Hornady 300 gr. .458 HP & MMP Orange Sabots

One of the most important developments in the last couple of years in muzzleloading projectiles has not been the projectiles themselves, but rather the updated, improved MMP 50 x .458 sabot. The Orange MMP sabot allows the use of 45-70 rifle bullets, rather than pistol bullets, and the larger surface area of these bullets with flat bases spreads out the force of acceleration over a larger sabot area. The petals are of course a bit thinner, following the long standing trend of thin sabot petals being more likely to produce great accuracy.

The Hornady .458 300 grain rifle bullet #4500 features a deep hollow point, and has a nose profile reminiscent of truncated cone bullets. It flies a bit better than the equivalent .452 XTP, with a published BC of .197.

They are extremely well made, with two cannelures that tend to retain the jacket with the core: a wide cannelure near the ogive and a much smaller cannelure near the base. Most importantly, it has a perfectly flat base with gently rounded corners to distribute the acceleration forces well without sabot cutting.

Though the range conditions were not optimum, 57 grains of Vihtavouri N120 managed to rocket this sabot / bullet combination in three shot groups varying from 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch @ 102 yards. The Barnes Aligner jag end seated these bullets with no chance of nose damage. With a long established track record of game-getting performance and excellent availability, this bullet provides an economical, flatter-flying, slightly more accurate alternative to the XTP according to my test rifles. Your individual gun will let you know what it likes to be fed the best, of course, but these bullets have been overlooked in muzzleloading for far too long. My guns really dig 'em!


© October, 2005 by Randy Wakeman


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