Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Well there Larry, that is an assumption on your part--a wrong one. I've been reloading for shotguns long before I wandered onto the scene here. I've not tried puffed wheat, but I have used similarly sized styrofoam beads in the past. I've also cut my share of styrofoam discs with homemade wad cutters i still have packed away somewhere. I've also used plastic beads, dry rice, wheatina, cardboard, bits of wood, sawdust, excelsior, wadded paper etc.. Mind you, this is long before I ever seriously got into 16 ga guns, but i really doubt the gauge makes much difference.
Most of this experimenting with different fillers was in an effort to come up with light kicking 12 ga. trap and skeet loads as well as light 20 ga loads. This also predates easily found 7/8 and 1 ounce one piece plastic 12 ga. wads by at least a decade and a half. It was also back when Alcan, Winchester, and Remington UMC 20 ga. nitro card wads were both common and very, very cheap. Most were had for the asking since hardly anyone wanted them anymore. There were tons of them lying around in gun shops and at trap and skeet ranges where componants were sold. How different it is today. thanks to Circle Fly, I can afford them for my 16 ga reloads and can easily get them.
As far as reliable patterns go, nothing will teach you faster than trap shooting. I've done a bunch, a whole bunch. Everything I've learned and observed from both patterning sheets and target breaks indicates that the best patterns are realized from well designed wads specific for the job. The next best is the right sized card wads in the bottom of a plastic wad shotcup. Both are very close in results. Styrofoam discs in the bottom of the cup and covered with a thin over shot wad will also serve well.
However, any filler that can mix with the shot, will interact with the shot, and will also disrupt the shot stream to a greater or lesser extent. The effects are random, unpredictable, and will occasionally cost you a bird or a target. It happens.
If the filler is non-penatrable by the shot, firm enough to resist set back and damage from the shot, light in weight, solid so it can't mix with the shot, and confined to the bottom of the shot cup, it will not normally interfere with or interact with the shot stream. Cardboard nitro wads fill these requirements very well. All the other mixable or soft fillers placed on, in, or even under the shot have produced many a hole in the pattern and many a "mystery miss." The nitro card wad fillers never seemed to. The thousands, and thousands of modified, light weight trap loads I produced and fired using 1-1/8 ounce wads with fillers before wads like the WW12L and SL were available have confirmed this.
Like I said, I will continue to rely on my experience until somebody shows me a better way. I think that just about sums this matter up for me. however, you do as you see fit. I hope you enjoy it too.
Glad I was not standing next to you on some of those experiments, Guy. Sawdust, for example, can filter down into the shot column and act as buffer rather than filler, and buffered loads are a whole different ballgame with very different ballistic potential than using something as overshot or undershot filler.
Powder companies recommend card wads because, in some cases, they sell them. They're also pretty uniform in size, and since they're used undershot, the colum will always be close to the same height. Using overshot filler of whatever kind, you can see where you're at as far as column height goes.
I don't think most people would be using filler of any kind for trap shooting, unless for some reason you wanted to shoot 7/8 oz at trap, and I'm not sure why you'd want to do that. All sorts of good 16ga loads, 1 oz, available for trap shooting that require no filler of any kind.
Like Jim said, the Puffed Wheat is biodegradable, environmentally friendly, the birds love it, and they break birds very nicely. (And live birds like doing cleanup duty.) Everyone should shoot whatever they want, but one choice being "superior" to another . . . I've shot both, submitted both for pressure and velocity testing, and haven't seen enough difference there to worry about. So the only difference could be in patterns. But without seeing side by side pattern results, I'm not about to accept one as "better" than the other. And there are a whole bunch of other factors that influence how good a reload is, like for instance how many times you've reloaded a hull. It's a game with all sorts of variables, and what you use as filler is not one of the most critical of those.
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Well my friend, some of the stuff I got away with several decades ago would make me cringe today. However, even I've gotten a bit wiser with the years.
I started experimenting with 7/8 and 1 ounce trap loads way before they became popular. Back then, 7/8 oz 12 ga wads did not exist in this country. The 1-1/8 ounce trap load was king. I stopped using them back in the late '80s when the cheap and plentiful obsolete 20 ga card wads became scarce. I let the "experts" talk me out of it too. That was a mistake.
a funny thing happened about 10 years ago in international trap which is a lot tougher game than the American style game. 24 gram loads were made manditory for all competition. the ruling body was looking to make the game tougher and to lower the average scores being shot with 28 gram loads. Just the opposite happened. Average scores shot up. Most folks today recognize that they shoot better, longer, with lighter kicking, less tiring ammo. so do I.
