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Author Topic: Wadding in Rifle loads?  (Read 1122 times)
SCLoyalist
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« on: May 26, 2013, 11:27:29 AM »

I've heard of using wadding such as tow or wasp nesting in smoothbore loads.   Was wadding
ever used in rifled barrels loaded with a single ball to replace or to augment the patching?

SCL
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Daryl
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 11:43:59 AM »

The only time wasp nest was every used that I've been able to discern, was by Sam Fadala. I've yet to see anything historical about wasp nest in any loads.
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Daryl
James Rogers
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 06:28:59 PM »

The only time wasp nest was every used that I've been able to discern, was by Sam Fadala. I've yet to see anything historical about wasp nest in any loads.

ditto
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Oyvind
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2013, 02:39:28 AM »

The only time wasp nest was every used that I've been able to discern, was by Sam Fadala. I've yet to see anything historical about wasp nest in any loads.


Sorry to stray slightly off topic here, but the use of hornet's nest for wadding probably pre-dates Sam Fadala. The earliest reference I've found dates back to the mid-1890s in the article "A Turkey Hunt" by David Dodge in the Outing magazine. Although it was published in 1895, Hunt relates back to events that occurred when he was younger, possibly before the Civil War. He mentions his neighbour Matt using an "amazingly long-barreled gun, which was an old "flint-and-steel"converted into a percussion".

Although the gun is loaded with shot, the loading process is described as follows and involves using hornet's nest for wadding:

"Matt had his own notions about loading a gun and believed that his method was the only sure one for turkey. The charges had to be measured with extreme nicety, a certain sized shot unmixed with any others, and hornet's-nest wadding had to be used. The last wad had always to be rammed till the ramrod had bounced out of the barrel seven times."

The article is available online here: http://archive.org/details/outing27newy (page 231232).
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James Rogers
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2013, 09:41:31 AM »

Thanks very much for sharing that reference. Had truly not seen anything past late 20th century references prior to this. I think one from 100-150 earlier might surface one day as well. There is an early reference for using Spanish moss.
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JTR
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2013, 11:00:32 AM »

The only time wasp nest was every used that I've been able to discern, was by Sam Fadala. I've yet to see anything historical about wasp nest in any loads.


Sorry to stray slightly off topic here, but the use of hornet's nest for wadding probably pre-dates Sam Fadala. The earliest reference I've found dates back to the mid-1890s in the article "A Turkey Hunt" by David Dodge in the Outing magazine. Although it was published in 1895, Hunt relates back to events that occurred when he was younger, possibly before the Civil War. He mentions his neighbour Matt using an "amazingly long-barreled gun, which was an old "flint-and-steel"converted into a percussion".

Although the gun is loaded with shot, the loading process is described as follows and involves using hornet's nest for wadding:

"Matt had his own notions about loading a gun and believed that his method was the only sure one for turkey. The charges had to be measured with extreme nicety, a certain sized shot unmixed with any others, and hornet's-nest wadding had to be used. The last wad had always to be rammed till the ramrod had bounced out of the barrel seven times."

The article is available online here: http://archive.org/details/outing27newy (page 231232).

And probably threw in a grain of salt for good measure!  Roll Eyes

John  Grin
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John Robbins
D. Taylor Sapergia
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2013, 11:42:03 AM »

Oyvind, welcome to the ALR site and thanks for that interesting post.

However interesting, there is much better advice on loading a pelter for turkey.
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D. Taylor Sapergia
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Oyvind
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2013, 12:34:20 PM »

It surely isn't a best practice example on how to load a fowler. In the article the author proudly describes how he bagged a turkey but "not exactly the one" he aimed at.  Grin
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James Rogers
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2013, 12:37:37 PM »

Yes, but some of us leave the techno, optimum performance issues for our modern firarms hobby and delve into the historical for their flintlock guns so I thank you for that reference once more.
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D. Taylor Sapergia
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2013, 03:51:26 PM »

James, you make a very astute observation:  one with much validity.  It is always a good philosophy to remember why we're doing this muzzleloading thing.  For the same reason, I shoot a longbow with wooden arrows.  I don't need my bow to be a rifle.  It's all supposed to be fun.
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James Rogers
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2013, 06:46:39 PM »

Just a different perspective. Actually I appreciate all the various facets of our hobby. Definitely much to be learned in all corners and crevices.
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Dphariss
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2013, 08:53:15 PM »

Yes, but some of us leave the techno, optimum performance issues for our modern firarms hobby and delve into the historical for their flintlock guns so I thank you for that reference once more.

Rifle shooting was a common, very common  sport in American at the time the Kentucky rifle and the people that paid attention to what worked best rather that just using whatever they would win more just as today. I think Davey Crockett as a young man won all the parts of a beef at a match and then sold it for $5. Since this was circa 1815-1820 this was a lot of money. He was pretty proud of himself too.
Riflemen, shooters and gun owners. There have always been these three classes.
If you go to rifle matches with your flintlock and shoot for money accuracy becomes more "interesting". But putting up money often frightens people off. Shooting on paper frightens people more than shooting at large steel targets. I don't care what the target is though I do like rifle matches with paper targets. They will teach you things that shooting at steel plates or rocks on hillsides will not.
I like to shoot. I travel 150 miles one way to shoot a 10 shot ML match and now a 21 shot brass suppository gun match. Have to leave here between 5 and 6 am. I like to shoot and I like the people.

