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35 caliber saboted bullets in a 45 caliber muzzleloader?

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35 caliber saboted bullets in a 45 caliber muzzleloader?

Old 07-21-2020, 08:26 PM
  #1  
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Default 35 caliber saboted bullets in a 45 caliber muzzleloader?

This season, I've decided to upgrade my muzzleloader season setup. Matchgrademachine has recently begun offering 45 caliber muzzleloader barrels in both rifle and handgun length for the Encore. It seems like 45 calibers have become quite popular for squeezing extra range out of muzzleloaders. Crucially for my needs, these are rated for a full power 120 grain load of BH209, and the 45 caliber gives me the option of using MMP 45/357 sabots to utilize common 357/358 caliber bullets. I'm hoping the combination will allow me to extend my range with a muzzleloading handgun.

My question is, have any of you ever tried using 35 caliber bullets out of a 45 caliber muzzleloader? What's the accuracy like? Alternatively, have you ever tried saboted bullets with a similar difference compared to the bore diameter, like 40 caliber bullets in a 50?
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Old 07-21-2020, 09:04 PM
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over my yrs I have tried shooting a lot of inlines ( I am not a big guy into flintlock's and such even though I have owned and shot my share)
but have used all sorts of sabots with reduced sized bullets in them, and all I can tell you is every rifle has been different, what one might have liked another didn;t, and some times even certain sabots/bullet combo's needed work finding the right charge to get them to be accurate!
so, again, from my experience, finding what YOUR gun likes is key and then from there its about consistency in reloading and once you find what is accurate and has proper charge for the task being asked of things, bullet placement will kill deer with a 35 cal, 40-45-50 cal or what ever! as long as again, the energy level is there at the range your animal is at!
I think many people over think shooting deer, there not wearing body armor and any GOOD hunter should know where vitals are and where to place a bullet!
put a bullet in the vitals and they die, bullet diameter not the big part here, its having proper bullet up to task, and enough energy for the task being asked of the bullet ,




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Old 07-22-2020, 06:24 AM
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Good luck getting a 45x35 sabot to shoot upto speed. The BC difference vs 45x40 is minimal when you consider the speed limitations of a ML handgun. All that BC is meaningless unless you got some good MV to start. MGM offers a nice 5r barrel but i would go with the rifle barrel and sabotless. At least then you can break 2100fps with a 275gr bullet. You would also need a adjustable sizing die and thats another $140ish on top of the $480 for the barrel.

Also consider there are only 2 45x35 sabots and MMP makes both. They make one for Precision Rifle also. Its a little longer. They might be very tight in the MGM 5r barrel. Im pretty certain they will be.

Last edited by Gm54-120; 07-22-2020 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 07-22-2020, 06:26 AM
  #4  
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40 cal 200 grain SST out of my 50 cal Mountaineer, 110 grains (V) BH209, MMP sabot, 100 yards, not stellar but would work, though I prefer an all copper hunting bullet such as the Barnes 195 grain 40 cal Expander


115 grains (V) with the same combo as above

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Old 07-23-2020, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mrbb View Post
over my yrs I have tried shooting a lot of inlines ( I am not a big guy into flintlock's and such even though I have owned and shot my share)
but have used all sorts of sabots with reduced sized bullets in them, and all I can tell you is every rifle has been different, what one might have liked another didn;t, and some times even certain sabots/bullet combo's needed work finding the right charge to get them to be accurate!
That's one of the benefits to using 35 caliber bullets: there are many, many options to try out and choose from. I'm looking into the 140 grain XPB, the 158 and 180 grain XTPs, and possibly the Speer 180 grain pointed soft point.

Originally Posted by mrbb View Post
so, again, from my experience, finding what YOUR gun likes is key and then from there its about consistency in reloading and once you find what is accurate and has proper charge for the task being asked of things, bullet placement will kill deer with a 35 cal, 40-45-50 cal or what ever! as long as again, the energy level is there at the range your animal is at!
I think many people over think shooting deer, there not wearing body armor and any GOOD hunter should know where vitals are and where to place a bullet!
put a bullet in the vitals and they die, bullet diameter not the big part here, its having proper bullet up to task, and enough energy for the task being asked of the bullet ,
True. My 327 Federal doe from last season was testament to that. While I don't doubt I could put a bullet where it needs to go with my current setup, having more velocity by shooting smaller, lighter, bullets would give me a bit better velocity and hopefully more reliable expansion. The Optima, and the factory Encore, just don't quite have it in my opinion, at least for the ranges I'd like to be able to shoot at.

