Author Topic: Wad cutters  (Read 2202 times)

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Offline Elijah Gunn

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Wad cutters
« on: March 04, 2010, 04:31:45 pm »
I was thinking about making a wad cutting punch for my neighbor who has a .44 Navy. What I need to know is what diameter should I make it? Also, would that size be correct for punching some over the powder wads for a single shot BP pistol in .45 cal?
I've read that a regular 3/8" punch will work for making wads for a .36 cal, but I'm wondering if making one that is about .380 dia. would be a little bit better.
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Offline lrrice

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Re: Wad cutters
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2010, 09:27:19 pm »
File the rim off a 45 colt case, drill out the primer, insert a small bolt with a spring through the case and out the primer and put a couple nuts on the end.  Chuck it up in the drill press and file the edge sharp.  Using the drill press you can cut hundreds of felt patches (i use old hats) between sharpenings.  The spring and bolt keep spitting the wads out so you don't fill up the case.  357 works pretty good for 36 cal also.

Offline coyotejoe

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Re: Wad cutters
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2010, 08:07:00 am »
Hey, I thought I invented that idea!  ;D  Steel .45 ACP cases work better and stay sharp longer. Set a block of wood, end grain up, in the drill vice as a cutting board. Leather wads work well and are much easier to cut than thick cardboard. An old belt will make hundreds of wads, depending on your waste size of course.
I had thought this was going to be about wadcutter bullets in C&B revolvers. I was going to say the very best groups I've ever seen from a revolver was with stubby little 172 grain, .452" wadcutters in a .44 Remington. Groups at 25 yards from rest were actully just one very slightly ragged hole, about 5/8" ctc.
The story of David & Goliath only demonstrates the superiority of ballistic projectiles over hand weapons, poor old Goliath never had a chance.

Offline Flint

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Re: Wad cutters
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2010, 01:14:08 pm »
A felt wad is not going to know the difference between 3/8 (.375) and .380....
Flint, SASS 976, NRA Life

Offline Elijah Gunn

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Re: Wad cutters
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2010, 01:30:02 pm »
A felt wad is not going to know the difference between 3/8 (.375) and .380....

Yeah, I do get to splitting hairs sometimes.
What will you say on Judgement Day?

The BANKERS win every war.

When gardening for food is outlawed, I'll BE an outlaw.

Offline longcaribiner

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Re: Wad cutters
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2010, 06:42:43 pm »
How does a flat circular wad still cover the powder when the ball is seated on it.  On firing, doesn't the wad get pushed against the ball.  apping around the curve of the ball and being then less than bore diameter?

Offline Draxx

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Re: Wad cutters
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2010, 07:00:41 pm »
 I was wondering about the advisability of using a 12mm punch for a .44 c&b revolver. 12 mm equates to .472, so I assume this would be a bit on the big side to work well?

 11mm comes out to .43 caliber and I have not found an appropriate standard size that equals .44-.45. I am looking for a hammer type punch, but not excited about spending $25.00 for one from a black powder shop when a commercial option maybe out there. Any thoughts?

Offline lrrice

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Re: Wad cutters
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2010, 07:39:56 pm »
The wad isnt a gas seal, its to carry lube and prevent chainfires

Offline Elijah Gunn

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Re: Wad cutters
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2010, 03:54:21 am »
I guess a better way to rephrase my original question is, What diameter punches are used for cutting wads for .36 and .44 cal c&b pistols?
 My best guess is about .370 -.380 for a .36 cal., and about .445-.455 for a .44 cal. I understand these things aren't gas seals, but there should be a optimal size where they work the most efficiently .
What will you say on Judgement Day?

The BANKERS win every war.

When gardening for food is outlawed, I'll BE an outlaw.

Offline coyotejoe

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Re: Wad cutters
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2010, 07:41:36 am »
http://www.circlefly.com/html/products.html   They sell wads in .380" and .455" diameter. The 1/8" card wads are $8.00 per 1,000 and the fiber wads are $8.00 per 500. I buy the 1/2" long fiber wads and cut them in half. That gives me 1,000 wads 1/4" long for eight bucks. You can get several thousand wads for the price of a wad punch and even though I'm retired and living cheap my time is still worth something to me. I do take the time to lube my own but they sell lubed wads also for not much more money. They also have cork and felt wads but the price goes up on those.
The story of David & Goliath only demonstrates the superiority of ballistic projectiles over hand weapons, poor old Goliath never had a chance.

Offline BobJ

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Re: Wad cutters
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2010, 08:42:27 am »
Thanks for links, CJ! I have picked up a bunch about this cap n ball business lurking around here, and have already saved by tapping into the links you and others have supplied.

Offline Gatofeo

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Re: Wad cutters
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2010, 01:01:58 pm »
Card wads don't contain enough lubricant to keep fouling soft. That's why most folks use felt, for its ability to soak up lubricant.
The best buy on real wool felt will be found at Durofelt at http://www.durofelt.com/
The company is located in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Some years ago I visited the lady who owns it. Her family, in India, has a large felt factory there that still uses wool to make felt. Most other felt found today, especially in the U.S., is polyester and not wool. Polyester will leave plastic fouling in the bore.
Also, she offers hard felt, which is the best for lubricated wads. I believe that the hard felt has something of a scraping effect on fouling. For cap and ball revolvers 1/8-inch thickness is preferred. It's also a good thickness -- lubricated, of course -- between patched round ball and powder. The lubricated felt wad will keep fouling softer, allowing more shots between swabbing.

Right now, Durofelt's Closeout section is offering hard felt, 1/8-inch thick, 6 X 36 inches, for $6. Rather hard to beat that deal.

As to punch size ... I've used a 3/8 inch punch for 25 years. Paid $1 for it at a yard sale. For the .44 cap and ball (which is really closer to .45 caliber), use a .45 caliber punch.
You can buy a hole punch set, made in China, from Harbor Freight and others for less than $10. The set has a 3/8ths punch, but not a .45. It skips from 7/16ths (good size for making wads for .44-40 and .44 Special) to 1/2 inch (.50 caliber) which is too large for the cap and ball .44.
You can get a .45-caliber punch from Buffalo Arms for about $20. A good punch, and proper hard, wool felt, are cheap investments that will provide thousands of wads.
Wonder Wads are about $8 for 100. Do the math.
"A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .44."

Offline coyotejoe

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Re: Wad cutters
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2010, 05:56:31 pm »
I still prefer the Circle fly fiber wads at 8 dollars per thousand and I only have to open the bag. ;D
The story of David & Goliath only demonstrates the superiority of ballistic projectiles over hand weapons, poor old Goliath never had a chance.