Sorry I missed this before. What are the plusses on the side of a non-saboted round?
Mass: The sabot round has a plastic sabot or shoe that falls away. This makes for a lighter load that can travel at higher velocity. The heavier mass of the normal shotgun slug is great for close-in work, but the velocity falls off more rapidly than a sabot round, because there is more frontal area.
Expansion: Let's assume we have the projectiles made of the same material. A normal shotgun slug has more material in it. Therefore it can expand more. The non-sabot round also has a larger frontal area. Even if it does no expansion whatsoever, it will be a sizable chunk of alloy burrowing through the deer. The last time I recovered a lead slug from a deer it was from a 54 CAL muzzleloader it was flattened out on the inside of the hide on the far side. It was a pancake. Imagine that only larger-- imagine that when you think about a 12 GA Remmie Slugger going through a deer at 50 yards.
Conventional-to-Sabot is a trade of mass for velocity. Since gravity is pulling your bullet down with equal force, it is going to hit the ground at the roughly the same time as a lead ball dropped from your hand. By increasing velocity, you increase range and decrease hold-over.
Conventional-to-Sabot is also a trade that produces less frontal area . That results in a bullet that has less friction and therefore higher velocity when it reaches the target.
By the way, let me way in on frontal shots while I'm here. First off, I have successfully taken a brisket shot on a buck with a bow. It was at 5 yards. At that range I probably could have put it in at the base of his tail and had it come out his nostrils (not a shot I endorse). My point is this: in close, just about anything goes, but I'm talking REALLY close.
Don't think I mean head or neck shots with a bow. These move quickly, quicker than the rest of the body. That's why the football coach always tells you to watch the center of the opponents body. Head fakes are easy to pull off. Body fakes aren't. The same is true for deer hunting. I had another shot many years ago that turned into a brisket shot. Again, it was wildly and nearly instantly successful. Again, it miraculously did not involve guts. I was lined up for a perfect broadside shot at 15 yards and the durn deer nearly flipped himself towards me as I released-- caught him dead center in the chest. What saved this from being a ick-a-thon was I was in an elevated treestand and after taking out heart and lung, the arrow emerged from the body just behind the ribcage.
The same thing applies with a firearm. I am the sad perpetrator of an inadvertent Texas Heart Shot on a doe with a 30-06. The good things I can say about it is that it was an instant success and surprisingly I had no involvement of any intestines. That is a miracle I am still trying to grasp. It's a long story when you get together with JPG and me, he can tell you how he strangled a turkey. I'll tell you about the doe.
My point regarding firearms is this: at 20 yards a brisket shot with a buck is fine. You just need to have some sort of an angle so it does not keep going through the guts. Otherwise you'll have a dead deer and smelly mess. I have no experience beyond this, but I would advise caution as distance increases.