The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 24, 2012, 02:30 PM   #1
warbirdlover
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2009
Location: central Wisconsin
Posts: 2,324
PowerBelt Aerotip vs. Sabots

I've been shooting the 245 gr. aerotip PB and have gotten really good groups etc etc. In my never ending search for the "best" I've read numerous articles stating how wonderful the Barnes and similar sabots are. So here are my thoughts....

Sabots (plastic) gunk up the barrel and need it needs to be cleaned every shot(?)

The bullets used with the sabots are .45 cal and not .50 cal so you lose knockdown power(?)

Please give me some answers since I have no experience (yet) with sabots.
Thanks.
warbirdlover is offline  
Old December 24, 2012, 04:23 PM   #2
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS (new to MS)
Posts: 4,660
I clean after every shot regardless of what bullet is used - that is the only way to avoid the dreaded crud ring. As to bullet diameter, those powerbelts have the BC of a brick. I get much better velocity and great groups out of a Hornady SST (T/C shockwave).
Doyle is online now  
Old December 24, 2012, 05:22 PM   #3
BirchOrr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2012
Location: Eaton Rapids, MI
Posts: 348
WBL

I could only assume, you're using a CVA. They do love PB's! I've never seen another brand that likes them all that well.

You are correct in that, PB's indeed have a bigger O.D. than a sabot. As you say, the Hornady's etc. are somewhere around .451 or .452 actual bullet diameter.

Even with the PB's, there will still be a slight amount of plastic left behind as the tail end has a plastic "ring" that expands when the powder is fired (Minie ball concept). In my experience and with most of the other CVA shooters/hunters I know, (more often than not) there is no exit wound. This would indicate to me the game is absorbing all of the energy from the round or knock-down as you mentioned. It makes sense, bigger bullet. I've also hear guys complain about this! (Huh)? This being said, I also know of one guy (CVA shooter) who swears by the Barns sabots in his gun.

I do like the Barnes (in a T/C) and they expand just like they claim. I do get an exit wound twice the size of the entry wound. Devastating performance.

I can tell you're a guy always wanting to try something different and looking for the almighty excellence in performance and accuracy. Nothing wrong with that, I'm the same way and I admire that!

I do have the luxury of living 3 miles away from on of the best PB shops in Michigan. Guy who owns it is a life-long friend. (Bill Hammond of Spring Brook Trading Post). He takes a ton of things in on trade. When most of these guys trade something in, they also leave behind everything with the gun. He can't sell half a box of sabots/powder/bullets etc. so he gives them to me to try. I report back to him on how everything does. Great situation as I don't have to go buy all this stuff only to find out (in most cases) It isn't all that great after testing it in numerous guns. Once in a while I find a combination that gets my attention! I also go with Bill to the big BP competition shoots with his truck and 40 foot (store on wheels) trailer. I see first hand exactly what all the big shooters are doing.

Quick example: I ended with a partial box of 50 cal. 300 gr. Hornady FPB's recently. Looked pretty cool! No plastic, a copper jacketed lead round. Very much like the PB's only metal instead of plastic (modern Minie ball again). The box said, "easy to load, accurate, no lube, hard hitting, no need for a plastic skirt"! I thought, cool! Something worth trying! I'm here to tell ya, I about popped a beanie trying to get on of those rounds down the barrel of my T/C. That was so hard to load, I didn't even want to try it in anything else! After the fact I checked them and they mic out at a whopping .506 at the base (flared end). Holy mackerel, no wonder I had trouble!

My advice... if you have something working well for ya, stick with it! If you want to try other things, find another shooter who uses it, get 3 rounds from him and try 'em before buying any. Or... split a box with someone if they also want to check something out.

All the best to you and Merry Christmas!

