View Full Version : Dacron Wadding - How much?

04-20-2005, 09:38 PM
In some of the larger cases and with most powders I have found, at least so far, the groups are better using dacron.

I use enough to fill the air space between the powder and bullet and really like the bullet to compress the dacron.

Wondering how some others are using dacron.

Currently in my 45/90 and IMR 4198 and 3031 I am using 2 grains, cut in about 1/2 X 1/2 X 1/2 cubes.


04-20-2005, 10:23 PM
I use dacron ("polyester fiberfill") a great deal, and find that it helps quite a bit in my loads.

I really dislike referring to it as "wadding" as this gives a completely erroneous impression of how I use the stuff, and seems to imply that it is a densely-compacted mass "wadded" into the airspace above the powder.

All I want the dacron to do is fill the airspace in the case with the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM of material....just enough to do the job of holding the powder charge back against the fllashhole AND filling all the space in the case.

I use the bulk-type fiber, not the stuff that's formed into sheets for quilts etc. When setting -up to load, I visualize the amount of free space above the charge, and pull off a piece of dacron large enough to fill this space. Note that the density of the dacron can change from place-to-place in the bulk bag. I like to have tufts big enough to fill the space, but so lightly-compacted that I can see through them with ease. If necessary, I pull the dacron thinner before making the tufts.

Having identified the size I want, I place an "exemplar" tuft to one size for reference as I make more tufts. I've never bothered to weigh such a trifling amount of material. Since I load each cartridge COMPLETELY once the case is in the turret press, I make a row of five tufts which correspond to the rows of five in most 50-round boxes. This makes it very easy to keep track, and ensures that I don't forget to install a tuft in each cartridge.

I push each tuft into its case with a suitable-size tool, usually a flat-bit screwdriver which fits loosely into the caseneck. I push the screwdriver down on the dacron until the tool JUST contacts the powder, which can be felt. If the tuft is the proper size, this leaves some dacron still outside the mouth. This part of the tuft is then tucked barely into the casemouth, and the bullet is then seated. This very-slightly compresses the dacron and ensures that NO airspace is left in the case, and the powder charge is immobilized.

This method has now worked for me in tens of thousands of cast-boolit rifle rounds in both straight and bottlenecked cases. Typically (but not always), accuracy is better, while velocities are more consistent in deviation and extreme spread. Speeds are also usually slightly elevated above non-dacron identical charges, and no problems have come to light.

I find dacron to be a very valuable tool in my handloading.

04-20-2005, 10:38 PM
Bruce, I do it the same way but use the eraser end of a pencil to put it in. No need to measure anything, just pull a small wad off and stuff it in lightly. I find what they call "garnetted" fiberfill works much better as it has all the same size fibers, no thicker or longer ones, very smooth to work with. I use SR 4759 in my 45-70 revolver with the filler and accuracy is super all the way to 500 yd's. Darn thing outshoots my BPCR. I also use it in the .45 and .44 with super light powder loads. I don't really know if it is needed here, but they shoot too good to change.

04-20-2005, 10:54 PM
I have found very little posted lately to bring me up to the keyboard, but I got to ask a few questions, comment, etc.

This dacron (pronounced Day'cron according to Websters) business is driving me up the wall. I never bothered with fillers much, but when I have, I use the loose fluffy stuff that comes in a bag. I cannot quite understand the anal extremes as to how much/how little to use.

The damned stuff weighs next to nothing, even a 'gob' of it. Although i possess no crystal ball or xray vision to view the results during ignition, I am quite convinced that once that small charge of fast burning propellent ignites and 15,000+ psi is developed, that synthetic hairball gets reduced too nearly nothing real quick-like.

Now, this paranoia over a ringed chamber is blown out of proportion. I am not discounting that it doesn't happen......so does SEE, but how often? If you were to cram all the dacron you could stuff in the case and pack it in there rock hard, I could envision the possibility of ringing a chamber. However, me thinks it ridiculous to meter out eyeballed exact miniscule amounts of this fiber in fear that any more or less is courting disaster.

In my own use, in the 45-70 for example, I yank off a pinch about the diameter of a quarter and shove it down on top of the powder. I don't pack it down, but I don't play tickle your toes either. No ringed chambers yet, no shot to shot variations due to the filler weighing one half grain or one whole grain or two grains. Ignition does appear to improve though and that....in itself is all I am hoping for.

