12 Gauge Shotshell Filler Wad Punch Prototype – Material Testing

12 Gauge Shotshell Filler Wad Punch Prototype – Material Testing

Previously I posted an article discussing the prototype shotshell filler wad punch I’ve been working on.  At the time I originally posted that video I received a number of inquiries from readers interested to see what sorts of materials it can be used with.  As you can probably tell from the video above, it’s been pretty busy punching cardboard, and I’m very pleased with its performance in that regard.  With that said, in this article I thought I’d try it out with some of the materials you requested including cracker boxes, plastic blister packing, craft foam, cork roll and cork tile.


For our baseline we’ll start with standard corrugated cardboard.  As you’ll see in the video above, the punch operates smoothly and easily, turning out nice, concentric discs with clean edges.  This is the material I originally designed it to work with, so that probably comes as little surprise.

Cracker Boxes

Next we’ll move on to the cracker box.  This material is softer than bristol-board, but thicker than Kleenex boxes.  It punches very easily and as with the cardboard, yields some very nice, sharp discs.  These would probably work really well as overshot cards on high shot-column shells.

Plastic Blister Packaging

Moving on to the plastic blister packaging, this was requested by a viewer interested in transparent overshot cards.  Although it does punch easily, the discs don’t seem to detach very well.  Thicker or more rigid material may work better, but ultimately I think this will require a sharper, more angular punch.

Craft Foam

The crafting foam was just something I happened upon while shopping and decided to try.  Again, it punches extremely easily.  Much like the blister packaging, this foam is very thin, making it a challenge to cut smoothly.  Once again, a sharper and more angular punch would probably work better with this material.

Cork Roll

Next we’ve got the 1/8 cork roll.  Cork and cardboard were the two materials I had in mind when designing this tool, so I was very pleased to see it performed well with it.  The curvature of the material makes it a bit trickier to work with, but ultimately it punches pretty well.  The edges are maybe a bit rougher than I’d envisioned, but these should still work really nicely.

Cork Tile

Lastly we’ll try the cork tiles.  These are 1/4″ which makes them ideal as filler wads.  These punch a lot better than I’d thought they would, even being as thick as they are.  As with the cork roll, the edges are bit rougher than I’d expected, but they still fit and function very nicely.


While the blister pack and craft foam didn’t really work too well, the cardboard, cracker boxes and cork were definitely a success.

Cork is an excellent filler material as it’s lightweight, but dense, allowing it to raise the shot column without compressing when fired, or deforming into the base of slugs.  I load a ton of slugs and buckshot as well as some reduced recoil birdshot, so that’s going come in really handy.

Likewise the cracker boxes and cardboard make terrific overshot cards being slim, and extremely lightweight.  These should help ensure nice crimps, while discarding quickly at firing to prevent interference with the shot.

Currently I’m working on a second type of punch with a sharper, more angular cutting edge in the hopes it will further improve the concentricity of my discs, as well as enable me to work with some of the materials that didn’t perform well with the existing design.

Let me know if you’re interested in seeing more videos of the tools and moulds I’m working on.

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