Homemade wads for rifles.

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firestick

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Thinking of trying some homemade wads in my .50 and .58 rifles under round balls. What do you use and how thick are they? What size punches do you use? Have they made a difference in loading and accuracy?
 

Many Klatch

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I have never used wads in a rifle, only cloth patches. However, I have made my own wads for use in a smoothbore when shooting bird shot. Depending on how thick a wad you want you can use Manila folders, 3 Ring Binder covers or 1/2" Celotex insulation. .50 caliber is close to 1/2" so a punch that size might work.

I'm not sure why you want to use wads instead of patching but it's all about trying something new.
 

cositrike

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I have never used wads in a rifle, only cloth patches. However, I have made my own wads for use in a smoothbore when shooting bird shot. Depending on how thick a wad you want you can use Manila folders, 3 Ring Binder covers or 1/2" Celotex insulation. .50 caliber is close to 1/2" so a punch that size might work.

I'm not sure why you want to use wads instead of patching but it's all about trying something new.
Hi Andy. I think some people try a wad under the patched ball, as it apparently makes a good gas seal and helps with patch burning etc. Simon
 

Nazgul58

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Shooting at the range I use paper mache made from newsprint. Use and old blender and water, press into a cookie pan, let dry. I was cutting them with a punch but found it works well just cut into squares. When dry put in a bag with some olive oil.
I can shoot all day without wiping. They wouldn't be the best if the rifle was left loaded, not sure it wouldn't migrate to the powder.
Accuracy is better with the wads.

My $.02.

Don
 

Grimord

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Hi Andy. I think some people try a wad under the patched ball, as it apparently makes a good gas seal and helps with patch burning etc. Simon
I have found (when shooting original guns with pitted bores) that a felt wad over the powder and under the patched ball seems to give better accuracy. Could be due to a better gas seal, but who knows? I also use a felt wad in my hunting rifles during the season, as the gun may be loaded for an extended time, and I believe the wad protects the powder from the lube on the patch. I cut wads, of the appropriate caliber, from old 100% wool felt hats that i get at the Goodwill Store on the cheap.
 

Many Klatch

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Hi Andy. I think some people try a wad under the patched ball, as it apparently makes a good gas seal and helps with patch burning etc. Simon
Hey Simon. I have never needed anything to keep the patches from burning so I have never had to experiment. Sounds like a good idea though.
 

cositrike

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Hey Simon. I have never needed anything to keep the patches from burning so I have never had to experiment. Sounds like a good idea though.
I’m going to try some in my Mississippi original, just to see if accuracy improves at all. If it does, I might try in in one of my flinters
 

Kansas Jake

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I've not used wads in my 50s and don't have anything larger. I do use them in revolvers. I have made them from Durofelt, an old wool blanket that felted up after washing and drying in the dryer and many folks use an old wool felt hat. All of these materials would work in a rifle. For 50 you could buy a cheap set of hole punches from harbor freight. I think there is a 1/2" punch in the set. I just put the felt on a piece of wood and tap out the wads with the punch and a brass headed hammer. You could probably use a regular hammer, but may end up with chips of metal flying. Either way a set of safety glasses is a good idea. If you have a stump with tight end grain that works better than a flat board to punch on. BTW I went the next size smaller than 1/2" for the wads for the revolver and used a dremel to grind out the inside diameter to around .455.
 

Thunder14

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I use Duro-felt $12 to my door for a piece 36 long 9 1/2 wide I used maybe 6 inches and already made my savings,I make for my 44”s and my 50”s I figure I can get about 900 wads out of this piece.And they ship when you place order arrived at my door in 1 day great company to deal with.
 

firestick

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I use Duro-felt $12 to my door for a piece 36 long 9 1/2 wide I used maybe 6 inches and already made my savings,I make for my 44”s and my 50”s I figure I can get about 900 wads out of this piece.And they ship when you place order arrived at my door in 1 day great company to deal with.
Do you use 1/8" or 1/4" as an over powder wad? I think 1/2" is a bit too much but hell I may try it.
 

Thunder14

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I use 1/8 and that seems to work out good for me,I tried them in my rifles and it does make a difference on how much cleaner barrel is after every shot And it has not effected accuracy at all.I shoot every day so it really saves me a lot of money on my revolvers not having to by wads.
 

Erwan

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Thinking of trying some homemade wads in my .50 and .58 rifles under round balls. What do you use and how thick are they? What size punches do you use? Have they made a difference in loading and accuracy?
Punch cutter (11,45mm for me), mutton tallow and that:

;)
 

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Gun Tramp

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Sure hadn't thought of that; tough and absorbent and perfect for wad material I bet! Thanks for a great tip, Erwan. But Dutch beer in France?
 

hanshi

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I punch out wads from felt and sometimes leather. I picked up a couple of hollow ground punch sets from Harbor Freight years ago. Includes enough punches for about every caliber I own.
 

tenngun

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I’ve never shot a wad in a rifle gun. Shoot a lot in my smoothies. I’ve shot dog hair, grass, moss, cedar bark, paper, hornets nest, flax tow and hemp tow. Can you not wad up a bit of wad material and run it down with your PRB?
Or use a bit of filler like cream of wheat or corn meal?
 

Grenadier1758

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The Cream of Wheat or corn meal filler is not really necessary in a rifle as the main purpose is in a revolver to position the ball or bullet at the mouth of the cylinder while using a powder charge that does not fill the cylinder. The meal will provide a bit of barrier between a very wet patched ball and the powder.
 

BullRunBear

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Couple of questions.
Will the Chinese punches at Harbor Freight hold up to use on Dura Felt? The punches I got from TOTW cost a lot more but have held up for thousands of wads. (The half inch punch is on backorder right now.)

Would a ball of tow lubed with lamb tallow accomplish the same thing as the wads?

Jeff
 

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