04-20-2005, 11:03 PM

...and lot of folks pronounce it DAK RON.

I still like Kapok alot better.


04-20-2005, 11:42 PM
This is a good read on Dacron. I still use it. I am going to try cotten when I use the three pillow sized bags up in my cabinet. Jay

04-20-2005, 11:52 PM

Stick with Dacron and Kapok.


04-21-2005, 12:07 AM
StarMetal, the dacron goes a looonnng way., I have three big bags and an American Bulldog pup that loves to rip dacron stuffing out of toys. My stash is growing instead of shrinking.I have the family trained to keep dacron , foam meat trays , cans, boxes and other reloading goodies. I doubt I will ever run low enough to try the cotton. May I ask why you reject the use of cotton.
The dog opened up a funky pillow that was filled with some Grex looking stuff a while back. I tried it as a filler and it worked well but was a pain to meter and get into the cartridge. Jay

04-21-2005, 07:30 AM
Call me a alarmist but since the reloading manuals now say not to I guess I will not and never have. I use 2400 for my cast reloading and it is not position sensative and seems to give good groups for me so I will stick with that. To each there own I guess but I like my guns too well to take a chance on ringing the chamber or barrel. Jim

04-21-2005, 08:17 AM
I pretty much use BruceB's method for adding filler to my reloads but I use a material no body has mentioned. Wool. The first time I went to add a filler I couldn't find that bag of Dacron I knew was in the house and SWMBO wasn't home to tell where it was.

We sell raw and processed wool to spinners and weavers so I grabbed a bit of washed and combed wool roving to give it a try. It has the fibers all combed in the same direction and is easy to pull off the size tuft you want. I loaded up a handful of cartridges and headed out back to my range.

The load gave me better accuracy than the same charge without the filler which was what I was hoping for. I figured I might find tufts of wool downrange since wool has a natural resistance to burning but I never found a bit of it then or since. I do get and occasional whiff of burning wool. I've since found the Dacron and used it but I can't tell any difference. The Dacron has been used up on some project so when I need a filler now I just use wool.

04-21-2005, 08:30 AM
In my Marlin 1895, 45-70, I use 4198 (either) and a healthy piece of Dacron. I do use the sheets and cut it to size with a scissors. Two grains sounds about right. I want a reasonably firm wad filling the space. It cut the group size in half. I also use the eraser end of a pencil.

This is from Ross Seyfried. To duplicate a black powder load use 4198 (IMR or Hodgdon) at 40% (forty percent) of the BP weight and a wad of Dacron of two to three grains. For a 45-70 that would be 28 grains (70X.4).

I never use it in pistol cartridges. Not found the need and have always been a little cautious as they get knocked around a bit more.

Like Jumptrap I think the problems have been overstated. However, I find that the Dacron is blown out pretty much intact and gray. It certainly is not burned in the process. Works for me...

04-21-2005, 08:48 AM

I pretty much use BruceB's method for adding filler to my reloads but I use a material no body has mentioned. Wool.”

Sheep again! Watch out; Carpetman will be coming to live with you.

04-21-2005, 09:04 AM
I don't use dacron polyester with all my loads, in fact, I try to avoid it's extra step. A grain of it is slightly bigger than a nickel, which is about what I pinch off when I think it's needed, and load it as does BruceB.
A few days ago, I found some .30/30's that I had loaded back in the '70's for a Savage 99 once owned. Boolit was Lyman's 311466 with 18 grs. of H-4227 pushing it out of a W-W case. I fired them out of my 24 inch barrel 336A, finding them to group quite well, and saw fibers floating from the muzzle blast :-). Yep, back then I used dacron a lot!-JDL

04-21-2005, 09:09 AM
I will chime in to say I intend to not use anything but fillers that fill the whole case, such as grex, corn meal can compress into a hard pellet over time and raise pressures.

If one is going to use other types of fillers it should be with the knowledge that they have ruined many fine rifles by ringing chambers, and be prepared to suffer the consequances.

Every safety step or limiting factor in reloading and shooting has advocates and detractors.


04-21-2005, 09:18 AM
I have never been a fan of fillers and have not used Dapoc in years. That said I ustacould notice that some powders like Unique wre position sensative with a standard large rifle primer. When I switched to a Large Pistol primer in these same loads I noticed that the powder was less effected by position and I got slightly better groups. Since most of my use for these loads is 100 yard and under target practice and small game loads I just gave up using fillers. I have NEVER seen a ringed chamber that could be attributed to the load used, other than a 45-90 that had smokless powder and a grease wad hard down on the powder. I won't say that it has never happened, I have just not seen it in 40 years of reloading. I think Jump has it right about amount of filler as when I did use a filler I never weighed and still got good groups.

04-21-2005, 10:08 AM
Call me a alarmist but since the reloading manuals now say not to I guess I will not and never have. I use 2400 for my cast reloading and it is not position sensative and seems to give good groups for me so I will stick with that. To each there own I guess but I like my guns too well to take a chance on ringing the chamber or barrel. Jim

Man was told by the authorities back centuries ago that the world was flat and not to go sailing off far or your ship and it's crew would fall off the face of the earth. Hadn't some adventurists doubted this thinking we'd all still be living on one continent. The reloading books say what they say because of liability lawsuits. Now don't get me wrong, their loads have been tested very carefully and those recipes for them should be followed. They don't want you altering any of the componants or loads, but then again those are jacketed loads and we don't need a filler in those. Cast loads with very small charges of powder in large volume cases are a whole different animal.

Okay, question of the class here. How many of you fellows out there got ringed chambers from firing cast loads with a filler? If any we want the exact circumstances. Don't forget, a ringed chamber is something that's not planned, so to recount EXACTLY what happen is pretty tough. I bet there are few of us that got them from shooting fillers. No saying "Well I heard about or read about this fellow that ringed his chamber from using fillers".


04-21-2005, 11:45 AM
Joe; yes I got a RINGED tailed coon using poly filler and 7383, does that count? Scooter

04-21-2005, 11:50 AM
Many moons ago when the learning curve started as a dot on a clean sheat of paper I ringed my chamber in my gun with my loads with filler. The gun was a trapdoor springfield 45/70 carbine,yes an origonal carbine. The load was with a 200gn SWC for 45 acp cast in pure lead and patched up to diameter with teflon tape. Powder was 6gn Unique cant remember the primer. The filler was not a filler but a wad cut from card board box and seated down on the powder leaving a goodly space between wad and bullet. This was my mountain grouce load and I killed many with it. I was so happy with it as I had my big game rifle and small game rifle in one. And oh boy did it shoot good. At 30 yards no trouble picking the head off a grouce. After what I will guess about 200 rounds extraction became a bit rough, and a close look at fired cases told the story. A bulged ring at the location of the bullet base in a loaded round. Now this discovery made me literly feel sick and stupid at the same time and I dont much care for that so thought I had better get an education. Fast forward 30 years and the dot on the paper has become a closing circle. I never quit using fillers I just learned how to do it right. What I use now is plain old packing popcorn. I have learned to never push the filler what ever it is down on the powder but to only start it in the case and let the bullet push it down, this way ther is no gap between the filler and the bullet alowing the filler to gain velocity befor impacting the bullet. The packing popcorn is light weight and compresible and acts much the way a shot gun wad does. If you look at a shot gun cartridge you see there is a good gap between the powder and the shot and the wad is acting as a filler. Same thing we are trying to do in our rifle cartridges. The shot gun wad compresses and eliminates the shock to the bullet/shot column. Admitedly this is my personal line of thinking but it works good for me and has prevented any further damage. So for everyone with an opinion keep it, not trying to convince anyone of anything here just answering a question from a friend. To quote someone somewhere sometime, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

04-21-2005, 12:06 PM

I'm sure sorry that happen, but it doesn't count as ringing for a filler, as it was a wad. As you learned, never leave an airspace between something overtop the powder and the base of the bullet.

So that still leaves no fillers (kapok and dacron) ringed chambers yet. Don't forget fellows the stuff has to be used properly. When done so I don't think anyone is going to ring a chamber.


04-21-2005, 12:07 PM

I'll let you count that one pardner.


04-21-2005, 12:51 PM
I'm sorry Star, because I think what Bullshop said is very relevant,

Why ??

Because he tried something,it seemed to work great,and when he figuired out there was a problem the damage was already done.

I know of a friend that told me he was using card wads just exactly the way Bullshop described, I tried to explain why that isnt done. Bullshop did it better.

