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Thread: Wad slitting questions for long range turkey patterns.

  1. #1
    Boolit Grand Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Wad slitting questions for long range turkey patterns.

    I’m working on wad slitting with some tough wad that got donated to me by a member here. He sent me some good advice and then I looked in my mighty 10 gauge manual the other day. It said that old-school turkey hunters like to just make 2 slits. I’ve been trying to do some crash course reading the last couple days on shot cup slitting. Some people prefer three cuts and some like four? I could use a broad head to make a three cut. I made a jig yesterday to hold my shot cup in place. I got a feeling I probably didn’t cut it deep enough? I made just two slits and was going to try to see how they pattern. I’m wondering if I didn’t cut them deep enough? All is to make a super tight long range turkey pattern. I measured the slits. They are 1.085” long. Probably less than 2/3 of the payload length. The payload length in the 10 gauge BPI tuff wad is 1.98? Any shooters that have experience with wad slitting please chime in since I’m green at it. Here’s my jig that I made out of a piece of PVC end pipe cap. I had to put a piece of PVC in it and then sanded it flush to get the correct diameter for my wad to sit in. I had some long utility blades laying around that I tried to line up with the slits and push down. I only made two of them this way and I’m waiting for my buffer. I ordered from midway USA to show up so I didn’t roll crimp them yet. I still have the option of pulling them out and trying something else so I figured I would chime in and get some suggestions. Any help would be appreciated.




    I pulled it out so you can see how deep my cut is. I would say it’s a little over halfway down?



    I’ve read that if you don’t cut them or if the cuts are too shallow or not enough that the wad will tumble? So my question is after the shot already traveled out of the wad why would it make a difference it tumbles anyways? I’m basically out of shot so I’ve got time to ponder this and maybe have a handful left of number fives. I ended up with a bunch of lead number two shot that I posted up in our trading section to see if somebody’s got something I can use for turkey hunting. Must not be a lot of turkey hunters here. I’ll have to try trading it somewhere else. My plan is to use a 2 1/2 ounce load with 45 grains of lil gun. I made some homemade cushion wads that I posted on the other day and figured I would add some buffer to it. I’ve never used buffer before or added a cushion wad inside the shot cup. Still green on modern 10 gauge loads. I’m hoping adding both of them will improve my patterns. I loaded up a couple 3 ounce with mega metal shot cups last year not adding a cushion wide or buffer. My pattern blew out pretty good at 40 yards. Wasn’t much better than the 2 ounce load. My guess is it’s because I didn’t use buffer or a cushion and also my payload was way above my shot cup, so I’m sure what it was ever sitting above the shot cup probably just blew out instantly or deformed my pattern? I loaded up some 2 ounce loads with no buffer and no cushion wide using HS six and I get pretty darn good patterns with my SP 10 wads. Not anywhere as good as factory, but definitely a 50 yard turkey killer and beyond.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Well, nobody’s chimed in yet, but I know the sites been up and down like a yo-yo for going on and off-line the last couple days. The more I rack my brain and read a lot of forums and get opinions from Youtubers. It sounds like I need to stick with a four peddle cut. I’ll just start with the deep cuts that I show up above and then I’ll go all the way down to almost the base and then maybe in between those two cuts and see how they pattern?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I’d be comfortable with a three petal cut opening. But it would be harder to keep the cuts evenly spaced vs a four petal cut. How stiff are those wads you’re cutting?

    Someone sent Wade a home built wad slitting tool he showed on one of his videos. I wish I remember which one. Bubba roundtree outdoors. I’d say it was one of his buckshot videos, but that won’t really narrow it down would it?

  4. #4
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    They’re pretty darn thick. I saw those wad cutting tools made out of PVC pipe. I figured I could easily make one out of an extra old three blade thunderhead 125 Broadhead I have weighing around from the 80s.

