By the way, I found out the correct pronounciation is SA-BO with long A and long O sounds, being French in origin.
What exactly are Sabots?
They are little plastic looking jackets (actually nylon) that are .308 caliber in outside diameter and hold a .22 caliber bullet in the “fingers”. When crimped in a .30 caliber case, like a 30-06, 30/30 or a .308 it holds the bullet in tightly.
The illustration (next to a standard .30 cal bullet) is a Hornady .224 VMAX, 55 grain bullet and the .22/.308 sabot. The sabot weighs 6 grains. Now we have a total bullet weight of 61 grains, but the slick side of the sabot will offer very little resistance in the rifling of the gun barrel
As of this writing, I have not fired any finished rounds with the sabots. Here is what I know so far.
From the E. Arthur Brown Company, they have said this:
Our Sabots for .30 caliber guns allow you to shoot .223 bullets. 30-30s shoot up to 3500 fps, 30-06 up to 4200 fps. Load data is included. Price is $9.95 for 100 Sabots (.223 bullets not included) Soft Nose Bullet Seater is $14.95 (for seating bullets into sabots) Shipping is $5.25
E. Arthur Brown Company, Inc.
4088 County Road 40 NW | Garfield | MN 56332
You may want to use faster burning powders and you want a really clean barrel since there is no friction from the nylon sabots. Expect +4,000 fps speeds and devasting effects on targets upon impact.
Wow! This sounds impressive, doesn’t it?
If you buy some sabots, you should get the load sheet with them. For the 30-06, the load data sheet suggest starting off with 47.5 gr. of IMR 3031 (30,700 psi) and working up to a MAX of 57.0 gr. (44,200 psi). Compare that with the Speer load manual for 30-06 for the 100 grain plinker and they call for a range of 53.0 to 57.0 grains of 3031. An older Lyman load book shows a cast lead bullet of 118 grain weight and suggest between 30.0 and 38.0 (max) grains of 3031 powder. So, you can use some of your current books taking these factors into account and adjusting loads accordingly.
There are many obvious advantages to using Sabots. It certainly costs less than big .30 cal bullets. These new sabots are far better than some of the first on the market that were not moulded in one piece. I hear of 1″ groups at 100 yards. Recoil is less and at 4,000+ fps, your trusty old .30 caliber becomes a potent varmint rifle with explosive potential.