I read back in the day about Bruce Hogden firing a 1/2 charge of 4831 in a 30-06 to prove to a magazine writer that SEE doesnt exist. If you think I'm going to do that with the 03 Springfield sporter My Grandad hunted deer with....you got another think coming :-)

I would like to and may well try some fillers to see if I can ring a chamber, but it will be with a cheap Adams and Bennet bbl NOT one that has been on a fine rifle since before I was born. Ringing a 700 rem factory bbl or a salvage factory bbl wouldnt cause me to lose a lot of sleep...ringing the chamber in the trapdoor that was my dads, for which I still have the purchase reciept for the princely sum of 17.00 that would make me sick.

It is important as I said to weight the benefits and risks................and to me the only benefit worth risking it with THOSE rifles would be desperate need to defend life or liberty with loading materials at hand, otherwise it is all fun shooting with those rifles and usually on my hind legs at things other than target paper.

People on the scheutzen list have related ringing chambers with Kapok and other "safer" fillers, and a part of it MAY be soft bbl steels.....but until it can be better defined than SEE (which is still much a mystery) then they are not for me.


04-21-2005, 01:10 PM

I didn't say it wasn't revelant. I just said it didn't pertain to kapok and dacron that fills the entire space between the powder and the base of the bullet. Us filler users stress very strongly not to pack any filler, because then you end up with a card sort of with an airspace and we know that's not good. There are alot of things that can ruin a gun....like mud in the end of the barrel. We're talking about Kapok and Dacron fillers here, or at least I am...could add some other fiberous fillers...like Lee of Lee Precision using the filler out of milkweeds.

I stand firm, we're getting off the subject.


04-21-2005, 03:27 PM
Haah! You guys can use yer DAK RON, I use styrofoam meat trays or egg cartons that are very thin, then use a home made hole punch out of a slightly over sized cartridge brass with handle. This allows me to punch out little round thin wads to push on top of the powder and then seat boolit.

Works great.


04-21-2005, 04:10 PM
When I reload my 45-70 with 4198[favorite powder]; I use the sheet dacron from Wal-mart, and cut it with sissors in sqaures about 5/8" sqaure and 1/4" thick. Just enough to hold the powder down next to the primer. Haven`t had no problems with ringed chambers. Just debris floating in the air, after I fire a round!

04-21-2005, 06:20 PM
Hey Willbird, If your talking about me and the card wad I only use them on the bullet base. I do use the meat tray foam wads on top of powder or dacron or tp which is what I remember talking about. I am fully aware of the controversy about fillers and make an informed decision to use such. I am glad you always whatch my back though,compadre. Jay

04-21-2005, 08:27 PM
Hey I didnt mention names to protect the innocent hehe.

04-21-2005, 09:19 PM
I began using fillers (NOT wads!) in 1984, and have used Grex/SuperGrex by Winchester, shotshell buffers by Ballistic Products(?) (the shotshell reloading guys, anyway), Puff-Lon, Dacron, kapok (from a couple of old life vests), toilet paper, and cotton. Mostly experimented with the .458, but also used 'em in a variety of .45-70's, .375 H&H's, and a couple of .30-30's. The Grex worked best, according to my records. Never left a space between filler and bullet. Never ringed a chamber. I would never use a wad against the powder, leaving a space between the wad and the bullet-although I know that's a pretty common practice with the Scheutzen guys. I wouldn't even use a lightweight styrofoam wad-my understanding (and I read everything I can find on this subject) is that the culprit is some sort of annular pressure wave created by the wad accelerating toward the base of the bullet. Read Charley Dell on this subject.

04-21-2005, 10:02 PM
I did use the wrong term in the begining - WAD, I don't use it as a wad, I use it as a filler to fill the empty space in the case. Sorry about that.

Yes the new books do not list any loads with a filler, but the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook 3rd Edition does - Dacron.

There are no warnings about not leaving an air space between the dacron and bullet, I just always thought you shouldn't. I read somewhere that even a light load when meeting an obstruction in the barrel would not be something you want to happen. Maybe in one of the articles in the same book.

I am curious about the lighter side of the filler. I thought that you would want a little bit of compression to the filler to ensure that the powder is held in place. 30 - 40 grains of powder in a 45/90 case does leave somewhat of an air space and enough weight that a little rough handling could shift the powder forward somewhat.

What rough handleing - well I fly to Colorado for my Elk Hunt. My hard case sure does wind up looking a little bit beaten when it arrives. Ride up to the trail head in a 4X4 over some roads that a mountain goate may not want to take, and then ride some more on horse back. If my body fells the jolts, I think it is safe to say no matter how the ammo is packed it is going to feel some too.

