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Lone Rider SASS#32091

Anyone use hollow punches for making wads

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I am making some snake shot cartridges and using brass to cut wads out of soda cartons. I have tried the empty brass but it doesn’t work well for me. The case mouths crush after a few wads are cut. I have tried sharpening them but that doesn’t seem to help much. I know I can buy the Speer plastic capsules but I wanted to try without them. I see Harbor Freight sells hollow punches pretty cheap, $8.99.  Anyone have any experience with these or similar punches? Thanks.

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I got a larger punch for BP shotgun loading from Michaels; maybe they have a smaller one you could use. About $15. It's pink, but it works great.

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I rarely shoot BP anymore but when I was, I used hollow punches on sheets of felt. Super effective if you put the felt over a piece of wood and slug the punch with a hammer. I would let the wads fill the punch before dumping them. Went really fast and is really cheap.

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1/2" punch works great for a 45 wad from a beer can.  Place the cup side down towards the powder and use as  gas check.  Not sure where I picked it up. 

 

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I have used the punches from Harbor Freight for cutting out durofelt wads and they work ok. The ones from Track of the Wolf are a lot better, just cost a lot more: https://www.trackofthewolf.com/List/Item.aspx/176/1

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I use a hollow punch to make over shot cards for some of my 12 gauge loads. Easy to punch out and work very well.

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I’ve got a complete set of HF and the ones from TOTW for all the calibers I shoot with black powder. Use a cutting board and a dead blow hammer. Knock them out and each size goes in a labeled plastic parts box .... card boards, cork, felt and Polyethylene 

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As with all tools, you get what you pay for.  The best quality arch punches are made by  C.S. Osborn Co.  You can buy them from different sources. I order mine direct.  The smaller sizes do not have an "arch" but are on a single post.

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What caliber?  As mentioned, one of the Harbor Freight cheapies is perfect for .45 Colt.  I used to cut them out of Dr. Pepper 12-pack cardboard

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Mainly 38 special and 357 magnum but I will try some 45 colt. Do you think one of the punches would work for 38 special? I’m also planning on using Dr. Pepper carton. Thanks.

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AS STATED:  Harbor Freight.

Use a 2X4 as “backing” so your punch has something soft to support and protect it as it cuts through the thin cardboard.

 

However, I like the idea of just buying the darn cards!!

 

Cat Brules

 

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I punch wads for 38-55 and 45-70.  Punches work great until you smash your hand with a hammer.

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Thanks for the responses. I think the punches will work for me since they will let me make wads for several different calibers.

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19 hours ago, Black Mike said:

I punch wads for 38-55 and 45-70.  Punches work great until you smash your hand with a hammer.

Here is a tip to save you hand. If punching card or felt wads you can use a drill press (not turned on of course) to press cut the material.
I use a small bench top drill press as a press for several things outside of drilling.
Place a piece of wood on the drill platform, chuck up the punch and punch away.
Note; you may need to support the platform with something to prevent the platform from flexing under the force of punching.

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I drilled out the primer pocket and tapped it 1/4-20. Cut the head off a bolt and threaded it in with a jam but. Chuck it up in a drill and cut them out rather than punch. If the case fills with wads just thread in the bolt and they come right out in a stack.

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In bygone days I had punches for 12 ga. , 45-70 size , and 45 Colt size. Used them to make wads from milk carton , felt , and cardboard.

Soon figured out it was waaayyy more trouble than it was worth. Bought wads are a lot easier , and one bag is probably a lifetime supply for what OP is planning.

Rex , who IS lazy. :D

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21 hours ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

What caliber?  As mentioned, one of the Harbor Freight cheapies is perfect for .45 Colt.  I used to cut them out of Dr. Pepper 12-pack cardboard

 

You reckon Mr. Pibb would work in a pinch?

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1 hour ago, Marshal Hangtree said:

 

You reckon Mr. Pibb would work in a pinch?

 

I think Mr. Pibb wads would probably work best with BP substitutes.

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I use sharpened empty cases with no problems. I'm cutting wads from CCI Primer boxes (the cardboard). I make wads for .38 snake shot and .45 ACP snake shot. The W.45 takes 2 size wads, one for the powder (cut from a .45 cartrige) and one for the shot (cut from 40 S&W).

 

I either used a rubber mat or a composite cutting board and a dead blow hammer.

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On 3/2/2020 at 11:13 AM, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to buy wads/cards. Around $7 for 1,000.

Ike

I do. But still use an arch punch when the size isn't right on the store bought. I also have cut down surplus 12 ga for other gauges as well. I chucked the arch punch in my drill press, no power, use the drill press as low pressure arbor press. Osborne's are good. The cheap ones need to be tuned up with a dremel. 

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I appreciate all the serious responses. A lot of good ideas. I don’t own a drill press but that would work. Looks like a dead blow hammer is being used with the brass. I am using a regular hammer which could be an issue with my brass getting crushed. I could buy the wads but I’m just going to test different calibers and don’t really want several thousand wads sitting around unless I decide I’m going to use them. Plus for the price of the wads, I can own a set of punches and I don’t need a lot of wads for what I’m doing. I also like the flexibility of the punches for different calibers and even shotgun. Thanks again.

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