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Guide to Sabots

Sabot : What is it?

Sabots

Sabots are firearm devices used to fill the gap between the barrel and the projectile in shotguns, rifles, and cannons. They seal and trap the propellant gases that form behind the projectile to keep them centered in the barrel. As the projectile is fired, the sabots block the gases, accelerating the projectile as it escapes down the barrel. They are pulled away from the projectile when they reach the barrel’s end, enabling the projectile to continue to move in flight.


Sabots have a diameter smaller than the firearms’ bore. Those used in guns with small bores are made of lightweight plastic, while those used in cannons are made of aluminum and wood. They are usually made up of several pieces held together by cartridges or loose links. 

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Types of Sabots

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Kinds of Sabots include the following:

Cup sabots

Cup sabots are designed to support the rear end and the base of a projectile.
They produce air pressure that releases the projectile as it exits the muzzle of the firearm.

Expanding cup sabots

Expanding cup sabots are designed to support the sides and the base of a projectile.
They are commonly used in small firearms such as muzzleloader guns.
They produce a centrifugal force caused by the rotary motion of the projectile as it exits the muzzle of the firearm, opening up the segment surrounding the projectile and releasing it.

Base sabots

Base sabots have bases that support the floor of the projectile.
They have separate panels enclosing the sides of the projectile to keep it centered.
They offer a better and cleaner separation of sabot and projectile than the other types of sabots.
They are made up of more pieces, making them more expensive.

Spindle sabots

Spindle sabots are designed with a set of matched rings made up of a front section that centers the long projectile, a center section that touches the projectile, and a rear section that seals the propellant gases and centers the projectile.
They are types of armor piercing ammunition popular among Westerners.
They are designed with two or three pieces of spindles.
They are similar to the plastic sabots used in shotgun slugs and rifled barrels.

Ring sabots

Ring sabots are larger than average sabots with standard flight performance.
They use the rear fins of a long projectile to center it.
Models that come in multiple pieces form only one thin ring to surround the front of the projectile and seal in the gases to prevent them from escaping.
They are popular in Russian armor piercing sabot designs.

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Choosing Sabots (Buying tips)

Velocity: Choose a sabot with a high velocity to ensure effective performance. Look for one with a velocity of 1,300 to 2,000 FPS.

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