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muzzle loader sabot


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What is the difference between the Hornady 240grain XTP and the 240 grain XTP mag?

From what I was told at a local reloading shop when I was in search of the perfect load for my .50 cal...

They are both pistol bullets, with the "mag" being just a couple thousandths (sp?) larger OD. That being said, you'd need to run thinner walled sabots to allow then to fit down the barrel correctly.

I tried both through my T/C Encore .50cal. Actually, I should say, I attempted to... The regular XTP's loaded fairly easy and grouped "okay". The box marked "mag" would not even load. Hornady had included the wrong sabots with these bullets and way too tight. These would travel about 2" down the barrel, basically until they contacted the rifling, and stop dead. I have a broken loading jag to prove it. I neede an extracting worm to remove them. I did find the correct sabots that would work with the oversized Hornady bullets and soon saw they weren't worth the effort. Not only through my T/C Encore, but also through a ML70, these grouped more like a shotgun pattern. Often times not even hitting a 6" circle from 100 yards.

My "magic" load turned out to be a Speer Gold Dot, 240 grain jacketed soft point pistol bullet, a green (.429) Harvester sabot, pushed with two 50 grain 777 pellets. My buddy with the ML70, used the 300 grain version of the same bullet, same green harvester sabot and 90 grains of loose 777 powder. Both rifles shot cloverleafs at 100 yards! Trust me when I say we made a lot of smoke and threw quite a bit of lead downrange to find these loads.

They shoot like a dream and for a price much less than those pre packaged bullets you find at the big box houses. With the Speer/Harvester combo, you buy your components in bulk. So you're looking at +/- .28 cents per round. As compared to +/- .73 cents per round with the pre packaged Hornadys.

Performance wise... You be the judge...


All bullets recovered from the media retained 78% or more of their original weight. You do your job, and they WILL do theirs...

Personally, I feel Hornady has dropped the ball a bit with their muzzleloading offerings. It was a big let down not seeing the same performance in my M/L as their rifle and hand gun ammo. Or even close to it for that matter. That being said, I found the sweet spot of my Encore and will stick with it until I get the wild hair to do more testing.

Drop me an email if you need more details... [email protected]

Sorry for getting a weeee bit of topic and for the long post... I guess the coffee is really doing it's job this morning. grin.gif

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Your explanation is not exactly accurate. The Hornady XTP Mag pistol bullet was designed to: "The XTP mag bullet was specially built to withstand incredible velocities, and still deliver controlled expansion and weight retention. Special features in the nose facilitate and control expansion on impact." Hornady Web Site.

My understanding is that you do not want to use the XTP Mag bullet if you are shooting standard 100 grain loads and under using blackpowder, pyrodex, or 777. The diameter is still the same whether using the XTP Mag or XTP(read the printing on the box.) The regular XTP bullet has performed well and expands wonderfully for most muzzleloading needs. If I was handloading the .44 Mag for a rifle for instance or using 150 grain charges of a blackpowder substitute in my Muzzleloader, then the XTP Mag might prove useful.

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I read that as well when I found the XTP MAGS did not fit down my Encore barrel without different sabots. The package was clearly marked with something to the effect of ".44cal bullets for use in a .50cal muzzleloader". I put a mic to both the standard XTP and the XTP MAG bullets. I had my buddy, who happens to be a machinist by trade, do the same. AND the guy at the reloading shop did also. All mics confirmed that these MAG bullets did in fact have a larger O.D. that the standard XTP. By +.002 if I remember correctly.

To say we tried these bullets with various charges is the understatment of the year. Using three different types of loose powder and two different types of pellets. Charges ranging from a very underpowered 50 grains, all the way up to the max allowable by both Winchester and T/C. I think I can safetly say we gave these bullets a fair shake and were not impressed with their performance. At least in our rifles.

With every rifle wanting it's own "sweet" load, your results may vary. All I can do is tell you my own personal findings that were reached through many hours (and dollars) of testing. wink.gif

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I've used the 44mag 300 grain XTP over 100 grains of powder since 1991 and it's a fantastic load. I've also seen the same problem with 'fit'. It slides down the barrel of my Knight MK-85 just fine but I have to use the thinner jackets out of my Omega. I also use a little bore butter around the jacket, which seems to help a little.

With all the expensive, high-tech stuff that's out there, I've had a hard time moving away from my XTP's. You can typically pick up 50 300 g's for about $10. They're accurate and generally pass clean through at most ranges.

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