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wads..how I see it

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by smifshot, Jun 15, 2009.

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  1. smifshot

    smifshot TS Member

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    I notice on TS.com about twice a week that someone wants data when using a certain wad. Rightfully, most of the time, he is told to get data from a website or
    look at a reloading manual. I think the advice given is very sound and probably the person asking is fairly new to loading his own. BUT. Take a look and think a minute about the wads. For 47 years I have pulled the handle on some type loader. When I first started we used the wad that fit (paper and fiber mostly) More powder was called for then but when plastic came along wad use was more important. The AA white wad was the most used for a long time, as were AA one piece tapered hulls. The fisr AA clone wads I ever saw were the red and purple Pattern Control offered at about a penny each. I used a smooth trillion (like Obama trillion.) They loaded great..shot good..and were advertised to be AA clones....use as AA. Over the years came Claybuster, Duster wads...Windjammers, Versilites, and now a host of wads made and sold by one company. Gettting to the point that all these wads were made and poured to be used LIKE AAs. They should all be about the same length, same payload size and have the same diameter over powder skirt. I know this is not true in all the wads being sold but you are led to believe this is true. In my years of reloading the base diameter has been close enough to make a good shooting load for clay targets or field use. So....when sitting down to load a few I use the wads I have on hand, whether is be any of these listed above of maybe some Remington wads on hand. The point is.....I have never knowingly had a poor performing shell as a result of the wad so long as its a AA clone, made for a tapered hull like the AA. I also do the same when loading the Remington hulls,green or gold, and remingtons from days gone by. There is still loading data for using a Federal 12C1 or the S3 and S0 wads in AA type hulls altho we all know they have bigger diameter skirts. Been wanting to spread these thoughts for some time........even at the risk of being told I am wrong by Neil or Pat, or some other relaoding GUGU who enjoys these threads. Shoot often, shoot safely, and enjoy your guns. Since by-pass surgery last September and a knee operation a few weeks ago,I am not burning as much Reddot, Greendot, Clays, Unique, etc. as I would like. But a better day is coming. Shoot often, safely, and have fun. The folks inside the Beltway spend a lot of time figuring a way to stop us all....Be well...stroker
     
  2. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Wrong, stroker? Heck no. You are right. All this talk here about wads is just talk. Get something that fits and load with it. You'll not find better.

    Neil
     
  3. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I have never seen the results on a through test of wads. Considering how they are made, I would not be surprised to see as much variation withing one brand of wads as there is between different brands of wads. A good test of wads would require a lot of time with a single stage loader and a pressure gun.

    The most critical part of the wad is the skirt. It must make a good seal as the powder burns. But it is not too difficult to achieve this with around 10,000 pounds of pressure.

    stroker- I have no major disagreement with your ideas.

    EE- I also agree that the plasticity of the Winchester orange wads is different than the plasticity of the Win. white wads. This becomes very clear at lower temperatures.

    Pat Ireland
     
  4. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I'm certainly no technocrat, but I did stumble upon a performance difference in wads by accident a couple of years ago.

    I wanted to make sure my pet handloads were generating the velocity I was after and shot five rounds of each over my chronograph. Three loads were checked - a one-ounce load with Claybuster CB-4100 Lightning and Remington TGT-12S wads; light 1-1/8 load with Remington TGT-12S and genuine Windjammer (original white style) wads; and a heavier 1-1/8 load with the TGT-12S and Windjammer. In every case, the Remington TGT-12S loads clocked right around 40 feet per second faster!

    The hulls were once-fired Remington STS, primers were Federal 209A and the powder used was IMR PB. I expected the Windjammers to be fastest as they are the lightest but apparently they do not seal as well?

    For what it's worth...

    Ed
     
  5. WarEagle2017

    WarEagle2017 Active Member

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    I also pay a lot of attention to shot weight, powder weight, and Primer selection, also type of Wad, But now the only thing that I do disreguard, is the Minute difference in Hulls, I only load AA, STS, Nitro's and Gun Clubs all with the same Load. ( No Biggie )
     
  6. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Good post stroker! I choose my wads to fit the hulls selected for a factory like look on the final crimp. I primarily use Red/Green Dot powders but have had great results with various other brands also. Ease of wads slipping into the hulls is another reason I use DR wads a lot.

