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Thread: Made a cushion wad cutter today for 10 gauge hulls…what do you think?

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Made a cushion wad cutter today for 10 gauge hulls…what do you think?

    Well, I’m still green as far as I’m concerned with loading for 10 gauge. Well, maybe a dull green to a brown by now…lol. Loaded a bunch of black powder loads for my old Damascus, but I’ve only loaded a few different loads for the modern 10 gauge and I’m still working on it. I ended up with some BPD-10 non slit hulls from an awesome member here. I did some reading and it sounds like I need to have some type of cushion in the base cup. I loaded up a 3 ounce load last spring and pattern blew out pretty good at 40 yards. I would say over 3/4 of the shot didn’t even hit my target. Needless to say it was a waste of shot. I didn’t use any buffer or any type of cushion wad inside of the hull. I had about a dozen of the multi metal and TPS wads I was also given that I tried with the 3 oz load. I only loaded up three of them in 3 oz using the multi metal wads with 3 oz of copper plated #5’s along with 45 grains of lil gun. ReCoil wasn’t even stout. I’m guessing because I had no cushion wad and no buffer in my load the patten probably suffered.

    Well today I wanted to make some cushion wads to go inside the tuff wads. I found a piece of gas line pipe in my plumbing box. Also a piece of copper pipe I tried but measured to large. I had some Felpro cork/rubber gasket material laying around from an old gas tank project from years past. Figured I would use it for cushion wads. I would guess it’s almost an 8th of an inch thick. Two of them stacked together is closer to 1/5”. Three stacked is around 2.6”/2.7”. So little over a quarter inch with 3 stacked. To make the punch I used a piece of natural gas line and grind it at an angle till it had a sharp edge. The circles punched out from them were about 15.5 mm. I read that cushion wad punches (for 20 gauge) are 13 or 14 mm and used for the inside of 10 gauge shot cups. Well, I can tell you my larger 15.5 mm cork circles drop right into the base of my wads and are not wedged in there…or need force to squish them in place. They aren’t loose and rattle around. It’s almost like it’s a perfect fit, but they aren’t compressed in place. I can Turn my wide upside down and they’ll fall out. I would assume I don’t need them any tighter and they probably will work just fine? I also would assume I probably want to at least stack two on top of each other for a quarter inch. My guess is the quarter inch has more to do with filling in the base of the wide for proper height of whatever shot I’m using anyways and probably can get away with one, two, or more of the cork cushions depending on how much I’m going to use in my load for proper hull fill? I figure I’m gonna try 2 1/2 ounce loads because the tough wads say they can be loaded up to 2 1/2 oz. I’ll try it with the same load of little gun and see how it patterns. I still want to get some buffer before I load up this time around and see if it helps out as well. I do have corn cob media collecting dust in the garage I could use. I’ve read you can use flour, but I just don’t feel comfortable using it. I’d be worrying about if it’s gonna eventually get some moisture and harden up my shot like a solid slug.

    So what do you think?… and How did I do? I can say after a couple hundred of them I only had to sharpen my homemade punch very lightly once and it sure mushroom out the top of the head from beating on it with a hammer….but it sure worked. That gasket material is tough as rocks. I made the mistake of punching five or six of them at once before I tried to drive them out with a 12 gauge shotgun cleaning rod. I ended up mushroom in the tip of it and doing so. It never hurt any of the wads though in the process. I made sure to punch wads out singly…or just two at a time after that.

    You can see the end of the bar almost looks like a “T” from me pounding on it with a hammer after a couple hundred punches. They look like perfect circles until I zoom up on them here. I suppose cutting cork you’re never gonna get anything perfect. I would assume they probably don’t have to be perfect anyways. Guessing they just have to serve us a cushion at the base of my shot cup so pellets don’t deform and stick to the base?










