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Base wad in barrel?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by redhawk44, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. redhawk44

    redhawk44 Member

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    I have heard the story about shooting shells with a separate base wad and how if it comes loose and gets stuck 1/2 way up the barrel, it will bulge the barrel on the next shot.

    All I can say about it is that I have fired no less than 20,000 shells of this kind and experienced no problems, but if memory serves, I think someone here did some experiments on this and found that the story has no merit.

    Does anyone here have the skinny on this?
     
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  2. 5shot

    5shot TS Member

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    I've stopped using the hulls with separate base wads such as the AAs because of this and the fact that my PW reloader does not put any pressure on the base wad during the reloading process.

    When I was using the AA hulls I checked the bore after each shot. Never found a wad but didn't want to take a chance of ruining a couple thousand dollar barrel.

    Good Shooting
    5shot
     
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  3. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    When I first resumed trap shooting I tried many different loads in many hulls. One of those hulls was Fiocchi with the 10mm basewad. I had heard the stories and was concerned. When using hulls, new or old, with a separate basewad I always blew the smoke out of the barrel after each shot, just to see. I never had any problem with new shells, but several times with reloads I saw the basewad sucked halfway up the hull. Once I did see a basewad in the barrel. It was very easily removed by blowing from the choke end, so I really don't see how it could bulge a barrel if not removed before the next shot. I finished the event using the same shells and carefully checked after each shot. The I discarded all my Riefenhauser hulls and never again reloaded them. I don't reload AA or GM hulls for the same reason. They are two-piece hulls no matter what the manufacturer claims.
     
  4. Drew Hause

    Drew Hause Well-Known Member

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    2 piece Federal fiber base wad

    [​IMG]

    Presumed result of base wad obstruction in forcing cone. Of course the remains thereof are long gone

    [​IMG]

    A study by the Royal Military College of Science, sponsored by the Birmingham Proof House and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, showed that an obstruction by 2 fibre wads (total weight of 4 grams) was sufficient to bulge or burst a 12g barrel shooting a 28 gram (slightly less than 1 ounce) load. Peak pressure occurred 22mm (.866”) past the leading edge of the obstruction.
     
  5. luvtrapguns

    luvtrapguns Well-Known Member

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    Barrel edges on fractured surface look to have a crystalized structure. Not the best for needed tensile strength. Marc
     
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  6. redhawk44

    redhawk44 Member

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    And a lot of corrosion to boot. Actually it looks like a Damascus barrel to me....since the blow up is 'presumed' to be from a base wad, I would question whether or not it acrually was.
     
  7. 8 Straight

    8 Straight Active Member

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    I reload a lot of Top Gun hulls and have never had a problem. I hear a lot of stories about the detatched base wads, but the mechanics of getting it to plug the barrel escape me. The powder goes off, causing an internal pressure of around 9000 psi. This is pushing in all directions, including against the base wad, forcing it back against the metal base, and in turn, against the breech face. What causes it to suddenly reverse directions and head off up the barrel? Inquiring minds want to know.
     
  8. Drew Hause

    Drew Hause Well-Known Member

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    Ring bulge = obstruction.

    Asymmetric 'ring bulge' of the above blow out related to the addition thickness of the brazed barrel flats and support of the right barrel. The 'corrosion' is old solder/flux exposed when the rib lifted

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Another bulge blow out with similar appearance of the pattern welded fracture surface. A comprehensive metallurgical evaluation was performed, and neither embrittlement nor low cycle fatigue was found

    [​IMG]

    Will post the link when the complete report is published.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  9. Rebel Sympathy

    Rebel Sympathy Well-Known Member

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    Well, I look into my barrels each time after I fire. I am using the "notorious" brand of hulls. So, after seven years, I have still not found a wad in my barrel. Nor have I found a loose wad in my hulls while reloading. I guess I should be thankful that all this has taught me to look down my bores..........
     
  10. shotgunpeople

    shotgunpeople Active Member

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    WINCHESTER BASE WAD - Copy.JPG

    Lady comes back off the line and says she cannot get her shell in the gun. Husband looks down the barrel and I take a wad knocker outer to it. Base wad of a Winchester reload, 2nd reload on this shell. I witnessed it first hand, after hearing about it for years...PLEASE, look down your barrel between each shot. If this had been any further up the barrel, it could have spelled disaster.
     
