabot-less Bullet. He then asked if I would be interested in testing a few of them he had left, since I had such an assortment of rifles to test from. Well.. when it comes to shooting I am more then game.

Rifle: Knight Model LK-II .50 caliber 22 inch blued barrel
Scope: Simmons 2.5x20mm ($19.95) with Traditions Mounts
Powder: Triple Seven fffg in amounts 80 & 100 grains
Ignition system: #11 caps RWS 1075
Distance to target: 50 yards range finder reading. I chose this distance because of the power of the scope, and I wanted to be fair to the bullet. If I had shot further, I might question the accuracy on my eye sight VS the bullet.
Projectile: 270 grain .504-.505 brass sabot-less conical bullet
Lube: Homemade lube made of Alox, Castor oil, beeswax (I call it baby's bottom lube because of the color and consistency of it)
Weather: Sunny, no wind, 58 degrees (perfect)




I started the testing on a clean barrel. I first swabbed the bore with alcohol on a patch and then a dry patch. I did not foul the barrel, but did pop off four caps through it before loading.

I started the testing with 80 grains of the Triple Seven 3f powder. I did this because in the past I found hollow based conical bullets like the Lehigh, or the Minnie, and others open quickly. Also with the short barrel, large powder charges I felt were not going to do much more then smaller ones.

After dumping the powder down the bore, I tapped the rifle to level the load. I then applied a very very thin layer of the lube to the Lehigh sabot-less bullet. This was for a couple reason. To help in the ease of loading, and to protect the sides of the conical from hot gas caused by the ignition of the powders.

Shots 1&2 were fired. I was very happy with the group they were showing, but wanted to hit the bulls eye, so I made a slight adjustment to the scope and fired shots 3&4. Again very pleased with the accuracy. Instead of making another adjustment, I decided to ignore the fact they were not in the bull and since Sabotloader suggested 100 grains of powder or more to test with, I loaded up 100 grains of the Triple Seven 3f powder. Shots 5&6 were the result. Again very satisfied with the accuracy.

Loading: The bullet sat in the muzzle of the barrel well with the bottom 1/3rd inside the bore. It was then necessary to use a short starter, and strike the bullet with a good blow to drive it part way in. Then with the long end of the short starter it was again necessary to push the bullet in with a couple good blows to the back of the hand. Once in the barrel I was able to push the actual bullet down the bore of the barrel with the range rod with relative ease. I made sure to seat the bullet securely on the powder charge and I was swabbing between shots with isopropyl alcohol.

Penetration Test: I also did a penetration test with the bullet. I took a very solid piece of poplar wood that is cut for firewood. I placed that on an other chunk and from the 50 yard distance basically hit that chunk dead center. Looking at the chunk of wood there appeared to be only a small hole going in.

Taking a splitting maul I broke the firewood down and began to look for the bullet. I discovered it had penetrated seven inches into the wood and then entered a large knot in the center of the chunk. No matter how many times I tried to split the knot, as most know that split wood, it walks around that knot. So I took the wood into the shop and with hammer and wood chisel attempted to remove it from the knot.

I just could not get to the bullet. But I will add.. the wound channel or expansion channel through the wood to that knot was hard to believe. You looked at the end of the wood chunk and saw a small hole and after it was opened, the expansion of the bullet at some points was over an inch where the wood fiber was disturbed. Very impressive.

Overall Observations of the test: Accuracy was outstanding with the two different powder charges. This is a very pronounced hollow point so I am guessing that is what caused the massive expansion in the firewood chunk. Again real impressed there. My concerns were loading. It sat nice in the muzzle end, but you practically had to beat the the bullet into the bore the distance of the long nose of the short starter. Once in the bore they behaved real well and loaded OK. But the last load of the day, I had to drive the bullet into the barrel with a chunk of wood and the short starter. Again once IN the bore it loaded fine and shot fine.

I know I could hunt with them the way they are. And I believe they would be more then accurate enough for where I hunt and get the job done. I have five more of them left and had debating between a Knight Disc or the White Bison to try them in. This is an interesting concept for a bullet. I think there is perhaps a few adjustments some where or some how, and this will make an excellent bullet to use.
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:43 PM
  #2  
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Good test. If I was hunting with that bullet a follow up shot had better not be necessary since it was so hard to start. But to be fair I can only remember 1 quick second shot ever needed on the many deer I have taken with a muzzleloader. It sure did a number on that piece of wood.
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:53 PM
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cayugad

Thank you Dave - I have forwarded this thread to Lehigh Dave...

I am really happy that you had these results - just wish i had something to test them in.... Maybe I am going to have to break out the White U-mag.... I can feel the urge for that coming on - maybe tomorrow....
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:00 PM
  #4  
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Another fine report Cayugad. I guess some guys just aren't meant to be chiselers.

I wish you guys would stop posting reports on those expensive bullets. I spend enough already.
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:00 PM
  #5  
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They did load real hard until they were the distance of the short starter in the bore. After that I was nothing to it. Also little to no crud ring when shooting them. I still swabbed to be fair to the bullet.

I think I will try them in the disc next..
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Old 09-19-2010, 04:08 PM
  #6  
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cayugad

OK - you go DISC - I take the U-mag out to the farm - I have not shot it in awhile anyway. If they load and shoot OK I'll try to get some velocities...
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:17 AM
  #7  
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Dave - good report, and of course, good shooting.
I don't see any problem with using them for hunting, just make sure to carry a wooden mallet with you. );>)
I have already read SL's report with his U Mag and it sounds like the entire "problem" revolves around having a very precise fit between the bore and the harder bullet material. Unlike pure lead, brass (or whatever) doesn't like to conform to another size without considerable persuasion.
When you consider the vast amount of differences even between .50 cal barrels, it seems to me that some sort of "cushion" material - at least on the rear portion of the bullet might be required to mass produce these bullets for the general public. Sort of a built-in sabot, but not a separate piece of material.
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