Sabot loads for new rifle.
Finally decided to try an inline after 26 years shooting a .54 TC Renegade. Burned a lot of Pyrodex/ maxi hunter combinations in it. Bought a .50 TC Omega and am interested in any advice as to favorite Sabot type bullet /powder combinations. Iím planning on breaking it in on Kodiak deer so lighter faster type loads are acceptable. Any help appreciated!
I don't shoot a 50 Dave, but in Kodiak's humid climate I've had inconsistent ignitions and velocity using pellets. No problem with loose powder, however. In my experience shooting a 54 inline, a 10 gr change in load can make quite a bit of difference in accuracy. You might read up on factory recommended max loads for your Omega, drop back 30 grains or so and try working up to check on accuracy.
Not that it means a hill of beans with a 50, but I've had the most consistent accuracy with Nosler Sabots, and best performance on deer with the 300 grain Speer 45 cal SP bullet. On top of 100 grains of loose Pyro that combo does around an inch at 50 yards and sometimes breaks below two inches at 100. Nothing else I've put through the gun comes close.
If you have time before your hunt, I'd sure be tempted to do some serious test shooting.
Wouldn't think of going with out some serious try out time! I'm just trying to get a running start at the process. Your comments help. I usually limted myself to under 70 yards with my old rifle based on it being a good shooter under that and rapidly falling off after. I'm not trying to emulate centerfire performance, just hoping for a little better weather proofing. Good new is I have plenty of loose pyrodex around.
I own an Omega. I shoot a 250 Barnes X with (3) 50 grain Triple 7 pellets. I shoot 150 grain and I shoot 2 " high at 100 and 3" low at 150. I shoot anywhere from 0 to 150 yards with confidence!
The good ole Hornady Sabot with the 240gr Mag XTP .452 bullet would be excellent with 100 grs of 777 2F powder
Use a pre-lubed felt wad
I have owned a ton of muzzle loaders over the years and I have found that a few small details make all the difference. I have owned two Thompsons in the past but never was very satisfied with the performance of either gun. The first was the New Englander which had a 1:48 twist and the second had a 1:32 twist. Never worked well on ball and patch, conicals or sabots.
Everybody nowadays wants to shoot lighter and faster out of the old front stuffer. It has been my findings that when you shoot a sabot out of your barrel at velocities over 1750 fps that you start to get what is known as plasticing in the grooves of the barrel. The plastic residue makes loading the follow up load a real chore and really degrades the accuracy of the next shot. The melted plastic can also be really hard to get out of the barrel and takes much more than a wet patch to remove. I have found that putting a pre-lubed felt wad over the powder helps to keep the plasticing down and has improved my accuracy.
In my .50 caliber muzzle loaders I have found that a 320 to 395 grain sabots stabilizes better and my powder charges are between 80 and 110 grains of powder. My findings are that anything over 110 grains has reach the point of diminishing returns. Like with all guns, find the sweet spot and stick with it. Do not be afraid to try something new, however be smart and be safe. As Brown Bear already pointed out, moisture is your biggest enemy.
Let us know what works for you....
I've heard about plasticising for some time Bigmnt, but your first hand account has the most meat in it of anything I've read. I'd always wondered about it because I have never had the problem. Now I understand that's because I've never been going for light and fast in my 54's, but always for bigger and heavier bullets for more SD. I bet I don't push anything much over 1500, and my shoulder says I definitely don't want to either.