Here is what I know about these wads. ATK was (and may still be) making them and a small handful became available a few years ago. A friend who is a pilot told me of finding them in a store in Utah in the closeout section for $3 a bag! They were gone by time he was sent down there again. I would have taken them all. It seems that Federal does not want these being available to us (goose that laid the golden egg) and probably persuaded the maker to pull the wads off the public market.
Ballistic Products does sell unslit wads, however that really doesn't help us. I ran experiments with them years ago trying to accomplish exactly what the Flite Control wad does which is to keep the shot charge in the wad further down range before releasing it and releasing it gently. This tightens patterns two ways. One, the wad doesn't ram into the back of the shot charge when leaving the muzzle with all the pressure pushing into the now unconfined shot charge (which disrupts pellet flight). Two, the shot charge travels further down range before emerging from the cup to begin spreading. Think of it as being 5-10 yards closer to the target in terms of pattern spread. Now why can't we accomplish this with available components?
The big reason that the Flite Control wad is able to do what it does is the fact that primary aerodynamic drag is experienced at the rear of the wad instead of the front, thus allowing it to slowly (relatively speaking) drop away from the shot charge. We have no way of doing this without the extra deep, segmented shot cup. Gas pressure flares these segments into "fingers" that catch the air. The standard depth obturating cup at the back of a conventional wad can't facilitate sufficiently long "fingers" even if we do make the slices. A stiff plastic (like most steel shot wads use) is also a factor.
Hopefully someday we can get these wads, but right now patents protect the design and the holders of such patents are making a lot of money keeping things as they are.
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Joined: 03 Sep 2014
Location: Sebewaing, MI
I can verify what WyoChukar said. Several years ago, I was an officer on a committee with the American Chemical Society. The ACS Convention was held in Salt Lake City. I stopped by Gallensons Gun Shop.
They were selling out the flite control style wads. I purchased a couple of bags (~200).
I did some extensive experiments with them including steel B and BB goose loads, duck loads, and lead shot turkey loads. I determined two things. First, in my guns, I could accomplish anything these wads could do with choke variations. Second, the wads, shot and patterns were very much affected by crosswinds.
I only loaded up a single box for goose hunting and used them up several years ago and they performed well but no better or worse than any other load that I made.
I kept 25 of the wads and ended up trading off most of the remaining wads to a guy in Texas who wanted to use them for a lead load for sandhill crane hunting. I still have the 25 that I kept.
Here are a couple of photos. The first shows a fired and unfired wad. The second shows the paperwork that came with the bag of wads.
The base is similar to a Remington figure 8 wad, but the shot cup is obviously a little different.
I won't be able to make the bottom slits around the bottom of the wad and especially that I see that the bottom of the flitecontrol wad appears flared out more so they would be more aerodynamic but would give me the ability to make 2 petal wads at minimum for turkey or coyote hunting at longer ranges.
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Joined: 12 Mar 2005
During the muzzle loading era, charges of shot wrapped in paper and reinforced with fine wire were used to extend the range of loads fired from non-choked barrels. Different gauges of wire were used to control how far out the loads would fly before the wired over paper containers disintegrated and released the shot. These specialized cartridges were color coded for easy identification. It's been recorded in some old sources that these shot cartridges worked fairly well for taking waterfowl at longer ranges. One source I read claimed that ranges could be effectively extended well past 50 yards.
I'm guessing the birds were being taken while rafted up on the water or from baited fields. I very much doubt even expert wing shooters from the long ago could cleanly take ducks on the wing past 40 yards with any certainty. It's not gotten any easier in our time--even when considering the improvements in guns and ammo we enjoy today. That's why savvy folks use dekes and/or blinds for ducks. Been working for centuries now. Why try to fix what ain't broke.
Even so, after reading about this matter, I simply had to try wrapping some scotch magic tape around the wad cup fingers in an attempt to tighten up patterns out of a fixed choke skeet barrel. The tape helped some, but I never got anywhere near full choke patterns out of these doctored wads. Best I got were light mod patterns.
Getting closer and shooting better always seemed to work well for me. My best advice is to have choke tubes installed if you can, get closer to the birds, and practice, practice, practice.
Federal/ATK had nothing to do with inventing the FliteControl style wads, they were originally invented and patented by Chris Billings from Layton Utah.
As far as I know Federal uses them under license from Mr. Billings and has since around 2005.
Joined: 22 Aug 2011
Location: the Moosehorn
in the no tox style wads put two cuts to make two petals then wrap a piece of 3/4 " scotch tape around it . the tape will delay the opening of the wad to some degree. if one layer is not enough try a double wrap.
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If you take Cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like Prunes than Rhubarb does ----G.M/
I'm pretty familiar with having to get in pretty close
But I also have hunted long enough to know that doesn't always work as planned.
Until you mentioned it, I had never thought to look for 16 gauge screw in chokes.
I have threaded a few 12 gauge barrels for threaded chokes borrowing a tap and reamer from a friend, but I don't know where to begin to even source the tools to do a 16 gauge.
Or even a company that does that work at a reasonable price.
As 16GG point out chokes tubes make a very big difference, which is a lot of the problem with 16 gauge guns not enough modern versions out there with factory installed tubes. I shoot a 16 gauge 1100 that has factory Remchokes, the gun is heavy compared to older 16's but having the tubes makes it like night and day with fixed choke guns. With the lack of components available for the 16 you need every advantage you can get.
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