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Lehigh .400 caliber 215 grain CF

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Old 05-20-2017, 05:48 PM
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Default Lehigh .400 caliber 215 grain CF

I finished building the old man's smokeless muzzleloader a few weeks ago and have had the joy of shooting it with 300 grain Nosler Ballistic tips full sized with the rifling. It is without a doubt the most accurate and powerful muzzleloader I have had the privilege of shooting. A couple of the guys told me I should try some saboted bullets and that I would get even better speeds with less pressure. The only problem with that is I can only use .44 caliber and up in bullet size around here for deer. With this being a .45 barrel that puts saboted bullets out of the picture for Illinois but not the other states I hunt deer in such as Kentucky and Tennessee. I really like how those 215 grain bullets look and they have a fairly high ballistic coefficient for a muzzleloading hunting bullet. The questions I have for the people here is, one, anyone try this particular bullet out for accuracy and terminal performance and, two, with this being a smokeless muzzleloader capable of much higher speeds and pressures as well as a 1:20 twist rate, which sabot would you recommend? If my math is right, and I am not that fantastic at math but these calculations aren't too headache inducing, I think I can get this bullet just over 2700 feet per second but with a 1:20 twist that is going to be putting some serious stress on a sabot. I am not as familiar with sabots as the old man was so consider me a rookie in this.
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Old 05-23-2017, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by hunters_life View Post
I finished building the old man's smokeless muzzleloader a few weeks ago and have had the joy of shooting it with 300 grain Nosler Ballistic tips full sized with the rifling. It is without a doubt the most accurate and powerful muzzleloader I have had the privilege of shooting. A couple of the guys told me I should try some saboted bullets and that I would get even better speeds with less pressure. The only problem with that is I can only use .44 caliber and up in bullet size around here for deer. With this being a .45 barrel that puts saboted bullets out of the picture for Illinois but not the other states I hunt deer in such as Kentucky and Tennessee. I really like how those 215 grain bullets look and they have a fairly high ballistic coefficient for a muzzleloading hunting bullet. The questions I have for the people here is, one, anyone try this particular bullet out for accuracy

I have shot a fair share of these bullets - hunting accuracy to 200 yards is not a problem.


and terminal performance

The bullet does have decent Terminal Performance but for myself I do not believe it is a good as the 40x200 CF Bloodline.


Lehigh is in the process of developing a solid copper line of bullets. Currently they have on the market a 452x265 CF and this bullet does have the Terminal Performance of the Bloodlines.


Lehigh is currently in the process of making another 3 maybe 4 copper CF bullets. One or maybe two of them will be 40 cal bullets. The first one out is likely to be a 40x200 CF. It will not have the BC of the 215 but it will be a good bullet to 200+ yards. A second 40 is planned to be possibly produced for fast twist 45 barrels.


Here is a picture of the 200 grain offerings.



The copper one could be out shortly and there is a possible addition to the bullet to enhance the BC not far behind.


and, two, with this being a smokeless muzzleloader capable of much higher speeds and pressures as well as a 1:20 twist rate, which sabot would you recommend?

I currently shoot and really like the MMP Light Tan 40x45 sabot, but I am shooting T7 and BH - very little to none smokeless knowledge. but since you are going smokeless and plan on driving the bullet the Harvester 40x45 might be the better sabot. This pic shows the 215 wrapped in a Tan MMP



If my math is right, and I am not that fantastic at math but these calculations aren't too headache inducing, I think I can get this bullet just over 2700 feet per second but with a 1:20 twist that is going to be putting some serious stress on a sabot. I am not as familiar with sabots as the old man was so consider me a rookie in this.

I really and honestly do not know if the sabot can handle 2700 fps... that would be some serious torque!
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Old 05-23-2017, 07:18 PM
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That is what I was thinking on the sabot part. Any advise on where I could get some information on sabot strengths? I wouldn't want to hinder the full capabilities of this rifle if I don't have to. Some of the places I hunt in Kentucky have 300 yard shot options pretty regularly. Yes I can usually get closer and most often do but there are times when the deer are hyper skittish or the wind isn't right to get closer. 2 years ago I had to pass on an incredible 12 point because I just couldn't get in to him for a sidelock shot. 175 yards just isn't a comfortable distance for me with an open sighted muzzleloader. I primarily meat hunt but I am not adverse to a nice bone crown when the opportunity presents itself.
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Old 05-23-2017, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by hunters_life View Post
That is what I was thinking on the sabot part. Any advise on where I could get some information on sabot strengths?

The only two companies that make the majority of the sabots are MMP and Harvester.


I wouldn't want to hinder the full capabilities of this rifle if I don't have to.

About the only way not to hinder is probably sabotless.


Some of the places I hunt in Kentucky have 300 yard shot options pretty regularly. Yes I can usually get closer and most often do but there are times when the deer are hyper skittish or the wind isn't right to get closer. 2 years ago I had to pass on an incredible 12 point because I just couldn't get in to him for a sidelock shot. 175 yards just isn't a comfortable distance for me with an open sighted muzzleloader. I primarily meat hunt but I am not adverse to a nice bone crown when the opportunity presents itself.