    I feel that getting a complete burn behind the charge is as important as anything else. I've tried the low, medium and higher pressure loads and always fall back on what works for me, a mid-range pressure loading. Choices of powders and primers can be researched in loading manuals to get a complete burn package and it works well for me.

    I see guys loading 3/4,7/8 and 1 ounce loads down to less than ideal chamber pressures and speeds to further reduce recoil. I tried that same thing and didn't like the over all results. Sure they shoot and go bang but not every time with the consistency I look for. I also quit using the Windjammer wad for the same reasons mentioned by Average Ed above. Having to use more powder to get the same speed means that wads base is lacking in the sealing department. Like the light loads, they go bang too but not my idea of a way to select a reload.

    Hap
     
  7. bolt-action

    bolt-action TS Member

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    AveragEd,

    I, too, have noticed that the Windjammer style wads shoot a slower velocity. I use the ClayBuster clone of the 1 1/8 ounce windjammer wad (blue) CB4118-12B. I have noticed that these wads consistently produce velocities that are usually 25-30 fps slower than other wads. I have not checked them against the Remington TGT wads, but I feel certain that I would achieve the same results that you did.

    The reason for the lower velocity is not that the wads don't "seal as well", but rather is in the design of the wad. The leg portion of these wads are designed different than most wads, and therefore they perform differently. If you will check several sources of load data, you will find that the windjammer wads almost always produce less pressure. This is due to their design - they collapse quicker/easier than most other wads. They produce more of a "cushion". This produces less pressure which in turn produces slightly less velocity.

    This is not necessarily a bad thing. If you will check some of your load data of powders with a faster burn rate then PB, this is what you will find. Several powders top out with 1 1/8 ounce loads at 1200 fps with most wads. The pressure will be at an unsafe limit before velocity reaches 1250 fps. If you look carefully, you can find several loads listed at 1250 fps using windjammer wads. They usually have a significantly less pressure reading at 1200 fps.

    Windjammer advertises, and many people believe that these wads produce a softer recoil. I personally believe that the "Less Recoil" is directly related to the "Less Velocity" as the general public never checks their loads over a chronograph and are unaware of the velocity differences.

    With that said, the Windjammer and its clones are one of my favorite wads. I use them almost exclusively to load shells for 16 yard singles. Most of my loads with them are in the 1175 fps range. If I am shooting long distance handicaps with higher velocities, I like to step down to a slower powder (I like Green Dot) and change to a different wad design. Some of the other wads (like Fed 12S3) seem to hold a tighter pattern at longer distances.
     
  8. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    There may be differences between WAA12, WT12, Duster and Claybuster wads, but using them all in STS hulls, I'm challenged to find a meaningful difference on the field or the chrono throwing the same recipe.

    I will say, in defense of the WT12 and its "recycled" plastic, that I've never found fractured wads due to severe cold and have shot them throughout their run in every brutal Chicago winter without issue.

    Yes, I can clearly see minute differences among the manufactures, but when it comes to performance they're all par with each other and since I use the same recipes over and over and over again... Which I use becomes a commodity pricing issue... last Blue Dusters I picked up in bulk for $10/1K got the "buy"...

    regards to all,

    Jay
     
  9. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    A 13/16" tube..closed base with a slot cut in it so you can see the wad.. using a 5/8" rod.. see how much weight it takes to compress it 3/8".. When those numbers are the same.. assuming the skirt seals well.. they will perform similar.. Where there are vast differences in the wad.. so will they perform different.. Most of the AA clones are very similar.. I have had ones in the past that were not..some due to age.. some due to manufacture..

    Last summer in my 8 wad test.. I found out that despite what I wanted to think.. wads could better be divided into groups.. Which for the most part overlapped... short.. mid.. and long range The CB4100 was a short/mid
    the DRXL or 12SO was long.. Most wads we load are mid.. and do OK for short..and OK for long.. but great mid range wads..

