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SHotshell Without Plastic Wads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Gadzooks Mike, Dec 6, 2009.

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  1. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Member

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    I did a search on this site and found quite a few different answers to the same question - how does one load a shotshell without using a plastic wad? Seems like somewhere between the advent of smokeless powder and the invention of plastic (50 years or so?), there were either no shotgunners (doubtful) or different loads (probably). The answers I have seen here range from "You can't do that - MUST follow the recipe exact, even the type of plastic wad!" to "They used to use horsehair for a wad". What's the real scoop? Does or has anyone here used smokeless powder and stacked fiber wads or something to build a shell?
     
  2. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    Which caliber??

    I use cards cut from cereal boxes, cut em with a sharpened, sized, notched with a file then spun with a lee trimmer holder.

    A decent amount of qwik powder first in the case , a card then shot #9 is the best , good patterns with retained energy per shot .

    Acard on top , roll a bit of crimp , then seal with water proof carpenters glue .

    I do this with 38,357& 44 .

    The 357 I also have some formed 357max cases that are full length cyl . shotshells!!
     
  3. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Member

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    Well, actually I was thinking shotgun (12 gauge, 20 gauge) but this, too, is worth knowing - thanks!! I might have to give that a shot (pun not intended, but I won't kick it out, either) with my 40 S&W.
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    You had to have the recipe for the wad column, available in some older manuals.

    There was normally an overpowder "Nitro" wad to seal the barrel, a filler wad soft enough to cushion the launch a bit, a hard undershot wad to keep the pellets from burying up in the filler wad, and an overshot wad under a roll crimp. Filler wad thickness chosen to make the powder, other wads, and shot fill up the shell just right for a good crimp.

    In the late days of builtup wad columns, the overpowder wad was plastic and the overshot wad gave way to folded crimps. The very last development was the Winchester Mk V, which had a separate wrapper to keep shot from scrubbing against the barrel bore. That was soon obsoleted by the Remington Power Piston plastic all-in-one wad, spacer, shotcup combo that took over the industry.

    If you just want to fool with it, Ballistic Products still carries individual wads.
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  6. twice barrel

    twice barrel Member

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    When I first started reloading the Remington PowerPiston was something of a revelation as was the following Winchester AA equivalent. You could still find shotshell recipes in loading literature using overpowder wads as much or more as you did for powerpiston recipes.

    And there were a number of also-ran plastic shot cup and absorbing shot column components that quickly faded from sight.

    Alcan wads were available in all the reloading shops and many of the ecomomy shotshells were paper cased and fibre wad loaded.

    They worked fine too although you had more lead in your barrel instead of plastic. :D

    You may find what you need in blackpowder shotshell components but you will need to determine how thick of a wad pack for your powder & shot loading will leave the top of the shot at the right level to compress under crimp.

    Regards,

    TB
     
  7. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Yup, BP has them all!

    http://www.ballisticproducts.com/

    They will have a load book that SHOULD show which cases to use. To be period correct, you should use paper shells with the paper wads. You CAN use plastic shells, they'll work just fine.

    I just looked, apparently they don't have a manual for fiber wad loading. You could give them a call, they might be able to help with that.
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  9. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Member

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    Yeah, I saw that earlier, rc. Thanks. I put it in my shopping basket, along with a couple others. Then I tried to check out and it all totaled out to less than $6, and about $9 s&h. I emptied out the basket. <sigh> Guess I'll have to pay the usury.
     
  10. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    WIBDAMNED! They call it a shotshell loading log, then in the details say it's for loading with fiber/stacked wads! No wonder I didn't see it. That's as bad as what lee chooses to call some of their presses! Oh well, at least now we know!:confused::banghead:
     
  11. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    The original "wad cutter" was a device for cutting out wads. It wasn't a bullet. If you read some of the older shotgun loading manuals they will have a picture of the cutter. And there were wads in use when I was a kid. Plastic came later.
     
  12. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Member

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    Well, I ordered some of the brochures from BP in spite of the high cost of postage and handling. Was hoping to get more of those personal experiences and stories like those from GP, Jim, Twice, and qajaq59. I'm interested in hearing about it.
     
  13. Rugg_Ed

    Rugg_Ed Member

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    You got a hide out of Nitro cards, felt fillers, Felton Blue Streaks, and card wads ?? With a press to apply the proper pressure.
    I have some vary old data I good dig out if interested.
     
  14. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    The older guys in the shot gun section of THR might remember more about it. Boy,the years go fast!! I haven't thought about paper wads in a long time.
     
  15. berettashotgun

    berettashotgun Member

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    I have boxes and boxes of ''ALCAN" fiber wads.
    Picked them up on ebay about 10 years ago.
    Stack height in my steelshot loads needed adjusting, the fiber wads were the way to go.
     
  16. justashooter in pa

    justashooter in pa member

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    i load brass cased 12 gauge shells for black powder double hammer guns. midway sells the brass, which is pocketed for a large pistol primer. after the black powder you load a card, some felt wadding, another card (all from midway), and shot. cap it off with a card glued in place with elmers. thicnkess of felt wads adjusted to place overshot card just inside case mouth. works every tiume.
     
  17. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    I'll take some pics of the various fiber wads I have. I even have some paper federal gold medal shells that I could load just for old times sake.

    The original 600 JR. mec I bought came with a data sheet that had loads for both paper and plastic wads. The difference between the powder charges were dramatic, the paper card wads just didn't seal as well. The difference was as much as 20% MORE powder for a card wad, stacked wad column. I don't have that data sheet anymore, got lost in several moves over the last 50 years!

    My next order to BPI will include that brochure for sure. It would be nice for loading shells that don't have a shot cup to get more open patterns.
     
  18. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Or you could use the RCBS dies MADE for the CBC/magtech all brass shotshells.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=296286

    You'll also need the shell holder;

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=214811

    That die set-up can only be used in a single stage press with the removable bushing for the larger sized dies like 50 BMG and the shotshell die. The RCBS rockchucker, Hornady LNL, and the lee classic cast are 3 that I know of.

    One trick to get the brass shells to work better is to use a 10 gauge overpowder wad to make up for the thin walls of the brass cases. I use a 10 gauge PGS,(plastic gas seal), for overpowder wads in smokeless loadings. I don't know if it would work with BP though.
     
  19. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Polywad has a load that basically acts like a spreader load:

    http://www.polywad.com/spredr-shells.html

    They even sell the insert so you can reload your own
     
  20. Gadzooks Mike

    Gadzooks Mike Member

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    whoopiee I got the three pamphlets I ordered from Ballistic Products. Two of them were two pages (front and back) and the other was a single page. Shipping and handling charges were $5.99, for a total bill of $11.96. Not much there, really. The LOAD WITH STACKED CARDS was the one I was most interested in, and there just wasn't much there, aside from some general shotshell reloading reminders, a diagram of a load, and a paragraph about how they're biodegradable. There is one page (front and back) of loading data if you're looking for that (I wasn't). Anyway, I'm pretty much underwhelmed. Hope you all have better luck.
     
  21. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I am presently reloading for a 410 with 444 marlin brass, nitro wads and stacked cards. trying anything from 38 cal ball down to #4 shot. when I get it well under control I will post data here.
     
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