  11. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. HMB
     
  12. Drew Hause

    Drew Hause Well-Known Member

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    8 straight: Lots of things are happening almost instantaneously upon ignition of the primer and powder, but anterior displacement of the loose base wad occurs related to rearward movement of the gun with recoil. It is possible that there could also be some vacuum effect as the polyethylene wad exits the barrel.
     
  13. redhawk44

    redhawk44 Member

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    my question is this....has anyone been able to determine for a fact that the base wad will cause the barrel bulge that it is reputed to do?
     
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  14. Cwcroft58

    Cwcroft58 Member

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    If ya chew gum and blow in the barrel ,be careful, I was on the line with a shooter that blew in the barrel after every shot, and his gum flew in the hot barrel,what a mess. Thanks to the water cooler hanging on the post ,we were able to cool the gum and push it out with a wooden rod.. lol and this was when AA were 1 piece C.W.C.
     
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  15. Drew Hause

    Drew Hause Well-Known Member

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    As part of Sherman Bell's series "Finding Out For Myself" published in the Double Gun Journal, Part XIII in Vol. 18, Issue 1, Spring 2007, included subjecting a thin barrel to proof loads and a study with different obstructions. It is worth reading and your local library could likely obtain the issue. Some wads were indeed blown on down the barrel without a bulge or rupture.

    Much more information can be found in Major Sir Gerald Burrard's The Modern Shotgun, Volume 3, The Gun and The Cartridge, “The Diagnosis of a Burst”, 1948.

    I am not aware of anyone specifically placing a base wad in the forcing cone and then firing a 12g trap shell, but anxiously await the results if someone here would like to do so, and is still able to type thereafter ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  16. mike campbell

    mike campbell Active Member

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    What happens when there's no powder ignited in a shell?

    Invariably, the pressure generated by the primer alone is sufficient to propel the shot charge down and out of the barrel but the plastic wad sticks part way down.

    Imagine the basewad as already being loose with a small airspace behind it. Perhaps a few grains of powder, or at least a fraction of the expanding gases, get behind this relatively lightweight piece of plastic and it becomes a trailing piece of ejecta with enough momentum to make it part way down the bore before lodging....exactly the way a wad from a squib load gets stuck.

    Nothing gets sucked out of the barrel; everything gets pushed by gas pressure. The pressure is in the neighborhood of 2000 psi at the last inch of the barrel. The instant the payload exits the muzzle the seal is broken and the pressure in the barrel drops to atmospheric level. There is never negative pressure in the barrel to "suck" the basewad out.

    I've seen enough anecdotal evidence to believe AA basewads can separate. I don't doubt the possibility of one lodging in a bore, however remote, nor the likelihood that it would cause barrel failure if it did.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  17. Drew Hause

    Drew Hause Well-Known Member

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    Very old data, but at the muzzle the pressure is more like 400-500 psi

    32 Gr Ballistite (1 1/8 oz. at 1232 fps = 3 Dram Equiv.)
    Breech - 2.9 Tons per Square Inch (UK, Long) = 8624 psi
    2 1/2" - 2.2 Tons = 6272 psi
    6” - 1.2 Tons = 3718 psi
    12” - .81 Tons = 1602 psi
    18” - .33 Tons
    24” - .21 Tons
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  18. Hunt&Fish

    Hunt&Fish TS Member

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    I have personally had a AA basewad come loose and the end result was a bulged barrel on a remington 3200. I still have the empty shell without the basewad in it.
     
  19. safetyfast

    safetyfast Member

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    You guys have about gotten me scared to shoot AA reloads in a semi-auto


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  20. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    The changed molecular structure of metal causes the "crystallized" gem like look luvtrapguns observed in the picture above. Gun metals must be able to withstand the expansion contraction processes just as shot shell heads do. Changing the metal molecular structure can make it very hard and when subjected to a very hard force at ignition, it can shatter like a glass tube would. Excess heat used when forming those barrels are my main suspect when a barrels metal has that "crystallized look" after it has burst.

    Mild steels are what our high rise buildings, dams and bridges are built with. Even those softer metals can become very brittle when subjected to extreme heat and cooling cycles. So much so, one can literally shatter the metal with a hard hammer blow! That instead of bending!! A mere look at the broken metal's exposed innards has the same look mentioned by luvtrapguns also.

    HAP
     
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