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DIY Wads for Revolvers

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by eccentricjackal, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. eccentricjackal

    eccentricjackal Member

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    Hi all,

    I've been looking into making wads instead of paying £5.50 per hundred (plus shipping), and found the only suggestion on felt to be Durofelt, which by all accounts is perfect... if you live in the US...

    Unfortunately overseas shipping removes the money saving from it unless I buy in huge quantities.

    So my question; would any normal 1/8 inch wool felt do the job or is the firm grade essential? - the only British companies i have found that specify density are specialist engineering companies and charge a small fortune for the stuff...

    Thanks for any help!

    Ryan
     
  2. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    My understanding is that you want the hard felt. Maybe a medium grade would work well enough. I've considered trying felt wads as a filler in which case the density shouldn't be an issue, and wonder about its use as an over powder wad for my rifle with a conical to seal the bore.

    Another critical issue is that it's not made with synthetic materials that would melt in the barrel.
     
  3. eccentricjackal

    eccentricjackal Member

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    Thanks rodwha,

    That was the impression I was under, I was hoping someone might have used softer stuff and be able to give further info.

    Thanks, I'll be sure to only use the real wool stuff!

    Ryan
     
  4. Blackpowdershooter44

    Blackpowdershooter44 Member

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    You can make lube pills, also known as grease cookies. Basically, pour a mix of wad lube, (beeswax, tallow, and paraffin), into a shallow pan and you can punch out wads just like that. Just make sure you use a mix that has a good amount of beeswax in it, because you don't want the lube pill melting and contaminating the powder.
    I know this isn't the solution you're looking for, but it may give you another option.
     
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  5. Missionary

    Missionary Member

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    Greetings Ryan
    I to make anything I can...
    Check into the resale houses for old felt hats. In our area in East ILLinois is the Goodwill Stores and the Pet Rescue store. One or the other will have an old felt hat that no one wants . For $1 can end up with hundreds of felt patches. Have a set of hole cutters... make my own "lube" of olive oil and bees wax. So far my revolvers and long barrels have had no gripes.
    Mike in Peru
     
  6. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Search the Web for durofelt they have what you want.
    It might even be in the 'stickies' on THR blackpowder section
     
  7. eccentricjackal

    eccentricjackal Member

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    Blackpowdershooter44, that sounds like a good alternative, if i dont get hold of any felt I'll definitely try that out (will probably try it out even if i get some!).
    Missionary, that sounds worth looking into, I was hoping to find a consistent supply like you guys have with durofelt but failing that I dont mind cutting a few hats!
    Ryan
     
  8. eccentricjackal

    eccentricjackal Member

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    kbbailey, that is exactly what i want, unfortunately I am in the UK so postage makes that source very expensive... I havent found a similar supplier here yet other than people selling 100% wool 1/8 inch craft felt, so I am looking for info on whether anyone has tried sort of thing that instead of the proper durofelt stuff?
    Ryan
     
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  9. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Oh, I see.
    Missionary is right in post #5. I shot up a pretty good hat before I found durofelt.
     
  10. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    Ryan, from my limited experience I can tell that the wad is nothing more than a lube carrier. Use any cheap, 100% wool felt that you can lay your hands on and leave the round balls to scrape the barrel.

    Best,
    Boris
     
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  11. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    I use a 50-50 mixture of beeswax and Crisco as an over-the-ball lube. It remains firm enough to handle in 90 deg heat. When you fire chamber #1 and inspect chamber #2 you will still see most of the lube in chamber #2; it doesn't get blasted out.

    I make lube flakes by pouring the melted mixture onto a cookie sheet that has been covered with wax paper until I get a puddle about 1/8 inch thick, then allow it to cool and solidify. Then break the sheet into squares about 1" by 1" and carry them to the match in an Altoids tin. After charging the chambers, I take a piece of the lube flake and just push some of it into the chamber mouth with my fingertip.

    Now I know many if not most prefer to have a lube wad or cookie between the powder and ball, so I have tried using this mix that way too; pour the powder in the chamber, then press in a layer of the lube flake, then seat the ball. And it works just fine.

    So my point in boring you with all of this is, you don't have to take the time to cut circles of lube out of a sheet of the stuff. Whether you want it in front of the ball or behind the ball, suit yourself...just mash it in there and it will work OK, at least for cowboy action shooting. If you are doing precision target work at 50 yards, I don't know, never tested that situation.
     
