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Thread: Fillers...?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    What exactly is cream-o-wheat? Is it the germ,or some other part of the grain?......Ive only used wheat bran,which is part of the husk.It was suggested by a Kiwi on this forum,works ok,and is very cheap,.....but all veg. fillers seem to pick up moisture,and so may degrade powder if loaded rounds are stored .Ive not tried dacron,but I have savaged some dacron from an old pillow........and when I find some foam rod Ill try that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobade View Post
    Pillow stuffing from Walmart is Dacron. Old Navy life vests are stuffed with kapok.
    On this topic, I recently started playing with an old Marlin 336 with a microgroove barrel and plain base bullets. Pretty much everything I tried without fillers was a failure. Nothing over 900fps would shoot decently. So I tried some RE22 and cream o wheat. Now I'm seeing 2200fps with good accuracy, zero leading, and so far haven't needed to clean the bore after around 600 rounds fired. As a bonus, bullets are sized to .312 and are a slip fit in the case so no reloading dies used either. Fillers can sometimes be quite useful.
    Cream o wheat will do that. One thing about the stuff though if you load ammo don't let it set for years. Had a friend that did that and the stuff hardened inside the case and pressure skyrocketed!

    Have you tried BPI's "original" shotshell buffer? It does the same thing with no hardening risks. It's side benefits are it raises pressure so you can use a smaller amount of powder such as you are doing, keeps the powder burn heat off the bullet entirely, and it scours the bore keeping it extremely clean. You saw that with your cream o wheat too.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    I have used a lot of that BPI buffer, and still have a few containers of it here. I agree, it does work very well and doesn't harden over time. And the raising pressure is what I am counting on. RE22 by itself in a 30-30 will barely get the bullet out of the barrel. But 3/4 of a case of it plus the filler and it behaves quite differently and performs very well. Glad to see someone else out there has followed this same path and had similar results.

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    One thing I do if I use Dacron is I have a little rod used to install the Dacron into the case, but my rod has a V filed on the end of it. I'll explain, I find it better to pull the Dacron into the case rather then tamp it in. You do this by taking your little 1/2 inch square or 3/4 inch rectangles of Dacron and place the end on/near the case mouth. Then you hook it with the V end of the little rod and it snags it and you can pull the Dacron down atop the powder. You can fill when you touch the powder. If the rod isn't snaging it experiment with the V you filed. I do it this way because I know it fills the case with a more consistent volume of Dacron. I also have the Daron filler just ever so slightly higher then where the bullet will finally seat to insure the Dacron is up against the powder on one end and the bullet base on the other end. Guaranteed not to move or create an air space.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    What exactly is cream-o-wheat? Is it the germ,or some other part of the grain?.
    Cream O Wheat (COW) is ground Semolina wheat sometimes called "Farina." Semolina is the hardest of wheat kernels and the ground form in the breakfast cereal does not contain much of the wheat germ, mostly the endosperm. When compressed, (or under pressure) ground semolina creates a hard plug. It is barely compressible in its uncooked form. It is this feature that makes it either good or bad as a ballistic filler. In a straight wall case, or when used between powder charge and ball/bullet in a muzzle loading gun, COW will compress slightly upon firing and seal off the powder gas behind the bullet. This often enhances accuracy, or allows the use of a lighter charge. COW is utilized in making blank charges without wads for cap & ball revolvers in reenactments and mounted cowboy shooting as its use compressed over the powder charge creates a frangible wad. Its use in bottle-necked cases as a filler can cause pressure spikes when the compressed "plug" of COW encounters the funnel created by the case shoulder and neck. It is a valuable tool in the "bag-O-tricks" of experienced reloaders for specific purposes where it works to the benefit of the reloader, but not something for everyone.

