Testing BPI Mica Wad Slick

Testing BPI Mica Wad Slick

A while back I was perusing Ballistic Products’ website when I happened across a shotshell additive they produce called Mica Wad Slick.  Wad Slick is marketed as reducing friction between the wad, hull, and bore– making it easier to load tightly packed shells, and increasing shotshell velocity.  Being as I develop and a load a ton of custom shotshells, I decided to add some to my order and give it a whirl.

Wad Slick

The product is sold in 8oz containers; and is essentially an extremely finely-ground dry lubricant.  In fact, Mica wad slick is so fine it tends to become airborne with even the slightest agitation.  If you’re wondering where you might have seen it before, this type of lubricant is often added to pearlescent candles and soaps to give them a more stylish appearance.

Application

Applying Mica Wad Slick is very simple; just add a couple scoops to a plastic bag or container, throw your wads inside, and shake vigorously.  One thing I should mention, a little goes a long, long way–  the 8oz you get in a standard container will be enough to cover thousands of waddings.  As you’ll see in the video above, the waddings come out thoroughly coated in a pearly white powder.  They also definitely feel smooth to the touch compared to the untreated ones.

Heading over to the press, I can definitely feel a major difference in seating these.  It’s hard to quantify, but I’d say they probably take less than half the usual pressure.

Testing

In addition to BPI’s claims about increased velocity, I was curious to see if Mica Wad Slick might also reduce chamber pressure.  If so, this could be a particularly useful additive for experimental or high pressure loads.  With that in mind, I decided to load four sets of ten shells to test for velocity, and pressure.

Method

The first two lots were control shells made using straight-walled Federal hulls, and taper-walled Winchester hulls respectively.  The second two lots consisted of identical loads using wads treated by Mica Wad Slick.

Straight-Wall Control:

HullFederal Plastic w/ Paper Basewad
PrimerWinchester 209
Powder25.5gr Universal
WadClaybuster CB1118-12/WAA12
Projectile1 1/8oz Lead Shot
CardCardboard Overshot
CrimpFold

Taper-Wall Control:

HullWinchester Poly-Formed w/ Plastic Basewad
PrimerWinchester 209
Powder22gr Universal
WadClaybuster CB1118-12/WAA12
Projectile1 1/8oz Lead Shot
CardCardboard Overshot
CrimpFold

With that done, it was time to head to the range and set up the chronograph and chamber pressure system.

Results

Straight-Wall:

ControlMWS
Velocity1,250.5FPS1,225.5FPS
Pressure8,167PSI8,083PSI
-25FPS / -2% Velocity
-84PSI / -1% Pressure

Taper-Wall:

ControlMWS
Velocity1,174.9FPS1,147.5FPS
Pressure7,774PSI7,711PSI
-27.4FPS / -2% Velocity
-63PSI / -1% Pressure

Beginning with the Federal control shells, these measured in at average of 1,250.5FPS and 8,167PSI.  Moving on to the Mica Wad Slick treated version, these an average velocity of 1,225.5FPS, and a chamber pressure of 8,083PSI.  Not quite what I expected, but let’s see if the Winchester’s match.

Beginning with the control group, the Winchester shells averaged 1,174.9FPS and 7,774PSI.  Moving on the wad slick shells, I got an average speed of 1,147.5FPS, and a pressure of 7,711PSI.

Summary

I was expecting to see a modest gain in velocity of maybe 10% or more, but both sets of tests clearly show that’s not the case. In fact, not only did wad slick not increase velocities, they actually decreased by about 2% in both test groups.

Pressure on the other hand behaved as expected; although the return wasn’t very impressive.  Again, I was hoping to see a decrease of 10% or more, but in actuality it worked out to about 1%.  While these weren’t what I’d call heavy loads, at 1 1/8oz they’re not exactly light-weights either, so I was hoping for a more pronounced difference.

I’ll probably do a few more tests using Mica Wad Slick seeing as I already have some on hand, but if you’re a shotshell reloader hoping for a dramatic increase in speed, or decrease in pressure, prepare to be disappointed.  With that said, if what you’re after is an ammo-safe lubricant for loading tightly packed shells that won’t affect ballistics much, this could still be a good choice for you.

 

Share this:
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments