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Old September 21, 2000, 01:40 PM   #1
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Hi guys,

Well I don't reload myself, but I dissected a 00, 000 and #7 shotshell the other day to satesfy my own curiosity. I noticed that between the shot and the powder there is intricate wadding and any manner of other plastic hardware that seems to exist only to take up space. There was much less gunpowder then I expected. What is the purpose behind all this stuff between the powder and the shot? Would you get the same results from smaller shells with the same amount of powder and shot, sans wadding?

Just curious,

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Old September 21, 2000, 05:11 PM   #2
Chris McDermott
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No, without the wadding you would probably get a blown-up shotgun. The wadding is there to collapse and give the burning powder a place to expand, helping to control the rise in pressure and giving time to get the shot column moving.
It also helps to physically cushion the shot, reducing deformation of the pellets .
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Old September 21, 2000, 07:05 PM   #3
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Makes sense, thanks Chris
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Old September 21, 2000, 07:07 PM   #4
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Maxinquaye, the "wad/wads" serve two (sometimes three) purposes.

First: It seals the expanding gases of the burning powder keeping gas from escaping around it and assuring a complete "burn" of the powder.

Second: It provides cushioning for the shot to lesson deformation. The less shot deformation, the better the pattern.

Third: The wad is sometimes used to adjust the height of the shot column in the shell for a proper crimp.

If you loaded a shotgun shell with powder directly under the shot without wads, the following would happen. There would be incomplete combustion with gas escaping between the pellets. This would result in a "blooper" load. Low velocity pellets and unburnt powder would exit the muzzle. A lot of unburnt powder residue would remain in your barrel. Not good. Makes a mess and not very effective!

Regards! DaMan

PS - And Fourth: The hot gases directly contacting the lead shot would also create hot enough temps to melt some of the shot.

[This message has been edited by DaMan (edited September 21, 2000).]
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Old September 21, 2000, 08:26 PM   #5
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Max, sometimes I think that loading shot shells is more of an art than a science . It took me a while to get it figured out and once I did I stuck with 2 loads. One for 1 1/4 oz of shot, and the other for 1 oz. That way the only change is the shot size for each load, same shells, same case, same primers, same powder charge, just change the shot size. All I have to worry about buying is 2 different wads, and having 2 powder bushings and 2 load bars. In fact the bushings are never moved. One for the 1 1/4 and one for the 1 oz. If I need buckshot I buy it, for steel shot I do the same. I know that this is probably not the best way to do it but it works.

Carlyle Hebert

[This message has been edited by Southla1 (edited September 21, 2000).]
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Old September 22, 2000, 01:22 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I can't wait to start loading my own, which will happen when I buy a house and get some more room / a garage. Stuck in an apartment for now, but should be a homeowner in about a year. I imagine it adds one more element of fun to the whole shooting process - hell, shooting for me is 1/3 BOOM (WOOHOO), 1/3 pride in developing skill, and 1/3 tinkering with the guns. Deviding it into quarters sounds even better
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Old September 22, 2000, 05:20 AM   #7
Big Bunny
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Max...why not buy a LEE LOADER some wads, powder and shot/primers for 12ga and start right now!~! The instructions are in the box!
It is always later than you think for shooting sports.....

If we shooting sportspersons don't hang together... we will all hang separately !
Never knock another's different shooting interest or discipline...REMEMBER we are all but leaves on the same tree of freedom.
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