    For the most part..better shot had more to do with the pattern than the wad.. and slower powders produced slightly denser patterns.

    At 60 yards.. Unique has 4% more pellets in a 36" circle than Promo..shot out of a .038 choked .739 bore Perazzi

    As my coach said a long time ago.. Just put the lead on the target.. and it will break...
     
  10. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I think Windjammers have noticeably lower felt recoil than many other wads. I always used Remington wads but when most local gun shops could not get any perhaps eight years ago, I bought a case of Windjammers. I shot the first hundred of an event with last four boxes of loads with Remington wads and the second hundred with the same load with Windjammers. The difference was apparent but I never bothered to see if it was due to lower velocity, which seems to be the case.

    By comparison, during the 18 months or so that I used Federal ammo, I thought that Federal wads had a LOT higher felt recoil. Switching to Claybuster clones helped a lot but I wonder if that was a design difference or lower velocity.

    When arthritis or another ailment leaves you recoil-sensitive, this becomes an important topic.

    Ed
     
  11. Trap2

    Trap2 Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with PBB on this one. I used to be pretty anal about trying to get the best possible patterns I could from my loads. I have found, over many, many trips to the pattern board, and many, many shots over the chronograph, there is a DEFINATE difference in wads and their performance, using the same hulls, powder, primers, and shot combinations. I have found that the original windjammer wad produced the best 16 yard pattern than all the others I have used, and the DR Red Versalite produced the best 27yd. patterns, of all the wads I've used. Here is how they break down:

    16yd. load is STS hull, Cheddite primer, 17.5gr Promo powder, Windjammer wad, 11/8oz shot. This load has out performed all the other wads I tried it with, including WAA clones, TGT, Dusters, and a host of others. It just plain patterns better overall. I also use this load for my first shot on doubles.

    27yd. handicap load is Nitro hull, Cheddite primer, 21.5gr. REXII powder, Red Versalite wad, and 11/8oz. magnum 71/2 shot. Here again, this load has out performed all the other wads I have tried using these same components.

    Now, here is the strange part of all this. I found that, by increasing the powder to 22gr. of REXII and using the original windjammer 11/8oz factory wad, I can almost duplicate the Versalite load. I cannot do that with the other wads I tried.

    I have shot all these patterns out of a 34" Perazzi DB-81 barrel, back bored to .742" and choked to .707" by Tom Wilkinson. These loads have shown better results than all the factory wads, and all the aftermarket wads I have tried.

    What does this prove? Absolutely nothing, except that these wads work the best, for me, through the barrel of MY gun, and that certain wads DO make a difference. Why? I don't have that answer, and I really don't care. What I do know, and care about, is which load shoots the best through my gun. It also shows me that there is a difference in what a wad will, or won't do. Here is where the mind game comes in to play. There are enough differences in the patterns that I feel more comfortable, and confident, shooting these combinations over all the others.

    Bottom line is this: Don't think for one minute that there aren't differences in wads and how they perform. A factory AA wad will perform radically different than a Claybuster AA clone, trust me... Just my experience... Dan Thome (Trap2)
     
  12. Big Jack

    Big Jack Well-Known Member

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    When a friend passed on, I purchased a bunch of wads from his widow. I've got half bags of so many different wads it took time to sort them. Had a bunch of 5/8's Remington wads, red 5/8's Winchesters,(these shorties will work fine for 1 1/4 oz) a half bag of Fed C-1's, a half bag of Lage Uniwads, (wish I had more of these)some Active wads, and some I can't even identify. A black AA type wad, About three different 7/8's Remington wads along with some AA wads in original "Boxes". Some of these I'm sure are no longer in the load books but they won't go to waste. I don't load to 10,000 pounds plus loads and I'm not about to start now.

