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Wads effect on patterns?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by riflegunbuilder, Jul 12, 2012.

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  1. riflegunbuilder

    riflegunbuilder Member

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    Has anyone ever done some patern testing to see what effect changing wads has on pattern? I am considering trying the Down Range Figure 8 8 petal vs Downrange Windjammer copy.
     
  2. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure Neil Winston or Doc Jones has.
     
  3. mike campbell

    mike campbell Active Member

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    Many times. Trouble is, each load, gun, choke combination is unique...the results are not predictable. And, just like other products/modifications, the manufacturer's claims aren't provable. You can certainly try it on paper, but it will be difficut to draw valid conclusions without analyzing to death a half dozen patterns with each load. If I'm patterning hunting loads, I'll take that route to quickly weed out the real losers. Could never shoot at enough live birds to get at the real answer that way.

    But for target loads I find it much better to load up a box (or several) of each and shoot some targets. I just did that with my standby Rem Fig8 versus the AA, 12S3 and WJ versions. In my case, I found no reason to switch. After a round with each you may have a pretty firm opinion of which is better or worse, and then no amount of paper patterns would ever convince you otherwise....:)
     
  4. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    If the wad fits and goes through my reloading machine smoothly are the two things that I find the most important. HMB
     
  5. MDMike

    MDMike Well-Known Member

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    A while back I loaded several boxes of short wads with #8 shot for sporting clays rabbits and a few other close presentations. When I got back into trap shooting my thoughts went back to these boxes of shells. I was about to cut them open for the components when I got the idea to try them at 16 yds. Broke clays fine.
     
  6. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    A number of years ago when Windjammers were the rage, a friend shot them at the 16 because he said they opened faster and gave a bigger patter.

    I took them to the pattern board and compared them with other popular wads at that time. On a trend of 10 shells for each wad,all loads except wads being the same, for each wad there was no overall percentage difference. None,zip,nada. I even tried the old Herters wads that were not split. Nothing!

    I haven't done anything with the new batch of wads but I would suspect the answers would be the same.

    Ajax
     
  7. Mark425

    Mark425 TS Member

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    Wads themselves don't make measurable difference in the quality of the pattern. Hull fit, stack height and a wad appropriate for the shot weight has a much greater effect. If in doubt where to begin, buy a premium shell and copy it with factory or clone components. 2 cents..........
     
  8. Gapper

    Gapper TS Member

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    Nothing succeeds like success. Components that were proven duds failed in the free market.

    Double check the pressure in the loading manuals, just for safety!
     
  9. Bob Merkov

    Bob Merkov Member

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    I saw no difference between a four petal vs. an eight petal. I did notice quite a bit of difference in the time it takes to reload a shell if all eight petals are not in the proper position. If one or two of the petals are angled in towards the center, you need to take the time to straighten them up.

    I did load twelve shells with one of the petals getting covered with shot and gave them to two shooters to try at the 16 yard line. At that distance there was no difference. I don't know what difference, if any, there would be at handicap distances.
     
  10. JayZap

    JayZap Active Member

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    Neil Winston would know the answer for sure and could prove it. But, apparently he has been abducted by aliens with no chance of contacting mother earth. Hope he is OK.
     
  11. Johnny

    Johnny Well-Known Member

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    I remember Neil saying he didn't do wads. Hard to believe it would have any significant effect.
     
  12. OldGoat

    OldGoat Well-Known Member

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    The petals bending over on the 8 petal wads were/are annoying; this is not a problem with 4 petal wads. Regards, Ed
     
  13. BigM-Perazzi

    BigM-Perazzi Well-Known Member

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    Jay, like a God on Olympus, Neil looks in occasionally on TS.com.

    He is well, even won a category or two at the Great Lakes Grand.
     
  14. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    For once, something hmb said is NOT nonsense.

    I believe he is correct.

    Though I have no data to substantiate it, I can't imagine, all things being equal (same gun, same hull, same powder, same primer, same shot), there is likely to be much of any difference between wads.
     
  15. MDMike

    MDMike Well-Known Member

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    Now this thread has proven to be interesting and informative. The little short wads I was using were called spreader wads but lacked a center post like other spreader wads I have seen. I will say one thing, 1 1/8 oz of 8's with these wads @ about 1150 really broke targets at 16 yards. And I was told not to use them for trap......
     
  16. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Riflegunbuilder, I'll get the caveats out of the way up front. Yes, SOME wads make a big difference in patterns. Some wads perform differently in different barrels. That being said, here is my take on your specific question.

    I once did extensive comparison testing on Rem Fig-8, DRM Windjammer clone, Spolar Windjammer and the real windjammer. I used this load for the tests- STS hull, W209 primer, 19.3gr Green Dot and 1 1/8oz WCM shot.

    I found velocities to be similar with all wads, with the Fig-8 being the fastest. That countered Spolar's claim to give more velocity with the same powder weight because it was so slick. SDs were similar across the board.

    I didn't have enough of the original Windjammer wads to do a lot of patterns, and The Spolar wads were made by DRM in the first place, so I did extensive patterning on the Fig-8 and the DRM WJ clone (if memory serves, the original plastic before they received permission to use the same plastic they used making the Spolar). I bought the conventional wisdom that the Windjammer type opened faster. I figured, great, the WJ for singles and the Fig-8 for caps.

    Wrong! For all intents the pattern percentages were the same. If you believe 20 pattern averages are sufficient to allow you to split hairs, the the Fig-8 patterns were up to 2% tighter. That little bit of difference doesn't matter to me, especially since it could have gone the other way in an additional round of patterning. I also haven't found any differences between the Rem and DRM Fig-8 wads. DRM also has a new variant with a Fig-8 bottom and a WJ shot cup.

    You can easily drive yourself nuts with wads. I used to, but don't bother anymore. I have Rem Fig-8, DRM Fig-8 and DRM WJ clones (old white and new orange) by my reloading bench. I use them interchangeably because my testing shows that for my handicap load, there is no effective difference.

    Since you are trying to choose between two good wads, call Kevin and ask for sample packs. Do some patterning with your loads and see if you can find any difference. Or, you could just buy whichever is cheaper and call it a day.

    One note: the DRM WJ clone is lighter than their Fig-8 replacement and does produce less recoil, actual and felt. Also, if you happen to use e3 powder, the Lyman Manual lists a stunningly good load using the WJ.
     
  17. Bluzman98

    Bluzman98 Member

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    Call Chuck Norris.....he'll know the answer. LOL

    Jim
     
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