I now use 7/8 ounce loads for all trap practice and most registered singles and the first doubles targets. I shot my first 100 straight singles event with them. I simply use a bit tighter choke than I used to and am able to focus, concentrate and follow through much better with these very comfortable to shoot loads. A lot of folks in the ATA are using them and keeping mum. Why tip off the competition to a good thing. Let them beat themselves with 1-1/8 ounce and 1 ounce loads. &/8 ounce loads just plain hammer the targets. I love them. Now you know too. Try them---you'll like them.
Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Central Florida
Which size card wads do you use in the bottom of 16 gauge wads? I went to the Circle Fly web site and they have many sizes, both diameter and thickness. Which "gauge" size works better in 16 wads?
I also didn't think they were all that cheap. But then I am pretty cheap any way. I may just stick w/ beans and foam.
_________________ "Terror lies not in the bang, but in the anticipation of it."
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
I use 28 ga. .125-.135" thick nitro cards. The .50 cal (.510") wads of the same thickness will also work well. I happen to favor the 28 ga. ones. I think they might help the plastic shot cup petals open up a bit faster, but I wouldn't bet on it either. Its just a theory. The cost for 10K bulk is about the same.
Each one of these wads will displace exactly 1/8 ounce of shot in the average 16 ga one piece plastic wad. They make it quite easy to turn a one ounce R16 wad into a 7/8 or 3/4 ounce wad without any guesswork or fuss.
Just pick up the amount you need with one hand and the plastic shot wad in the other, then insert them into the shot cup, place the shot wad in the wad guide as you would normally and ram the whole shooting match into the shell. Now you are ready to drop the shot and crimp as you normally would. This two handed technique is about as fast as picking up just the shot wad and inserting it into the gad guide. I can load with these filler wads about as fast as I can without them on my MEC grabber. I pick up the shot wad in my right hand and the card wads in my left. the cards slip into the shot cup as I'm plcing it in the wad guide. My left hand then goes back to the operating handle as I put the wad into the wad guide. Everything else is done automatically when I pull the handle down. it takes 20 times longer to type it here than to do it. Its too easy. you'll understand the first time you do it. The card wads take all the mystery out of fillers.
You need to call the owner/operator of Circle Fly direct for a bulk price including shipping. He can box up as many as you want in 5K lots. I buy them 10k at a time. Its much cheaper in the long run both in shipping and price. This way, the owner doesn't have to bag and tag them in 1000 count or less bags, so he passes on the savings to you.
I easily load 100 light skeet loads to one hunting load. So I use a bunch of these wads in a relatively short time. If you shoot a lot of 16 ga trap and skeet targets, say two or more boxes a week, these card wads are the answer for inexpensive, light, effective, and comfortable to shoot loads in the 16 ga. 5 or 10k won't last nearly as long as you might think at this rate.
I believe cardboard is also considered biodegradable. birds won't eat it, but then again, they don't normally eat plastic wads either, which are not biodegradable. I realize I'm not helping things by struing plastic wads around, but at least they are small and relatively unobtrusive. I don't think adding puffed wheat to the shell is doing much environmentally considering the other stuff we leave behind.
I also know some of the Mass Environmental Police are a bit overzealous in executing the state game laws. If they knew folks were adding puffed wheator pinto beans to their shotshells, they might arrest them for "baiting a field." At least they won't apprehend me for using cardboard wads. They might take me into protective custody for being screwy enough to think up this stuff.
Of course the one obvious advantage to using Puffed Wheat is that you can reload and have breakfast out of the same box. Cardboard is less nutritious and doesn't taste very good either. Maybe more sugar . . .
I agree with Larry that the effect of puffed wheat as a filler is insignificant and probably immeasurable. However you do have to be careful when exploring substitutes. Mice got in my garage and found my puffed wheat so I tried Cheerios. I had some doughnut shaped patterns and had to go buy more puffed wheat
Now Im using 20ga wads and not messing with fillers.
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
I don't know about the cardboard being less nutritious Larry. I've found that the box often tastes better than the contents. especially when it comes to shredded wheat. Either way, you are getting the bulk ruffage needed to keep one from becoming overly full of what makes grass green. Which reminds me, its time for me to go eat a packing crate. Any one want to join me?
PS, John Mann says "Hello." We ran into each other in the KTP gun room last Friday afternoon. Nice fellow. Enjoyed the conversation immensely. He seems to know his stuff on double guns.
Last edited by 16gaugeguy on Mon May 08, 2006 7:07 am; edited 1 time in total
Joined: 17 Feb 2006
Jim McCann wrote:
This is all interesting stuff, but I also use the Puffed Wheat for my 7/8 ounce target loads and call them my "Audabon" loads 'cause the birds sure love the tiny pieces left on the grass after the shot.
Larry Brown wrote:
Like Jim said, the Puffed Wheat is biodegradable, environmentally friendly, the birds love it, and they break birds very nicely. (And live birds like doing cleanup duty.)
It seems even the birds have the correct "usage" down pat!
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