Originally Posted by Gm54-120 View Post
Good luck getting a 45x35 sabot to shoot upto speed. The BC difference vs 45x40 is minimal when you consider the speed limitations of a ML handgun. All that BC is meaningless unless you got some good MV to start. MGM offers a nice 5r barrel but i would go with the rifle barrel and sabotless. At least then you can break 2100fps with a 275gr bullet. You would also need a adjustable sizing die and thats another $140ish on top of the $480 for the barrel.

Also consider there are only 2 45x35 sabots and MMP makes both. They make one for Precision Rifle also. Its a little longer. They might be very tight in the MGM 5r barrel. Im pretty certain they will be.
The whole point of the build is to be able to handgun hunt during muzzleloader season, and improving upon current 150 yard capable handguns. My goal with this is to replicate the 357 Maximum cartridge ballistics, which is quite capable of up to 200 yard hunting out of a single-shot pistol. I don't expect the BC to make much difference. What I'm after is a higher initial velocity coupled with well-proven 357 Magnum bullets in the 140-180 grain range, or if those don't perform accurately, 150 to 180 grain 10mm bullets. I did a fair amount of testing with 200 grain 45 caliber bullets in both guns, and with a 100 grain load of Blackhorn 209 they can get up to a respectable 1,700 fps. I'm hoping the MGM barrel, a decent charge of 209, and an MMP sabot coupled with a good 357 hunting bullet will meet my criteria, but if not, it certainly won't be any worse than my current setup even if I have to use a different bullet/sabot combination than intended.

Originally Posted by BuckDoeHunter View Post
40 cal 200 grain SST out of my 50 cal Mountaineer, 110 grains (V) BH209, MMP sabot, 100 yards, not stellar but would work, though I prefer an all copper hunting bullet such as the Barnes 195 grain 40 cal Expander


115 grains (V) with the same combo as above
Not bad at all. A little bit of vertical stringing, but I wouldn't be too disappointed with them.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:13 AM
  #6  
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I'm hoping the MGM barrel, a decent charge of 209, and an MMP sabot coupled with a good 357 hunting bullet will meet my criteria
It wont. You will likely have a really hard time even loading that sabot in a MGM 45 barrel. Ive been shooting 45 almost exclusively for ages. Everything from fast twist 1-20s to 1-30s and the only way ive got 45x35 to shoot is with much milder charges and bullets like the Hornady 9mm 147gr XTP. PR's Dead Center being about the only thing ive seen shoot well fast.

But if you must try, go to Precision Rifle Bullet. Get their 45x357 sabot and then get some of the new 350 (.355) Legend bullets. You will find out real quick when you try to load one. PR loads those sabots with bullets a tad smaller than .357. Ive shot them all and not a single combination would shoot as well as a 45x40 200gr SST. The only thing ive seen shoot worth a hill of beans in 45x357 are the PR Dead Centers. So if you like spending $1.50 a shot for a lead bullet its worth trying too.

You can just as easily shoot lighter 40cals like the 180gr XTP or Barnes 155gr XPB/TAC-XP and achieve the FPS you wish with a far better chance of them shooting well.

PR sabot made by MMP https://www.prbullet.com/shop/produc....php?sSKU=0500
175gr Dead Center https://www.prbullet.com/shop/produc....php?sSKU=0001
Bullets (.355) for 350 Legend https://www.midwayusa.com/bullets/br...ctedSort=False

Last edited by Gm54-120; 07-24-2020 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:27 PM
  #7  
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I shot 10 mm (.40 cal) 200 Hornady XTPs out of my .45 Hawken with excellent accuracy results. Not sure how they would fare at long range though.
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