Between Windjammers and Downrange--get whatever is easiest and cheapest...I cannot tell the difference between them....the Downrange is a bit slicker, whether that means the plastic used is more expensive or ???? I dunno.......
My only complaint with the original WJs is that a lot of them have arthritic petals...all curled in. I have to put them in a mesh lingerie wash machine bag 250-or-so at a time for 5 minutes or so and then spread them on a screen to cool to straighten them out. Otherwise my shot tube will catch a petal and dump some shot behind it.
I use the Claybusters. I get them for around $64 per case. I shoot with pulllit and he knows what he is talking about. However, for the price dif btwn CB and DR I will shoot the CB. I just have to do a little extra cleaning due to the plastic buildup
I have used all the wads described above and found that the ORIGINAL Windjammer wad is still the best buy. It is a great wad, economical, and is very lightweight as well. The main thing I like about them is there is virtually no plastic build up in either of my DB-81 barrels, and the wad patterns great. The Claybuster clone had the most plastic build up, and the Downrange was right behind it. The Spolar wads load nicely, however, they are cost prohibitive. They are considerably more money than any of the rest and don't offer any better performance than the others. For my money, original Windjammers are the only way to go.......Dan Thome (Trap2)
For the record, Windjammer never went out of business, the originators, Bill Jackson (now deceased) and Dick Loveland decided to retire and sell the company. Alaska cartridge agreed to buy it, but never paid them as agreed. Through the legal process they got everything returned to them.
Dan Kaven who has a large plastic manufacturing plant in Longmont, Colorado and had been making the finished product for many years for Bill and Dick, decided to buy everything from Bill and Dick. Take complete control and just keep making the wads, and has for about 5 years now. He has expanded the line to a 1 oz 12 gauge wad as well as 20 gauge. Being a good friend of mine, Dan uses my farm near Longmont to do continual testing of the wad, alway striving to make it better yet. Its a labor of love for him.
The reason you so many copies of the wad is that the patent expired in about 1998 and being such a effective and popular wad, a number of manufacturers jumped on the band wagon.
Dan, being a plastic expert has greatly improved the wad since taking over complete control. I shoot them exclusively and have for years. I hate to clean barrels and seldom see a need to as his formulation leaves little to no residue in my choke area.
As I understand it, the idea behind the multiple petals is that the wad will strip itself from the shot sooner and have less of an effect on the shot pattern as it continues downrange. 8 thin petals will fold back quicker than 4 thick ones.
Shot410, I get a occasional bent pedal, As I get with any wad I have reloaded.
As I only put in one wad at a time I Just bend it out as I am putting it in the carrier. I hear the stories about guys putting them in the dryer and always laugh, they must sit on the bag for a time before they try to use them. Mine are always well packed each bag has plenty of space in the 5000 count case, and I see no reason the should bend any more than any wad unless some outside pressure has smashed them for quite awhile. Ever wonder why AA used to pack all their wads in 500 count box's, 10 to a case?
Anyone who knew Dick Loveland, he moved from Colorado about 6 years ago and is living in Phoenix now, I understand his health is not real good.
What is the opinion on the 8 petal wad versus the 4 petal wad, does it make that much difference? I don't notice a price difference so the choice would have to be made on which one performs better, any ideas?