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Author Topic: Wax wad  (Read 13441 times)

10. December 2007 kl. 9:24:16
Read 13441 times


Picture is Werndl M 1877 patron
Old drawing no copywright.( info for admin)

What is the meaning of wax wad.

My opinion is that it is not necessary if you use the blow tube.
more opinions are needed

10. December 2007 kl. 17:05:23
Reply #1


The wax wad was for lubrication purposes. Although not the best solution to providing lubrication for paper patched bullets, it was an acceptable solution for the 19th century.  Many of the rounds we tend to shoot now are old military rounds, Werndl, 577-450, Mauser M71/84, etc., simply because so many of the weapons have survived the years.  There were better solutions for lubrication, and many target shooters used other means--blow tubes, light grease disks, etc. for precison shooting.  Some target shooters used a special toggle tool to seat the bullet in the bore before inserting the cartridge.  The cartridge thus contained only the powder, a card disk and a cookie of beeswax/tallow, or a smear of light grease.  

The round was going to be fired right away so external temperatures did not matter so much.  The only thing that mattered was precision shooting.

For militaries, though, precision shooting was not a high priority in the 19th century.  Most firing was done rapidly, frequenty in volley, and as such constituted area fire.  The military definition of acceptable accuracy thus differed considerably from a target shooter's.  What mattered most was long
term storage of rounds, and reliability and durability of the ammunition in the field.  A cartridge loaded in 1871 for instance was expected to perform just
as well in 1901 as the day it was made.  Beeswax though not as good as other lubricants, at least allowed the ammunition to be stored for decades without
extreme heat or cold causing the lubricating disk to deteriorate or melt into the powder.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

A.E. Housman

10. December 2007 kl. 23:17:00
Reply #2


I should also add that the wax wad was also to seal the bore behind the bullet.  Its shape, as shown in the drawing, would allow it to compress and expand outwards preventing blow by of gases from the powder charge from damaging the paper patch.
Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

A.E. Housman

11. December 2007 kl. 8:31:12
Reply #3


I do have same opinion.

The wad is not for lubrigating purpose. Sealing is the main purpose.
practically all bullets for european miltary patrons with paperpatching where to small to expand enough to make god sealing in the barrel. for ex. Berdan II , Jarman. etc.loaded patrons where tipped in hot beeswax to awoid humidity to spoil the patron.

21. January 2008 kl. 22:24:35
Reply #4


I have a re-print of a military handbook that covers the use of the mauser 1871 rifle.

The drawing of the cartridge shows a chalk disk betwen two cardboard disks - no lubrication is mentioned I have found that a .44 lubricated felt wad between two cardboard disks is a good (or better ?) substitute.

all the best

01. January 1970 kl. 1:00:00
Reply #5


Thanks Chris

That hepped me. What is the name of the book. or are you able to make a copy of the drawing.


23. January 2008 kl. 23:36:30
Reply #6


Hi Paavo

it is


Instruction uber das Infanterie Gewehr M/71
und dessen Munition

published Berlin 1878

mine is a reprint by Journal-Verlag

Schwend GmbH of 717 Schwabisch Hall.

I am away from home at the moment but will scan in the page when I get back.

I hope your "gothic"

german is well practiced :-)



24. January 2008 kl. 12:39:34
Reply #7


If you can take the copy.

I do have one picture but it is non readable so small. Gothig german is difficult but not impossible.