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Old January 13, 2013, 03:56 AM   #2
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Join Date: October 1, 2004
Location: Remote Utah desert
Posts: 224
To shoot what caliber? .32? .30? .22?
Sabots are used to shoot a subcaliber projectile. I haven't heard anything about this for the .36 caliber revolver.
It may be offered for the .36 caliber rifle, which would make more sense. In a revolver? I see problems.
Historically, sabots have been made of wood or some kind of plastic. Either would lack the "stickiness" of lead to remain tightly in the chamber as the other chambers created recoil.

The idea of sabots is not new, dating at least to the 1870s. I seem to recall experiments with the .45-70 service rifle using a wooden sabot loaded with a lead .30-caliber bullet -- something like that.

Anyway, cap and ball revolvers have pecular challenges that cartridges lack.

For one thing, you cannot crimp the projectile into the revolver's chamber, but you can crimp the brass case into the bullet, to prevent shift during recoil.

Also, the seated lead bullet seals off the chamber, preventing flame from reaching powder charges behind each seated projectile. I don't see wood or plastic being nearly as effective as lead.
Perhaps the manufacturer suggests filling grease grooves in the sabot with lubricant, to prevent this. So now, yet another step in the process of loading a cap and ball revolver.
There are already plenty of impatient shooters who want to eliminate steps, not create more, in the loading of their cap and ball revolver.

Most cap and ball revolvers have rudimentary, non-adjustable sights.
Using a sabot means using a projectile that weighs significantly less than normal. Consequently, such a light bullet would strike far below the point of aim. Lacking adjustable sights, this would create a sighting problem.
Considering that cap and ball revolvers typically place their shots high, though, this may not be the problem it appears.

I haven't heard of any sabots being produced for cap and ball revolvers. I wonder if someone unfamiliar with combustible cartridges hasn't seen those, and thought they were sabots for cap and ball revolvers?

Incidentally, sabot is French for "shoe." It's supposedly related to the word "sabotage," stemming from French or Belgian workers (sources vary) being forced to work in German ammunition plants in their occupied country during the Franco/Prussian War of the 1870s.
These workers wore traditional wooden shoes (very effective in mud). The story goes that they'd throw a wooden shoe into machinery and cause production to halt.
Thus ... sabotage.
Etymologists can't agree on the origin, but it makes a good story.
You can see how the holder of a subcaliber projectile came to be known as a "shoe."

But getting back to your original topic: Nope. Not heard of this. And I don't see a need for it, either.
"And lo, did I see an ugly cat. Smoke. Brimstone. Holes in parchment. And this ugly cat was much amused." --- The Prophesies of Gatodamus (1503 - 1566)
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