I have tried them and they do work with round balls HOWEVER a properly patched ball doesn't need them.Just something extra to carry and remember to load.A patch,of proper thickness,will do the same by keeping the pressure behind the ball preventing blow-by.
If you are shooting a Maxi ball,I wouldn't shoot it with out one.
Geometrically a thin bore diameter wad would be compressed against the powder and when it conforms to the curve of the ball upon ignition, would be less than bore diameter and would no longer seal the gap permitting the gases to contact the patch and ball. Think about it. A bore diamter circle is pi x diamter. pi is 3.1417. so a bore diameter wad would be less than a third of the circumference of the ball.
Some folks claim to get better accuracy with them. Most folks don't notice a difference. A proper patch and ball load will seal the bore, so why bother.
I,m the only one of my friends that use em with patch and ball.I agree you don,t need to but my accuracy is so good with em and they cost almost nothing.Sayin that,when I run out I,ll recheck and if my accuracy doesn,t go away,I,ll prrobably also quit usin em.
A wad over the powder is just like anything else you do to try to get better accuracy from a rifle. Some rifles like them, and some don't. The wad normally helps out more in a rifle with a faster twist in which a conical is being used. However I have seen them improve accuracy of round ball loads, but this is the minority of times. And it normally works better with hotter loads.
Be careful when you use wads. You need a good uniform pressure on your powder, wad, and projectile. You do not want voids in between any of the three.
I say if you want to try them then do so. They may make your rifle more accurate, and they may not. But you will never know for sure until you try. Tom.
I tried them a few times and never really noticed any thing. If you use the right thickness patch materal you woln't have a problem. The only thing they really do is pack th powder evenly across the barrel. Some people swear by them.
while not ML, they are an essential part of BP cartridge loading, since the base is the most important part of the bullet it keeps the gases from eroding. There may very well be an advantage with ML if using solid flat base, but as stated no use for patched round ball
I use a wad under a T/C 275gr Maxi-hunter in my flintlock. Accuracy is better with them than without. I don't know why, don't care why, and quite frankly don't even care to know why....I just know they help me shoot better groups!
I started using them as I was burning patches using BP subs. Not only did they stop the patches from getting burnt they noticably shrunk my groups. After I got re-stocked with black powder and quit using the subs the patches were no longer getting charded or burnt but they still made tighter groups with a OP wad.
It works for me plus when I leave a charge in for a while, such as when I am hunting, I don't worry about the patch lube contaminating the powder.
At 70 yards, the length of the back yard, my groups are a ragged hole. The Lyman is more accurate than my Polish M44 and it was brand new when I got it.
I use over powder wads(below) in shooting my White Super 91 .504 caliber. They ensure a better seal especially in MLers such as Whites where the "slip-fit" technology is used in loading .5035 460 grain plus conicals. A lil price to pay in affording 50 plus shots without swabbing!