    Big Jack
     
  13. Trap2

    Trap2 Well-Known Member

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    Jack..... The black AA type wads are more than likely a Hawk 1oz. wad. They were a very good wad, and now, Downrange has the molds for them and is making them under the Downrange label with a few improvements... Dan
     
  14. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Dan, by what criteria do you decide that one pattern is better than another?

    Neil
     
  15. Trap2

    Trap2 Well-Known Member

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    Neil.... For me, personally, it's really basic. I look for an even distribution of pellets in the 30" circle I am shooting, at the yardage I pick to shoot it from. I look for fairly even pellet distribution in the 5" outside annular ring, as well as a fairly evenly distributed pellet count in the quadrants of the 30" circle. Scientific? No. Re-assuring to my mind that I'm getting what I want? Yes. It's a mind thing, Neil. I can visualize, on the pattern sheet, what the patterns look like, and, if they are showing a complete coverage of the circle, with a limited amount of "hot center cores", my mind is satisfied. I guess I'm not as sophisticated as you and Dr. Jones are about graphs, charts, picture taking, etc. I've been shooting long enough, however, that I can tell from just shooting a shell and analyzing the breaks whether I'm happy with it or not. I can tell if it's fast enough for me, or if it's too fast for me. Like I said, not real scientific, but, believe me, I know what I like, and what I don't like, to see when shooting a shell. I'll just have to continue to trust in my basic instints. You know; what I see, what I feel, what matches my style, what shoots the best from my barrel.... those types of things. Like I said, it's a mind game, and I want my mind satisfied.... Dan
     
  16. $$$SHTR

    $$$SHTR Member

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    Here's my take!! The wad cost about 1 cent each and the barrel cost $2600+. Which do I think has the most impact on performance?? Not the 1 cent wad that's for sure. When I reload, I make sure I never exceed the data for Federal primers and use any wad that will get a good crimp. Most of the time I use one of the Windjammers ( usually cheaper), from 1 OZ to 1 1/8 OZ 1235 FPS handicap. Of course, I never shoot pattern boards or count BB's, I just watch the breaks. I think there's way too much time spent on things that make absolutely no difference at all. Put the BB going 700 MPH on the clay target going 42 MPH. Nothing else matters.

    Tomas
     
  17. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Everyone should stick to loads in a reloading guide, but doing so may not be giving you what you expect. Last night a slip of paper dropped out of a bag of wads and it told me to use one more grain of Green Dot in an STS hull than with a double A.

    I always load them interchangeably; my shell pouch looks like Christmas after an event. So I wondered if the green ones really needed that added grain.

    Here's the AA data, not particularly good, but what I got. A second five gave about the same results. If you drop out that low-speed, low-pressure third shot the average is 1207 fps.

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>

    And here are the STS's

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>

    And they are about the same. So adding a grain of powder would _not_ have made these two loads match better, it would have increased their differences. That's why I don't obsess about this sort of thing and just load and shoot.

    Neil
     
  18. Neil Winston

    Neil Winston Well-Known Member

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    Dan, thanks for the reply. You see differences I seldom see, but then you are looking for them and I don't know what to look for. Someday I'll post some patterns here and we'll see who thinks "these" are better or "those" and if anyone agrees.

    Neil
     
  19. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    What Neil has said and illustrated further convinces me that worrying about getting an exact powder charge every time with an adjustable charge bar is a waste of time and hair color.

    Ed
     
  20. PerazziBigBore

    PerazziBigBore TS Member

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    Dan.. I'm glad we agree.. What most shooters don't understand.. is what happens to the floor of the wad.. has much to do with how it performs..If the floor turn concave.. the resulting long range pattern will be denser.. if it turns convex.. the pattern will be more open.. Just a simple change in powder charge.. at a very percise point can cause this change in some wads... Some are not meant to deform.. and stay flat thru the process despite how fast you push them.. A high speed camera and a air cylinder could show you results you could photograph.. then the pattern board could show you how it translates.. Many years ago.. we used as a back fence load.. an Alcan PGS inverted under the shot.. It certainly helped long range patterns.. Today.. most of that is lost..when the concept of the one piece wad came to be.. Anyway.. All Good.. Mike
     
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