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What a lubed wad can do

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by crgator, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. crgator

    crgator Member

    Took my 1851 Navy to the range yesterday. I double loaded one cylinder (oops), so I put a lubed wad in, capped it, and shot. Later, when the range was cold and I went to check my target, I found what a wad can do. At 15 yards, it punched a hole through the target and put a good dent in the cardboard backing. I found the wad about 5 feet in front of the target.

    That was a bit of a surprise. I really didn't expect the felt wad to travel that far, with that much power. That thing would really smart if you got shot with it.
  2. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    That's why reenactors cannot use wadding.
  3. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    what do they use?
  4. VA27

    VA27 Well-Known Member

    I've heard of some using corn starch. Put the powder in, fill the rest of the chamber with corn starch and compress it solid with the rammer. Bore Butter on top of that.
  5. makos_goods

    makos_goods Well-Known Member

    We talked about this on a "blank" thread a few days back. They use 5 in 1 blanks for cartridge pistols and a pre-fragmented filler like cream of wheat in percussion pistols.

    I emailed a friend of mine who works for a West Coast movie prop house after that thread and asked what they use for cap guns. He told me they avoid them when possible because they can't have anything other than gas and fine particulate coming out the muzzle if there are actors or extras downrange. They use a lot of percussion guns modified to accept cartridges yet no true "conversions" in the sense we are used to as shooters.

    He did tell me they use a polymer buffer material in front of the powder and then use a thick sticky grease mixture that has to be warmed slightly to add it to the chamber mouths. One of the old prop masters came up with the grease, he told me that he'd get back to me on what it was.

    There are now a bunch of small firearms and prop houses that serve the smaller film production companies. He told me they each have their own techniques for things like percussion blanks but they are relatively similar.

  6. CHM

    CHM Well-Known Member

    The guy I work with had done Civil War stuff for decades and he mentioned wads were prohibited. His colleagues use a cocoa puff inj front of the powder.
  7. kbbailey

    kbbailey Well-Known Member

    I don't reenact...so I didn't know. My late uncle was into reenactments, he claimed that they couldn't even have a ramrod for their rifle during their "battle".
  8. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Well-Known Member

    I got to go to my first Civil War Re-enactment last spring. I had a great time wandering around BSing with the re-enactors and this is a question that I posed to them. A lot of them told me that they used cornmeal because it compressed good, and more than a few said they use Cocoa Puffs cereal. Just stuff a couple in the chamber and ram them down on the powder. I would have never guessed.
  9. Acorn Mush

    Acorn Mush Well-Known Member

    I've had this happen at 25 yards so often that I gave up on using the lubed wads. Went back to cornmeal with a dollop of beeswax/mutton tallow/parafin lube on top. The wads I had used were felt that had been soaked in the afore-mentioned lube, and they would pierce the paper and stick in the target :cuss:.
  10. Phantom Captain

    Phantom Captain Well-Known Member

    Are you all sure it was the wads?

    I've been shooting many many years. Make my own wads out of felt and lube them with bore butter or the cabelas brand of the same.

    Never have I had a wad go that far, pierce a target or dent the backing. In fact shooting at a normal 8 yards target I can actually see the wad fall at about 10 feet or so. And this is out of all my revolvers regardless of load. .44s, .36s, Remingtons, Colts, or even the Walker and Dragoon. There is always a zone of them on the ground just a bit out from where I'm standing. Patches from my roundball rifles do the same.
  11. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    I used commercial lubed wads in my 1851 replica cap'n'ball over powder under the ball. At twenty five yards the wads would cut the target paper and dent the backing. They may have been stuck to the ball most of the way and seperated just before impact, but I would have five holes made by balls and five neat holes cut like wad cutters. I gave up on lubed wads and went back to filling the chamber over the ball with crisco slightly stiffened with beeswax.
  12. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    kwhi43@kc.rr.com Well-Known Member

    Some of them will stick to the ball all the way to the target, and some will
    fall off anywhere in between. Not good for the best accuracy. That's why we
    don't use them in serious competition. Always use Creme of wheat.
  13. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    I have used lubed wads with black powder and Pyrodex P .44 and .36 cap'n'ball and bp loads for .45 AutoRim in an altered .455 Webley. My first experiments were not successful so I quit pursuing the idea. May be someone else has had more success.