Birch
__________________
Black Powder: Not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win...
BirchOrr is offline  
Old December 24, 2012, 05:23 PM   #4
robhof
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 16, 2007
Posts: 694
robhof

I have to agree with above, I use the sabots in my 50 with .429 and .452 bullets, depending on the sabots that I get. I usually use my own cast bullets of relatively soft lead and they give a flatter trajectory than any .50 bullet out there for 100 to 200yds. 250 to 280gr cast bullets can drop any game in our area. I've dropped deer at 155yds with a 250gr and it was a bang flop so I'm happy. I can do the same with my 54 and 320gr cast bore size bullets, but with a much greater hold over and more punishment to the shoulder. Less trauma(to me), less weight to carry and flatter trajectory, I use the sabots much more for hunting.
robhof is offline  
Old December 24, 2012, 10:25 PM   #5
warbirdlover
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2009
Location: central Wisconsin
Posts: 2,324
Really appreciate the great comments. SIL and his nephew (borrowed his CVA) both got a deer with the PB 245 Aerotip. Deer dropped on the spot! Bullets also went through but had some copper fragment off. Since I won't get a shot longer then 140 yards (I'm sighted in for that) I'll probably stay with them and just tinker with the sabots to see how they group.

So for all who shoot the bullets with sabots, what's your choice and why? Have you tried different bullet/sabot combos Birch? I assume you have since you have that great "deal" with your friend.
warbirdlover is offline  
Old December 26, 2012, 01:40 AM   #6
arcticap
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2005
Location: Central Connecticut
Posts: 2,973
Quote:
Originally Posted by warbirdlover
The bullets used with the sabots are .45 cal and not .50 cal so you lose knockdown power(?)
IMO the answer to the question above is false.
One way to measure knockdown power or lethal energy is to examine a bullet's sectional density verses another.

Sectional density has been described in the following ways:

Quote:
SD is important because it has a significant effect on penetration. Other things being equal (like impact velocity, bullet design and material, etc.) the higher the SD number, the better the bullet's penetration. In other words, a skinny bullet of a given weight tends to penetrate better than a fat bullet of the same weight, because it concentrates the same force on a smaller area of the target. For example, if other factors are equal, a 150 grain .270 bullet will penetrate better than a 150 grain .35 caliber bullet. Penetration is important because the bullet must get well inside an animal to disrupt the functioning of its vital organs. A bullet that fails to penetrate the fur, skin, muscle and bone necessary to reach the vital organs is very unlikely to bring an animal down.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/sd.htm
Quote:
Sectional density is the ratio of an object's mass to its cross-sectional area. It conveys how well an object's mass is distributed (by its shape) to overcome resistance. For illustration, a needle can penetrate a target medium with less force than a coin of the same mass...
...Sectional density is often used in gun ballistics where sectional density is the ratio of a projectile weight, to its diameter.
...Within terminal ballistics, the sectional density of a projectile is one of the determining factors for projectile penetration.
...Only if all other factors are equal, the projectile with the greatest amount of sectional density will penetrate the deepest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sectional_density
What this means is that a .45 caliber 245 grain bullet will have a greater sectional density than a .50 caliber 245 grain bullet and will penetrate deeper. Therefore, it's possible that depending on the bullet construction and expansion, that the .45 caliber bullet will have greater knockdown power on a large game animal than the .50 caliber Powerbelt.
Think about which bullet will deliver more lethal energy to an animal with a tough hide and large body mass.
The .45 will create a deeper wound channel into the vitals of the animal. And if the .45 has a controlled expansion factor built into its construction, then it may not blow up or fragment as easily as a nearly pure lead Powerbelt.
Fragmentation of Powerbelts has been known to occur when fired at higher velocities and closer ranges. And the deer can end up not being recovered.
I'm not picking on the Powerbelts, but every bullet has its own advantages, disadvantages and sectional density. Larger caliber bullets are not always better because they can slow down quickly after hitting the animal if they expand too fast or aren't heavy enough for their diameter.
And similarly, it's possible that a .44 caliber bullet could be better than a .45 or .50 PB of the same weight. I don't know all about the sectional density ratings and bullet construction and the other factors involved in delivering knockdown power, or even how to define knockdown power. But there are good bullets and better bullets, and depending on the shot taken some bullets are better than others. And sectional density and how well a bullet penetrates is part of it.

