The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 10, 2011, 11:10 AM   #1
jolasa
Member
 
Join Date: September 29, 2010
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 59
Wads - Black Powder vs. Smokeless

Why is it that black powder cartridges need a wad over the powder, but smokeless powder does not need a wad over the powder?

JonS
jolasa is offline  
Old September 10, 2011, 12:31 PM   #2
GP100man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2007
Location: Tabor City , NC.
Posts: 1,932
Some use the wads to take up space on a given load as there has to be no air space in holy black loads , but most use em to help lube the bore for the next shot & softening the fouling .

I have some exp in the holy black, but maybe someone will chime in with a better answer , just maybe .
__________________
GP100man
GP100man is offline  
Old September 10, 2011, 12:56 PM   #3
brickeyee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Posts: 3,342
If there is a gap between the black powder and the bullet base there is a chance of an explosion that can destroy the gun.

Many BP cartridges are VERY full, and the powder is compressed in a separate step before seating the bullet.

If there is any room wads are used to take up the space.

Wads can also be deigned into the load to provide lubrication.
brickeyee is offline  
Old September 10, 2011, 07:33 PM   #4
Ideal Tool
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 6, 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,080
Hello, jolasa. Where did you hear smokeless loads don't need a wad? There have been numerous write-ups in Handloader by Mike Venterino on wad use with both black and smokeless. The main reason with smokeless is if using a stick type powder like 4895 or 3031, these grains can impact bullet base and cause inaccuracy. That said, I have found the use of any wad in my .38-55 Win. degrades accuracy..But then I am using IMR4227, which is pretty fine. In all cases (pun intended), I insert wad flush with case mouth..and let nothing but the bullet base push it into case, to it's place..this insures no space between wad & bullet base.
Ideal Tool is offline  
Old September 16, 2011, 02:31 PM   #5
jolasa
Member
 
Join Date: September 29, 2010
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 59
But if use wad with smokeless, powder does not fill the cartridge, so where does wad go?

On top of powder (air gap above wad and below bullet)?

Behind bullet (air gap above powder and below wad)?
jolasa is offline  
Old September 16, 2011, 04:03 PM   #6
Ideal Tool
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 6, 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,080
Hello, jolasa. I have heard some guys putting wad down on powder, some partway down.. Me? I don't trust that wad slamming into bullet base as a secondary projectile. There have been many cases or chamber ringing & it is not clearly understood just what causes this. I myself have given up on fillers..not wads..they are still used but firmly against bullet base. I was experimenting with an extra light .40 bullet..275gr. in a .40-70 str. (2 1/2") Sharps. Using a light charge of fast burning powder a 1gr. tuft of Kapok was pulled out to resemble a cigar..this was carefully inserted over powder..but in no way compressed..seating the bullet & wad pushed it down into case.
When fired, bullet left bore, but right in front of chamber was this Kapok..now compressed into a .40 wad 3/8" thick. How did this wad end up at the breech end of a 34" long barrel AFTER the bullet left bore? What if next round had run over this wad..It couldn't be very good for the bore!
That was the last time I ever used a filler over smokeless.
Ideal Tool is offline  
Old September 16, 2011, 07:49 PM   #7
Hammerhead
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2004
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,623
According to Paco Kelly you should never push the wad down onto the powder with smokeless. I put them in the case mouth and let the bullet seat them. I use them sometimes in .357 and .44 spl lead loads to reduce smoke and they keep the lube from migrating to the powder charge if it melts in a hot car or ammo can. They also seem to keep the gun cleaner, esp. when used with liquid alox.
I use .060" thick vegetable fiber wads.
Hammerhead is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08492 seconds with 9 queries