    I also have been doing reading on wad slitting in my mighty 10 gauge booklet. I want some super tight long range turkey loads like everybody else in the world….lol. Sounds like I need to try two slits for long range patterns and then three or four slits 2/3 of the way down and then load test. Anyone that’s experimented with wad slitting for super tight groups please chime in. I was going to try and make some “flight control looking air brakes” like federal did with their flight control wads.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails UAOLYsa.jpg  
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 06-10-2024 at 09:53 PM. Reason: A million typos!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    From my experience cork could be used as a filler. The charge/ shot columns I am used to had a hard cardboard for the over powder wad. Generally it’s about .100 thick and can take 2 of them. The filler wads were a thick ( 3/8” or 1/2”) very fibrous material. Long ago when funds were short at the lumber yard we found some 1/2” stuff I think called Cellotex. It was a fibrous material used under house siding and and looked exactly like regular shotgun wads only it didn’t have what appeared to be a lube on them. We made a wad cutter then punched them out and rigged up a double boiler using a 2 and a 3 gallon coffee can dipped them quickly in melted parrifine. They worked fine.
    Facta non verba

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I was thinking even sawdust for filler? I’m probably better off just to order some BPI filler and bite the bullet. I was thinking that leftover cork if I could grind it up somehow.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The cutter looks good. Use a lead hammer on it and it wont mushroom out as fast.

    For punching wads I made a little stand up 2 X 8 center to the height I was comfortable sitting then 2 2 X 8 X 8 1 on each side glued and doweled on top and bottom. This made a solid stable base with end grain to punch into. when it gets chewed up take it to the table saw and 1/8"-1/4" off each end and new surfaces. This make a surface roughly 4 1/2" wide and 7 1/2" long to work on.

    Mine is 20 years old and the ends are still over 6" long so a lot of life left. With both ends to work on it gives way more life

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Yep, I was shocked how much a mushroom it after a couple hundred cushion wads cut! I figured that pipe would barely show anywhere after that much beating. I can say that automotive material was super tough and rubbery. It took some pretty good multiple hits to get through the stuff until I sharpened my cutter the second time. Then it only took four or five taps per wad. I would assume as durable and spongy as they are, they should make one heck of shock cushion. It’s made by Felpro. It’s a cork and rubber combination automotive gasket material. I don’t remember what I bought it for at the time, but I’ve had it for a few years. I just googled it. The stuff isn’t cheap. Looks like it’s cheaper to buy the gasket material than it is to buy 250 pre-cut court 20 gauge wads though. I could probably get 10 times that out of a sheet.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 06-10-2024 at 09:29 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Not to sidetrack your thread, but my wife got me a couple of craft type hole punches off amazoon I use for overshot cards. Cracker boxes, drink boxes, junk mail...

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was looking at those for a 10 gauge OS cards a few years ago and then I bought a bag of pre-cut cards because the 19 mm punch that I wanted was out of stock at the time. I need to get some three-quarter inch bingo chips to use for OS cards. I’d rather have the clear looking ones to make it look neater to see your shot anyways then the cardboard ones I use now.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Well I bit the bullet and ordered some BPI original buffer today. A half a pound from Midway was 15 bucks shipped to the house. I made a jig to slit my tuff wads. I am just loading up 2 to try for patterning. I am just trying 2 slits. I went down 1.085". I believe the inside of the cup is 1.9" or so. So I slit it a little over half way down. I used only ONE of my cork cushion wads inside the cup. Im tried to cpresd the 2.5 oz load with some light taps over the shot with a rubber mallet and the lee loader rod that'd included in my 10 guage kit. It looks like I am pretty close to flush...or a hair over. I'm sure when I roll crimp my 2.5 oz load will be flush with the top of the shotcup. I'll have to look I think I have one of those handheld vibrators around somewhere or I should say back massagers to vibrate my buffer in the load. For now I just put a cardboard OS card over the top and set them aside until my buffer comes. I have about a handful of copper plated number fives so I'll have to get my hands on some copper plated shot as well but at least I can test these two loads. I tried the same load with no buffer and no cushion wad with a longer shot cup using 3 oz of copper plated number fives. At 40 yards I think I only had 230 hits on target so my pattern massively blew out. I get way tighter patterns with 2oz factory loads. My guess is I had a lot of shot that was above the shot cup and probably helped blow out my pattern besides no cushion wad and no buffer? Well hopefully the buffer and cushion wad will improve my pattern along with a load that's even with the shot cup instead of above it....and maybe the 2 slits instead of 4 will hold my pattern a little tighter as well.

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