Wad Loading Problem

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cannonball1

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Just got thru making an English Sporting 12 Ga Shotgun. I am new to muzzleloading SHOTGUNS and having a hard time loading the gray dense over powder wad. I purchased a gray dense cardboard wad (probably a Nitro Wad). The first shot is ok, but the second one is hard to push down and nearly impossible to get it tight at the breech. No problem with the shot wad and the olive oil wad (Skychief method). All of my MLing experience over the years has been fun, but this is not. I've got a lot of Nitro wads. Is there anything to make them easier to load like lubricating the wad or any other method? I read some of the other blogs where some are several over shot wads over powder. How about other solutions?
 

Nobody85

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I have a problem with my os cards being too air tight. It pushes down about half way then makes a sharp/loud bang, like a huge pop gun. Scares the hell out of me because my first instinct is that there was an ember in the breech that ignited my charge while my hands are over the barrel. I kid you not it’s loud! I’m no expert with fowling piece either, but lube never hurts.
 
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i have no experience with the "gray dense" cardboard wad.
but i do use a overpowder wad punched out of a corrugated cardboard box. it has the honeycomb web between two solid thin boards. it is maybe 5/32 thick. i figured it was nothing that would work but wanted to shoot my new fowler. i now have recovered 6 of these cards from my shooting range. this one is unfired but shows the thickness and webbing.
i squeeze some stiff lube into ght rim of this card.
the recovered cards show black on the back, pellet imprint on the front and considerable carbon scraped into the webbed area.
using these i shot 22 shots during load development sunday and the last went down the bore and seated on the powder as easy as the first. i used a square load of 70g fff, same volume #7.5 shot and a dripping wet with bear oil 1/4 inch wool felt over the shot.
counted (twice) 162 pellets in a 24 inch circle at 35 yards. it kills grouse grave yard dead!
what powder are you using? 20221005_190704.jpg

20221005_190742.jpg

a card i recovered 15ft from muzzle. these go down very easy as they vent trapped air and i would assume act like a piston ring scraping fowling as they go down.
20221005_195921.jpg 20221005_195825.jpg 20221005_195842.jpg
 
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Don't use the nitro card, I mean why, what for? Even some modern target cartridges don't use them any more.

I don't even use fibre wads.

On a side note this is why I say 12 gauge and not 12 bore.
Its a gauge. It is not a single measurement of bore. There is a huge variation in bore measurements and component products that are labeled 12gauge.
When it comes to fitting components to a muzzloaders barrel, assume nothing!
 

Brokennock

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I have trouble with nitro wads too, they area very tight fit and usually dry. Most of the time I do not use a nitro wad.
I only use them for the SkyChief load which I don't fire many of at a time.

Does it feel difficult due to fouling or due to air pressure?

I no longer have the air pressure issue. I build the entire load at the muzzle and push everything down to the powder together,,,, no trapped air issue. I do this for both shot loads and for roundball when using wads.
 

Walkabout

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You might need to swab between shots. I get powder build up in my 10ish gauge and I swab with alcohol every couple Shots. I've never had a gun foul so badly, I think there's a little pitting in the bore where the powder is taking hold.
 
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You might need to swab between shots. I get powder build up in my 10ish gauge and I swab with alcohol every couple Shots. I've never had a gun foul so badly, I think there's a little pitting in the bore where the powder is taking hold.
Yep nothing adds more fun to a day in the field carrying swabbing gear and liquid!

Just take a wee tin of olive oil and beeswax mix. No more crusty fouling my friend.
 

cannonball1

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I have a short starter; I certainly don't want to clean after every shot; making leather wads - no; I learned to overcome the air pressure; pitting - it is a new shiny barrel made by Rice. I really want to use all of these nitro wads up and was thinking about the lubricating the Nitro W, but thought it would contaminate the powder. With a bit of bees wax added and only doing the edge might do the trick. Thanks Brits. Hope it works.
 
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I use the thick wads over the powder. There is some resistance as it scapes the fowling from the last shot, but nothing too difficult. My first thought is that you simply need to try a different size wad. As others have said, shotgun wads are notorious for varying in size between manufacturers. If you are currently using a 12 gauge wad, try a smaller size from the same maker, or a 12 gauge wad from a different maker.
I'd love to see the shotgun too. I've seen some of the other beautiful guns you have made.
 
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I have a problem with my os cards being too air tight. It pushes down about half way then makes a sharp/loud bang, like a huge pop gun. Scares the hell out of me because my first instinct is that there was an ember in the breech that ignited my charge while my hands are over the barrel. I kid you not it’s loud! I’m no expert with fowling piece either, but lube never hurts.

I have had that problem too. It is due to air trapped under your over shot wad. Solution is to put a small cut in the edge of the wad to vent the air as you seat the wad. I first used a box cutter to cut a small triangle- too much work, uneven size, sometime too big to trap #8 shot. Now I use a rotary leather punch plier and get consistent results.
 
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@cannonball1 Man, that's a beauty. I have one very similar that was made for me long ago. I really enjoy shooting it. Mine is whithout a choke as well. I did some patterning recently with mine. I used 90 gr of Goex 2f, 1 thick wad over the powder, 1 1/4 oz of 7 1/2 chilled lead shot, 1 thin wad over the shot, and finally one saturated cushion wad on top. It's the classic SkyChief load you mentioned. It shoots the best patterns at both 30 and 40 yards of any load I have tried. It has a wicked shot percentage at 30 yards. So hang in there. When you get the right wad size and load combination that gun will be superb.
 

cannonball1

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Aggie, Thank you. It has shot six shots thru it with four being patterned at 35 yards. No problem with the pattern. I just need to find a way to get the over powder wad down the barrel easier with the second + shots. I will try the usable suggestions starting with the bees wax and olive oil on the edge of the Nitro Wad.
 

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