Wads?

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  • Last Post 26 July 2017
David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 22 July 2017

In FS #138, the late, well respected Ed Doonan, wrote in the article "Observations on Gas Checks": 

" After shooting thousands of wads I finally ran a test where I could prove that the wad hit the bullet after it left the bore of the rifle."

There was no further comments on this theory and so far I can not find documentation in another FS of the tests Ed ran to prove this theory. It may very well have been published and I have just not come across it as yet. 

Is there anyone who knows of this testing and can explain the reasoning behind this claim?  

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
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45 2.1 posted this 23 July 2017

Too little information............ Wads have been used every which way with other wads and lubricant between them. In normal use, considering the pressures involved, I would have doubts about any statement not having the wad in contact with the bullet base upon exit of the barrel.

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rhbrink posted this 23 July 2017

So does that mean that the bullet and wad separated from each other only to have the wad catch up with the bullet and bump it? Hummm??? I would think that it would have to be a really heavy wad to catch up with the bullet.

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GP Idaho posted this 23 July 2017

rhb: My thought also. Just how could a wad catch up? Was a really LARGE hollow point working like a parachute? I just can't see how that could happen. Gp

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 23 July 2017

According to John Alexander, Ed was a good friend of Dan Hudson. If there is no one on the forum has any knowledge of this comment or testing, I will contact Dan to see if he knows anything about this theory.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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BudHyett posted this 25 July 2017

This was an experiment Ed and I worked and discussed just before I went from Illinois to California, changing careers from agricultural implements to aerospace. We were of differing opinions as to the effects, but agreed there were effects of shooting wads. We continued these discussions over the phone and when I was back in illinois on vacation. 

I recall there were several lines of discussion and thought: 

  • Black powder, my experiments with a Trapdoor 
  • Gas check replacement, trying to lower cost
  • Case filler, less shot-to-shot variation 
  • Bore cleaner, leaving bore condition unvaried from shot-to-shot.

And our discussions centered on material: 

  • Toilet paper, not worth the effort
  • Plastic, see below
  • Fiber, better than plastic 
  • Flower foam, my later work.

Ed felt a wad's effect was not reproducible from shot to shot. The wad would compress in the bore and then decompress on exit. This action would vary from shot to shot producing inconsistencies. Add to this the weight of the wad being lighter, the wad would accelerate separately and faster than the bullet, striking the base and affecting the flight. Or even falling off the base at an uneven angle and  different point for each shot, more variation.

Ed liked plastic wads best,even with their problems. I did not want plastic in my barrel for any reason. With the shot, the effects of temperature and pressure will melt the plastic to a vapor that will cool and deposit itself in the grooves. This deposit is hard carbon and will grow unevenly in the base of the grooves affecting the bore ride of bullets.

Ed felt a gas check was consistent and produced predictable results with each shot. The wad did not and was not a substitute for a gas check.The most elusive research subject was the effect of a wad on bore condition. We retrieved bullets at 200 yards with lead and lube stuck between the gas check and the bullet in the gas check shank. We reasoned the gascheck was scraping the bore and helping give consistent bore conditions from shot to shot. Wads would not do the same. 

The Marston Municipal Ballistics Laboratory holds many memories. 

Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 26 July 2017

..... for those of that just can't leave things alone .... ( ..."" if it ain't broke ... break it so you can try to fix it... "" ) ...

>> wads and fillers are a strong magnet to our baser proclivities ...  mainly because it is only common sense that they should work just as we imagine their need and function ...

***************

that said, the only success i have had with either is using * filler * to get better ignition in light loads that i probably could have just used a more appropriate powder.  for instance, i am still using RE7, 4227, 2400, and unique ... with small charges for these powders ... where i really should run out and buy some tightgroup, which is well documented as THE powder i should be using for my plinking type shooting ...... ... oh, even unique at low charges ( 800 fps in 30 cal )  is hard to ignite and fillers help  ...

***************

but i haven't given up on trying fillers... or wads ... or abrasive lubricants .... to achieve constant bore condition ... ( which standard gas checks may sometimes do, as mentioned by b.hyett above ) ... some interesting result was found by using about 20 per cent original jb compound in my bullet lube ... thousands of shots showed no throat problems ...... and maybe constant grouping ...but without major sponsorship ( g ) i do not have enough data to go beyond the " gee this is fun "" stage ....

just some trivia.... ken

 

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