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Anyone have experience with Downrange wads? I'm curious how they compare with other manufatures and in particular with the Windjammer and/or the Caybuster wads. Is the plastic used in the Downrange wads any better than these two brands?

I'd also be interested in hearing opinions on the best wad manufactured for 12 gauge loads both 1 and 1 1/8 oz loads. Not the most economical but the best. I have been using the clones for skeet but have pretty much stuck with Winchester or Remingtons for the other shotgun sports. Looking forward to breaking my own tradition and experimenting.
 

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No experience with Downrange wads.

Keep this in mind - get the right wad that is made for the hull diameter for best results. For example, because Federal shells have a larger diameter, the wads designed for them also are of larger diameter, and fine powder can't dribble past, or gas leak past.

That's just an example, but the right wad in the right shell is a good safe alternative, and shoots well.

BobK
 

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Downrange wads are made from the finest virgin plastics available. Some other brands are not, and/or not entirely. So to answer your question directly, yes the plastic in Downrange wads is better.

The best wad is hard to define since everyones tastes are different and as such their definition of 'best'.

For my money the Downrange Versalite is the best wad. I can use it in 1 1/8 oz loads for trap, skeet, and sporting clays, or I can load it up heavy in certain hulls 1 1/4 oz for hunting or games. It goes through the loader smoothly, has a slight taper to the petals so they don't catch on rammer tubes, patterns evenly and shoots softly.

For 1 oz loads the Downrange XL-1 is the most versatile wad around. It is fully interchangeable with any Hodgdon powder load listing a pink AA wad. (see page 46 in the 2006 Hodgdon manual) It can also be used for 1 1/8 oz loads in certain applications like the Estate hull.

Both of the afore mentioned wads are very competitively priced

'
 

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I like the CS12 from BP for versatility. I can load from 1oz all the way 1 1/4 oz depending on the hull. Tapered hulls 1oz, Feds 1-1 1/8oz and Fio's and Ched do well with 1 1/4oz.

You can also take the wad pedals off to make a great spreader load for Quail.

Of all the wads I've used and I think I've used just about everyone of the Majors the CS12 is the most versatile for me.

This wad and PB powder have made things much easier.

I'm going to try the Piston Skeet with my next order.

I've had good luck with the cs12 taking, dove, ducks, quail and pigeons.
 

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I recently recv'd some sample wads from Downrange, that they were generous enough to send to me to try. I rec'vd the Jammer XL-1, and the Downrange XL-1. I look forward to loading and trying them, as I have heard good things about them.

Can you use the exact load data for both of the above, as you would for the Win 1oz wad, or the CB1100-12 wad?
 

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The folk from Downrange are straight up . I've been getting them from Gamaliel's because they are closer to me ; I got some of the early production from Chuck Standen at Peak7 and he was a pleasure to deal with just farther away .

The JammerXL1 worked well for me in both 1 and 1 1/8 oz recipes -- just had to crush the wad a bit more .

While I like the CB1100-12 , the Downrange wads are more economical and work too good to ignore the savings --- though
slight , every little bit helps .

421
 

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I've shot some of the very first experimental DownRange wads. It is all I buy nowdays in 12 ga. they have very good wads, I like the design, they do indeed used very good what is clasified as "surgical quality" plastic resins in the manufacture of the wads. I prefer the Windjammer design for my 1-1/8 oz loads, but load only a very few of them. I really like the Jammer XL-1 and the DR XL-1 wads. Outstanding wads. I do have a bit of an issue with the 20 ga Versalites and the 28 and .410s myself, but I'm not sure it really makes any difference anyway. Only problem I see today with Downrange is they only have 1 20 ga wad and 1 28 ga wad, and 1 .410 wad. Great wads, and Kevin is very accomidating and helpfull. Highly reccomended!

BP
 

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The Downrange XL-1 and XL 1 1/8 have been around for EONS! They have only recently been known as the "XL" series though. Prior to Downrange making them they were made in my neck of the woods by Hawk International. I have loaded thousands upon thousands of Hawk wads and was absolutely pleased as punch with them.

Hawk International went out of business a while back and sold their operation to Downrange Mfg in Hastings Nebraska. My beloved Hawk I and Hawk II wads have been reborn as the XL series.

In my opinion there is no "best" wad for the 12ga, however, the Hawk (XL) wads were the most cost effective and I've yet to see a wad that'll out perform them in any area.

