View Full Version : Wads

05-08-2006, 11:02 AM
Who uses wads in their B/P loads? I had a fellow this weend say that he would never use a wad as they bulged barrels. As long as there is no air space I can't see a problem and I have shot various wadded cartridges for years. Has anyone else had a problem with wads/

05-08-2006, 12:09 PM
Never heard of such a thing as not using wads, at least not with rifle carttridges.

05-08-2006, 02:53 PM
All and I mean every one of the winning shooters at the major BPCR events uses wads. Some use fiber, some wax milk cartons and some even plastic cut from milk jugs. Now, if I'm wrong and a winner exists who doesn't use wads, i will stand corrected but IMHE, there aren't any.

If the wad is seated on the powder and the bullet seated on the wad firmly, they will move down the bore as one unit and thus, rings or bulges will not occur.

The wad serves two key purposes. First, it keeps bullet lube out of the charge. Second, it protects the base of the bullet from deformation by as yet unburned powder grains. I've seen recovered bullets from loads where a wad was not used. One can very clearly see the indentations made by the powder as it was hammered into the base of the bullet.

Thousands of rounds are fired each year using wads. All of the major manufacturers recommend them. I think you can use them and still sleep soundly.:drinks:

05-08-2006, 03:21 PM
The only problem I have noticed with veggie wads in .45-90 cases is...

Occasionaly, I apparently trap enough air in the case when compressing the charge that it 'expands' while I am lubing the bullet for that cartridge.
Sometimes the wad tips sideways to let the pressure out, and sometimes it creeps up closer to the case mouth.

Both get corrected if I check visually before thumb-seating the bullet.

Since I use no neck tension at all, I suppose a sun-heated round might get a little longer before being chambered, leaving an airspace between the charge and wad.
But even a casual look at the cartridge should (I hope) alert me to that change if it happens.

05-08-2006, 04:31 PM
I shot BPCR for 15 years and have used wads from the beginning. My first choice is .060" LDPE (low density poly ethelene). Some ranges want you to use more environmentally friendly wads, and for those I use .060" vegetable fiber wads. I use the .060" thickness because in actual "stop box" tests it takes .060" to stop damage to the bullet bases as mentioned above. I prefer the LDPE wads as I believe that they expand at ignition and seal the gases behind the plain base lead bullets reducing the possibility of gas cutting. I do know that after I started using LDPE wads I greatly reduced my "flyers".

I cut all of my own wads using a reloading press wad punch. You can get them from Buffalo Arms. You can cut a thousand wads in just a few minutes. Each and every one of them is perfect. Sure as heck beats a hammer and a punch. You can buy wads from King Machine or Walters (as well as Buffalo Arms) but I like being independant and making my own.


Doble Troble
05-08-2006, 04:37 PM
I use a felt wad saturated in 50:50 beeswax:shortening over COW filler and under 330 gr bullets with 16.5 gr 5744 in my 38-55. I've shot thousands of these and haven't bulged the barrel yet. There is a measureable increase in accuracy out of my rifle when using the lubed wad.

I buy my wads from Buffalo Arms.

05-08-2006, 05:05 PM
I'm with ya! I have cut my own wads since 1972. I don't know where the guy got his info, I was just wondering if ANYONE had heard of wads blowing up a gun or ringing a barrel.

05-08-2006, 05:35 PM
I'm with ya! I have cut my own wads since 1972. I don't know where the guy got his info, I was just wondering if ANYONE had heard of wads blowing up a gun or ringing a barrel.

Never heard of such a thing. I've been using Walters Veggie Wads here lately, but have also used thin cardboard from shoeboxes and writing tablets. I tried milk jugs, but could not get a half gallon to fit in a 45-70:mrgreen:

05-08-2006, 08:44 PM

I think we're talking apples and onions here. Yes, with muzzle-loaders and sloppy technique you CAN get in trouble with wads - especially those "wonder wads" where the ball is not held tightly. But for BP CARTRIDGE, the jury has been "in" for a l - o - n - g time, and they appear to be essential if mid- to long-range is at issue.

The cardboard-tube "filler" is a new one on me, but sounds like a fine idea for reduced loads with BP.

And as to WW's in M/L's, probably OK with patched balls if you can get them started without cutting the patch, but a definite NO-NO in cap-and-ball revolavers; I've busted loading levers trying it!


Black Prince
05-08-2006, 09:24 PM
I read somewhere in one of the modern gun rags, I think it was Shooting Times, that you are not supposed to use Dacron or Kapock as an over powder wad in reduced rifle loads using pistol powders because it would ring the barrel. The author of that story recommended cotton balls!!! I've only been using Kapock as an over powder wad for the last 48 dam years and have never ringed a barrel yet. Some of these guys will write or say any dam fool thing and it becomes apparent that they are either not experienced reloaders and shooters or they are just plain nuts!

05-13-2006, 02:41 AM
...............KCSO the guy you mentioned who refuses to use wads has misunderstood. Otherwise shotgunners since the beginning would all have been in deep kimchee. Ditto the BPC shooters, as probably 100% use a wad of some flavor under their PB slugs, as was mentioned.

Loading my Whitworth muzzle loader, over the powder goes a cardwad. Pushed down all at once is a grease cookie and a lubed felt wad. Finally the boolit.