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I finally found the mention of saboted pistol rounds that was nagging at the back of my mind. It was in the original edition of "Handgun Stopping Power" by Evan Marshall and Edwin Sanow. It is about a page long in the "Specialty Ammunition" chapter sandwiched between exploding bullets and handgun shotshells. They used .357" bullets in the .44 mag cartridge. In it they mention that there is no real advantage and many disadvantages to doing this. About the only advantage was they were able to push a 158gr bullet a little over 1600 fps but that was not any faster than a 180 gr bullet from the .44 mag and in some loading was nearly 100 fps slower. This was attributed to case capacity, the sabot had to sit deeper in the case as it had to cover the bullet base which decreased the amount of powder that could be used. Also, the over all length was longer than SAAMI recommendations to even reach this velocity.
There were claims of increased accuracy using sabots but in the two guns tested, this was not the case. Both guns shot factory 240 and 180 gr Remington factory loads under 3" at 50 yards but shot 158 gr JHP saboted rounds to 4.25"-6.25" at the same range. It was also noted that the sabots separated from the one gun half the time and from the other none of the time which caused the bullets to keyhole. With 158 gr SWC, both swaged and cast, nearly all the bullets keyholed and best groups ran 7.5". They noted that the guns switched in that the all the sabots remained with the bullet in the one that they separated from before and separated from the one they didn't.
The last negative was that the increased velocity caused excessive mushrooming in the expanding bullets which would negatively impact penetration for defensive purposes. I'd guess that would also not help in many hunting circumstances.
Lastly, they made a joke regarding the forensics; if a bullet is recovered with no rifling the medical examiner should consider the possibility of a saboted round in addition to a revolver with no barrel.
This info is nearly 15 years old so some aspects may have changed in the intervening years. I doubt it but it is an area I don't keep much of an eye on. I guess my sub-conscious retained much more of the column than I thought and I decided to post a summary and give credit where due as it was most certainly not my study and experience that I was pulling out of my bu.. er, I mean head.
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