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Old 05-24-2017, 06:45 AM
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Sabots and really hard bullets like brass or even copper over 200gr can be problematic with smokeless. Bullets like the 200gr SST and Barnes 195gr BX are a bit easier to get to shoot even at 2700+ fps. Barnes had a couple runs of bad BXs though and even they would drill sabots.

Get the Harvester sabots called light blue smooth. Crushribs might also work.

4198 is ok for sabots upto around 60gr but after that it will blow sabots occasionally if you are not careful about barrel temps..Sabots HATE a hot barrel...Even warm to the touch can be too hot.

N120 is also pretty good upto around 60gr and produces excellent speed too. Over 2700fps iirc for that amount.

Reloder7 is probably one of the easiest powders on sabots. Its fps per psi is very good. Re7 is dirty though and you might need some swabbing. Ive shot upto 63gr of it with sabots and thats far from max.

Be aware that these are with a 209 primer and your LRMP may produce slightly higher velocity and pressures. Even changing from a Barnes 195gr to a 200gr SST can yield higher numbers.






Another thing to consider is how temps effect velocity and peak pressure.



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Old 05-24-2017, 01:37 PM
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Thankyou both. I just ordered a box of the .400 185 grain CF and a box of those .400 215 grain CF. I also ordered the H4540B sabots from Harvester and the Tan MMP's. Not sure those MMP's will hold up at all. Funny that they don't make the HP for .45 barrels. I also went ahead and ordered another sizing die from Swinglock for smooth sizing the .451-.452 bullets.
Now one thing I do remember is the old man using sub bases sometimes for his land riding bullets in his Thompson center barrel. It seems they don't make them, or I can't find them, in .45 so I guess I'll have to do some cut down versions from some .45 sabots. Unless you guys think I would be better served with the cushion of a veggie wad. Just makes sense that a sub base would be better at pressure transfer and sealing the bore.
GM54-120, from those traces you posted, it does seem I would be best served with N120. I have a pound or 2 so I'll give that a swing. If you remember, I was going to use that as a booster in a duplex load. Looks like it has a little more power than the 4198 I was using with those 300 grain Noslers. Thanks again for those traces.
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:00 PM
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My preference is N120 for sabots. I love the stuff but some people feel its more likely to have larger temps swings than 4198.

IMO 4198 is "safer" when shooting sabotless unless you are content with a little less speed. Take it easy if using N120 and a 300gr bullet. IIRC 55gr and a 300gr is already over 40kpsi so there isnt alot of head room....It is wonderfully clean though.

Re7 is dirty but IMO its easier on sabots and its double based so it needs less pressure to burn correctly. If you drill sabots try using a veggie wad under the sabot and Re7 if you have any.

I prefer .462x.060 veggie wads but some rifles may show a strong preference for wool wads.
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by hunters_life View Post
Thankyou both. I just ordered a box of the .400 185 grain CF and a box of those .400 215 grain CF. I also ordered the H4540B sabots from Harvester and the Tan MMP's. Not sure those MMP's will hold up at all. Funny that they don't make the HP for .45 barrels. I also went ahead and ordered another sizing die from Swinglock for smooth sizing the .451-.452 bullets.
Now one thing I do remember is the old man using sub bases sometimes for his land riding bullets in his Thompson center barrel.

They are MMP Sub Bases for 50 cal. only. I use them a lot for sabotless shooting.


For shooting a 45 with a sabotless bullet I use a:


460" diameter, ideal for .45 caliber rifles, .125" over powder card, 1000, by Circle Fly Wads


From Track of the Wolf:


https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/173/2




It seems they don't make them, or I can't find them, in .45 so I guess I'll have to do some cut down versions from some .45 sabots. Unless you guys think I would be better served with the cushion of a veggie wad. Just makes sense that a sub base would be better at pressure transfer and sealing the bore.
GM54-120, from those traces you posted, it does seem I would be best served with N120. I have a pound or 2 so I'll give that a swing. If you remember, I was going to use that as a booster in a duplex load. Looks like it has a little more power than the 4198 I was using with those 300 grain Noslers. Thanks again for those traces.
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Old 05-24-2017, 02:17 PM
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One of these days i really need to try the Circle Fly .460 Nitro Cards. They look slightly different than the veggies and half the price too.

Last edited by Gm54-120; 05-24-2017 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 05-24-2017, 03:05 PM
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Sabotloader, wouldn't just cutting the petals off a .45 sabot be the same thing as a sub base? Just seems like that would be better than any over powder card or veggie wad for sealing the bore on firing. Especially with the harder solid copper or brass bullets that more than likely wont obturate quickly. There is no need for anything when I use the full sizing die but the smooth sizing die or, just knurled to fit, will leave a lot of gas leakage until or even if the bullet obturates.
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