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accuracy goes away when shooting sabots

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accuracy goes away when shooting sabots

Old 11-27-2017, 08:20 AM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default accuracy goes away when shooting sabots

Been shooting BP for decades, and sabots for probably 20 years now, but problems have happened with the last 3 rifles I've used.

I have tried a lot of substitute powders over the years, but usually use real BP.

First problem rifle was a Traditions inline. Great accuracy at first (I have never kept count of shots fired in a rifle, but usually shoot only about 40-50 rounds a year). After a couple years groups opened up so bad I couldn't keep shots on a target printed on 8x11 paper anymore. I just set the gun aside as I had others I could use.

Then this past Saturday I got my CVA Wolf which has always shot well and is only a couple years old out to check for deer season and my groups have opened up to around 4-5" @ 100 yards????

I went home and got the old T/C Hawken with a GM LRH (1:28 twist) barrel out to check out so I could use it to deer hunt. This rifle has always shot under 3" groups at 100 yards with it's fiber optic sights. My first shot was 8" low-right, and the second shot was 5" left of the bull?????

I have always used water or window cleaner to clean the barrels, never had any rust in the bores, and take good care of my rifles.

It seems to me the most reasonable possibility is "plastic fouling" from the sabots. I never encountered this in the past, and had some rifles I shot a lot of sabots through (maybe 2-300 rounds over the time I owned them), but I find it hard to believe I've had 3 barrels (all by different makers) go bad in such a short period of time (number of shots through them).

I came home and ordered a bottle of cleaner (Shooter's Choice MC7) which is supposed to remove plastic fouling!

Does it sound reasonable/possible the plastic is my problem?
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Old 11-27-2017, 08:43 AM
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Like you said, it could be that you have a plastic buildup in your bore. You may want to scrub it good with that plastic solvent. That was my first thought as soon as I started reading your post.
Let us know how it turns out. BTW, what sabots were you using?
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Old 11-27-2017, 02:10 PM
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Been shooting inline guns since 1999, sometimes with large powder charges. Have never had any plastic fouling.
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Old 11-27-2017, 02:42 PM
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One other thing for inline rifles, I've burned out many breech plug flash holes, which has ALWAYS affected my accuracy. I've changed countless numbers of TC Encore platform breech plugs for that exact reason.
Its one of the reasons some guys are now installing vent liners in their BP's, to save the expense of new breech plugs. They just replace the vent liner.
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Old 11-27-2017, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bronko22000 View Post
Like you said, it could be that you have a plastic buildup in your bore. You may want to scrub it good with that plastic solvent. That was my first thought as soon as I started reading your post.
Let us know how it turns out. BTW, what sabots were you using?
I use Barnes Expanders in 250 grains and whatever sabots they come packed with (black sabot).
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Old 11-27-2017, 05:12 PM
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I have to agree with falcon. I've shot thousands of Barnes bullets and never suffered from any plastic buildup from sabots. However as I mentioned, burning out the flash hole (enlarging it) has always been an accuracy killer.
Shooting the Encore platform rifles, this I recognized and that was that each BP reacted differently. Some BP's lasted longer than others for some reason. However, when the groups started to suffer, replacing the BP brought the groups right back together again. A good thing to check. Assuming there's no scope, ring or mount issues.
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Old 11-27-2017, 05:57 PM
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Was the enlarging of the flash hole obvious, or would a small amount of erosion cause problems?
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Old 11-27-2017, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by wabi View Post
Was the enlarging of the flash hole obvious, or would a small amount of erosion cause problems?
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.
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Old 11-27-2017, 08:25 PM
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The typical reason would be an enlarged flame hole, stop at a weld supply place and get the set of wire use for clean the hole in a torch with that and a caliper or mike determine the size of the flame hole will likely be some disagreement about the max should be, I change mine at 37 Thousands.
You might consider a vent liner.
If that is no problem then check the mounting screws from stock to action
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Old 11-28-2017, 04:40 AM
  #10  
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How old is the powder? Or worse yet, how old are the pellets? Last years propellants might be part of the problem and if they are still from the year before the might part goes away and becomes is.
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