Unknown .30-06 cartridges with plastic saboted bullets

Does anyone have identified those unknown .30-06 cartridges loaded with plastic saboted bullets in various calibers? These are described in Chris Punnett’s “.30-06” book p. 201, 287, 298 and 332.

I have found a probable identification but maybe someone out there already knows what they are (and even have a picture of a box!).

Fede, I believe you are referring to what is commonly called an Accelerator in the U.S.

No, These are not accelerators and I certainly would be most interested.
If you are not posting it here, please send it to me per mail


If they where sabot 22 cal bullet and if they were in the 30-30 and 30-06 they where sold under the name accelerators. Vic

The ones I describe in my book are certainly not Accelerator rounds. Those on FA cases (1938-41) had hardened steel projectiles using fiber or composite sabots. Similar ones found on REM-UMC cases and on SUPER-X 30-G-1906 cases. Another series on Remington cases (RA 18 h/s) had a variety of projectiles including soft-point and hardened (non-magnetic) projectiles. Projectile diameter was in the .24-.25 range. I realize that the Accelerator development actually started in the 1950’s at Remington but I don’t think that rounds with cases dating to WW1 would have been used in that development.
Fede: Feel free to post some of the images from my book if it helps. I would but I’m working on the next issue of the IAA Journal (all 80 pages of it !) and I try to avoid getting side-tracked.

Saboted bullets are nothing new. Guys have been experimenting with them for years. I have a couple of 30-40 Krag cartridges that are loaded with 25 caliber saboted bullets. The sabots appear to be made of a fiber or celluloid material. One has a SP bullet, the other a HP.

I have no way of knowing who made these or when, but I do have a theory. Back before WWII the 25 Krag was a very popular wildcat cartridge for varmint hunting. Not everyone could afford to have their rifle re-barreled and chambered for the wildcat so they turned to home-made saboted bullets instead. They would have been labor intensive but with very little cost. For someone with time but no money (think great depression) they would have kept their rifles shooting. Maybe the ones made from the Cal .30 and 30-06 cases are similar ventures?


I may be wrong but I understand the modern Remington Accelerator sabots were adopted from Picatinny Arsenal, in NJ.

Pete, I was told by Dale Davis and Frank Robbins at Eglin AFB that the USAF contract for the Sabot Rounds in .221 Fireball with plastic cases (steel heads) for the Air Force IMP survival rifles (Vietnam War era project) was the origin of the Remington Accelerator rounds which I thought came out some time after the IMP development ended (say early 1970s).

I don’t assert that Dale and Frank were correct, particularly since the Accelerator development at Remington began in the 1950s (Chris’ post). Rather I suspect that Remington got the contract for the IMP rounds because of their prior work.

I just tell this story to illustrate again how many versions of “history” exist depending on ones perspective.


These are the cartridges in question (illustrations courtesy of Chris):

A tentative identification can be found in U.S. patents no. 3,141,412 and 3,311,061 assigned to Elroy C. Roehrdanz of San Francisco, California. The first patent was filled May 18, 1961 and describes a sabot formed of plastic (Polypenco Nylon 101 or an equivalent) designed to use commercially available bullets. It mentions sabots for .243 and .257 diameter bullets. The patent drawing shows a similar looking cartridge.

The second patent was filled June 25, 1964 and describes a different sabot construction made of Delrin or Lexan with an outside diameter of .3115, inside diameter of wall of .244 and a bullet diameter of .243. It further says: “Such a structure is very effective with a projectile made of steel or some other hard material. Obviously, if this structure is used with a soft lead core bullet which tends to bulge when subjected to the explosive force, the base of the bullet will tend to hold the sabot from separation” (sic).

As you can see, there are several similarities with some of the cartridges in question, although I admit this is far from being a conclusive identification. By the way, does anyone have colour pictures of these cartridges?

Crossman’s Springfield book mentions testing of AP projectiles in the .223-.243 range. There is a photo of a fired projo, it is not described as a core. Based on that, one could guess a sabot of sorts had to used.This would be late 1920’s early 1930’s.

Sharpe’s Handloading also mentions special high velocity loadings that where being tested. These loadings where within “standard Springfield pressures” & velocities of 7K fps. where reported. The specifics of projectiles,etc where not reported in my edition (1937). There was a second edition of this book,done in the 1940’s ,that could address more specifics.
Sharpe did not state whether Springfield rifles were actually used or if they where altered. Time frame for these test should be 1930’s.

These tests make more sense with respect to the WW1 era cases.

Scott, I don’t have Crossman’s book at hand but Sharpe’s p. 295 describes early experiments carried by Howe/Springfield Armory in 1937 that are not alike (see also Howe 2 Supplement p. 32-33, HWS 1 Revised p. 260 and .30-06 p. 228, fig. 597, lower drawing).

Also, some of the unknown cartridges in question are loaded in cases headstamped F A 41, which means this couldn’t be such an early test.


I agree about the '41 dated cases versus what Sharpe was describing on pg 295.

I must correct my earlier post…brain cloud…I mixed apples & oranges & bananas.

Upon rereading,Crossman was referring to A/P bullets & cores…that’s what I get for sniffing diesel fumes and writing from memory.