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    Well, since I’m limited on shot until the #5’s I traded for shows up, I only loaded up three today to try. The BPD-10 tough wads. I followed the spots where you’re supposed to slit them and cut four pedals with three different length to try. I went down to the third ring for the first one the fourth ring for the second and the fifth ring for the last which is about a quarter inch from the bottom at the most. I added in one of my cork fell pro gasket cushion wads I just made, which is maybe an eighth inch thick. I’m trying a 2.5 oz load. It consists of 45 grains of lil gun. Tried it with a 3 ounce load…without buffer or a cushion wad and was not impressed with the pattern. I figured I can keep all my 2.5 load in this wad so it in theory should pattern better? So basically I weighed my 2.5 ounce payload which would be 1093 grains. Then removed 20 grains of pellets and then added 20 grains of buffer back in probably not enough buffer I’m guessing, but it’s my first go around with the stuff. I also added something new, which is a plastic bingo chip or I should say learning chip I got from the dollar store. I like the idea of this clear chip versus a cardboard over shot card because it’ll be more durable and waterproof. I also loaded up some black powder loads. I have used 100 grains of FG black powde, a 1/2” nitro card, 1 5/8oz iof shot, and a cardboard os card. I wanted to try a plastic shot cup and see if I could get some better patterns for turkey hunting for next season. So I use the same hundred grains of FG. Instead of the half inch nitro card play substituted a BPD-10 wad. I slit four pedals to the base. I also had to trim the pedals down to 1.458” or the hull would be too long. It was just enough to get it even with a factory one and 7/8 inch 10 gauge RST shell. I also took 10 grains of #6 pellets out and added 10 grain of BPI original buffer to get it right back to a 1 5/8oz payload. Basically removed about eight or so number six pellets and replaced it with buffer. My number 5’s I had to remove in my 3.5”, 2.5 ounce load was about 8-12 to add 20 grains of buffer. Hopefully they shoot it a lot better groups with buffer. I’m also hoping I’m not gonna pick up that much more pressure by adding buffer to my black powder load and a shot cup to boot. I’m guessing it probably won’t go up much in pressure. The half-inch fiber wide that I would’ve liked to use underneath the wad would’ve increased the length too much so I just left it out of the equation in my black powder load. I also know that the BPD 10 wide doesn’t squish down is tight and pressured in place like that nitro card is so if anything my guess is it won’t have as much velocity or pressure is using the nitro card just because it’s not forced down and pressured in place I’m guessing? I’ll post pictures of my progress below of my loads today in just a minute or two.

  6. #6
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    3 different lengths of 4 pedal cuts I loaded in my 3.5” load…







    I didn’t have my four pin roller warmed up enough and you can see the crimp on the right got a little crinkled. I’m sure they’ll be zero problems, cycling, and shooting with them while testing.


  7. #7
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    This is my black powder load that I loaded four to try today. I’ll try both barrels at 25 yards and both barrels at 40 yards. If it looks like a good load, I’ll have to load a few more and try at 50 yards and then try some with number five since I loaded them with nickel plated number sixes.

    I added that little fiber cushion wad that a member here gave me. I figured it would probably help from pellets sticking to the base of the shotcup?








    You can see the way I cut that shot cut down a one and 5/8 ounce load fits perfectly to the top. The photo was before I reoved 10 grains of #6’s and added 10 grains back in the load of BPI original buffer. I literally just cut the halls down by hand maybe a quarter inch above where the plastic overshot card was and winged it and then roll crimped it down. It basically came out the exact same height as a factory 2 7/8” RST factory load.



    Here’s two of the four loads. I had to trim the hulls down just a little bit more before I roll crimped them. They are the exact same length as the factory RST shell on the right so it was just perfect using that. BPD-10 wad cut down to 1.458” and nothing but a 100 grains of FG below it. I’ll be curious to see how they pattern. I wouldn’t think like I said above that pressures would increase much by using buffer and a shot cup because that shot cup doesn’t seat as firmly as a half inch nitro card. Guess I’ll see you when I go to pattern.