With the dacron compressed between the powder and bullet already, I don't think it can shift. Maybe the compression is not need, but I don't see where it hurts either.

And as most have already found accuracy is better with the filler then without. - At least that is my humbe opinion.


04-21-2005, 10:29 PM

I definately would not take cast ammo with a filler on an airplane trip. That's too much rough handling. Did you ever hear that warning from brass tumblers and vibrators about never tumble live loaded rounds? Two reason, one safety, the other is the constant tumbling/vibrations may bread the powder grains down into smaller grains, maybe even a powder, thus changing the burning rate conciderably.

Nope, would ship cast loads with fillers on a plane trip.


04-21-2005, 10:31 PM
Well, I guess I am the rebel here. I use kapok to position the powder at the base of the cartridge. I do not fill the air space with kapok. I pull a ball of kapok small marble or large pea size and tamp it down on the powder. I store and transport the ammo with the powder down. It is my contention that if the powder collumn can be driven against the base of a lead bullet with enough force to engrave the lead with the impression of the grains of powder then my tuft of kapok will be compressed to the thickness of a business card against the base of the bullet along with 1/3 or 1/4 of the powder that has yet to burn on initial ignition. A wad will be pushed by the powder and the air will be compressed. kapok will not capture air like a piston. All I want from the kapok is to hold the powder against the primer jet and give me a consistant powder collumn to be ignighted and jetted forward by the primer blast. JB

04-21-2005, 11:48 PM
Star, lots of reloaders tumble loaded ammo to clean it after reloading. It is my understanding that even the corporate loaders tumblr loaded ammo. When I am done with a batch I through them into the tumbler with corncob and some spirits of some kind and give them a few minutes to get the lube off of them. Willbird brough me a pile of surplus 8mm Mauser a couple years ago and they got nasty. I tumble them for a few hours in walnut hulls with amonia cleaner in it. They clean up pretty and shoot just fine in my old turk Mausers. I have tumbled them for as much as 8 hrs with no aparent change. I read an article about a fellow that tumbled some for an outrageous amount of time(like a month) and periodicly pulled some to test. He found nothing out of the ordinary. I need to fing that article. Jay

04-22-2005, 12:02 AM
I couldn't agree more with JBMauser. While I don't use any fillers myself (just haven't tried them can't say if they work or no) it seems preposterous to me that a tuft of yarn strands is going to stand up in any significant way to the jet stream of a primer, which we are told can add as much as 5000 psi to a load, and is powerful enough to drive a bullet out of a case and stick it firmly in the barrel a surprising distance down the bore.

I do notice that Lyman 47th edition manual shows rifle loads using pistol powders held in place by a tuft of Dacron. These loads are absent from the 48th edition. I can only suspect that they fear some fool will double charge a case, stuff a card on it followed by a hank of something like Dacron and sue for NOT telling them to NOT be silly. Unfortunately, we live in an age where it pays to be stupid (I know, that term is not politically correct, but what else do you call it....slow?) As a truck driving friend of mine said on having his truck knocked out from under him by some fool tailgating another truck coming the other way (Think it through, you'll see the silliness) You don't have to be wrong to be dead. (He has decided that he will no longer drive a trator trailer rig for a living)

It is obvious that many have used fillers sucessfully for many years with no ill effects. The problem is not with the people who are thinking. The problem is the types who discover they can shoot their 223 pretty cheap using Blue Dot, and then proceed to up the charges in an effort to get full velocity out of their bullets using the stuff, and then have the nerve to be surprised they blew their gun up.

I empathize with those who make their living publishing reloading data. I mourn the passing of a time when it was not politically incorrect to call stupidity,......well, stupidity. I fear I have no sympathy for fools acting foolishly. What,...... Are we to expect the result to be genius?

I don't use fillers because I do not believe they will reduce the statistical occurance of flyers. I have seen to many loads that have horrible extreme spreads and standard deviations shoot as well as I could hold the rifle on a bench to think that a tuft a Dacron is going to make a 2" load a 1" load. Even given that I could reduce my 2" load to a 1 1/2", what am I going to do with that which I cannot realistically do with the 2"er??? I've also shot enough 1" groups and rifles that I don't believe a tuft of Dacron is going to elevate the combo to legendry status. Someday I may play with fillers, as yet, I've seen no need.