I hunt with tallow or animal oil lubes and use them at a match at the Rendezvous. But in matches where the gloves some off and people shoot lubes that will shoot better? One must do what one must do to win or at least place well.
But a great many people in the shooting world are happy if the gun goes "bang" most of the time when the trigger is pulled.
They do no load development. They often shoot loads that are "comfortable" of course if they REALLY tested they would likely find they don't shoot worth a darn but they are happy. This is the "shooter" class. The riflemen class looks a little deeper and do not like missing shots that they KNEW were "on".
So I tend to experiment.
A few months ago I was out with an accurate brass suppository gun and a former co-worker was already on site with some friends. They were finishing up by shooting at one of those exploding targets about 175 yards out with various scoped and iron sighted BSGs. They had shot at it a lot. They had two 15 -16 year old boys with them. So after doing my load test I took it over got a standing rest set up. Let the younger boy dry fire a few times to get the light trigger figured out. He blew the target the first shot. But the rifle was sighted properly and it was accurate. The look on the kids face was priceless.

Wiping between shots is thought to be a waste of time. But our forefathers did it. Its documented.

I started making ML rifles so I had guns to shoot and hunt with and I loved MLing rifles.
I have always been a rifleman first. Shooting and missing a silly. Its why the Marines train shooters as they do and its saved many Marines in current operations where the enemy not only does not have a very accurate weapon in most cases, they don't seem to use it well either.
When someone starts telling me they don't care about accuracy or finding what works best, then I know they are a "shooter" at best. I also am fairly confident that they don't shoot for money very often.

Given participaton in rifle matches in our past, shooting for prizes or money with money spent to enter, ignoring the competition aspect is ignoring a LARGE part of what the "Kentucky" rifle was. This IS a major part of the rifles history. Sadly many seem to ignore it.

Dan

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James Rogers
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2013, 09:49:25 PM »

Exactly Dan. You have touched on one of those aforementioned "facets". There are many. Your example shows how a lot of them can also overlap. Sometimes its hard for all of us to realize or accept that others come at it from another angle.
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bigsmoke
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2013, 10:18:00 PM »

I really have no historical references for this, but have found it to work quite well regardless.
Back when we started making big bore rifles, i discovered in testing them that when the powder charges advanced  beyond 150 grains of Ffg, the patch really suffered.
Hence, I started using Ox Yoke lubed shotgun cushion wads.  The problem immediately ceased.  I found that by using the wads, I was able to run significantly heavier charges with no damage to the patch, I was able to load consecutive shots with no difficulty, and the chronograph tests showed about a 10% increase in velocity.  The accuracy maintained acceptable results, I was still getting 9 and 10 ring placement at 100 yards shooting point of aim at a 100 yard bull.
John
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smylee grouch
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2013, 10:23:27 PM »

Thanks Dan, very well said. I see shooters dismiss load development, I think because they dont know how to do it themselves. Its kind of a shame because some of them might be real good shots if they only knew how to be a little more particular.
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SCLoyalist
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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2013, 11:26:49 PM »


Hence, I started using Ox Yoke lubed shotgun cushion wads.  The problem immediately ceased.  I found that by using the wads, I was able to run significantly heavier charges with no damage to the patch, I was able to load consecutive shots with no difficulty, .....

An alternative to cushion wads is  a little corn meal between powder and patch/ball.   There was an article a few years ago in Muzzle Blasts suggesting corn meal filler for guns that you just couldn't get to group due to patch shredding.   I envision the cornmeal acting like a firewall and recovered patches aren't even scorched.    The downside is that loading loose cornmeal is a nuisance.
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Jim B ( no, another one)
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2013, 11:07:27 AM »

I had a friend in the '80s who's TC .50 would shred patches with his 'hunting load'.  Accuracy went south too.  Since we were picking them up to look at anyway, I suggested what I'd seen in one of Sam's books about using a second patch as wadding.  We balled up a used  patch on top of the powder, and the shredding on the ball-patch went away.  Accuracy improved enuff so he felt he could hit a deer at 75 yds. too.  He thought I was a genius.  I finally told him I'd read it in a book, and was as surprised as he was that it worked like it did!  I know thicker patches and more load development would have cured it too, but that was a workable solution with the supplies at hand.
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Daryl
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2013, 11:48:56 AM »

With summer coming, or here in some locals, be careful what you put between a too-thin patch and the powder. Causing fires can be very costly - in property and life.

I've always found a decent ball and patch combination NEVER shreds from the shot nor does it ignite the patch.  This pertains to every rifle, pistol and smoothbore I've ever developed loads for - once a thick enough patch is married to a large enough ball, the patch is always reusable. If it isn't, it isn't thick enough - period. 

The lube from the preceding shot should keep the fouling soft, so the next one can be loaded more easily. The lube from that one helps wipe down the inside of the bore right to the bottom of the grooves and keeps it's powder's fouling soft for the next one to be loaded - again and again - all day long, loading and shooting accurate shots, never "needing" to be wiped as the fouling never builds up.

If there is a long period of time between shots and the bore dries before you can load it again, accuracy will most likely suffer by not wiping then by all means wipe it, BUT - the lubricated load you use, should not require wiping if shooting continually.
 
As Ned Robert's noted of the "Dutchman" in his wonderful book, "The Muzzleloading Cap Lock Rifle" "Ven you loads der next von, you cleans der last von" - so no fouling builds up. If your combination does not do this, your combination is weak.
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Daryl
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