Windjammers And Parallel Choke Sections


Technoid,

Recently a shooting friend was telling me of his hand loaded spreader concoction. I asked him what was so special about it or what he did to make it a spreader and he said that he was using Windjammer wads. Are Windjammer wads designed to throw a wider pattern?

Also, I have noticed that a lot of choke tubes are built without a parallel section at the end. Does this really matter over a choke with just a taper? I know I am supposed to buy one of each and spend countless hours at the pattern board but asking you is a lot easier.

One more thing. I know this will void my eligibility for a pocket protector but, no, I have not sent you any money. If I get a favorable response I will reconsider.

Thanks,
Bill

Dear Bill,

I have never spent much time fooling with the Windjammer wads because they very often require more powder to reach the same velocities as other wads. This means that there is a looser gas seal. I like to control my burning rates with powder speed, not blowby. Also, there is very much less loading data for Windjammers than there is for more mainline wads, so load options are curtailed.

The whole raison d’etre of the Windjammer is that the multiple finger cuts are supposed to open the wad earlier and separate it from the shot quicker. The idea behind this is that the quicker you can get the wad to separate, the less chance there is of it being driven into the shot cloud. This would be just the opposite of throwing a wider pattern.

I think that this is one of those answers without a problem. I have never seen any research that proves that Windjammers give a superior or more regular pattern than any other wad. Nor have I seen anything that indicates that they throw a more open pattern. I did load some and shoot them into the air along side my standard load with an AA wad. Both wads went the same distance. This indicated to me that the Windjammer’s theoretical opening up earlier wasn’t noticeably slowing the wad down.

One reason (other than price) that many people may use the Windjammer is because it kicks less. Of course, it kicks less because it requires more powder to reach a given velocity than other wads do. Many reloaders don’t bother to change bushings when they change wads so the Windjammer loads go slower (which they don’t notice) and kick less (which they do notice). Not a bad marketing ploy.

Of course, I could be full of prunes (and often am). If you, or any of our other readers, have gotten the Windjammers to perform in a manner distinguishable from a standard AA wad, I would love to hear about it.

Chokes with a parallel: The theory behind a parallel section in a choke is that it “stabilizes” the shot after the choking down. Ideally, the tighter the choke, the more gradual the choke cone and longer the parallel section should be. There is some kind of ratio, but it slips my mind at the moment.

Since the advent of cheap screw chokes, all this stuff is out the window as all screw chokes within a series are the same length and few manufacturers are going to go through the trouble of making the tight screw chokes longer than the open ones in order to accommodate longer choke cones and parallels. This is why solid choke guns still have the advantage when it comes to pattern manipulation by choke- you can easily cut the chokes to the proper length. The modern screw choke gun sacrifices pattern quality and choke performance on the altar of convenience. Since very few shooters actually extensively pattern their guns in comparison to others, they are really using those chokes on blind faith. Blind faith is a tough way to cross a street.

As to sending us money, while we always appreciate it, we would understand if you spent it on patterning paper and a cool one with our compliments. We will email you that plastic pocket protector anyway.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid
(Often in error, never in doubt.)

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