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I started loading shot shells this year. I've been enjoying it a lot. It's so much fun to run em using ammo assembled by oneself.

Initially I loaded 7/8 oz loads. I still enjoy shooting them for singles. When I started shooting doubles and handicap I upped it to 1oz. I've only used the Clay Buster winchester clones. The dark grey wads (cb0178-12) worked well for my 7/8 loads. For 1 oz I tried the pink wads (cb1100-12) pictured here:

For some reason they didn't feed nearly as well in my Dillon or PW as their 7/8 cousin did. So, I recently bought some of the white wads (cb4100-12b). They fed a lot smoother and stacked in the hull just fine. Tonight I ran to the pattern board to compare loads with pink vs. white wads. It appeared that the whites "MAYBE" produced a better pattern, maybe...

Now, I'm wondering what's the real differences between the two? What's the purpose of the skinnier petals of the white wad? Those are obviously different but so is the base section, for lack of a better term. The pink wads would have the leg collapse on one side sometimes causing the wad to tilt in the hull (AAHS and Nitros). The base of the white wads is more stout and hasn't tilted or fed weird in any way. Are wads really that different from each other ballistically? Or, do people use different wads to fine tune the "assembly" part of their loads?

Thanks, Alex
 

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I reload 5 different gauges and use many different recipes. IMO, the wad's main purpose is to create the appropriate stack height in the shell. I have used dozens of different wads, and really can't tell any difference in how they affect the bird breaking. I consider them like fishing lures, made more to catch the user than the fish. Just use one designed for the right hull, and that gives the right amount of room for the pellets, to get a good crimp. Point the gun in the right place, and pull the trigger at the right time.
 

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If the wad fits use it. I like the ones tha feel slippery to the touch.
They seem to feed alot better. HMB
 

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Just think for a moment..a wad is designed only to keep the shot out of the powder, and fill the case for a good crimp. If it fits, use it!
 

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IMHO I shoot a lot from 27 to 50 yards back. I changed from a Remington rxp to CB windjammer wad and kept everything else the same and my percentage of breaks increased and were crushing birds.
 

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Time was that folks thought that the 8 thin petals opened faster to release the shot load than the thicker 4 petals did. Wad manufacturers have proven that there is really no ballistic difference.

The collapsing section of a wad is designed to control the rate of the rise in chamber pressure as the powder ignites. The design of the wad's bottom half is more important to the safety and performance of a load than the shot cup petals are. Beware the advice of people who don't believe that there is a reason for the variety of designs and for why each load formula includes a specific wad.
Count me among the non-believer infidel. If this were true, then before we had plastic wads, and fiber wads were the only thing available, there was no way to "control the rate of rise in chamber pressure." My belief is the only reason there are different designs is each OEM wanted to have its own distinctive design. It's more of a "style" thing than anything else. You don't see the wad manufacturers designing wads with different "control rates." If they could, they would. Which wad styles have the faster/slower rate of rise of chamber pressure: the AA-style, the Rem. Figure 8 styles, the Fed corse-screw style, the really cool European styles (of which there are many), the Rem Power piston? The answer is, you don't know. The primary factors impacting rate of rise of chamber pressure is the burn rate of the powder, the "hottness" of the primer and how well the overpowder cup obdurates. If the wad has an impact, I'm betting it is all but impossible to measure and the people doing the data do not test for it.
 

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Tonight I ran to the pattern board to compare loads with pink vs. white wads. It appeared that the whites "MAYBE" produced a better pattern, maybe...
Yes "MAYBE", and maybe not. Probably not. It would take a lot of patterns and pellet counting to determine if a wad change makes a statistically significant difference....and after all that tedious counting, if you dumped the results into an on-line Students T-test calculator you would probably find there wasn't a real difference.

But if you "Gots to know", here is a short-cut -

Shotgun-Insight Enter site
 

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After reloading for over 40 years, I can attest to the fact that some wads will load differently than others, all things being equal.

You may find more than one wad that will work in any given load. Use the one that gives you the best results AS LONG AS YOU ARE USING PUBLISHED RELOADING DATA!
 

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After reloading for over 40 years, I can attest to the fact that some wads will load differently than others, all things being equal.

You may find more than one wad that will work in any given load. Use the one that gives you the best results AS LONG AS YOU ARE USING PUBLISHED RELOADING DATA!
No doubt. Some wads are designed for straight walled hulls and some designed for tapered wall hulls. Some wads have different diameters of their overpower cups, causing them to obdurate differently on ignition. The Rems seem to have a bit smaller diameter than the Win and I infer this from the data that indicate Rem Figure 8 wads generally produce lower pressure than the Win AA styles. I attribute this to differences in how the wads' overpower cups obdurate. It has little to do with the differences in how the crush sections are designed.
 

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For 20 years using CF Hulls, I've used AA Wads and Clones. Winchester AA, WT12, Dusters and Claybusters, interchangeable in old AA, RTL and STS/Nitro hulls.
 
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