300 gr. .458 HP & MMP Orange Sabots
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
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