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Thread: .50 cal and sabot for moose?

  1. #1
    Member aknewbie's Avatar
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    Default .50 cal and sabot for moose?

    Got lucky and drew a bull tag for fort rich this year and I was wondering if anyone on here has any experience with saboted bullets and moose. My muzzleloader doesnt like maxi's much at all, and I havent tried any hornady great plains bullets yet. It will shoot about all of the saboted bullets I have tried (hornady, Barnes, precision rifle, hydro-con) within 1.5"@100 yards with 100gr of 777. Just wanted to know if any of those bullets will hold together long enough for moose.

    Thank you

  2. #2

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    I haven't use the sabots on moose myself, but know several folks who have. They worked just fine in every case I've heard of, though a few required followups. I just couldn't tell you whether the followup was surely due to any failure of the bullet because I wasn't on hand to see the results for myself. Isn't it funny how folks always blame their gear when they don't get a one-shot kill?

    I will say though, based on using the same bullets at similar and faster velocities on game with lever action rifles, that the 44 and 45 cal 300 pistol grain bullets from Speer seem to hold together better than Hornady, though both kill right well. Haven't tried any from Nosler or Barnes, but haven't felt the need either. I'm pretty indiscriminate on which sabot I use, as long as it's designed for the diameter of the pistol bullet I want to use. On sale and on hand are good enough for me after that.

    If you try that Hornady Great Plains, be sure to put a lubed fel wad between it and the powder. I've seen them cheap hanging on the wall at Sportsman's. Loose powder lets you adjust charges better than pellets and really fine tune the load. In all my fast twist rifles I have been able to find real tack driver combos with it.

  3. #3

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    If you want to stick with a saboted bullet for moose, consider a T/C ShockWave in 300 grains. They are very accurate out of my 1:28" twist barrel. I have not shot a moose with these, but I was impressed with how well they held together when shooting them into a bank of hard-packed, dry clay at 100 yards (not a moose shoulder blade but a pretty dense medium for a bullet). Or even the Bonded ShockWaves for something a bit tougher. I would think Nosler Partitions or Barnes would work well, haven't tried them myself (too cheap to spend $1 / bullet). The Hornady SST is essentially the same bullet as the ShockWave (seems I heard Hornady makes ShockWaves for T/C....?), I know guys who get very good accuracy with the SST. Another one perhaps are PR Bullets. I think any of these will do just fine on moose, though I would opt to go with the heavier grained versions (i.e. 300 versus 250) just for added energy since you won't be shooting 200+ yards anyway.

    If Great Plains Bullets don't do the trick for ya and you still want to experiment with an all lead conical, give No Excuses Bullets a try (http://members.aol.com/noexcusesb/index.html). You can get a 495 grain .50 cal bullet. Though I imagine it thumps the shoulder a bit, the bullet would be longer than a 395 grain Hornady GPB for example, and thus may stabilize better out of a tighter twist barrel. I would think 495 grains of pure lead would be potent moose medicine when placed in the proper location....

  4. #4
    Member alaska bush man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Barnes MZ Expander

    300gr Barnes MZ Expander works great on everthing in Alaska!
    Alaska

  5. #5

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    I have had good luck with a buffalo bullets 368 grain saboted round inside an EZ-3 petal sabot. Shoots real nice through a knight bighorn. One thing I learned in figuring out the best combo on my rifle is that there are great variations in sabots and bullets. You may need to try several different loads to get something that works in your rifle. Not all .50 cals are the same as the SAMMI specs don't apply in black powder. What kind of rifle do you have? Might be able to point you in some good directions based on experience with TC and white rifles in addition to my Knight. I also tried the precision bullets. They were a bit snug for my rifle. I would deform the lead every time I loaded. I could shoot them, but had to uze the EZ sabots instead of the pre-packaged precision bullets.

  6. #6
    Member aknewbie's Avatar
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    Default EZ sabots

    where have you been getting your ez sabots from? I havent found them in anchorage and I would like to get some to try with my barnes TMZ. The sabots that come with them are way too hard to load, and the barnes bullets I load for my '06 and 35 whelen are awesome! But im gonna give the great plains a try too. Thanks everyone!

  7. #7

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    Ordered them online. They do make a difference. Much easier to load.

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