    Over time (a month) the lube from the wad adversely affected the powder (even with a cardbord disc over the powder).

    I had a few instances of flaming wads following the balls or bullets down range. Good for laffs.
  14. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    kwhi43@kc.rr.com Well-Known Member

    You really have to be careful in late summer when everything is dry. More
    than one fire has started from wads. When a smolding wad goes into dry grass, well guess what.
  15. ClemBert

    ClemBert Well-Known Member

    So, I guess the secret to eliminating chain fires is to stuff a cocoa puff under every ball?
  16. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Well-Known Member

    5 in 1 blanks aren't too safe either. I had a fellow shoot me twice in the back during some training in 1989, at about 8 feet..., they went through my t-shirt and burnt little holes in my skin.

  17. 45-70 Ranger

    45-70 Ranger Well-Known Member

    Remember those plastic Speer practice bullets?

    We had a Lt. that was running the tatical unit at the PD. This guy got the brilliant idea of using those red cased plastic primer fired practice bullets from Speer in training. Now here's where it got really stupid, ok more stupid...

    Lt. Dummy tells the troops to suit up in the kevlar, helmets and all the tac stuff, then wait at the training center for his arrival. He gives all the troops .38 revolvers and has them break up into teams....He has guys doing entry with other guys being the bad guys. All are shooting at each other with the little black plastic wadcutter projectiles and are yelling at the same time.

    It appears that the little plastic bullets were making some hard hits on some of the guys and were in non protected locations:eek: Some required real first aid for broken skin, mild punture wounds, and a couple for both, with light burns to boot! All the guys were yelling at eachother when one said it was the Lt's fault:cuss: The Lt. got in big trouble over his so called "Reality Training" system and was delt with by the division Capt.:cuss::fire::cuss: It seams the Lt. got transfered to traffic div. after a few days and the SWAT unit got a new Lt.......one that had more horse sense!:)

    So I can go along with the wads hitting folks and causing damage. I know one now retired Lt. that can attest to that:neener::neener:

    Oh, and that Lt. was not me folks! I was a Sgt. and worked for a living!:p
  18. 7mmstalker

    7mmstalker Well-Known Member

    My High-School play was a western melodrama, including a bit of gunplay. In my bit part a 12ga. coach gun was blasted into my back from about 15 feet. On opening night the guy shooting fired both barrels "for effect", the effect was lots of bits of paper wadding through my flannel shirt and into my back. No real injury, but boy did it sting!!! The following performances we kept the action the same, but the shooter wisely agreed to point the scattergun a ways to the side of me.
    Last weekend my Son and I were shooting a newly acquired 44 cap and ball revolver. Some of the loads had an oversized (.480 ?) wad. Many of the wads stuck to the back of the ball ~30 yards to the fir wood target, two of them stayed with the ball through 2inches of the first board and into the next.
    Some years ago my Pops had a stage prop .45 semi-auto, with some pretty unique ammo. The cartridges were completely solid except a small cavity at the front that held a primer, similar to what a hollow-point round would look like, but primer in the "bullet" nose. The barrel was also completely solid, a shallow hole at the muzzle to fool the camera, and at the rear instead of a chamber , there was a small pin protruding to fire the blank with the charge in it's nose. Didn't get to try firing it, there wasn't enough "ammo" and not sure if we could re-load it. Supposedly the rounds would have enough of a charge to push the slide back and operate much like the real thing. Seems like it would have to be fired from the "open bolt position" like some full auto military designs. WWII "Grease Gun" 45ACP is like that -I think.

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