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accuracy goes away when shooting sabots

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accuracy goes away when shooting sabots

Old 11-29-2017, 09:49 AM
Giant Nontypical
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Well since i have SMLs using powders that FAR exceed BH209 in speed, pressure and temps, i think its safe to say sabot fouling is virtually nonexistent. Ive never seen any sabot fouling accumulate shooting loads well over 2600fps unless a sabot is blown.

Its pretty simple to see it. Poor boiling hot water down a bore. Run a patch....Sabot fouling will look like silly string snot on the patch. Solvents are almost worthless dissolving sabots. Bore creams/polishes work better. Brownwells shotgun wad solvent though gets very good reviews buts mostly just naptha (60-80%). Acetone has been suggested also but ive never tried it.

Tell you what...call both MMP and Harvester and ask them what will dissolve it.

Last edited by Gm54-120; 11-29-2017 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 11-29-2017, 10:52 AM
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I'll share my experience on suspected sabot buildup. I've fired thousands of rounds using sabots through a single rifle, to which there's never been a single shred of evidence that the sabot left residue of any kind in the barrel. The ONLY thing that affected the constant and consistent accuracy of the rifle itself, was the breech plug and flash hole enlarging.

History: Back in IIRC "97" when the Encore hit the market, I "thought" the same thing about sabots. When my groups started suffering, the first thing I thought about was "plastic". So what was the first thing I thought of to do, get the plastic out of the barrel. I won't go into the different processes I tried, but NOTHING I tried improved my groups, in fact they continued to get worse.
So I made the call to the most knowledgeable man in N.A. on Encore rifles. His first question was, "Have you replaced the BP?" Groups instantly went back to normal.

This isn't always the case with different rifles or shooters. Its just one major contributing factor long time shooters have recognized.
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Old 11-29-2017, 11:18 AM
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Just throwing this out as an additional bit of information...

IF he was shooting older sabots, those made before the current polymer high performance sabots - then there is a chance he does have plastic fouling in the bore that hides in behind the lands in the grooves....
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Old 11-29-2017, 12:26 PM
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Old polymers could certainly have problems. Its pretty obvious when you compare fired sabots such as the old Knight Brown or T/C Green to a more modern MMP Tan or Harvester light blue.

The new ones are a far better polymer and hold together MUCH better.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:28 AM
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I got both the cleaner and the breech plug this week. Our deer season ends today (didn't want to shoot during season since our range in very close to some feeders & food plots), so hopefully I can get to the range soon and see if either change helps groups. I scrubbed the bore (didn't see any strips of plastic, but I did get a lot of black fouling and have been shooting black sabots ???). I plan to shoot one group with the old breech plug, then install the new breech plug and shoot another group.
I will post the results when I have the test completed!

Thanks to all who responded to the thread!
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Old 12-03-2017, 01:21 PM
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For a proper comparison test, make sure you clean it thoroughly before you shoot the new breech plug. You could have one of those rifles that don't shoot worth a damn till you have a good bit of fouling. From your latest post, it kind of sounds to me that you haven't been getting your rifle clean. That black stuff wasn't plastic fouling. Plastic fouling doesn't come off looking like you described. It comes out as little pieces and thin tendrils. What you pulled was carbon and soot. As sabotloader pointed out, the sabots of today are many times better than they used to be. Years ago I would end up with enough plastic in my rifling to mold a new sabot after around 30 shots. With todays higher end sabots from MMP and Harvester you won't be getting any plastic fouling unless your bore is ragged and needs some J-B run through it or you are really cooking it hard. Only one of my BP rifles will shoot sabots worth a damn so my experience with them is limited but I do know that you definitely don't shoot/load them on a hot barrel no matter how high end your sabots are.
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:11 AM
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Had a chance to shoot today, but conditions were not good (cold & very windy) so I just shot with the new breech plug installed and the bore had been cleaned with the cleaner I bought. Groups (at 100 yards) were reduced from slightly over 4" to around 2" today.
Plenty good enough to give me some confidence for the upcoming weekend gun season (Dec. 16-17).

When we get better weather I will try the old breech plug and see if groups open back up.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:34 AM
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Barrel water baths are fine, even though I don't clean my bores in that manner. Just be sure none of the splashing water is getting under your front and rear sights, plus under the scope mount. If water got trapped there and the trapped water may not be clean water, rust might exist under those places.

I've seen it happen........
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:38 AM
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Well guys thanks for enlightening me on the new sabot composition. That will save me a step in my cleaning process. Now I don't have to use my plastic solvent, which I was skeptical about to begin with.
It just goes to show you that just because you're an old goat doesn't mean you can't learn anything new.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by BarnesAddict View Post
You can not tell it by looking at it, at least I couldn't. Of all the precision tooling I have, I'll admit I had nothing to check the size difference in the flash hole. A couple guys on the forum do measure them and maybe they'll respond.

I was shooting a tremendous amount when using Encore platform rifles each year. It NEVER failed that when my groups started to open up (consistently), the replacement of the BP ALWAYS brought the groups back together. Always. Note: Sometimes you just have a bad day. At times it may take only 100 rounds through one for it to start opening up groups, other times I might get away with 200 or 250 rounds. A local sporting goods shop kept a steady supply of BP's in stock, knowing I'd be right back.

Now I'm in no way saying this is your issue. Its just one possible contributing factor. I've seen guys start to have problems and sometimes it was the BP, other times it was his methods changed. Many times its mount, rings or a scope problem. I always suggest checking the mount, rings and scope. Muzzleloader can play heck on scopes and I certainly know about that myself. I learned that making sure that the scope tracked properly was very beneficial and saved me a lot of time and money.
Start with the basics, ensuring that you're using good propellant, that your mount and rings are torqued TO SPECIFICATIONS, with a torque wrench. (Caldwell makes a reasonable priced unit) Then I'd check the scope and make sure it tracks properly and that something's not wrong with the scope. Check the tracking by knowing exactly where your scope turrets are now. Dial up the elevation a full turn, then back to zero. Then dial it down a turn and back to zero. Do the same with right/left. If the scope is tracking properly and in good condition, you'll retain the same zero that you have prior to making the adjustments and your group, regardless of size, should go right back into place.

Try These #61 to #80 Drill bits, don't use the drill end, I always measure the flash hole when I install a Breech Plug. Then thru the year I occasionally check the hole diameter and replace when wear is a few thousands. Hope this helps
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Just throwing this out, I shoot only sabots a lot of Black sabots, when I get done shooting I clean my barrel with hopp's Elite Cleaner and then heavily lube it with Slip 2000 (dissolves plastic). Then I do the 2 hour ride home. A few hours later normally I will clean My gun completely. I push a patch of hop's Elite thru the bore first, I always found a lot of black specs on the white patch and couldn't figure out what it was. This only occurred on the first patch thru, finally I decided that it was plastic from the black sabots. Best guess I could come up with.

Last edited by d.winsor; 12-15-2017 at 10:17 AM.
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