04-22-2005, 12:02 AM

Short term tumbling will have no real affect on loaded ammunition, but extensive tumbling can cause the breakdown of the powder grains. This would have two major effects. First, smaller grains will ignite more quickly than larger grains, and second the deterrent coating on the outside of the grains may be rubbed off and will be absent from any fractured edges which will cause the powder to burn more quickly raising pressures.

Tests run some years ago by a commercial entity did indicate that potentially dangerous changes in powder charge burning characteristics do take place after PROLONGED periods in either a vibratory or a tumbling cleaner.

The key word here is prolonged. Many manufacturers of ammunition do a final cleaning of their product either by tumbling or a vibratory process before boxing it for shipment. In no case is this allowed to exceed more than just a couple of minutes. The intent is not so much to "polish" but to remove any traces of contaminants which might in time leave marks on the finished product. There seems to be a consensus among the ammunition manufacturing engineers that a minute or two of vibratory cleaning has no discernable effect on burning rates, especially for loads that are compressed, or nearly so. However, all have emphasized the need for EXTREME CAUTION not to overdo the process.

They also pointed out that there is a considerable difference in effect on the powder charge depending on whether the process is by "tumbling" or "vibrating." It would appear that tumbling has less effect on the powder than vibrating, though this is mostly a matter of degree. The admonition to use EXTREME CAUTION to insure that the process never exceeds a couple of minutes applies equally to either process.

So you just keep on keeping on with your tumbling loaded ammo, it's not me or my gun.


04-22-2005, 12:11 AM
A few weeks before last year's Nevada Cast Bullet Shoot, I tried a small experiment in just how much shifting there might be in a powder charge, loaded as I specified in my answer to the original post in this thread. (Mine was the first answer, I believe.)

I happened to be loading .45-70s when the question hit me, and the powder in the measure at the time was IMR4198. I dropped a charge of the 4198 into a small plastic (see-through) tube slightly over 1/2" in diameter by about 2.5 inches long. Installing a tuft of dacron in the precisely identical manner I normally use, I then placed a .50-caliber Sharps' bullet in the mouth of the tube and PINNED it in place because it was a tad too loose a fit in the tube. I then taped-up the mouth in case any powder got that far. The bullet was in contact with the dacron tuft but not compressing it very much at all.

I carried that tube in the pocket of whatever pants I was wearing (almost always jeans, of course) CONTINUOUSLY for three weeks! At home, at work, downtown...everywhere. At the end of that time, there was NO migration of the powder whatsoever. Every single grain had stayed exactly where it was when I started toting the tube around.

I won't lose any sleep about powder charges shifting in MY ammunition, I can assure y'all.

04-22-2005, 12:19 AM

Try that with a ball powder...report back.


04-22-2005, 12:33 AM
i HAVEN'T DONE THE LONG TERM SHAKE TEST WITH DACRON, BUT HAVE WITH SHOT BUFFER. Oops! Sorry about the caps! I pulled down a few left over rounds a couple days ago, from last hunting season for the .358 Win, with milsurp ball powder. All filler and powder was where it was supposed to be. This is after riding in my pickup on some pretty rough roads since last October. (No, I don't clean my truck often. The elk bugle is still in there from September.)
So, if you are travelling long distance by plane or horse, you may want to consider the shot buffer. I personally wouldn't worry a bit about the dacron under the same circumstances. The object of it is to put enough in the case to hold the powder in a particular position. The expansive nature of dacron should do this nicely, assuming a proper amount is added to the case.

04-22-2005, 12:33 AM
Joe, that's an excellent idea.

I have several different such critters on hand, and still have some of the tubes as well. I'll get a round tuit in a day or so. I did something similar with 2400 some time ago, but ball-types are "slipperier".

I don't use ball powders with cast bullets at this point, but now I'm curious to see how well they stay put under the dacron.

That cancer is a bitch. If our researchers ever beat it, it will be a wonderful day for humanity. We're also hoping PaulB comes through this in good shape. We NEED all our fellow shooters!

04-22-2005, 06:52 AM
I did email Jim Taylor and Paco Kelly and ask their opinions on this, just to check myself.

Jim said he would not use any type of wad be it styro meat tray or cardboard to hold the powder down. and he would not choose to have ctg. loaded with them fired in his own guns.

Paco said he would use the styro, but that if one were using paper the thickness of it was extremely important, and that he would trust only a single sheet of thin paper.