    I probably should’ve added a different color plastic bingo chip over the top of these loads. It kind of looks confusing with a red chip. It kind of looks like it’s the same color as the hull. I made two more with blue chips and you can’t see through the blues because they’re so dark.




    The BPD-10 wad showing the length I cut it down to. I tried to run it across sandpaper to even out my cut. Then I slit the 4 pedals down to the bases.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 06-20-2024 at 09:38 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Have you tried patterning without any slits? That can be your control, then 2 slits, 3, 4, etc.

    The wad has to fall away at some point, even if it’s not cut, but I don’t know whether it disturbs the pattern downrange.

  9. #9
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    I asked that on a couple of different posts and it sounds like if you don’t slit them, the shot will stay in the cups and eventually tumble like a shotgun slug apparently. That was my plan not to slit them at all to try and keep a super tight long range turkey pattern but apparently it doesn’t work like that. Same with the two slit. My mighty 10 loading manual says a two slit all the way down is supposed to be a really good long range turkey pattern but everybody that posted here and two other forms that I’ve asked on said that a 2 slit never patterned worth a darn and ends up tumbling the wad. A lot of people said the three slit works really good though, but I just didn’t mess around with three slits yet. I’ll have to make a 3 splitter out of a broadhead. Figured I’d try and keep it simple for now since I was super low on shot. I’d literally have a handful of number sixes and probably enough to load three shells with what I have left for number fives. I have some shot coming from a member here I traded for probably next week so I can play around some more.

    I can tell you that there is zero room to add any more payload in a 10 gauge two and seven eights inch cut down shell when using a plastic shot cup. I had zero room for stack height or adding a cushion wide with that BPD 10 cut down to 1.458”. I had some SP 10 wads and thought maybe I could try and cut the cushion part off the bottom. Had a weird jagged bottom and I would’ve had to sand it and I wasn’t gonna go through all that drama and tried to want to keep it more simple. 10 wide doesn’t have as tall of a payload either and would’ve only gotten maybe just under a an ounce and a half of shot with buffer even if I did cut it down. Just figure off a plastic shot cup will probably do wonders for my group in my old Damascus 10 gauge versus the OK group I get with the left barrel and a non-acceptable group at the right. I don’t mind if I get some plastic fouling because all I’m gonna do is shoot had a turkey once and then go home and clean the gun like I always do.

    I’d really like to get my hands on some number four shot. I figured with the 2 1/2 ounce loaded in that 3.5 inch 10 gauge. I should be able to hold a pretty good pattern even with the big stuff. It’ll remind me of that AT&T commercial reach out, reach out and touch someone….lol
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 06-20-2024 at 09:04 PM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Could hacksaw 6 slots in a suitable piece of PVC to act as a slitting guide, then just use three of them to cut the wad.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I like those on top of buffered loads with a fold crimp, to keep the buffer from sprinkling out.

  12. #12
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    I was debating on putting them on top below the plastic overshot cards just for extra assurance to make sure the buffer wasn’t gonna rattle out. Maybe I’ll do that next time. I just thought it would be neat to see the shot through the clear window. I gave them a bunch of hits on my hand after I roll crimped them and no buffer came out.

    I’ve been doing a lot of reading and seeing a lot of forums of how pellets will stick and melt to the bottom of shot cups without any type of cushion wad. I thought what a great idea just to use one of these to put on the bottom of the shot cup to maybe help them from melting through? It looks like some type of fiber or fiberglass mesh. I’m guessing it’s pretty tough stuff whatever it’s made out of. Had zero stacking space with that load so a tough paper thin barrier was the answer.


    I can also say that the hulls that I shot black powder through previously the shot cups went down nice and tight with some friction. The two other hulls I loaded that I haven’t previously shot BP though the wads slid down with little resistance.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 06-20-2024 at 11:43 PM.

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