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Plastic wad v fiber wad cartridges


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This has been tested a few times. Pretty much identical performance.

 

Someone posted a few days ago on here about a rabbit that they'd shot - they recovered a piece of shot from the rabbit that had been battered down the barrel (flat on one side), but was still in the centre of the pattern.

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Haven't read all that - too rich for my blood - but two things are immediately obvious. The 1/2 choke extrapolated to 35 yards is throwing Full. What it does clearly indicate though is that a pellet density in the pattern centre chosen to ensure a clean kill is usually insufficient to do the job much outside of the 20" circle and this being particularly so at the tighter choke end.

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A few years ago BASC`s recently retired Dr. John Harradine did some research work on this when the "Plastic wads give a tighter pattern" mantra was largely being accepted without any scientific proof.

 

He concluded that, after exhaustive testing, that plastic wads do not give a tighter pattern than fibre ones.

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Every different source of information with its own particular agenda will give different results. I believe shot enclosed in a plastic wad will pattern more tightly and they're certainly a damn sight easier to reload on a progressive press. Fibre wads struggle thru the wad guide fingers and slow the job down significantly.

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The main reason I don't like felt wads is due to harsher recoil, they also almost aways have a dirty discharge of confetti, are more expensive and often seem louder too.

 

That said their patterning qualities can vary depending on the barrel diameter, more so than plastic wads because the latter have better sealing/expanding qualities in order to cope. I have to confess to being baffled when I see the test results which show next to no difference on paper because I can assure you very few competition shooters like them, usually because they just don't appear to smoke as well as plastic.

 

Something weird is happening.

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A lot of it is decades old marketing hype

 

The main motivation years ago for the introduction of plastic wads was to benefit the companies loading the cartridges. The development of machinery capable of running at much higher speeds made plastic wads an absolute necessity if the higher speeds were to be achieved. The fibre wads were too fiddly. Plus plastic wads work out cheaper to make.

 

Much the same was true of plastic cartridges when they were introduced

 

The problem was that shooters liked their cartridges the way they were so the cartridge makers, especially in the US, went into a big publicity campaign to promote plastic wads as being better and a lot of dubious advantages were claimed to try and win over shooters. Some of the claims, although never proved, are still being repeated today.

 

Whether you choose to believe the claims is up to you but don't be in any doubt that the biggest advantage is to the profits of company loading the cartridges. It does mean we get cheaper cartridges.

Edited by Vince Green
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The main reason I don't like felt wads is due to harsher recoil, they also almost aways have a dirty discharge of confetti, are more expensive and often seem louder too.

 

 

So fibre cartridges have a 'dirty discharge of confetti'. Have a wander round a ground that allows plaswads in quantity, looking at the ground (like Orston last weekend for the charity day). The plastic litter is horrendous.

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So fibre cartridges have a 'dirty discharge of confetti'. Have a wander round a ground that allows plaswads in quantity, looking at the ground (like Orston last weekend for the charity day). The plastic litter is horrendous.

 

Tell me about it, you don't know the half of it, in reality either type also deposit thousands of tons of lead pellets everywhere :yes:;) , at least the plastic wads can be swept up on flat ground. I was talking about confetti that can interfere with your shooting but then you knew that. :)

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  • 4 months later...

A few years ago BASC`s recently retired Dr. John Harradine did some research work on this when the "Plastic wads give a tighter pattern" mantra was largely being accepted without any scientific proof.

 

He concluded that, after exhaustive testing, that plastic wads do not give a tighter pattern than fibre ones.

Basc used just one manufacturer . It all depends how hard the shot is. Some fibre carts are good , plenty are poor patterning.

I much prefer plastic ,but they too can be poor.

It all depends on the quality of the components.

Winchester super xx were all fibre.

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Plastic wads were on average a bit tighter patterning than cork/felt (a choke point or possibly 2) and been driven by clay shooting where they gained a reputation for being harder hitting

but that is questionable now as we use manufactured fibre instead.

 

It comes back to patterning your gun with each cartridge to see how it shoots.

 

Tight chokes and a tight patterning cartridges are not really a good combination if you want hit something with a good margin of error and then eat what you shoot.

 

For game shooting, I use fibre all the time as most land over what i shoot has livestock which will eat wads and although they should pass through the digestive tract aren't too healthy but fibre breaks up better than plastic.

 

I also use fibre for clays and see no disadvantage compared to most others using plastic as the biggest variable in the setup is my shooting :whistling: not the gun or cartridge.

 

Given that some clay comps are now running 100ex100 on a regular basis, maybe clay shooting moving to all fibre might open the scores up a little.........

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fibre wads for me all the time,i use 12/20/28g and flatly refuse to buy play plastic there is enough garbage in the countryside without plastic wads all over the place,and I don't care about the price,i don't mind paying a bit more ,,,,and I,m not loaded just an oap that loves shooting and the countryside.

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