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  12. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    If you are lubing the wads I wouldn't expect the density to be much concern, but as already stated, stay away from synthetic fibers
     
  13. Stormson

    Stormson Member

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    I use old felt hats I pick up from yard sales/flee markets etc. Just make sure they are 100% wool is all.

    If the wad seems too flimsy just add more bees wax/ gulf wax to the mix next time... as has been stated, they mostly just carry the lube. Any 'scrubbing' action provided by the felt itself seems to just be an incidental bonus...
     
  14. eccentricjackal

    eccentricjackal Member

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    Thanks everyone for all the advice, I'll order some standard wool felt, and be on the look out for hats!

    The wax block and grease cookies look interesting, once I get a feel for what to expect from the more standard wads, I'll try them out and see how it goes!

    Thanks again,

    Ryan
     
  15. Cooldill

    Cooldill Member

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    I use Durofelts soaked with a blend of lamb's tallow and bee's wax. I use the 3/8" hollow punch.
     
  16. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Imho, if you're interested in the most accurate loads, I think the cream of wheat type filler, and top dressed lube is your best bet.
     
  17. Dorset_Dave

    Dorset_Dave Member

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    When I used wads I punched my own out of cork matting using a hollow punch and lubed the balls before seating. Now i just use wheat bran and continue to lube the balls. Being a fellow UK resident I found it difficult to source Durofelt and cream of wheat so I substituted. I must say I prefer a filler to wadding.
     
  18. eccentricjackal

    eccentricjackal Member

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    cooldill, do you find the 3/8" big enough to fill the chamber? I have bought a 7/16" but was planning to bore it out a little as it is a little smaller than the chamber, does the wax expand it?

    I use semolina instead of cornmeal (think it is basically the same) to pad out, but haven't been using any lubricant at all up to now... oops... and read Gatofeo's guide which suggested DIY wads...

    Do you find filler and something like Crisco (Trex here in the UK) over the ball is more accurate?

    Ryan
     
  19. TheSquire

    TheSquire Member

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    Hi Ryan
    I spoke to these guys a few years ago, looking for felt wads for a BP shotgun http://www.britishfelt.com/felt-products/industrial-felt/. The list prices are very high but they may have off cuts etc. I didn't pursue it as I stopped going BP clay busting but they may be able to help.

    Tim
     
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  20. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I have used both methods.
    If shooting paper for score, I would load with the filler and top-dress the lube. If I had intentions to leave the revolver loaded for an extended time, I would also use this method. I don't like the idea of oil against the powder. However, I've never had a problem.

    When I am in the field, woods bumming or whatever, I have a leather belt pouch with 2 dozen balls, 2 dozen lube wads, caps, and small bottle of powder. .45acp casing for a measure.
     
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  21. Blackpowdershooter44

    Blackpowdershooter44 Member

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    Personally, I can't stand using plain crisco, it's very slippery and melts really easily and you can barely hold onto the gun after using it. Mixed with beeswax it should be okay.
     
  22. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Member

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    These are for .36, Navy caliber.
     
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  23. Blackpowdershooter44

    Blackpowdershooter44 Member

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    I've used the 7/16" for .44, (.4375) and they work okay, but probably would be better if it was .451" or .450"
     
  24. whughett

    whughett Member

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    I've used felt from various web sources and different hardness ratings. As post #10 says their just a lube carrier and filler. Wads recovered from down range show little burn or deformation evidence, and if one wanted to go to the trouble, reusable if recovered from a grassy area. Also the 50/50 mixture mentioned often, of beeswax and Crisco, works well for me. I have found, perhaps its the Florida heat, the lube will develop a rancid smell after a few months, so I mix only what I need and make a limited run of wads also. I also use pills in black powder cartridges, but find them too messy to use over the ball, first shot and the lube has been partially melted on adjoining chambers resulting in lube being deposited on out side surfaces.
     
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  25. Oohrah!

    Oohrah! Member

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    OK, this is heresy, and I'm a cheapskate. I make my own square wads out of regular soft 100% wool felt.

    Durafelt is expensive regardless of shipping costs, and I couldn't find any old felt hats. So, I went to a fabric store and bought a square yard of regular undyed 100% wool felt to give it a try. Trying to punch that stuff was a disaster because it never cut clean, and was tedious and difficult. So, I took my paper cutter, the table top kind, and cut a bunch of 1/2inch squares.

    Lubed them up with my mix of tallow/beeswax/paraffin (Gatafeo's mix I think). They shove into the .44 cylinder just fine and never had a problem. I challenge anybody to find a fault with this method.
     
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