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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Breech Seating Wads (Read 1731 times)
karlssoni
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Breech Seating Wads
Jan 12th, 2022 at 2:22pm
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I'm curious.  The dental profession uses wax sheets for various applications.  It occurred to me that this sheet wax might be used for wads.  One could cut and place a wad simply by holding a wax sheet over the case and pressing.  I'm wondering if anyone has tried this, or am I missing some obvious reason why this wouldn't work?
  
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Schuetzendave
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #1 - Jan 12th, 2022 at 2:26pm
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Yes it has been done.
Yes it works to hold the powder in the case until the cartridge is chambered.
I have used pipe insulation for my wads for the past 25 years.
NO it does not foul the barrel and NO the wads do not melt.
  
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Schuetzendave
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #2 - Jan 12th, 2022 at 4:44pm
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For new shooters Please Note: Putting a wad on top of the powder leaves an air gap that can cause ringing of your chamber or barrel.

Always put the wad at the mouth of the case to prevent damage to your barrel.

The ring that forms can prevent extraction of the case if it occurs in a chamber or allows gas to go around the bullet resulting in gas cutting if the ring forms in the barrel.
  
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.22-5-40
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #3 - Jan 12th, 2022 at 5:18pm
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I use such dental wad material in my .25-25 Stevens Ballard.  It is a cast action, so I am only using real black powder..Swiss 3FG has proven to be the most accurate.  I press wad thru case mouth & seat direct on powder.  I then either can use a grease cookie on top with no fear of lube contamination of powder.  I also have been using these d.w. wads with Puff-Lon fiber filler to case mouth, & seating bullet.  Never used these wads with smokeless, but am thinking they might help seal a .30 gas check bullet going thru throat..would probably use a target paper wad between bullet base & wad to prevent wad sticking & riding bullet to target.  I purchased a box of 1/16" sheets online.  Best of luck.
  
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Schuetzendave
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #4 - Jan 12th, 2022 at 6:30pm
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When using black powder you must not have an air gap anywhere between the bullet and powder.
So most people fill the case with BP or fill the air gap with a filler.

With smokeless you can have an air gap but must not have it above a wad so MUST NEVER place the wad on the powder.
  
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.22-5-40
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #5 - Jan 12th, 2022 at 9:51pm
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When I started breech-seating my Stevens-Pope Ballard .32-40 using black, I could not get any consistancy until I seated a .31 Wonder Wad tight against bullet base after breech seating bullet.  When chambering case, you can feel case mouth contact and slightly compress wad when fully chambered.
    Concerning no air space between bullet base & powder
using black...how do you explain the Pope muzzle loading loading practice of pushing bullet down bore to 1/16" or so in front of case mouth.  Shocked
  
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RSW
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #6 - Jan 12th, 2022 at 10:39pm
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.22-5-40
That 1/16 gap ahead of the case mouth can be easily explained. When a bullet is muzzle loaded, the bullet pushes fouling as it is rammed down the barrel. As can be seen in the photo below, the amount of fouling will fill that 1/16 void. The fouling does occupy some space.
The bullet with the fouling was muzzle loaded in a .38-50 Rem that I have with a false muzzle. It was muzzle loaded and pushed through barrel and out breech to see how much powder fouling was accumulated. This is the typical amount of fouling with my duplex load of 4.5 grains SR4759 priming charge plus 48.5 grains (weight) Swiss 1.5 as the main charge.
  

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karlssoni
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #7 - Jan 12th, 2022 at 10:41pm
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.22-5-40 wrote on Jan 12th, 2022 at 9:51pm:
When I started breech-seating my Stevens-Pope Ballard .32-40 using black, I could not get any consistancy until I seated a .31 Wonder Wad tight against bullet base after breech seating bullet.  When chambering case, you can feel case mouth contact and slightly compress wad when fully chambered.
    Concerning no air space between bullet base & powder
using black...how do you explain the Pope muzzle loading loading practice of pushing bullet down bore to 1/16" or so in front of case mouth.  Shocked


I have been wondering about the practice of seating the bullet a bit ahead of the case, which would seem to result in a "no-no" gap.
  