Last edited by arcticap; December 26, 2012 at 01:49 AM.
arcticap is offline  
Old December 26, 2012, 09:07 AM   #7
BirchOrr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2012
Location: Eaton Rapids, MI
Posts: 348
WBL and arcticap

Quote:
Have you tried different bullet/sabot combos Birch?
I have, but not to the extent I'd really like! I'd like to do more testing with cast/sabot combinations like "robhof" mentioned. I have done enough to know all my sabot guns are much more accurate with a tighter sabot. Even .002 can make a big difference. For instance. the Barnes Spit-Fire MZ's & TMZ's mike out (including the sabot) at .505 O.D. (up by the petals not at the base). Knight packages the exact same bullet with their own sabot and they mic out at .501 O.D. This miniscule amount is enough to make a BIG difference in accuracy.

articap is dead on in his assessment in my humble opinion.

There are so many variables, it's hard to cover this topic without writing a book! Amount of powder, bullet weight, barrel length, bullet diameter/design, how tight the bullet fits in the barrel, on and on are all significant factors.

Hope this helps!

Birch
__________________
Black Powder: Not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win...

Last edited by BirchOrr; December 26, 2012 at 11:45 AM.
BirchOrr is offline  
Old December 26, 2012, 09:36 AM   #8
BirchOrr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2012
Location: Eaton Rapids, MI
Posts: 348
Definition of "knock-down"

I would have to say "the perfect combination of bullet and powder to knock an animal off it's feet". This would mean no exit wound with the animal absorbing 100% of the energy from the projectile. Shot placement is also a factor here. Do you go for the vitals, or hit it in the shoulder to keep it from running? Obviously if you hit it in the shoulder, you would up the odds of no exit wound. Much more mass and bone to penetrate in this area. Same shot placed in the vitals would most likely pass through the body.

I've witnessed deer running 300yds. with a perfect vitals shot (form a 50cal.) hitting both lungs and heart. Incredible!

I can only refer to an episode of "Myth Busters". The test was, they took a pig carcass hung it from a chain, and had a link of the chain perfectly balanced on the point of a hook. They fired countless different rounds at it starting with a .22 rim-fire. In the end, the only round that got the carcass moving enough to knock it off the point of the hook was a 12ga. slug with no exit wound!

Your thoughts gentleman?

Birch
__________________
Black Powder: Not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win...
BirchOrr is offline  
Old December 26, 2012, 10:03 AM   #9
warbirdlover
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2009
Location: central Wisconsin
Posts: 2,324
Interesting stuff. I've always shot the animals "just" behind the shoulder and all have dropped on the spot. A couple I've had to shoot in the neck as that was the only shot I had. They also dropped on the spot. Of course I've used a .300 Win Mag (150 gr powerpoint or corelock) on most of these animals. SIL and his nephew both shot their deer right behind the shoulder (using PB 245 Aerotip) and both dropped on the spot and they did get penetration through the whole animal. Both shot at about 50 yards. If I would have used a 180 gr bullet out of my .300 WM I don't think the results would be nearly as good.

I see animals shot on tv run long distances. My theory is they're using a bullet that penetrates through before expanding all the way and it's not expending all the energy in the animal. This is what I would NOT want and why I'm leary of using sabots at the lower velocities of a muzzleloader. A 12 gauge shotgun with a hunk of lead will drop a deer "right now" also and I think simulating that (PB Aerotip) is desireable. I don't like to track deer long distances. On our land they could reach the neighbors land and I'd lose it.
warbirdlover is offline  
Old December 26, 2012, 12:12 PM   #10
BirchOrr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 25, 2012
Location: Eaton Rapids, MI
Posts: 348
Quote:
On our land they could reach the neighbors land and I'd lose it.
Great point! This is one of the many reasons I like this forum so much. Someone else thinks of something someone else didn't! The above is yet another factor to consider.

I also have dropped deer with a neck shot as it was the only shot I had. It was a wall-hanger and didn't want him to get away! If I was hunting a field edge where tracking was easy, I'll go for a vitals shot every time. Less damage to that delicious meat, but still a killing shot. In thicker brush, harder tracking, raining, or if there is a possibility of losing the animal by it running to an area "off-limits" to me, I'll try to take it in the shoulders and take away it's ability to run.

The older I get, the less I like tracking/dragging an animal any further than I have to.

Birch
__________________
Black Powder: Not because it is easy, but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win...
BirchOrr is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09181 seconds with 9 queries