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  #1  
Old 01-26-2012, 09:18 PM
Harold M Harold M is offline
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Default graphite wads

I have been reading books on small caliber shooting written circa 1947, wherein the writers refer to "graphite wads" placed between the bullet base and the powder charge in, for example, the 220 Swift. Does anyone know exactly what these wads were, and what was their expected benefit?

Harold
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:39 PM
ray h ray h is offline
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Harold in the early 70s I got some for cast bullets. Harvey Donaldson was a fan of it. All mine appeared to be was Alox bullet lube with a lot of graphite, it was rolled out in sheets about 1/16 or a little more thick. After filling the case with powder you'd take a sheet and press it down over the case mouth like a cookie cutter. The bullet was then seated on top. The base of the bullet had to be up in the case neck. I shot a box of it but can't say it ever helped me but I never had a leading problem to start with. I think if it really had value there would be people making this product today. I was a member of the CBA from the beginning and very little was ever said about it in the first 12 years I was a member.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:40 PM
ramos ramos is offline
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Don't know about that. I do, however, have some newer books you can borrow!
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:02 AM
vmthtr in Green Bay vmthtr in Green Bay is offline
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I tried them on a 219 Donaldson and did not notice a difference. I got them in a gum style peice, like Wrigleys, wax with graphite. Charge the case and then put the wax wad over the powder, seat the bullet.

Mike
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:12 PM
ray h ray h is offline
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Harold I think where they really were useful was with plain base cast bullets. I think they felt it protected the base of the bullet and maybe left some lube in the barrel for the next shot. I'm guessing after gas checks started to be used they felt there was no need for the wad.
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Old 01-27-2012, 02:26 PM
Harold M Harold M is offline
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Thanks all. Some of the guys who helped sort out some of Harvey's stuff found sheets of what you desribe - I only heard the stories second-hand, having moved to this part of the planet long after Harvey's time. Having never seen the actual material, I wondered if this was "wad material" and also wondered how the wads were formed. Cutting with the case mouth after charging gives me a feeling for what the material must have been like.

As to benefit, I guess one could expect some insulating of the bullet base, and some protection of a cast bullet from impingement of powder granules propelled by the primer, etc. What benefit there would be to a jacketed bullet - and it appears they were used with jacketed bullets - is hard to imagine, hence my initial question. Perhaps it was felt that the was lubricates the bore for the next round? Anyway, the practice seems to have died out at least for jacketed bullets.

Now, I gotta go push the slush off the drive-way lest it freeze. Ugh.

Thanks again, all.

H
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Old 01-27-2012, 11:15 PM
-mike- -mike- is offline
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Isnt graphite actually abrasive under high pressure? Just sayin.......
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:21 AM
trotterlg trotterlg is offline
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In the absense of oxygen graphite is abrasive, it is only slick when it is oxidized, the space program found that out early on when trying to use is as a lube in space. Larry
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  #9  
Old 01-28-2012, 10:36 PM
DittoHead DittoHead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold M View Post
What benefit there would be to a jacketed bullet - and it appears they were used with jacketed bullets - is hard to imagine, hence my initial question. Perhaps it was felt that the was lubricates the bore for the next round? Anyway, the practice seems to have died out at least for jacketed bullets.
In my copy of The ABC's of Reloading (7th edition), at the end of the chapter on bullet sizing and lubricating, there is a mention of the use of lubricating wads with cast and jacketed bullets. Included is a recipe for a product known as "Leopolds Oleo Wads." The author says G.L. Wotkyns and J.B. Sweany, the .220 Swift developers, used grease wads with jacketed bullets to reduce erosion and improve accuracy.

I remember reading an article in Handloader a couple years ago about a tool for making grease wads. You put the lube in a reservoir and used a pump to squeeze the lube out a rectangular nozzle to produce a ribbon of lube. The wads were punched from the ribbon.
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