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wonder wads

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by pierre bouchard, Aug 24, 2008.

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  1. pierre bouchard

    pierre bouchard Member

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    Just a question:

    One talks a lot about the use of bore butter or Crisco over the chambers. But, instead, what about the use wonder wads ? I use them all the time and I find them more practical than bore butter... the cleaning is easier.

    I guess it is maybe a case of historical authenticity, correct ? But I want to make sure with you that the use of wonder wads is as safe as bore butter.
     
  2. 6Gun4Fun

    6Gun4Fun Member

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    I use them with my Old Army. I like to load the ball so it is just below flush on the face of my cylinder. I don't use cream of wheat as a filler, so I put enough powder to seat properly. It works out to be about 35 gr with a felt wad.
     
  3. Niner

    Niner Member

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    I like them too

    What would make you think Bore Butter or any other grease is historically authentic? Can you imagine Civil War officers with a grease soaked pistol in their holster? Or them reloading with grease in the middle of a battle?
     

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  4. Voodoochile

    Voodoochile Member

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    My 23 year old Pietta '58 NMA likes them & tends to produce it's best acuracy with a lubed wad under the ball but my 26 year old Pietta '60 Army & my 1 year old Pietta '58 NMA with 5-1/2" barrel seems to shoot better with just some grease over the ball than to use the wads.

    I've found out yesterday that there is no room for a Wad in my chambers when I use my 220gr bullets.
     
  5. 6Gun4Fun

    6Gun4Fun Member

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    I discovered that with my old army too. Since I'm loading for hunting, I wanted max powder with the 220 gr Lee hollow point. The bullets are pre-lubricated and fit tight in the chambers so chain firing isn't a concern.
     
  6. K.A.T.

    K.A.T. Member

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    Lube Pills

    Try some lube pills, they work great!
     
  7. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo Member

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    Historically, beeswax was used as a bullet lubricant in cap and ball revolvers.
    I know I've read a contemporary account that mentions the conical bullet being dipped in melted beeswax before the paper cartridges were placed in their little wooden blocks and wrapped in waxed paper.
    It may have been mentioned in the report written by Charles Dickens (yes, that English author) when he visited the Colt's plant in New Hartford in the 1850s.
    The earliest reference for greased wads I've found is Elmer's Keith's writings. But since Keith was taught how to load cap and ball revolvers by Civil War veterans (circa 1912) perhaps they showed him the value of a greased, felt wad twixt ball and powder.
    Keith doesn't say where he learned the practice, but he much preferred greased felt wads instead of lubricant over the balls.
    When using conical bullets, you must sacrifice powder to accommodate the space taken by a greased felt wad. Since conical bullets already reduce the amount of powder that may be used, you end up losing even more velocity.
    For conical bullets, it's best to either smear bullet lubricant into their grease grooves (if so designed) before loading or smear lubricant over the conical bullet after seating.
    I've yet to find a conical bullet as accurate as a ball of proper diameter (.380 for the .36s and .454 or .457 for the .44s, depending on chamber diameter).
    I don't hunt deer or similar game but if I did I'd use a conical bullet because of its greater weight and energy.
    Balls work fine for me, as I only want to perforate tin cans or paper, or the occasional cottontail rabbit.
    You may wish to read my long-winded article on use of the cap and ball revolver in this site. It includes a formula for the best black powder lubricant I've yet to find.
    This lubricant recipe has been named Gatofeo No. 1 on the net. I blush but accept the honor.
    You may also order Gatofeo No. 1 bullet lubricant from a gunsmith in Ohio if you'd rather not make your own. An internet search should find him.
    I've been away from the message boards for a couple of years for personal reasons. I'll check in occasionally.
     
  8. scrat

    scrat Member

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    guilty of using both. wonder wad and greese on top. historicly in correct or not. This is what i do and i often find that with a warm water soak and running 2-3 patches afterwards im done. So i will continue to do both. My accuracy at the range and ease of cleaning pays off.
     
  9. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I love Wonder Wads and use them in just about everything.
     
  10. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    Not using filler, grease or wonder wads leads me to wonder whether or not there was a relatively higher rate of chain fires in the old days or during battle, especially if loading with less than precision made cast round balls? :rolleyes:
     
  11. 6Gun4Fun

    6Gun4Fun Member

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    I lube up a swath of wool felt material with natural lube 1000 plus bore butter and cut my own.
     
  12. scrat

    scrat Member

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    Without being there and having a lack of knowledge of how it was i. Do not remember where but i do recall reading somewhere. That the men used to spit on the fronts of the chambers to wetten any powder. Now i really dont know how true this is as it seems to me that it would require a lot of spit. Same time i heard of coating the balls with bees wax. Then out in the field they would just load them up. The beeswax would be forced out or on top of the ball. That and the ball was already coated with it. That one i am more to believe.
     
  13. Mike 56

    Mike 56 Member

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    I make my own wads and lube pills ( grease cookies) homemade 1/8 inch wads are so much than Wander wads. Lube pills also work well and they are cheaper and easier to make.

