Gunpowder and shot wads, gaskets, plastic shutter, purpose, wad and pad sizes, impact on a shot from a shotgun.

To equip cartridges for smooth-bore hunting guns, powder wads are also used when firing shots or small buckshot shotguns. The purpose of the powder wad and gasket on the powder is to separate the powder from the shot and not to allow the powder gases to penetrate into the shot shell between the walls of the barrel bore and wad. 

Powder and shot wads, gaskets, polyethylene sealer, purpose, wad and gasket sizes, impact on a shot from a shotgun.

Powder wad, locking the combustion chamber of the charge of gunpowder, is like a piston-sealer for powder gases and allows better use of their energy for throwing a projectile. With its elasticity, it softens the initial shock of gases and thereby reduces the deformation of grains.

A cardboard padding of powder (or a polyethylene obturator) prevents the penetration of powder gases through the thickness of a wood-fiber or felt wad that is not settled in the middle. It also interferes with the penetration of sediment into the powder charge. Powder wad and laying on gunpowder resist the first movement of the projectile from the spot and in the initial phase of the development of the shot accelerate the ignition and combustion of the powder charge, which is especially important for smokeless powder.

The shot pad (shot wads) serves to hold the shot or buckshot in the cartridge and also, although to a lesser extent than the powder wad, affects the quality of the shot.

Powder wads, purpose, effect on the quality of a shot from a hunting smooth-bore gun.

As mentioned above, the powder wad should reliably isolate the powder from the shot and prevent the powder gases from penetrating between the barrel walls and the wad into the shot during the shot. In addition, the wad should take out as much of the residue as possible accumulated in the barrel from previous shots (especially when shooting with gunpowder), and at the same time spend as little gas work on its advance along the barrel.

In this regard, the wad should be elastic and fit snugly against the walls of the sleeve. And during the shot – to the walls of the barrel. In addition, the powder wad, which operates at high temperatures, should not ignite, as well as shrink and warp during storage. The wad should not contain any solid particles that could scratch the bore.

Based on these requirements, until recently, the most common material for the manufacture of wads was felt. Often, cheaper wood-fiber wads are used now. In recent decades, wads made of polyethylene of various designs, sometimes combined with a container for

Gaskets are usually made of cardboard. Less commonly made of plastic or felt. Other materials for the manufacture of wads are possible, and often offered, but, as a rule, they turned out to be worse than the above in quality or too expensive. It should be remembered that when using a wad made of elastic material (rubber, etc.), it may fit too tightly against the walls of the barrel when firing and a strong increase in pressure with all possible consequences.

Dimensions of powder wad and gaskets for paper shells, mm.

Gunpowder and shot wads, gaskets, plastic shutter, purpose, wad and pad sizes, impact on a shot from a shotgun.

When equipment cartridges are usually used not one, but two or more felt wads. One of them, laying on the gasket, is called the main one. Wads (or wads) located above are called optional. It is the main wad that provides reliable isolation of the powder charge from the projectile. Its side surface is salted to a depth of 3 mm in order to improve contact with the surface of the bore when firing.

It is impossible to completely wad the wad, as this can lead to an effect similar to using a wad from rubber. The precipitation of wads is made with one of the following compositions:

Paraffin – 70%, solid oil – 30%.
Paraffin – 70%, cannon oil – 30%.
Paraffin – 80%, technical petroleum jelly – 20% (for summer).
Paraffin – 65%, technical petroleum jelly – 35% (for winter).

The purpose of the extra wad is to fill the inner volume of the sleeve between the main wad and the projectile so that there is enough distance from the cut of the barrel to the projectile to secure it. Extra wads usually do not fade. If you have to use a salted extra wad, then a thin cardboard lining is installed between it and the shot shell. The total height of the main and additional wad is usually 20-25 mm.

Dimensions of powder wads and gaskets for metal sleeves, mm.

Gunpowder and shot wads, gaskets, plastic shutter, purpose, wad and pad sizes, impact on a shot from a shotgun.

For cardboard sleeves, wads and gaskets of the appropriate caliber are used, for metal ones, wads should be used 2 caliber more than the caliber of a gun. In any case, it is desirable that the diameter of the wad was 0.1-0.3 mm larger than the inner diameter of the used sleeve.

Shotgun wads, purpose, effect on the quality of a shot from a hunting smoothbore gun.

Shotgun wads (gasket for shot) keep the shot in the cartridge until it is fired. In addition, shot wads should give additional resistance to powder gases at the moment the wad passes through the curled edge of the paper sleeve, which improves the combustion of the charge of smokeless powder. The smaller and lighter these shotgun wads, the less friction they cause during movement along the bore and the better the battle.

However, laying too thin may break during transport to the hunting site. On a shot wad, the number of the shot that the cartridge is equipped with is usually indicated. In metal sleeves, shot wads are usually fixed around the perimeter with wax or paraffin. To transfer such sleeves should be dulce up to avoid spilling fractions.

When firing bullet cartridges with cartridges, you need to carefully monitor that shot wads, as well as shot, do not fall into the barrel. In hunting cartridges equipped with large buckshot or bullet, shot wads are not used..

Based on materials from the book Encyclopedia of the Hunter.
Rudenko F.A., Semashko V.Yu., Cherenkov S.E., Matyunin M.M..

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