I have seen a shotgun where a young man theorised that a small paper ball would be blown from the end of the bbl before any damage could occur....it ended up with a nice jug choke 1/4" bigger than the bbl....now you may say "thats differant" but think on this, lots of shotgun loads run 1000fps or so...there was lots of time for air moving in front of the shot charge to blow that paper wad out but nothing moved until by the look of it the shot charge was 1" or so from the paper ball.

Jim Taylor also said he had agreed to disagree on the styro wad forced down on the powder issue, and I will do so myself, but that does not mean I will sit idly by while tyro's are given advice to do that.


04-22-2005, 08:28 AM
Good discussion!

I'm with Joe on this. I doubt there has been a ringed chamber from the use of a "reasonable" Dacron filler. My use has been primarily restricted to straight wall cases like the 45-70 where I have no qualms whatsoever about using it. I use enough Dacron to make sure there is no migration of powder from normal handling. In my case, that means the range and a piece of Dacron of about two grains with the 45-70.

I've also used it in the 30-40 Krag and 30-30, but a much smaller piece that would weigh in about .3 grains. I want it to get through that bottlenecked case without any difficulty at all. This with powders at about the same burn rate. For me that is RL-7 and 4198 (a favorite that always works well).

I seems that, in reasonable amounts, a piece of Dacron has a lot of air in it and is not going to act like a wad in respect to making an air hammer that will, over time, ring the chamber.

Some of you mentioned using Winchester Grex. Dave Socville told me that Winchester no longer makes it. Is that true? Dave also had an article a few months back about SEE. He says he doubts that it ever happened and that blown up guns were probably screw ups with over charges and the like. In another source, I also remember reading that SEE has never happened in a controlled environment. Powder manufacturers have tried to do it, but were unable to.

04-22-2005, 10:08 AM
BruceB---That was an interesting and clever,very clever experiment to make up a round using a plastic tube so you could see the powder migration---if any. This test was conducted right before the May Nevada shoot. Is it perhaps possible,that powder doesn't migrate until fall?

04-22-2005, 10:45 AM
The shotgun getting a bigger barrel made me think about how the military puts those (what I call pipe end caps or protectors) plastic caps on the muzzle of their rifles and in the event of an ambush emergency or something they just shoot them of with no ill effects. Same as in WWII where the soldiers put condoms over the ends of their barrels. In these cases the air ahead of the bullet does blow them off or apart with no harm, at least I haven't heard of any.

Larry Gibson brought up an interesting point about getting a bullet stuck in the barrel. He said instead of trying to pound it out with a cleaning rod and perhaps ruining the barrel,to just shoot it out. NO, not with another loaded round, but with a case loaded with a just a safe charge of powder. He said that in essence when you load that case with just powder it then turns into , in conjunction with the bore of the barrel, a gaint case with the bullet seated way out there. He said that what blows a barrel or bulges it is an obstruction ahead of the barrel. In the case of the stuck bullet there is no obstruction ahead of the bullet because there is no bullet in the casing. He's right.


04-22-2005, 03:15 PM
So you just keep on keeping on with your tumbling loaded ammo, it's not me or my gun.

So my experience means nothin? I dont just throw em in and dig them out later and fire them. I have pulled many and weighed and sifted with no difference in the powder.
Have YOU ever tumbled and pulled any rounds or just take what you read as gospel? Jay

04-22-2005, 04:35 PM
About powder migration. I build slug and buckshot loads using clear Cheddite hulls. One of my more favorite powders for this is HS6, a ball powder. Well, guess what, over time some of those itty bitty powder balls had worked their way up betwixt the wad and hull - doesn't seem to hurt performance. Pull the trigger it goes bang. Soooo, I'd be interested in whether ball powder migrates into dacron, but since I don't use it that much I'll let someone else do the experiment. It seems like if the rounds are not handled much, like bench to range to gun and shot, it would be okay, especially if stored boolit end up. sundog

04-22-2005, 05:13 PM
Guess I'll put my $.02 worth in here as I use dacron ona regular basis.

On a big .45 like that I use the 1/8" sheet stuff cut 1 X 1.

As you pointed out, just enough to fill the space between the powder and the bullet.

The ignition in every case has been improved in my experience and and the dacron protects the base and edges of the bullet base much like agas check does.

When you start seeing dacron fly, you're using too much.