    Mike

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Member

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    K.A.T. and Mike 56, also along the same line what Gatofeo said... got the right idea...I have found lube pill to be the best product buy far to make or buy. When was the last time anyone shot lets say 200 balls without cleanin yur rev? Lets say 100 rounds. I don't know hw many times I have mentioned it here but apparently no body believes me, or are too lazy to try um:D Jus kiddin' folks.
    Make um and try it, never like wooly wads, started with Crisco (in the Desert), Used runny Bore butter...then wax mixed lube cut out to .44,.36, .31calibers, parafiin makes it as stiff as you want, bolwax/beeswax makes it more plyable...and both carry you favorite lube, mine is Olive oil/soy oil.
    If you make just buy some let me know. Call on Rifle Wayne in Voy his wife sells um.

    SG
     
  15. Mike 56

    Mike 56 Member

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    I make my pills using one part paraffin wax one part bees wax and one part Crisco they stay firm don't melt. I have been using mine over the powder but others say they use them over the balls. How do you use the pills.

    Mike
     
  16. K.A.T.

    K.A.T. Member

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    Lube Pills

    Place them between the powder and ball. I like rifle to make um and I like to shoot um.
     
  17. mec

    mec Member

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    The possibles shop sells some wool fiber /lubricant impregnated wads that have worked much better than wonder wads for me. The barrel stays clean for extended firing. The same is true of some wads that were available a while back impregnated with Gatefeo lube.
    Without wads, the ony way I can shoot accurately is to clean the barrel after each cylinder full. The over-ball lubricant is widely thought to prevent flashover chain fires. With properly fitting caps and bullets/balls, I have not had any chain fires with extensive shooting of unlubed projectiles. Accuracy does not suffer from omitting the lube nor does the lube slow fouling buildup in the barrel or elsewhere on the gun. On the contrary, the revolver tends to gunk up much more rapidly with the addition of various commercial overball lubes.
     
  18. Elbert P . Suggins

    Elbert P . Suggins Member

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    I watched a YouTube video of some guy in Europe who was demonstrating loading a C and B and he actually put a big smear of BoreButter over the powder and than he pressed home the round ball. I tried this and I had ignitions 30% of normal and one ball actually fell out ten feet in front of the barrel. He surely must have tried it before he made the video. It always contaminates the powder so I don't if he was intentionally pulling every viewers leg or what. But he tricked me into trying it. I felt like an idiot. I do however smear extra borebutter on the top of the wad before I ram it down and than follow up with the ball. This has always worked for me.
     
  19. English Bob

    English Bob Member

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    Sounds like he's an idiot doing that! Sure putting a smear of Wonderlube over the ball is fine...in fact it's obligatory in most official comps, but never straight onto the powder....that's just plain daft.
     
  20. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    There are some rather famous 'misfeasance' videos about. Two that come to mind: a program on the cable outdoor sports channel in which a black powder 'expert' loads the wonder wads ON TOP OF THE BALL, and one that finally got pulled from YouTube in which a self-proclaimed expert charged the pan, closed the frizzen, put the hammer on full cock and THEN poured the powder in the muzzle and rammed the ball down. AND THEN he looked down the barrel!
     
  21. 1858rem

    1858rem Member

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    id save the wads for shot loads. one over powder an one over shot w about 25 grains pyro p works excellent at up to 15 feet. i just use paper cartridges for rb loads and have a 12 cc syringe (no needle duh,) full of bore butter so i can squirt a nice small bead where the ball and cylinder touch so there is not an excess to gunk up the gun... and no mess on your fingers. being kind of runny, bore butter works good for this, mix of .5 oz beeswax and 1.2 oz olive oil works well too.
     
  22. Oddman

    Oddman Member

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    Wonder Wad between 22 gr. 3 F and .454. R.B. (no Filler) works great. Using lube over the ball gets a little messy, but both methods work.
     
  23. 1858rem

    1858rem Member

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    thats something i couldn figure out when i first got my 58'... when shootin rb do you completely fill the rest of the cylinder w/lube even if its only say a 15-20 grain load? well i never figured that one an jus filled it up completely until i ran out of rb cause i only got one box, after that i had been shootin 200g conicals for the last yr. now i have just got a rb mold i use a syringe an just put a bit of lube in.. minimal amount really. but when the wonder wads get here today ill try em out, if they are good ill order this pack of 1000 dry for 26$ an lube em up myself. in my opinion its worth it to pay for the pre cuts cause i don't have a punch an would spend more than id save gettin stuff together......( less i make my own punch:rolleyes: Off to make a new tool!!!)
     
  24. scrat

    scrat Member

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  25. 1858rem

    1858rem Member

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    ooh! i forgot about those. i meant to get some of those in my last order!!! they would be excellent for shot loads lol. but do you use them with lube on top of the ball too, and the wad as kind of a gas check? or just one or the other?
     
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