MIKE SWAN says: Not being a ballistics expert I won’t comment on the superiority of plastic as opposed to fibre wads. But there are very sound reasons for the fibre wad rule on many game shoots.
Aesthetically fibre wads are biodegradable and all signs of them quickly disappear. Plastic wads on the other hand (and this includes the bio-degradable variety) can quickly litter an area and create a poor image for shooting.
Picking up used cartridge cases is easy and a requirement of the Code of Good Shooting Practice, trying to pick up plastic wads is almost an impossible task which is why the Code of Good Shooting Practice stipulates that “cartridges with degradable wads should be used wherever possible”.
Plastic wads can also prove a serious hazard to sheep, cattle and horses. A tenant on an area where I regularly shoot pays many thousands of pounds for pedigree rams. The insurance claim would be the least of your worries if you caused the death of one of his animals!
I have watched some of the country’s best game shots cleanly kill challenging birds with depressing regularity (for us mere mortals) using fibre wad cartridges so I am sure that the type of wad in the cartridge should not prove a problem in the majority of circumstances.