Is this a SSB projectile?

OAL 1.47
Sabot length .94
Sabot Dia .54
Bullet Dia .35
weight 279 gr.

Anyone know what this is? SSB? or other?

Another view

I may well be wrong but I think that is a jacketed bullet made for hunting with a black powder rifle.

Not any of the Colt SSB variations I’m aware of.

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Unless there is some mechanical joint holding the sabot to the projectile (usually an enclosed base on the sabot), it appears that the two would separate in the barrel (if only held together by friction). I wonder if it is something else and not ammunition related at all? It almost looks like it might be some sort of spring loaded detent. Do you have any more info on it?


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It is not for Black owder rifles, those are .40~.45 pistol bullets in a 4 finger Sabot, like this:
OR the larger caliber ‘pusher’ type like this:

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Found this on, 2008, posted by “50_Shooter”. Look at the far right cartridge. There was no text with the image…

This one came off Tumblr:

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That would be a type 6 SSB. I got the listed projectile from a Colt ammo collector years ago it was listed as a SSB for hard targets, I will still see if I have his name. I know of 11 different SSB loads, types 1,2,3a 3b, 4 [Tracer], 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. The projectile I listed matches none of those types. Perhaps it was some special load Colt was working on?

I question that this is cartridge related in any way, reasons given are:
Rounded tip or nose profile appears to match circumference.
Obvious tool marks on nose profile.
“Sabot” is of one solid, undivided piece of material.
Flange or shoulder on “sabot” making two different diameters.
I go along with the detent or pivot idea.

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The SSB cartridges were for a squeeze bore weapon with a tapered bore in the barrel. The bullets needed to be pointed with a deeply recessed base for them to squeeze down into seperate projectiles.

It seems to me that a round nose projectile like the one you picture would be totally unsuitable for an SSB weapon.



Lew, I agree, providing it is a projectile the best it could be would be some sort of sabot load. It was sent to me as a SSB for use against hard targets years ago so I listed it as it was presented.

OK, I found the original scan [picture] that was sent to me with the projectile 20+ years ago. Pictured Projectile says [in hand writing] next to it " solid projectile for hardened targets, can fire through squeezing attachment and barrel.

I have one also. I’ve been coming across Different styles of “Wing & Fuselage Frag Test” Rounds lately. I believe this is just another version.


Thanks imaokie2000, can you post any more information?

I would enjoy seeing your Frag Simulators. I have seen these used by a number of USAF activities in calibers up to 30mm. The USAF Vulnerablity Lab made or had made a number of these, generally to simulate the fragments from the Soviet SA-2 missile and other Soviet air-to-air and ground-to-air missiles. At Eglin AFB in a display there was a 40mm projectile with a small steel model of the F-16 which was used by the Lab to explore stability very early in the F-16 development process. I asked the organization to write my name and phone number on the bottom of the projectile and call me when they decided to get rid of it. I never got a call.

All of the frag simulator and similar rounds I have seen have discarding sabots that come off at when the projectile leaves the barrel. Also, all frag components are steel because missiles warheads, like air-to-air and antiaircraft explosive rounds create steel fragments. Your experience may be different, but the characteristics of SteveF’s projectile don’t match the various aircraft frag test rounds I have encountered over the years.


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I will try and upload images tonight when I get to my pc.

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Here you go Lew

L to R:
45 TW - Steel, Beveled End
LC 95 - Steel, Flat End
LC 86 - Brown Sabot with Small Steel Cube
LC 85 - Orange Sabot with Small Steel Cube
LC 52 - Copper Hollow Point, Lead Filled

I stuck my White Plastic Sabotted Projectile in the photo also.


Based on the dimensions given by the OP, the sabot would weigh about 36 grains (I assumed the sabot is nylon). That leaves about 243 grains for the projectile.

What I’m having trouble with, if this is a sabot and projectile, is how does the sabot stay on the projectile in the barrel and then discard after leaving the barrel?

The projectile weighs nearly 7X what the sabot weighs, so unless the sabot is somehow secured to the projectile, it would be be pushed off of the projectile inside the barrel. The sabot is so much lighter than the projectile it would accelerate much faster and slide right off the projectile before the projectile moved very far (if held on only by friction, which wouldn’t be much with nylon or most other plastics).

I may be missing some feature inside the sabot (maybe there are ribs on the projectile and the sabot is molded over the projectile to lock it in place). But even if this is true and the sabot stays on inside the barrel, then how does it discard after leaving the barrel? Or is it intended NOT to discard for some reason (maybe used only at short range)? Does anyone know of any examples with a permanently attached sabot?

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It appears that the sabot is molded on and is not intended to come off. I shined a bright light behind it and took a photo. You can clearly see a much wider section of the projectile inside the sabot that is approximately 13.79mm long and approximately 12.5mm dia. The sabot barely incases it.

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After some thought, I bet it is an Exptl “Environmentaly Safe” Short Range projectile. It would be as aerodynamic as a heavy cork and no lead to contaminate the soil. It’d be cheap to produce too.

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In the SPIW tests with saboted flechettes the rifle muzzle was equipped with a shredder to break up the sabot.

As we’ve not seen this in a case it could also have been loaded with a pusher?

As I was wrong in my earlier post I looked at my .50 B.M.G. bullets & I too have one but no further information about it.

I would like to add that although the Colt SSB rounds have been assigned a number, IT IS NOT AN OFFICIAL NUMBER (by Colt or the government), But was assigned / given by Ron Fuchs when he was doing his .50 B.M.G. book for ease of correspondence between collectors / historians.