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Old April 6, 2005, 08:45 PM   #1
JohnKSa
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Why wads?

Are wads to reduce leading/fouling like gas checks in smokeless reloading or are they to improve accuracy?

If you use a wad can you dispense with filler materials in light loads?

I'm sure that some of these questions are probably pretty basic, but I'm just getting started in BP...
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Old April 8, 2005, 12:00 PM   #2
Steve499
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I guess wads might tend to do what you mentioned, maybe that's the purpose, but I always thought they were for prevention of chain-firing. I read somewhere that if you use wads you didn't need to fill the chamber mouth with grease. I always used some form of grease. After one chamber is fired you can see the adjacent loaded chambers are subjected to a great deal of blast and flash by the fact that the grease is mostly blown away from the ball. I would grease my chamber mouths even if I had a wad under the ball, maybe overkill, but I am becoming more careful with all my parts in my geezerhood.
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Old April 8, 2005, 06:09 PM   #3
Ozzieman
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Yes its all for chain firing

If your talking pistols, I personaly have never used wads and only use grease.
As far as filler, no as long as the bullet/ball makes contact with the powder.
You dont want a gap to form ether between the primer hole and the powder or the powder and the ball. The primer can flash across the top of the powder and will not ignite as well.
What kind of gun are you firing and how much powder are you using for the light loads?
I also agree with Steve499 If I was using wads there would still be grease in front of the balls.
Personaly my favorite is "Spit ball" comes in a hand condition like bottle and a flip cap and its reall easy to use, and very easy to clean.
If your talking rifles, Yes I have used plastic wads, there are different kinds and the ones I use look like a plastic rod about 1/2 inches long with cups on ether end. I place a little bit of grease on the bullet end to help hold the bullet in place.
The reasion for the wads is for gas check. With out somthing like the wad or the patch so much gas would excape around the ball that you would loose a great deal of energy.
With the gas check they work the same as lead bullets with hollow basses. When the powder is ignited is makes the wad expand to fill the rifling of the barrel and makes a good gas check so that all the energy from the powder is put into the ball until it leaves the barrel. Some that I have fired in a 50 Hawlkin I have found down range 50 to 100 feet beyond the firinig line and its easy to see the effect that they have.
Yes patches are more real like. But wads are just as fun to shoot.
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Old April 8, 2005, 07:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
What kind of gun are you firing and how much powder are you using for the light loads?
I just bought a Ruger Old Army and am trying to get smart so I can get a kit together and go shoot it!

I don't have a load for the gun--other than what the manual recommends, and I don't have ANY accessories. I bought it used, so I don't even have what it should normally come with. I downloaded the manual off Ruger's website. There are a couple of shops in the area with blackpowder supplies, I just don't know what to buy yet.

So far I know I need:

Caps
Powder (Pyrodex, FFFg, or Hogdon 777)
Nipple wrench
Powder measure
Powder flask (is this really necessary?)
Grease
Wads (sort of optional)
.457 Lead Balls
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Old April 9, 2005, 04:16 AM   #5
arcticap
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Powder Flask Recommended

Although a powder flask may not be necessary, I would recommend one for several reasons that have to do with muzzle loading safety protocol involving the safe handling of powder on a range where others may be shooting as well as yourself. That protocol generally states that people should not dispense powder from an open container, or leave a container of powder uncovered where cinders from someone's gun could enter it. Yes, there are funnel caps that will fit on a 1 lb. cannister of powder, but they usually don't have a very good spout or a valve to control the powder flow into your powder measure. So in essence, the use of a powder flask helps to promote the safer handling of powder. It also helps to control the flow and placement of powder into the powder measure. If the spout on a powder flask is properly trimmed, it can also be used to quickly measure a desired volume of powder so that a person could skip using the powder measure altogether for that load, but that is a more advanced option.
I've found that small plastic funnels can help me dump powder easier into whatever I am trying to load if I can find one that fits.

Last edited by arcticap; April 9, 2005 at 09:42 PM.
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Old April 10, 2005, 12:03 AM   #6
Springer45
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I also recommend a flask, for the safety and measuring reasons mentioned. Also, the one I have is much more compact than a standard container and thus leaves more room for other stuff in my range box.

I've used both wads and grease, but not in combination. I prefer just wads as they're not as messy. My indoor range doesn't allow grease either because it messes up the floor and wrecks their brooms. Wads will reduce fouling as well as seal the chamber against chainfires.
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Old April 10, 2005, 11:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Springer45 wrote: Wads will reduce fouling as well as seal the chamber against chainfires.
That's the greatest reason for wads, plain & simple. Ever experience a chainfire where two or more cylinders fire at once from the powder blast of the primary load? Believe me, you don't want to - use those wads to seal the other five chambers from catching a spark...



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Old September 15, 2005, 07:30 PM   #8
Remington kid
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If you plan on doing much shooting without haveing to clean between rounds or number of cylinders fired then I would suggest grease over each ball as well as grease on the cylinder rod. I like to place a dab of grease in the front of cylinder hole so that as the rod slides through it greases the rod well.
Shooting wads alone works fine and you may not have any chain fires but you will get binding and fouling from the black powder much faster.
Been shooting the cap and ball revolvers for many years and have never had a chain fire by useing black powder, a wad ( I like wonder wads) and grease over the ball.
A good grease is one large tube of wonder lub and one half in volume of bees wax melted togeather. Place in a teflon container and use a popcicle stick to apply the grease.
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Old September 17, 2005, 10:27 PM   #9
JohnKSa
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Can't I just use a light high-temperature grease? I would think that a product containing a lot of beeswax would provide less benefit than something like a light lithium grease.

Is there a reason for the more biofriendly products other than tradition?
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Old September 18, 2005, 06:46 AM   #10
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John, I know people who use the same grease they use to grease there trucks and have had no problems. The reason most of us are useing the thicker or heavier grease with the beeswax is to help keep it from melting and running out the end of the barrel on hot days. I could be wrong but it seems to me that it's also much , much cheaper than good litium grease.
Give it a try and see how you like and go from there.
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Old September 18, 2005, 09:18 AM   #11
4V50 Gary
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A green way

If you want bio-friendly, use corn meal for a filler and cover the cylinder mouth with lard to seal the ball in. You feed and fatten Mother-Earth that way.
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Old September 18, 2005, 09:42 AM   #12
Ozzieman
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Wads are NOT good enought by them selves.

A cap and ball revolver must have grease on top of the balls, if any powder resedue is on the side or around the ball it can cause a second cylinder to fire.
There is no way to insure this wont happen only with wads. So if your going to use wads also use grease.
The ruger old army is a very strong gun, and if you can get the ball into the cylinder far enough to rotate the cylinder its not to much.
But a good start for a 44 is mid 20 to 30 grans of black.
There really is no reasion for light loads, those guns dont kick that bad.
The powder flask you want to get is one with a spring loaded valve and a replaceable tube.
The tube will screw into the flask and the idea is to tip the flask up side down with your finger over the end. Open the valve and when its filled close the valve and tip it back up.
These tubes can be bought at just about any charge level or you can get long ones and cut them to the charge you want.
Just make sure you put some king of grease over the top and off you go.
I will try to find a location but some place like Dicks sporting should have them.
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Old September 18, 2005, 09:47 AM   #13
Ozzieman
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If you go to Dixie guns works at the following sight

You will see a colt flask, there cheep and work well. You can buy a tube for any charge you want.
Also they have for only 19$ a powder measure that I have that will measure black powder from 10 to 200 gran loads.

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product...oducts_id=3716
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