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MartiniBelgian
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #8 - Jan 13th, 2022 at 1:52am
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Well, up to now nobody has been able to provide the origins of the 'no air gap with BP'-statement.  On the other hand, W.W. Greener in one of his books warns about the danger of using too fine powder granulation when reloading, and advocated - if no other powder available - to use a partial charge (yes, with air gap).
I believe W. W. Greener over anonymous internet lore.  Mind you, there will be a relative truth to the statement, but it most certainly isn't the absolute it is touted to be.  Matter of fact, I have shot probably more than 1,000 BP reloads in original Martini rifles chambered in 577-450 with the dreaded air gap.  I consider it to be less hazardous than fillers in such a radical BN case.
I do keep the powder volume over 75% of the case volume, however - which means I use the Brit service charge of 80-85 grs instead of around 110 grs (!) of powder for filling the case completely.
And the phenomenon is actually well-known and documented as early as the end of the 19th century (by Vieille), and more recently by C. Dell.  But still the anonymous internet mantra continues to be spread...
« Last Edit: Jan 13th, 2022 at 6:50am by MartiniBelgian »  
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #9 - Jan 13th, 2022 at 5:41am
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Have shot 40 gr FFF under a 350 gr bullet in my Pacific 45-70. No problems. Good OH practice load. 

Internet mantra. Yep. It must be true, I seen it on the web.
  

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karlssoni
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #10 - Jan 13th, 2022 at 9:04am
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MartiniBelgian wrote on Jan 13th, 2022 at 1:52am:
Well, up to now nobody has been able to provide the origins of the 'no air gap with BP'-statement.  On the other hand, W.W. Greener in one of his books warns about the danger of using too fine powder granulation when reloading, and advocated - if no other powder available - to use a partial charge (yes, with air gap).
I believe W. W. Greener over anonymous internet lore.  Mind you, there will be a relative truth to the statement, but it most certainly isn't the absolute it is touted to be.  Matter of fact, I have shot probably more than 1,000 BP reloads in original Martini rifles chambered in 577-450 with the dreaded air gap.  I consider it to be less hazardous than fillers in such a radical BN case.
I do keep the powder volume over 75% of the case volume, however - which means I use the Brit service charge of 80-85 grs instead of around 110 grs (!) of powder for filling the case completely.
And the phenomenon is actually well-known and documented as early as the end of the 19th century (by Vieille), and more recently by C. Dell.  But still the anonymous internet mantra continues to be spread...


It might be instructive for somebody in possession of an antique BP cartridge to give it a little shake to see if it is, in the words of the old Lucky Strike slogan, round, firm, and fully packed, or is there an air gap?
  
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MartiniBelgian
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #11 - Jan 13th, 2022 at 9:31am
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For fixed cartridges, as a rule a full case will deliver better accuracy.  But not in the case of 577-450 and a military martini.  accuracy was pretty haphazard, and I got the snot kicked out of me - literally.  There could be a link between those 2, of course...
  
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Schuetzendave
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #12 - Jan 13th, 2022 at 10:00am
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Lyman: Black Powder Handbook & Loading Manual. 2nd Edition pg. 130 "Load Density: A full case of powder with no air space is considered loaded to 100% density. This is a good idea with black powder cartridge, especially for accuracy. If the powder charge does not take up all of the air space in the cartridge case, a filler is recommended."

SPG Lubricants BP Cartridge Reloading Primer. pg. 22 "THERE SHOULD NEVER BE ANY AIR SPACE LEFT BETWEEN THE BASE OF THE BULLET AND THE POWDER BECAUSE A RINGED CHAMBER COULD RESULT. ALWAYS TOUCH THE BULLET'S BASE TO THE CARD WAD" and "AGAIN WE WANT TO STRESS THAT THE EXACT AMOUNT OF BLACK POWDER USED IS UNIMPORTANT. THE IDEA IS TO FILL THE CASE COMPLETELY TO THE BASE OF THE BULLET."

Charlie Dell's barrel ring testing indicated it did not occur frequently and may not occur when the rifle is always fired in a level condition - however ringing would start as you started to shoot the rifle in a more elevated (UPWARDS) position.

So those who indicate that they got away with using procedures other than those that are recommended - may yet encounter a time when it may not be so successful.

I have seen a few cases where people have ringed their barrel or chamber and were not even aware of it since sometimes it takes a bore scope to see it.
« Last Edit: Jan 13th, 2022 at 10:34am by Schuetzendave »  
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #13 - Jan 13th, 2022 at 10:28am
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As far as wads go, I have always used one> I use them for two reasons. First to keep powder from spilling. second to ask as a warning that I have doubled charged a case. I use a wad seater to push the wad down to about .070" off the powder. If I double charge the case, Then I can't seat the wad to the stops and I know that something is wrong. 
I have always used natural materials for my wads no plastics no rubbers. The two best materials i have used is felt and cork. I have been using cork for years now as for a couple of bucks I can buy enough sheet cork to keep me in wads for a couple of years. You can get it in almost any office supply store.

40 Rod
  
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gnoahhh
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Re: Breech Seating Wads
Reply #14 - Jan 13th, 2022 at 11:40am
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Question for those who employ cork wads with breech seated bullets, smokeless loads, what thickness do yo use?
  
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