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Thread: I am wanting to Make My Own Wads & Seals

  1. #1
    Boolit Man trapper44shooter's Avatar
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    I am wanting to Make My Own Wads & Seals

    Hey fellas I am wanting to Make My Own Wads & Seals so what do I need to have in order to get this done those wads & seals are very costly & you only get 100 of each Let me know what you fellas think

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Markopolo's Avatar
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    i would look up some inexpensive harbor freight punches for making wads for various shotgun sizes.. i think they come in a set.. lots of different materials make good wads, cork, felt, lots of stuff.... youtube is your friend.. the david Canterbury stuff on youtube goes into improvised wad material.

    hope that helps,
    Marko
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    After you've spent HOURS punching wads, you'll want to be buying the manufactured stuff.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master KYCaster's Avatar
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    You know, wads CAN be reused.
    There are thousands of them laying out there on the trap range just waiting to be picked up.
    Probably won't work quite as good as new, but will probably work as good as ho-made...and a lot less effort.

    Don't ask me how I know this!
    Jerry
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    You can cut your own wads, but they work a lot better with black powder. With smokeless you have so much space to use up, that you end up with 3/4 of a shell of essentially confetti. The best things to make yourself are overshot cards and felt wads. Cork is a little expensive, but if you can get it, that is a good thing to use too. For overshot cards, it's hard to beat cereal boxes. Felt can be bought from Durofelt. I buy the closeout stuff, 1/8" thick.

    I like my hand punches, although there is a guy selling a press mounted punch for something like $80 per gauge. I use this Lang gasket punch set. https://www.amazon.com/Lang-Tools-95.../dp/B000I1IWVA

    I use 1/2" for 45 caliber, both 9/16 and 5/8 seem to work for my 50 and 54 caliber muzzleloaders. 5/8" is perfect for 20 gauge. It is not in the set, but 11/16" is perfect for 16 gauge. While it's a touch large, 3/4" works well for 12 gauge. Again a bit large and not in the Lang set, but 13/16" works well for 10 gauge.

    My 5/8" gets used the most.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    https://www.ballisticproducts.com/Sa.../products/768/

    8$ for 250.

    You can move up to trap wads which run about 10$ for 250, or you can pay near double that for top quality field wads for hunting. Up to you, don't think you will find much that is as effective as a good cushion wad.

    Or you can go to walmart and buy 100 rounds of loaded ammo for about 25$. Stack it deep and high if you go that route.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by KYCaster View Post
    You know, wads CAN be reused.
    There are thousands of them laying out there on the trap range just waiting to be picked up.
    Probably won't work quite as good as new, but will probably work as good as ho-made...and a lot less effort.

    Don't ask me how I know this!
    Jerry
    I read of a fella that was doing this. He stated that if you boiled the used wads, they returned to their original shape. I never bothered confirming it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    My Dad always told me, "Time is Money", to many times I have tried to re-invent some thing to save a buck and it has cost me 5 to 10 times as much let alone time wasted.

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    I may be reading it differently than everyone else, but could he be referring to BP wads and seals? For shotshells, wads are available everywhere for 2 cents or less. Wonder if he is also scrounging the range for spend shot, that is the highest cost in a reloaded shell, nearly 5 times the cost of a wad (at a nominal 1 oz load).

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I use cracker box for over shot wads and when I load shotshell for handgun I use the same but put 2 over the powder. If for when I make short shot gun shells I get 1/8 cork from a farm fleet store that is used to make gaskets and use gasket hole punch from Snap on . It works for me. as for size megasupermagnum sums it well on that.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I found bang for the buck comes from a company called CIRCLE FLY WADS the product is superior. They ship promply. and the guy that runs it usually is the guy that answers the phone. Very good about what to use and how it will work and why. For the cost of the product I found to be very reasonable, if you don't already have punches and material its a good way to start.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I do make my own overshot wads for buckshot with filler. Prefered material is white plastic milk jug. We buy lactose free 2% which comes in a 3 quart jug.
    You can get a lot of overshot wads out of one of those. For that use, I prefer to make my own.

    But for cushion wads, gas seals, your going to have to work hard to improve on what is for sale reasonably priced.
    Does help to shop at the right places. Brick and mortar stores have overhead, so they have to raise prices accordingly.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've found a lot of new-old-stock fiber wads, nitro cards, and overshot cards at gun shops that re-sell stuff. Some of these things haven't been made in 50 years (like name-brand Winchester and Herter's fiber wads), but they load and shoot just fine. Many friends of mine have found similar items at regular yard sales and flea markets, and this is in the gun-unfriendly Northeast! A lot of old-timers are passing away, leaving huge hoards of these supplies, so keep your eyes open, as these usually sell for next to nothing---very little market for it at the local retail level.

  14. #14
    Boolit Man
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    another great reloading material are "dummy tags". These are the plastic bogus license plates that car dealers use. they usually advertize the name and logo of the dealership, and are used to cover the empty tag bracket until the car is sold. They're a 1-time use item that get thrown away by the dozens. I use a gasket punch to turn them into overshot cards, or sandwich a piece of greased cardboard between two discs of dummy tag for a poor-man's gas seal. They are stiff and durable enough to resist burning from the powder, and hold up well to a heavily seated roll crimp. Go talk to the detail dept. at your local car dealer. One of the car wash boys can usually provide you with a lifetime supply of these things for free.