Other than that, dacron's good and the only experiences I have had with it have been good and I've shot a lot of quilt padding down range.

Probably the loose stuff is easier to use than the sheet./beagle

04-22-2005, 10:03 PM
A very recent discussion between myself and a lifetime friend.

ME: A guy here at work has some boxes of 30-30 that I can have, they are factory but old. A little time in the vibrator should clean them up. Someday, he may bring them in...

MY BUDDY: For the old stuff just remember shoot first then vibrate. You wouldn't want to change the properties of the powder. Burn rate has to do with formulas, size, shape, and coatings of the powder. Tumbling may affect 3 out of 4. Like turning reloader 22 into some thing like red dot. I've seen that twice at the range one was a 30-30. The guy with the 30-30 tumbled gramps old ammo. The cases split. He thought the cases were weak. Until the fifth shot when the primer flowed back and broke the firing pin. At Pikeville I saw a 30-06 with do about the same thing but with the first shot. Smoke was coming out of the vent hole in the side of the action and the primer was FLAT! Except where the firing pin hole was. The primer completely contoured to the primer pocket and bolt face If need be, clean them up with Scotch bright. I don't know how many people ask me about cleaning up old ammo. It's always a hot topic.

ME: Wow! There are tons of threads on tumbling ammo, mostly for getting case lube off of pistol ammo. Your experience speaks volumes above and beyond the internet garble. I just came in to find 7 boxes of 170 gr Winchester silvertips. One loose round has half the silver tip coroded away...WTF! I CUT one box open and they are not as bad, but I'll check out the rest in the boxes and report back.

MY BUDDY: I was thinking of tumbling some older 30-06 after Dad first got the reloading stuff but I read Q and A section in some magazine that just said don't. But it seems it must come up constantly. Every six months I read a Q and A article about tumbling old corroded ammo. My dad just asked me about tumbling some loaded antique .32 Remington (no longer commercially loaded, can get dies and custom brass but brass is $38 for 20 and the dies aren't cheap either RCBS set from Midway $122) for a guy at work(he wasn't that attached and sold it). Rick Jamison from Shooting Times finally spelled out why, with the burn rate, shape and coatings. Turning a slow burning rifle powder into a flake pistol type powder just spells BOOM. For loaded ammo I use Scotch bright to knock off the big stuff and shoot it. Then for badly corroded empty cases I tumble them for a while, case lube them well, full length resize and decap, trim to length, tumble them to bright polish and then prime and load. For every day dirty I case lube, resize and decap, trim, tumble, prime and load.

ME AGAIN: I started pulling the 30-30 silvertips and once I was started, I just kept going until I had pulled them all. The powder turned out to be 3 different types; ball, short extruded and long extruded. One case had the powder STUCK inside and picking with a screw driver was required, took the pliers and crushed that one. I put all the brass into a mix of water and vinegar to clean the corrosion off, worked great. Dried and tumbled in walnut media. I sized and deprimed them all, about 135 total, got 4 cracks. One cracked in the neck, and the other 3 cracked where the neck joins the shoulder.

04-22-2005, 10:45 PM
My case-cleaning routine is inter-related to the way I load most of my ammo. There are NO intermediate pauses in production when I sit down to my turret press (or Dillon 550, for that matter). I do not do processes on batches of brass.

All brass arriving home from the range is tumbled in 1/8"-size feed-store corncob with some Turtle Wax Scratch and Swirl Remover added. Only very rarely does any corncob stay in the case, even in the .22-calibers. This is most likely because the Midway rotary sifter, if operated properly, allows a rather vigorous (and NOISY) cascading action of the brass which dislodges virtually all of the corncob in all the cases. This regime results in brilliantly-shiny cases with a microscopic wax coating. These are easy to inspect for flaws, and also don't tarnish even in long storage.

Each case is picked up and inspected before being placed in the press, but once it's in there it STAYS in the press until it's fully loaded. I have discontinued un-necessary frills such as cleaning primer pockets, which I have PROVEN to my satisfaction to be un-needed for my purposes (except for cases used with blackpowder).

So....I only really need to know that the flash-hole of my lovely shiny case is positively cleared of tumbling debris, and the decapping pin does that without fail. Beyond that, I don't worry about it. The cases are lubed with Midway pump-bottle lube and each round is wiped clean manually and inspected before being placed in a box. That's all, folks!

(Ooops...did I get into the wrong thread here?? I sure like this "edit" feature.)