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 Post subject: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:45 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:43 am
Posts: 32
I was recently given several boxes of Winchester WAA 12 wads. I have no idea how old they are. I remember getting an old box of these 25 years ago as starter reloading & that box was old then. I am hoping there might be some way to determine their useability. If it is simply going out and picking up a spent wad & looking at it, I'm good with that. I was shooting SC's a few seasons back & some poor soul (a newbie) had loaded a pile of cartridges with some old & apparently way past their prime wads that were crumbling on charge. It was sad. I was under the impression without sunlight, wads lasted a long long time (like forever). I know they are not expensive, that is not the issue. Why toss them if there is a way to confirm they are OK? Thank You & as always - Safe Shooting




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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:52 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 3838
Location: Western Tampa, FL
I would simply ply the petals out from the shot cup and see if they are still springy and intact. Also squeeze the cushioning section and if everything seems o.k. I would not be afraid to load them. In other words, mine would be the unscientific "feel" test. Start with a small batch of maybe 1 box and see how they perform before you invest time and components on many. Others more knowledgeable can probably give you more complete advice. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 8:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:25 am
Posts: 4612
Location: Annapolis, MD
Bend one of the petals of shot cup outward. If it snaps off, they are no good. If they bend back and then go back to their original position, they are OK.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:59 pm 
Presentation Grade

Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:17 am
Posts: 522
Nebs wrote:
Bend one of the petals of shot cup outward. If it snaps off, they are no good. If they bend back and then go back to their original position, they are OK.

This has been my experience with AA wads that were over 20 years old.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:19 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:28 am
Posts: 209
Cut the petals off the wad, put a thin piece of wood or plastic on the powder cup side,put it in a vice and slowly put pressure on it, if the crush section compresses and doesn't break you are good to go, if not, toss them.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:23 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:29 am
Posts: 348
Location: Port St Lucie FL
Agree with others that have replied, like you overthehills I thought plastic wads would still be around when the sun blinked out until I moved to Florida. I had several bags of wads that simply crumbled when touched, they were not exposed to sunlight but did get the heat. I"ve since seen other plastic and rubber items do strange things here that I never saw living up north, have to assume it is the heat.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:35 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:43 am
Posts: 32
Thank you all for your helpful advice. This is an excellent forum with excellent contributors.
The boxed (older) WAA 12 Winchester wads passed both the "petal test" and the "crush test" reacting like the newer (bagged WAA 12) wads that I have here on hand. I am confident I am GTG.
Thank You again & as always - Safe Shooting


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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:12 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:52 am
Posts: 5612
As others have mentioned, check how pliable the wad is and, if it doesn't break, it should be fine to use. A couple years ago I came into a large quantity of Herter's wads which were last catalogued in the early 70's. Once I figured out a recipe they all were loaded. I've shot only a couple hundred of them so far but they have worked as well as any other wad I have used


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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:52 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 7:05 pm
Posts: 139
I will relate the experience of a club member who bought some 2nd-hand winchester wads from a local gun shop. All was well with his reloads using these wads for Sporting Clays practice.
Until he got a few 'foofy' shells. ( the sound they made on firing)
Strangely enough, he was still breaking targets with them. I watched where one of these wads landed and retrieved it. The entire gas seal section was gone, it has apparently disintegrated on firing with only the shotcup and some of the crush section remaining.

Probable cause was exposure to sunlight and U-V radiation over time, making them brittle.

I have a bag of similar wads that the petals snap off if bent.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:24 pm 
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Location: Annapolis, MD
The highest and best use for wads that have gone brittle is as packing material instead of Styrofoam peanuts.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:39 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:11 am
Posts: 3838
Location: Western Tampa, FL
toptechX6 wrote:
Agree with others that have replied, like you overthehills I thought plastic wads would still be around when the sun blinked out until I moved to Florida. I had several bags of wads that simply crumbled when touched, they were not exposed to sunlight but did get the heat. I"ve since seen other plastic and rubber items do strange things here that I never saw living up north, have to assume it is the heat.


The heat in FL especially in the garage during the Summer is pretty formidable. :shock:

I had several golf shoes over the years lose their soles when they were in very good condition otherwise. I finally figured out it was the heat in the garage. I put them in the house and no more problems with soles coming loose.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:21 am 
Crown Grade
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:43 pm
Posts: 2535
Location: PA Dutch Country
I don't think it is just UV that does it. Probably heat, too. I have thrown some away that would break in hand by bending as described. I've also had others that seemed okay, that pretty much break apart during ignition, or maybe they broke during the taper crimp. I'd go with idea of loading a box first and running down the wads if that is possible. I don't think the old rem or win wads hold up that well...I'm talking late 60s, 70s, maybe early 80s wads loaded in the last 15 years.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:32 pm 
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This is a strange happenstance. I was in a gun store this weekend in a distance town and noticed a 250 count bag of The same wad. It looked to be very old or at least the plastic bag they are in is old. The label is about wore out. When I checked out I told the clerk that it looks like you are losing an old friend which got a chuckle in agreement. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:22 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:56 pm
Posts: 267
overthehills wrote:
I was recently given several boxes of Winchester WAA 12 wads. I have no idea how old they are. I remember getting an old box of these 25 years ago as starter reloading & that box was old then. I am hoping there might be some way to determine their useability. If it is simply going out and picking up a spent wad & looking at it, I'm good with that. I was shooting SC's a few seasons back & some poor soul (a newbie) had loaded a pile of cartridges with some old & apparently way past their prime wads that were crumbling on charge. It was sad. I was under the impression without sunlight, wads lasted a long long time (like forever). I know they are not expensive, that is not the issue. Why toss them if there is a way to confirm they are OK? Thank You & as always - Safe Shooting


I don’t load 12ga much, mostly 20&28 but today I loaded 8 boxes of 12s. I used some old Win wads I have had for ever, they were in a yellow sac. I loaded them in the Win AA,s and rem gun clubs, 1 oz of shot. They worked perfect, didn’t even have to change the set up on my 9000. I have a couple boxes of wads that are in a cardboard box also. They all are good


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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:40 pm 
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The ones I bought are no good. The petals are brittle and snap right off, I can't believe they are that old. I'm out $5 .00 :(


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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:22 pm
Posts: 524
Location: East central WI
I just threw out 4-5 bags of old Win 28 ga. wads. They were brittle and petals broke off on bending. It hurt, but I don't remember what I paid (know it wasn't much), but I figured my 28 ga. barrels and my face and hands were worth more than a couple of $$ worth of "expired" wads, just in case a piece of wad was left in the barrel from a previous shot.

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 Post subject: Re: Question about "old" Winchester WAA-12 wads
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:43 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:28 am
Posts: 209
I have a bag of WAA12F114 that I paid $2.69 for, probably in the late 70's or early 80's and they pass the petal test and the crush test, Winchester or Olin must have used pretty good plastic in their wads.




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