As soon as the sack of TGT-12S wads I have is gone (bought them cause I ran out of Hawk wads and the company was out of business {F* ) the XL-1 will be pretty much all I reload.

I very highly recommend them.
 

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YES you can, MY conversation with Kevin Lewis agreed with that. That is EXACTLY what I do with mine. AA data is absolutly fine, 'bout perfect as a matter of fact!

BP
 

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Yes you can load the XL-1 or Jammer XL-1 using pink AA wad data and the XL 1 1/8 using white AA or orange WT12 wad data and Hodgdon Powder. The interchange data is published on page 46 of the 2006 Hodgdon reloading manual, and was also a feature story recently in Shotgun Sports Magazine
 

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Excellent. :)

Now what difference do you notice between the Jammer XL1, and the Downrange XL1? Is there a significant pattern difference between the two? For example is one better for say skeet, ie more open pattern, than the other?

I'm still waiting for Kevin to get back to me as to whether there are any dealers/distributors in Canada for Downrange. Hope somebody is..or I might have to take them on myself. :)

I never did see any pricing from them. What do they sell for usually?
 

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I've not done any formal patterning or testing the difference between the Jammer XL 1s and the DR XL 1s. But I can say the Jammers are a pretty light purple with 8 petals on the shot cup and the DRs are a burgendy with 4 petals. If you think there is a difference in how they pattern because fo that, then there probably is. I personaly use the Jammers for Skeet and Sporting Clays loads and the DRs for my Trap loads. However; that doesn't mean that I won't use them for the other dicipline if that's all I have. The price went up $10 a case on the First of Feb. Resin price increases, don't you know! :roll:

BP
 

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The perceived difference is that the bright purple eight (8) petal Jammer XL-1 gets off of the shot sooner upon exiting the barrel, than the lime green (burgandy early on) four (4) petal XL-1. Some say this tends to tighten a pattern up and some say it tends to loosen or open a pattern up. I say it is all up to the barrel harmonics and other characteristics of the load/gun combination.

As for dealers you can look on www.downrangemfg.com and click on find a dealer to locate the dealer nearest you. I do not remember if there is a list of Canadian provinces or not but I do know that there are several in Wisconsin, which is a heck of a lot closer than me in Kansas. My pricing in Kansas to gun clubs stands at $59.56 per case today which is up $7.06 from last year due to increased costs of raw materials at the manufacturer.
 

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They are great wads for tapered hulls, such as AA and Remington, but don't seal the gases well in straight walled hulls such as Estate, Federal paper, etc. The CB 3118-AR gives better seals, ergo better velocity's (40fps more) using same components with the exception of the wad. The CB over powder base is .015 larger than the DR. The CB 12s3 and 12s0 are comparable to the 3118-AR. My bucks worth. ^o^
 

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Downrange makes a wad that is the same as the DR XL-1s except it has a larger overpowder cup on it. I don't recall right this second the real designation, but it is made specificly for use in Gold Medals and such. It may very well be the Maroon ones I now have. Even the other ones (lime green) will work as well as AA or fig 8 do in straight wall hulls. You might look on the web site and see if they list the different wads. They have a booklet you can get too. No loading data though! :cry:

BP
 

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Kevin Lewis sent me the XL-1 wads that were supposedly made for straight walled hulls. I used all 25 wads for testing. Those were the wads I was talking about. Lime green, used to be Burgundy according to the information sent with them. They work wonderful in tapered hulls but don't seal as well as the CB 3118-AR in Straight wall hulls. ^o^
 

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Good to know Dick, I seldom load straight wall hulls anyway, and when I do I prefer the Windjammer or the SO1 or SO3. How did the overpowder cup measure compared to the ones for the tapered hulls? Maybe you didn't measure them? Were they any bigger than AAs or Fig 8? Same as the white windjammers or the SO series? Just curious. I'm loading a bunch of new style AA hulls with a bunch of RXP wads that I happen to have left with 1 oz of shot. They look to be almost exactly the same length as the DR XL-1s and a few, like 15 thousandths smaller in the over powder cup. They fit nicely in the base wad of the AAs though. Difficult to find much data for loading RXPs with 1 oz of shot, but they fit nicely! Crimped just like the DR XL-1s.

BP
 
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