Wad Cutter For A .44 Percussion Revolver


January 23, 2013, 04:16 PM
I have some felt that would be suitable for cutting wads for my .44s, but don't have a wad cutter. I know a lot of folks use a Harbor Freight 7/16" hole punch to cut wads, but 7/16" = .4375 which seems too small for me.

It just occurred to me that I have at home a single old 45-70 cartridge case, and I wonder (if I can find it) if that would be suitable, once I sharpen the case mouth, for punching the wads?

If you enjoyed reading about "Wad Cutter For A .44 Percussion Revolver" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
January 23, 2013, 04:40 PM
your chambers are probably closer to 45 caliber. Dixie and a few others sold/sell cutters that are slightly over size to make sure the wad fits snugly, but without bending or buckling. A 45-70 case would probably do the trick If you cut the case back , annealed (hardened) the brass and sharpened it, you might be able to chuck it into a hand drill.

Some guys have ground the teeth off of hole saws and sharpened them. Seems it would be easier to buy the 45 cal. punch.

January 23, 2013, 05:14 PM
I contacted Ohio Ramrod on this forum:
He makes excellent quality punches at a reasonable cost ($10). I have 2.
I bought the Harbor Freight punches and it wouldn't even punch through my felt!

the Black Spot
January 23, 2013, 06:32 PM
I use a fired 444 marlin case, the wad is going to spread out when fired

January 23, 2013, 07:18 PM
7/16" = .4375 which seems too small for me.
And it would be if the wads didn't expand to the side when you seat a ball on top of them. Which they do.

44 Dave
January 23, 2013, 09:08 PM
I made a wad punch out of a 3/8 pipe drilled a little way in with 7/16 then ground the outside and finished with a chain saw file.
It is not the best but used on pine end grain have punched out almost 100 wads with a little touch up to the edge.

January 23, 2013, 10:08 PM
This is the shi! :
a little but pricey, but I cut a perfect wad from Durafelt extra-hard 1/8" by twisting it with my thumb & finger, I really needn't say any more.

Dave Markowitz
January 24, 2013, 10:27 AM
I use the HF 7/16" punch that I polished out on the inside using a Dremel and a small cylindrical grinding wheel. The resulting wads work well in m .44s.

January 24, 2013, 12:40 PM
Harbor Freight sells sets of hollow punches that when slightly sharpened work well punching out wads. I found that the 11mm punch is perfect for my 1860s. When I bought mine they were around $7 for a set.
I use old plastic cutting boards as a pad to punch on. I've never worn on out.
With a claw hammer you can punch enough wads in an hour to make you sick of the job and produce enough wads to last a WHILE.

January 24, 2013, 01:32 PM
I use a 7/16" punch chucked into my drill press on slow speed and they punch out with a whole lot less noise than with a hammer. It helps to hog out the step on the inside channel of the punch so they moore smoothly emerge without flying all over the room. After they are cut out THEN I lube them. An alternative is to buy Circle Fly 45cal fiber wads (shotgun wads) and lube them and split them. They also make pre-lubed wads of various sizes.


January 24, 2013, 06:22 PM
I like the .480 wads that I bought from the PossibleShop. But would like to make my own using Durofelt. Know where one can get a .480 wad cutter?

January 24, 2013, 07:38 PM
I thought you meant a wad cutter design bullet.


January 24, 2013, 07:41 PM
12 mm punch is .472 should work.

January 25, 2013, 12:36 AM
The 7/16" wad cutter is too small. It's a drop fit in the chamber.
You want a wad that fits firmly in the chamber, and touches the sides as it's being rammed in.
Upon firing, pressure flares the felt wad outward, creating a scraping effect against fouling.
I use my 7/16" wad cutter to cut 1/8" felt wads for my .44-40 rifle. I lubricate the wads with the homemade Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant, then seat them on the black powder in the case.
This is followed with a 212 gr. soft lead Lyman 427098 bullet, also lubricated with Gatofeo No. 1 lube. The 24" barrel remains far cleaner than with any other lubricant or loading method.
For the .44 cap and ball, I use a .45-caliber wad punch. This punch will also be useful for creating wads in cartridges loaded with black powder, such as .45 Long Colt and .45-70.
Cut your wads to be .45 caliber in .44 and .45-caliber cap and ball revolvers. In the .36 caliber, use the 3/8" wad cutter.

Dave Markowitz
January 25, 2013, 09:08 PM
The 7/16" wad cutter is too small. It's a drop fit in the chamber.

In my Pietta 1858 Remingtons, my EOA 1858, and my EOA Rogers & Spencer I use a HF 7/16" punch slightly reamed out (more polished than reamed out) with a grinding stone in my Dremel. One thing to keep in mind with cheap tools from China is that the nominal size may not be very accurate.

January 26, 2013, 06:39 PM
I use a 7/16" punch that is polished out by chucking it in a drill press, running it at low speed, and using a Dremel tool with a fine grinding cylinder to gently and slowly remove steel from the inside of the punch. It's awkward and hazardous to do, so be careful. The wads I get fit my ROA just a hair snugger than Ox-Yoke wads, but I never have measured them. They work fine.

I use the drill press to punch out the felt, usually without actually running it. The punch heats up when used as a hole saw with the poly cutting board or end-grain wood block I use for a backer, so why bother? I hate melted cutting boards.

I find it easier and faster to lube the stock before cutting it; I can get a more consistent application of the lube than if I try to soak a mess of wads in melted Bore Butter.

If you enjoyed reading about "Wad Cutter For A .44 Percussion Revolver" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!