WADDING. Thin mill-board (bookbinders' squarings) or old hat, if clean, make the best and safest wadding, and the larger the calibre or bore, the thicker it ought to be. Cartridges do not keep the powder sufficiently air-tight, add to which they often fly unbroken, and are therefore not to be depended on. A block of any hard close-grained wood will be found most convenient on which to punch the wadding, which must not be allowed to get damp. Cork has been recommended for duck guns. Colonel Hawker says, " As to paper, leather, pasteboard, &c. they have no chance against it, but oakum, when rolled up tight and hard, shot full as well, if not better; and had I not selected the very best cork, the oakum would most probably have had the decided advantage." The colonel adds, " I have put the oakum wadding under the head of ' duck guns,' as I dread recommending it for field-shooting, lest I should be the means of setting corn or buildings on fire. I have also put the cork wadding under this head, as the only material worthy to be named with oakum."
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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