  6. #26
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    Along with what Larry said, a few years back Sherman Bell ran a series of articles on fillers in "The Double Gun and Single Shot Journal". He pressure tested several often used fillers and his results echo Larry's. If I remember correctly cotton balls produced the least increase in pressure then Dacron and the increase was minimal. The worst offenders were cereals and solid fillers, wads. Grahme Wright had several loads for double rifle cartridges with fillers tested at Birmingham Proof House and Kynoch and none of them produced excess pressure if powder charges were kept in line. I use open cell foam which came in I think 3rd or 4th on Bell's list for increase in pressure and it too was well within limits. As I am about out of the foam I believe Dacron is on the list for a replacement.

    For quite a while my "go to" load for old 45-70 rifles was 34 grs. of IMR-3031 and a 450 gr. Lee cast bullet. I never used a filler in it and for the rifles I used the load in a filler never seemed necessary. After converting completely to BP some 30+ years ago I haven't fired a smokeless load in any of the BP cartridge rifles I own other than one drilling.
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  7. #27
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    Guy La Pourque

    I just came across your fine post in my search Larry - thanks a bunch! I will try polyester and see what happens! My research seems to indicate that rollers (and trapdoors) and other archaic buff guns like pressures down around 20,000 CUP max. I am off now to see if I can find a conversion factor so I can do the math - I am one of those guys that has to double check everything, even from a trusted source - no offense meant.

    There is no reliable "conversion factor" for converting CUP to transducer/gauge measured psi of visa versa. A while back a fellow tried to come up with one but it only works in a very narrow band of cartridges and even then is fraught with errors. Problem with CUP measurements in the 140 year old 45-70 is the wide range of quoted "maximums" for older rifles. I've seen everything from 18,000 to 28,000 CUPs quoted. I use the modern transducer/gauge MAP of 28,000 psi for trapdoor level loads.

    No offense taken, I always expect everyone to double check load data.

    Also, do you recommend cream of wheat for black powder...? One of my favourite YouTubers was using it in his Martini-Henry 577/450.

    No I do not, for the same reasons I don't recommend it with smokeless loads. Many have used such fillers as COW for years w/o apparent problems. However, unless they can measure the pressures of their loads they, nor we, really have any idea how "safe" it might be.
    Larry Gibson

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  8. #28
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    Interesting stuff "Puff-Lon"
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    Visit my fictional blog "The dr Chronicles" about a laid-back Texan named dr - Enjoy!

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    Puff-Lon is just a filler and it doesn't have the qualities of BPI's original buffer, that is it doesn't have the grabbing resistance to flow throught the bottleneck junction increasing pressure. That is perfectly well and fine if you wish to use as just a filler. Notice their literuature on it says the word "lubricates".

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    Here's an interesting read from Rob Behr at Ramshot.

    http://blog.westernpowders.com/2015/...-and-pressure/

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    Here's an interesting read from Rob Behr at Ramshot.

    http://blog.westernpowders.com/2015/...-and-pressure/
    Agrees with everything I've been saying, based on years of testing thousands of various cartridges with different fillers, for quite a long time.
    Larry Gibson

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  12. #32
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    Yes it does agree , but what I get from it is that (like many who won't load Dacron) is that it's because the Dacron positions the powder against the primer end which the same results can be had by tilting the barrel up. That small amount of Dacron doesn't have enought mass to raise the pressure. It does make it a bit inconvenient to do that and some ranges don't allow it.

    Now fillers like cream o wheat do have the weight to raise the pressure by weight alone among other things.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    Yes it does agree , but what I get from it is that (like many who won't load Dacron) is that it's because the Dacron positions the powder against the primer end which the same results can be had by tilting the barrel up. That small amount of Dacron doesn't have enought mass to raise the pressure. It does make it a bit inconvenient to do that and some ranges don't allow it.

