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Wads.....

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Firestick

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Feb 18, 2019
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Went out with the 58 NA Buffalo Hunter the other day. Was shooting the Lee R.E.A.L. in it and the wad thickness didn't seem to make huge differences. The 1/8" shot a little better than the 1/4" wad whilst shooting these but when t came to patched round balls WOW! Just for fun I tried using wads under my PRB and the 1/8" wad really tightened things up. Also found that 80 grains of Black MZ worked VERY well with both projectiles. Decent groups with 100 grain equiv under the R.E.A.L. but not as good as 80 and the recoil started to get uncomfortable at the bench. Wads are a totally new thing for me. Oh and 15mm wads worked better than the 5-8" wads. All cut out of wool felt from Durofelt product of course
 

Hanshi

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Jan 21, 2015
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1,239
I like the Durofelt for patches as well. At the range I've used wads of tissue paper to great effect; try to save the wads for hunting. And I only shoot prb. Sometimes they helps accuracy and even the velocity.
 

Firestick

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Feb 18, 2019
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166
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Wyoming
The wad under the PRB really improved accuracy. I think 1 3/4" group @ 50yds is excellent out of the old .58 with open sights and my 63yo eyes which have never been that great to start with!
 

Grimord

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I have found that sometimes a wad over the powder charge will stop patch burn out if your gun tends to burn patches. I think they provide a better seal over the powder and less blow by. I have an old (175 yrs) .35 caliber rifle that I inherited. Upon cleaning up the gun I found there was still a load init. For how long I don't know, but at least 50 years. The breech area had become somewhat pitted due to the old powder which must have absorbed some moisture. I couldn't get the gun to shoot worth a darn, and any patches I was able to recover were torn to shreds. Putting a wad over the powder got the patched ball above the corroded area of the breech, and now the gun shoots 1.25 inch groups at 50 yards.
 

Firestick

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Feb 18, 2019
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Wyoming
Have a friend who has a lathe in his shop and am going to see if he has time to run my wad punches in it. I need the stems turned down to 1/2" and trued up to the cutting end so I can run them in my drill press. Goes WAY faster and makes a pretty much perfect wad. Not sure it can be done but worth asking.
 

Dusty hunter

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Aug 9, 2019
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I have a 54 Caliber Thompson Center and I am not able to find any Wides after I fire the gun how far out should I look I walk to the 50 yard target and back to the rifle house and I have been unable to find any. I’m shooting 85 grains of Pyro decks and a round ball
 

Grimord

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SE CT
Have a friend who has a lathe in his shop and am going to see if he has time to run my wad punches in it. I need the stems turned down to 1/2" and trued up to the cutting end so I can run them in my drill press. Goes WAY faster and makes a pretty much perfect wad. Not sure it can be done but worth asking.
I have a set of Arbor Punches that I use to make my wads. I but old felt hats at the Goodwill store, and punch out the wad sizes I need on the end of a 4 X 4. In less than 1/2 and hour I have enough wads to last for a year or more.
 

Grimord

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I have a 54 Caliber Thompson Center and I am not able to find any Wides after I fire the gun how far out should I look I walk to the 50 yard target and back to the rifle house and I have been unable to find any. I’m shooting 85 grains of Pyro decks and a round ball
If you are not able to find your patches after a shot, place a tarpon the ground in front of your shooting lane about 10-15 yards out from the muzzle. You should be able to recover some of your patches to analyze them for loading issues.
 

Sgt Recoil

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Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
177
For me when it comes to wads;
Conical - (TC Maxi’s, Lee REAL) I use bore sized lubed Oxo
PRB - wasp 🐝 nest over powder then patch
Shotgun- I have a collection of older CIL 1/2” felt wads and over shot cards as well as an older pack of TC wool wads.
I learned on here that using oversized (overbore) wads works well in the accuracy department.
I’ve yet to try this. I am satisfied with the groups I’m getting thus far. But definitely something I would like to try.
 

Hanshi

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Jan 21, 2015
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1,239
I have a couple of very inexpensive punch sets from harbor Freight that work great. I use the low tech method of a dead blow hammer to punch out wads. In the past I've used wasp/hornet nest, a wadded up dry patch, toilet paper, leather and felt; all did a good job. I tend to use some kind of wad more often than not.
 

Grimord

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I had not heard of using a wad with a PRB. It improves accuracy? What diameter wad would be used in a 50 cal? Would love to try this and see how it impacts the process.
It does not always improve accuracy, but many times it does. For a 50 caliber rifle you would want to use a 1/2" diameter wad (felt) about 1/4" thick.
 

White Fox

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Mar 14, 2015
Messages
51
My first ML was quite rough back where the load sits. Could feel the roughness when patching. It was a 50 caliber, and on advice of Old Coop I tried various diameters and thicknesses of wool felt wads. Best combination was two eighth inch thick wads a bit above bore diameter. Seating them was like card wads in an ML shotgun- fold slightly, start in muzzle, carefully seat with ramrod so they flattened our against the powder charge.

Dry wads or lubricated seemed to make no difference. Some of my rifles like wads, for others it seems to make no difference.

And now I need to give some attention to a used Lyman Great Plains Rifle that just doesn't seem to want to shoot a decent group. Have already tried three types of patching, 3Fg vs 2 Fg, liquid and grease lubes. First steps will be to really clean the barrel by repeated soakings with Kroil, with scrubbing with JB compound between soakings. Hope it doesn't come to the point where a new crown is needed.
 

Hanshi

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Jan 21, 2015
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1,239
It's only a 30 minute job, or less, to polish the sharpness out of a rifle crown; and that's all that's usually needed. If the crown is damaged then it's a job for more serious work.

Yes, wads should be at least bore diameter or a bit larger. Of course this doesn't apply to wads of hornet nest, paper, etc. I've had noticeable benefits from using wads in some rifles while others exhibit no difference wad or no wad. But I've never experienced ANY unwanted effects from using wads. The most common result from using wads that I've noticed is more uniform velocities and smaller extreme spread.
 

coupe

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Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
24
Hanshi is nail on. I use a 5/8" hole saw teeth ground off to a sharp edge and punch out the 1/4" felt wad, in the 50 cal. An old stripped 9/16th socket sharpened for my 54 cal. with 85grs. 3f.
 
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