I am the proud owner of a new Encore 209 x 50. In the course of reading the manual I came to the section on load recipes and then the section on exterior ballistics. Looking over the ballistic tables at first glance the sabot looks to be a superior projectile over the conical. But then I recall how many times I have heard that sabots cannot be driven to those maximum velocities achieved with 150 gns of Pyrodex or Triple7. So with this in mind I take another look at the ballistic tables... My manual lists a 350-370 lead conical driven with 150 gns of pyrodex has 1072 lbs of energy remaining at 150 yards. With a 100 yard zero this bullet lists 4.6 inches of drop at 150 yards. Looking at the tables for a sabot with a similar trajectory I find the 275 grain XTP loaded with 100 gns of pyrodex(which sounded to me like a realistic max load without sacrificing accuracy) the 275 XTP has a listed 1014 lbs of remaining energy at 150 yards. With a 100 yard zero that bullet has a listed 5.7 inches of drop.
Although I would opt for a sabot more weight for hunting, the example I gave was a bullet that had a similar trajectory as the conical. I understand that there are high BC sabots available like the PR bullet..Dead Center, but my point is for the guy that doesn't want to spend the extra cash to buy a dozen bullets with their mated sabots, he may be better off to purchase a conical mold rather than buying a bulk package of sabots and using low ballistic coefficient pistol bullets.