    Now fillers like cream o wheat do have the weight to raise the pressure by weight alone among other things.
    Maybe, maybe not. I think it depends on the powder, especially ball powders where positioning it before firing is not enough but holding it in that position with dacron does increase pressure. 8x57 with 250 gr cast and 35.0 gr WC846 positioned no dacron= 1798 fps 68Es, with dacron 1882fps and 32 es. A very small test but done at 75 deg F so I would imagine at lower temp may be more extreme? I'm guessing the powder just gets blown around in the case at ignition without the dacron.

    you are reducing case volume with the dacron, that always raises pressures
    Hell, I was there!

  14. #34
    Well I'll tell you one thing - I am a convert! I'll be using this for all my winter work! When it warms up I will go back to The Holy Black! Yesterday I was flogging at a target at 200 and getting them all in there - but I get a lot of flyers and I'm pretty sure that's my old age and bad marksmanship adding up... I have been spoiled with high power scopes...

    Thanks again guys - I am finally off to a good start!

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    Quote Originally Posted by swheeler View Post
    Maybe, maybe not. I think it depends on the powder, especially ball powders where positioning it before firing is not enough but holding it in that position with dacron does increase pressure. 8x57 with 250 gr cast and 35.0 gr WC846 positioned no dacron= 1798 fps 68Es, with dacron 1882fps and 32 es. A very small test but done at 75 deg F so I would imagine at lower temp may be more extreme? I'm guessing the powder just gets blown around in the case at ignition without the dacron.

    you are reducing case volume with the dacron, that always raises pressures
    I agree with you that without the Dacron that the powder gets blown around at ignition, but I don't agree with Dacron reducing the case volume, only the more solid fillers like BPI shotshell buffer (the correct one) and fillers like cream o wheat do. Although Dacron won't let small ball powder work it's way through it, the powder gases easily penetrate it and that won't tell the powder it's in a small volume case.

    Put a small amount of Dacron that you normally use into a cylinder say 30 caliber inside diameter and have a rod that fits that close and tap that down with a hammer on a steel surface and you tell me how much volume it displaces then. Don't forget that BPI shotshell buffer, for an example, does displace some volume, but it's resistance to flowing through the bottleneck also helps raise the pressure. Darcon doesn't have that resistance through the bottleneck.
    Last edited by vzerone; 02-14-2018 at 06:03 PM. Reason: Added More

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    I agree with you that without the Dacron that the powder gets blown around at ignition, but I don't agree with Dacron reducing the case volume, only the more solid fillers like BPI shotshell buffer (the correct one) and fillers like cream o wheat do. Although Dacron won't let small ball powder work it's way through it, the powder gases easily penetrate it and that won't tell the powder it's in a small volume case.

    Put a small amount of Dacron that you normally use into a cylinder say 30 caliber inside diameter and have a rod that fits that close and tap that down with a hammer on a steel surface and you tell me how much volume it displaces then. Don't forget that BPI shotshell buffer, for an example, does displace some volume, but it's resistance to flowing through the bottleneck also helps raise the pressure. Darcon doesn't have that resistance through the bottleneck.
    I really have to disagree. Maybe I'm crazy or not that bright or both... but when I shot without the fillers, my chrony showed my 32" barrelled rifle as being about 100FPS below book velocities. That same charge, with the filler - and velocities went a smidge faster than max according to the book. I would assume that was because increased pressure was driving the increased velocities... but whadda I know? I've only fired 20 rounds so far... but the results have been stellar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy La Pourque View Post
    I really have to disagree. Maybe I'm crazy or not that bright or both... but when I shot without the fillers, my chrony showed my 32" barrelled rifle as being about 100FPS below book velocities. That same charge, with the filler - and velocities went a smidge faster than max according to the book. I would assume that was because increased pressure was driving the increased velocities... but whadda I know? I've only fired 20 rounds so far... but the results have been stellar.
    I've never stated that Dacron didn't raise pressure. Next time you test that rifle do three test: one with no Dacron and not positioning the powder by not raising the rifle muzzle, the next no Dacron, but raise the muzzle, and the third use Dacron. See what the three velocities read. We all agree Dacron raises the pressure, but Western Powders says so does raising the muzzle so the powder rest again the flash hole. I wish swheeler would have got the velocity on his load with no Dacron and no positioning. Or you know what? I could test it and report it here!

