View Full Version : Plastic deposit in barrels?

February 9, 2009, 05:18 PM
I have shot and hunted with a sidelock for years, but recently purchased my first in-line! I would like to try some sabot loads but have heard that some guys have had a problem with plastic buildup in their barrels. Have any of you guys experienced this? If so, how do you clear it out? Any advise would be much appreciated!

February 9, 2009, 05:54 PM
The plastic sabots appear to be the same as plastic shotgun wads. If they are, gun cleaners like Sweets turn the deposits in shotguns into a soft, bubbled up gunk that easily comes out on a cloth patch.

Mark whiz
February 9, 2009, 09:37 PM
The sabots can leave plastic residue over time, especially if you are pushing the speed and/or powder loads.

CVA made a solvent for that called Sabot Shooters solvent which works well, but for the money, just buy some Acetone from Wally World or a hardware store and run a patch or 2 thru the bore, scrubb a little with a bronze brush, follow with another patch or 2 of acetone and there won't be any plastic within a mile of your bore. I do clean with my regular solution before the Acetone though to get the powder fouling out of the way first.

Clamper Ramrod
February 9, 2009, 11:40 PM
I shoot about 300 rounds a month of shotgun with plastic wads. Lots of plastic buildup.
I use gunk foaming non amonia window cleaner. Just fill the barrels up and let it sit for about 5 minutes then pull a bore snake or push a tornado brush through and the snot comes out like a black snake.
Leaves no rust or residue. For storage, I use the spray Tri Flow teflon lube on a bore mop and push it through.
Since the sabot is the same material, this should help.
OBTW, I use the gunk and bore snake routine with my Ruger vaqueros and my '73 winchester all shooting bp goex.

February 10, 2009, 09:08 PM
Thanks for the good advise! I'll try your suggestions after experimenting with some sabot loads. I was talking to a BP shooter that said if you shoot a patched round ball after 3 or 4 sabots that it will also remove the plastic deposit. Has anyone heard of this or tried it ?

February 11, 2009, 07:19 AM
I really doubt you have a problem with sabots, I dont use anything special to remove plastic fouling I just clean with hot soapy water and a brush followed by some patches and when clean and dry run a oily patch down it to prevent rust just your standard cleaning for a muzzleloader.

Wild Bill Bucks
February 12, 2009, 03:48 PM

The thing about a good sabot, is that is pushes the debris from the last shot, back down the barrel, every time you load it. The only build up you get is from the powder residue left deep in the riflings, that the sabot doesn't push.

If you have plastic showing up in your barrel, it is time to try another brand of sabot. I would suggest MMP sabots. I have shot a lot of different powder rifles, and a lot of them were inlines, and I have never had any plastic build up in any of my rifles. I shoot a Savage ML II now, and have never had to worry about plastic building up in a barrel. I shoot at least 100 rounds a month through my muzzle loaders, and have for the last 20 years. My powder and bullet supplies last year was a little over $1100.00 and not one cent was spent for any cleaning product for plastic.

Mark whiz
February 14, 2009, 01:23 AM
I second the call for the MMP sabots - best on the market. Most premium bullets use them already.

February 15, 2009, 04:41 AM
I recently did a little testing on plastic removal. For the background, I was sending a 300 gr Hornady 458 bullet down range at 2300 plus fps, over a low buck chronograph. I was using MMP sabots. I was not using BP, I was using smokeless. I purchased some plasitic removing solvent from Brownell,s. I also have some JB bore paste. These were both compared to Hoppe's No 9 and a bronze brush.

There was no actual chemical testing done, just checking out the color of the patches and number of passes etc. In my ML, I found JB bore paste was slightly faster than Hoppes no 9. After either Hoppes or JB I could find no color, other than the nice pink of the plastic remover, when treated with the Plastic remover. Another fellow had commented that no plastic fouling will hold up to a bronze brush. I am in agreement with his statements.

My ML needs a couple of fouling shots after a deep cleaning.

Smokey 92
March 2, 2009, 09:27 AM
Would using bore butter help prevent plastic build up?

March 2, 2009, 11:34 AM
A little Windex sprayed down the barrel will make the plastic slide right out.

March 2, 2009, 11:45 AM
Thanks for the great suggestions for cleaning procedures and sabot brands. I went to the range the other day and tried some loads. I see what you mean about the brand of sabot. The Knight 260 grain sabots didn't seem to leave as much deposit since the groups were good at 100 yards ( about 2.5"). I tried Dead Center sabots (250 gr -50/44) and the first two shots were in the bullseye, then the following shots really opened up to about 12"!! This happened even though I was wet patching the bore after every shot. The only thing I can think of that is causing this is the green sabot that they use is leaving deposit in the bore since I wasn't using a brush or sabet solvent. Maybe I'll try the dead center bullets with the MMP sabots instead of the sabots that they come with next time. What do you think ?

Wild Bill Bucks
March 2, 2009, 12:18 PM
Smokey 92,

It is fine to put bore butter in your barrel for storage, but a sabot is made to shoot over a clean dry surface. If you don't get all the bore butter out before you shoot, it will make your sabots very inaccurate.


I would take a piece of cotton and run it down your CLEAN DRY barrel. After running it through, look down the barrel and see if your barrel has any cotton sticking to the inside of the barrel. If you see cotton sticking to it, you may need to polish the riflings with a little bore polish of some sort. Sometimes if you buy a new inline, they will have burrs on the riflings. There is nothing wrong with it, and they will eventually disappear with enough shooting, but you can speed the process up by polishing the barrel with a light abrasive polish, about 100 strokes will probably do the trick.
This may be why you are getting plastic in your barrel from the little jags in the riflings, cutting into the plastic.

I use NOVUS Plastic polish for this when I get a new rifle. It is light enough abrasive to take out the burrs, but not harsh enough to hurt the riflings.

March 3, 2009, 12:08 AM
Maybe I'll try the dead center bullets with the MMP sabots instead of the sabots that they come with next time. What do you think ?

I think that's a great idea.
Rifles can show a definite preference for certain brands and styles of sabots.
And MMP has several different sabot designs which may or may not help.
But when testing, it's recommended to only make one change at a time with the sabots, bullets, powder, primers etc...
Also, if the initial testing is performed at a slightly closer range, then there is less of a chance of sighting and shooter error showing up in the target results.
Try to keep the barrel temperature and the cleaning regimen the same between shots if possible.
Muzzle loaders are notorious for having occasional flyers. They can be minimized but not usually eliminated altogether. Some believe that it's due to some 209 primers being too hot or powder inconsistencies. The new fluffy Blackhorn 209 powder is expensive but is considered to shoot very clean and consistently. So that's a long range option to consider.


March 6, 2009, 10:37 PM
Thanks for the help everyone! Have any of you tried a felt wad between the powder and sabot? I heard that this improves accuracy,but not sure.

Wild Bill Bucks
March 16, 2009, 11:16 AM
I tried the felt thing under a sabot, but saw no difference in the group. My Encore shoots about a 1" group at 100 yards, with or without them. When I first got the rifle, I tried about every kind of sabot and load that I could find, with every little trick, and I found that the rifle performs the best with an MMP black sabot with a 44 magnum Hornady Pistol bullet, at 240 grains, shooting 90 grains of loose 777, ignited by a Winchester 777 primer. I put 40 lbs of pressure on the rod, spit clean after every shot, and still get a flyer about one out of every 15 or 20 shots.

There is a good possibility that the flyer could be ME.:o