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Thread: Wad Pressure

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Wad Pressure

    Can someone enlighten me on wad pressure. I see some posts with 60 pounds pressure.
    What does this do? I commonly just seat the wad on the powder with a few taps to get it in the cup. If I have too long a load the fold crimp gradually opens.
    Does wad pressure compress the cushon on the wad? If so why does it not open the crimp?
    I am using the Lee Load All 2 for fold crimps and an antique hand crimper for roll crimping.

    Keith

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    wad pressure was for old types of powder and fiber wads.
    the new powder its not used . if you put 60lbs on a shot cup you will crush it and could get another 3/4 oz of shot.
    most all the new plastic is thin [one use] if you compress the shot cup then the crimp will open later , unless do heavy crimp, this has a side effect, you jump the pressure

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I believe with today's components, any use of wad pressure is for consistency. IIRC back before the plastic hulls and wads, wad pressure settings were recommended to build a specific setup.

    Scott
    Scott

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

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Different loads can benefit from more wad pressure. Loading with Winchester wads, you mostly use no or very minimal pressure. Federal wads you can use quite a bit of pressure. One of my favorite loads is 1 3/8 ounce in a GM hull. That requires a good 40# of pressure to compress to the right height for crimping. That's just your basic lead shot loads. Moving on to steel shot, especially with STEEL powder, most loads require significant wad pressure. With slugs, many times I'll seat to 100# pressure for consistency.

    Wad pressure is just another tool in the tool box.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I was using Federal 12S3 wads but cant get them any more. The one I am trying is the 12S0 but with the Lee press pushing down on the wad , it feels spongy. If I leave it long the round ball pushes the centre of the star crimp up again. Does that matter, as long as the edges stay down like a roll crimp.?
    When I finish off the crimp pushing hard down to the stop , the shell sometimes buckles and kinks.This would not be with anything like 10 pounds pressure. These are no name white semi transparent cases we can get here.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
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    My Mec 600 has an wad pressure indicator.

    I use it as a powder check device. I want to see it move a tiny bit. Tells me that powder is in the case.

    No wad pressure listed for my 1 oz Lee slug or any 12, 20, 28, 410 that i load.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith View Post
    I was using Federal 12S3 wads but cant get them any more. The one I am trying is the 12S0 but with the Lee press pushing down on the wad , it feels spongy. If I leave it long the round ball pushes the centre of the star crimp up again. Does that matter, as long as the edges stay down like a roll crimp.?
    When I finish off the crimp pushing hard down to the stop , the shell sometimes buckles and kinks.This would not be with anything like 10 pounds pressure. These are no name white semi transparent cases we can get here.
    Downrange wads make a replacement for the Federal 12S3's I can't tell any difference in performance. !2S3's and 4's are a favorite of mine. Gp

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have not been able to find Down Range wads here. I was sold these MEC wads as a replacement but the petals are really fragile compared to the Federal.
    Never mind I am getting there with the Federal 12S0 but tried to order more yesterday and they are on back order.
    I was interested in thoughts on pressure but it seems I just carry on as I am and try and keep consistant pressure with the Lee.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    Different loads can benefit from more wad pressure. Loading with Winchester wads, you mostly use no or very minimal pressure. Federal wads you can use quite a bit of pressure. One of my favorite loads is 1 3/8 ounce in a GM hull. That requires a good 40# of pressure to compress to the right height for crimping. That's just your basic lead shot loads. Moving on to steel shot, especially with STEEL powder, most loads require significant wad pressure. With slugs, many times I'll seat to 100# pressure for consistency.

    Wad pressure is just another tool in the tool box.
    IMO, this sums it up nicely! I like the 12S3, it's my "go-to" wad for most loads. I also use the 12S0 but not as much. The 12S0 has a longer crush section, this may be causing your problem. When using a fold-crimp your components must stack to a height that allows the crimp to close without "springback" pushing it open. When using a roll-crimp this doesn't matter as long as everything fits in the case and the round can chambered without problem.

    My favorite round ball load uses 60# of wad pressure (12S3 wad) to "set" the crush section, allowing a tiny bit more room so as not to open the crimp. This round cuts a 2" jagged hole at 50 yards. Without the pressure, 4-5". It's just another tool.
    "We take a thousand moments for granted thinking there will be a thousand more to come. Each day, each breath, each beat of your heart is a gift. Live with love & joy, tomorrow is not promised to anyone......"

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  10. #10
    Greetings, the wad pressure is very important as the snug fit of the components trap's air and what the wad pressure does is lets the trapped air escape and lets the components home in for a good wad column fit. Its always a good idea to use 40 to 60 lbs wad pressure to play it safe and for load consistency !
    Many times I noticed the trapped air would play games and felt very spongy due to that the moment I would release the wad pressure the slug or sabot would jump right back up. At times I would tap the side of the hull while putting wad pressure to help escape the trapped air !
    No wonder cooking your own is full of surprises and fun at the same time saving your money.

    Hope it helps.
    Best regards,
    Ajay K. Madan
    Super Blazing Sabots
    Last edited by SuperBlazingSabots; 05-31-2020 at 02:36 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Cap'n Morgan's Avatar
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    Ajay, I believe most plastic wads have vent grooves nowadays to prevent air trapping between powder and wads.
    Still, it's a good idea to go slow on the handle to prevent the escaping air blow powder flakes past the wad seal.
    Cap'n Morgan

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks. All good info. I have seen powder flakes up past the gas cup on my semi transparent white cases so I started putting the newspaper wad in first. That helps. Now when I roll crimp and need more height I put a Thick felt wad over the powder. Thats working too.

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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