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    I agree with you that without the Dacron that the powder gets blown around at ignition, but I don't agree with Dacron reducing the case volume, only the more solid fillers like BPI shotshell buffer (the correct one) and fillers like cream o wheat do. Although Dacron won't let small ball powder work it's way through it, the powder gases easily penetrate it and that won't tell the powder it's in a small volume case.

    Put a small amount of Dacron that you normally use into a cylinder say 30 caliber inside diameter and have a rod that fits that close and tap that down with a hammer on a steel surface and you tell me how much volume it displaces then. Don't forget that BPI shotshell buffer, for an example, does displace some volume, but it's resistance to flowing through the bottleneck also helps raise the pressure. Darcon doesn't have that resistance through the bottleneck.
    OK but what is increasing the velocity, it has to be pressure increase, that's how it works increase pressure increase velocity. The not enough "mass" argument doesn't work for me simply because PSB or BPI ORG to be more exact rivals dacron for weighing "nothing"! About 12 years ago or so, your "cuz" and I were doing BPI ORG testing in 6.5 cal rifles with slow powders, he using a stick powder and I a slow ball IIRC? we were doing the buffer by volume needed to finish filling the case 3/4 up the neck then compress buffer with bullet, seems I was using less than TWO-2 grains by weight, that isn't much "mass". To me there has to be something more than just powder positioning going on with dacron. I guess that is why I always called it "proving up internal ballistics" I know lots of quotation marks
    Hell, I was there!

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    I've never stated that Dacron didn't raise pressure. Next time you test that rifle do three test: one with no Dacron and not positioning the powder by not raising the rifle muzzle, the next no Dacron, but raise the muzzle, and the third use Dacron. See what the three velocities read. We all agree Dacron raises the pressure, but Western Powders says so does raising the muzzle so the powder rest again the flash hole. I wish swheeler would have got the velocity on his load with no Dacron and no positioning. Or you know what? I could test it and report it here!
    Like I say, I think it has to do with the powder itself, ie harder to ignite ball powders v easier to ignite ball or extruded. Now I never said all ball powders or all extruded powders, heck there are ball powders with NO deterrent coating. I don't have any way to test pressure and don't think it would give the complete answer anyway? I'm pretty sure we all agree the added velocity is from increased pressure, but is positioning the powder responsible for the entire increase, I don't know that or think that. Some brave sole could run this kind of test with a powder that shows no position sensitivity(Unique, Bullseye, 231) in the case being tested, then add dacron and see what happensbut that is usually a NONO with these powders.

    Ever wonder why a no-no if positioning powder is dacron's only purpose? If that were true pressure would stay the same or close enough to make NO difference.
    Last edited by swheeler; 02-14-2018 at 08:04 PM.
    Hell, I was there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by swheeler View Post
    Like I say, I think it has to do with the powder itself, ie harder to ignite ball powders v easier to ignite ball or extruded. Now I never said all ball powders or all extruded powders, heck there are ball powders with NO deterrent coating. I don't have any way to test pressure and don't think it would give the complete answer anyway? I'm pretty sure we all agree the added velocity is from increased pressure, but is positioning the powder responsible for the entire increase, I don't know that or think that. Some brave sole could run this kind of test with a powder that shows no position sensitivity(Unique, Bullseye, 231) in the case being tested, then add dacron and see what happensbut that is usually a NONO with these powders.

    Ever wonder why a no-no if positioning powder is dacron's only purpose? If that were true pressure would stay the same or close enough to make NO difference.
    It's a good thing to investigate further for sure. I may do a test with a 308 and 4895 if I can find my Dacron, as I don't use any light fillers anymore. Can we assume an increase in velocity with using the same componants being an increase in pressure? I do.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check