  15. #15
    I make my own wads for my .410 loads for my JUDGE with the punches from harbor freight and for 12 gauge homemade buckshot overshot wads I bought a handheld punch from hobby lobby that works great.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by trapper44shooter View Post
    Hey fellas I am wanting to Make My Own Wads & Seals so what do I need to have in order to get this done those wads & seals are very costly & you only get 100 of each Let me know what you fellas think
    Not sure what gauge you're looking for ..... if it's 12 gauge, I've got some extra stuff.

    PM me, pay the shipping and it's ours.

    Scott
    Scott

    You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use a 3/4 paper punch to make overshot cards.

    As cheap as wads are and as many come in a sack itd be decades before I ran out in a grid down scenario.



    This guy does it in Nigeria as only birdshot is available.
    Last edited by DanishM1Garand; 03-21-2020 at 09:09 AM. Reason: Added video

  18. #18
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    I anm not a shotgunner and don't reload shotgun shells - but when I was a kid, all I shot was original muzzleloading shotguns. there are lots of things you can punch shotgun wads out of - my folks had a lumberyard so there was alway a few sheets (4' X 8') of 1/2" insulated sheeting that I could use - basically compressed fibers - ceiling tile as well. Cards could be punched out of practically anything - cardboard is readily available - felt as well if you look around for it or you can buy sheets from industrial suppliers. Wad punches are nothing more than "arch punches" - but you need to know what diameter you ned for your bore. Sometimes you can snag decent Osborn or similar punches on flaabay - I have assembled a nice set of them that way that I use in my leatherwork - which speaking of leather - that will also make good wads. I use leather about 1/8" thick to punch out 3/8" (/375) wads for use in my .36 caliber cap handball revolvers - I punch them out - melt down in the microwave my BP lube (1# can of crisco mixed with one real beeswax toilet bowl ring) - melt it in the microwave, soak the wads and then pat dry between paper towel or newspaper - work great for over the powder wads.

    If you want to spend the $ for a punch - google Track of the Wolf and do a search for "punches", If you are handy, punches can be made out of various pipe - turn to size on lathe, etc.
    as stated - it takes time to make wads with a punch - so that is your option. While I made a bunch of them when I was a kid to use in muzzleloading shotguns - in today's war;d -- I would be buying them by the 1K from Circle Fly. Not sure just kind wads you are looking to make but others sell wad punches as well. If you are looking to produce shot cups - I never found the need for such a thing in a muzzleloader and I took lots of small game running and flying with no issue - and a lot of shotgun shells weren't made with them and the birds and small game never knew the difference.

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub mic's Avatar
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    It all about what you want to do not what others tell you should do. I make my own wads nitro cards and so on.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Time is not money when it is spent doing somthing one loves to do.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention another option for making wads. If you know the O.D. of the wad you need to fit your bore - take a look at a "hole saw" - the type sole at Lowes, etc. IF the hole saw has the I.D. that matches the O.D. of what you need - you can easily make a wad cutter that will work on a drill press.

    I use them to cut multiple layers of flannel to make cleaning patches in the diameters I need - they would work for making punches as well. I use a belt sander/disc sander to remove the hardened teeth from the hole saw and then sharpen the hole saw - i.e. bevel the "outside edge" of the bottom which will form a sharp edge and maintain the inside diameter. These mount on an arbor which usually has a center drill bit that is removable - remove the drill bit. Chuck the altered hole saw in your drill press and use a piece of wood on the table - lay your material down and drill through it with the hole saw. The hole saws usually have slots on the side and it makes it easy to stop the drill press, take something like a scratch awl and reach through the slot and push the patches/wad out - then cut another. If you are lucky enough to find a hole saw with the ID that fits you purposes - you could easily stack up three or so layers of thicker cardboard and cut cards or if cutting wads, cut up some 1/2" insulated sheathing or use a celotex type ceiling tile and get a lot of wads. Much easier than hand punching but just be careful to keep material flat on wood on the table so the hole saw has a backer when it breaks through the material you are using. If you leave the teeth on and try it, you'll end up with ragged edges -- the teeth removed and the edge bevel sharpened on the outside will slice right through.If you know the O.D.of the wad you need for your bore/shell/use - take a set of dial calipers with you when you go looking for the hole saw so you can easily check the I.D. of the hole saw. As an example - remember that a 3/4" holes is designed to cut a hole that is 3/4" hole (.750). The thickness of the side of the material making the hole saw will have to be doubled and subtracted from the O.D. So as an example - a 3/4" hole saw that has sides that are say, 1/8" thick - the two sides would equal 1/4" that would have to be removed from the O.D. of the hole saw to give you the I.D. of the holes - in this example the I.D. would be 3/4" - 1/4" (1/8" of the thickness of the hole saw sides doubled) = and I.D. of 1/2" - which would be the O.D of the wads it would cut. Simplified but you get the idea.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check