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Wad Cutter For A .44 Percussion Revolver

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by tpelle, Jan 23, 2013.

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  1. tpelle

    tpelle Member

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    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?
     
  2. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    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.
     
  3. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I contacted Ohio Ramrod on this forum:
    http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fusionbb/
    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!
     
  4. the Black Spot

    the Black Spot Member

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    I use a fired 444 marlin case, the wad is going to spread out when fired
     
  5. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    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.
     
  6. 44 Dave

    44 Dave Member

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    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.
     
  7. unknwn

    unknwn Member

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  8. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    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.
     
  9. Noz

    Noz Member

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    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.
     
  10. Hellgate

    Hellgate Member

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    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.

    circlefly.com
     
  11. swathdiver

    swathdiver Member

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    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?
     
  12. kBob

    kBob Member

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    I thought you meant a wad cutter design bullet.

    -kBob
     
  13. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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  14. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo Member

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    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.
     
  15. Dave Markowitz

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    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.
     
  16. AJumbo

    AJumbo Member

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    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.
     
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