Do I Have to Use ML Bullets?

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by Jmg198, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Jmg198

    Jmg198 New Member

    Nov 10, 2007
    I am new to ML. I had a .50 cal Huntsman barrel placed on my NEF frame recently. My barrel's twist rate is 1:28. I realize that sabots shoot good at this rate and maybe conicals. My question is, I have seen many bullets labeled as .50 cal, but not labeled as ML. Could I use these bullets by throwing them in a sabot. What am I missing? Any thoughts/ideas will be appreciated.
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    You can't put a 50 caliber bullet in a sabot and use it in a 50 caliber rifle. 50 caliber sabots usually use 44 magnum 240 grain JSP pistol bullets. They being .43" diameter, and the sabot taking up the other .07" in the 50 caliber hole. If you put a 50 caliber bullet in a sabot, your completed round is gonna be around 58 caliber.

  3. Pustic

    Pustic Member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Western Kentucky
    I wouldn't do it either. If by some chance you did and you go to ram the bullet home, you might get it stuck half way down, and that's not a good thing. It's best to use the proper bullets that's made for it. You can also use round balls. If you do that then you want to use a .490" ball with a .015" greased patch.
    Happy shooting!!
  4. txhunter77

    txhunter77 New Member

    Jun 21, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    .50 caliber ML usually use either .451-.452" or .429-.430" pistol bullets with 45-50cal or 44-50cal sabots. The sabots are not a one size fits all type, they are made to fit either 44cal or 45cal, but not both.

    There are a few bullets that are at or close to 50cal that are intended to be used in 50 cal ML, like Hornadys FPB ML bullet. [​IMG]
  5. Jmg198

    Jmg198 New Member

    Nov 10, 2007
    First, I really appreciate everyone's help. Let me try to repeat what I am reading. The sabot is fits the caliber of the rifle and the bullet fits the size of the sabot. Are pistol bullets used in conjuction with sabots because of their shortness? (Meaning they don't stick out past the pedals of the sabot.) Could I use any pistol bullet I wanted paired with a .50 cal sabot that it fit into? Thanks again.
  6. txhunter77

    txhunter77 New Member

    Jun 21, 2009
    San Antonio, TX
    Short asnwer. Probably!
    As long as the sabot is designed for the caliber of bullet you intend on using, then yes. You would have to buy 50cal sabots made for 45cal bullets (451-.452 but not .458) or 50cal sabots made for 44cal bullets.

    As far as the bullet not sticking out past the petals, not so much. Pistol bullets were selected because of the low impact velocity of the projectile being fired from MLs. Rifle bullets almost always will have much thicker jackets requiring them to be driven much faster in order to initiate expansion.
  7. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck New Member

    Oct 9, 2008
    Binghamton, NY
    Another reason for the handgun bullets is because they are short they do not require as fast of a twist. Which in turns makes your muzzleloader little bit more suitable for the balls and the "purpose built" short muzzleloading bullets like those from Great Plains and who ever else. The twist in your rifle may not stablize a long bullet intended for the 45-70's or 458 mags and etc. But most of the reason is the velocity that a muzzleloader can provide like what txhunter77 said.
  8. Ya might look at cost too. Some of the ML bullets might be a better deal than buying HG bullets and sabots separatly. I use PowerBelt bullets in my 50 cal CVA and I have had good luck with them.
  9. Win73

    Win73 New Member

    Aug 20, 2009
    I have a NEF .50 caliber Huntsman. I use a .45 caliber 240 grain jacketed hollow point saboted bullet over three 50 grain pellets of 777. The bullets and sabots come packaged together. They are labeled for use in a .50 caliber. That way I don't have to worry about them being mismatched.

    This past season I killed a nice buck with it. It was about a 60 yard shot. The bullet went in its right shoulder and stopped against the skin on its left shoulder. The bullet mushroomed to between .60 and .70 caliber. The deer died where it stood.
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