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Filler or No Filler-Opinions?
I have handloaded off and on for 40+ years but now find myself in unfamiliar territory. While working up 3 different 405gr loads for .45-70 I came across a seemingly popular H4198 one that some folks recommend a "tuft" of Dacron as a filler while others load without any filler. Without being specific, this load obviously is a minimal case volume charge so ignition & ambient temperature sensitive. It is a starting published load in all my manuals with no mention of fillers. I can see the potential benefit of the Dacron "tuft", but having no practical experience seek y'all's opinions?
P.S.: My 4th 405gr load will be Pyrodex RS which also is a first for me.
Just read an article in Shooting Times on that subject. The short version is they don't recommend it. They say that it's quite difficult to stuff filler (fluffy stuff)in there consistently. They say that stuff moves under recoil. Can also move just by jarring the box of shells. Can also increase pressure above safe levels. I've tried it once before and couldn't find any benefit. The grits and other stuff used is easily mixed with powder in the case and changes your recipe.
PLEASE - PLEASE - PLEASE - DON'T USE PYRODEX!!! Or any of the other substitutes. They are all more corrosive than black powder, and more difficult to clean. There's lots of bad information out there about BP and the subs. I've been shooting it exclusively for about 10 years now, and won't use anything else.
If you are interested in making a smokey load, the real stuff is less expensive, less corrosive and easier to clean up. I literally use 3 or 4 patches and a pull of the bore snake on my rifles - that's all...............
Before you make that decision, let's talk, either at the range, or call me up - use the phone number listed for the club on the website to call me.
Well, that settles it for me then. Per my earlier post in Newbies the problem for me was local availability of Goex (not) vs easily obtainable Pyrodex. The bold print closed the deal! You are correct about the misinformation....good thing I've only invested in 1 pound of the stuff & not loaded anything with it.
Dang, I was going to offer you the rest of my pyrodex.
Does pyrodex help the garden grow? Cause that was one of my plans for disposal. if it doesn't, all I have left is to put it on my next bonfire.
2F & 3F Goex ordered......Took a fair time to locate a supplier that will sell less than 5lbs and offer decent hazmat/shipping fees. Not a problem if one decides BP will be the category of choice but tough for the experimenter (me) that wants a pound to try out.
I'm always happy to provide a pound of the REAL powder to folks to get acquainted with it. I can also go in on a group order for powder to cut costs.
Mongo, BPB is right about Pryodex. Glad to know you found some BP. 10 Ring gun store has some at $33/lb I hear. Able's in Huntsville used to carry it at about the same price. Suggest you get in on the "bulk" order with BPB. I do.
Fillers? I've heard that folks who want to try it use grits or cream of wheat to fill & compress their loads. I have not done it [yet]. The procedure: load BP, fill case with grits, place fibre wad, compress, then add the bullet. Do not use Dacron or any other plastic because it will coat your barrel and is really hard to remove. I tried it with smokeless and it was a pain. However, the blinding flask of fire was impressive.
Like BPB, I recommend Buffalo Arms to get a couple of compression dies for your calibers. Inexpensive & simple to use. Better than trying to compress by hand or by bullet seating. Also John Walters has best prices and availability for fibre wads, lead, etc. firstname.lastname@example.org Great guy and experienced shooter.
Come shoot with us on the long range soon.
I was only considering the "tuft" of Dacron in a 27gr H4198 smokeless load because I read some folks believe it eliminates potential low case powder density ignition issues. I've personally never encountered any ignition issue with a published load but thought I'd see what TRR folks thought.
I'm still a little confused on the compression step. I can see a 70gr FFg charge needing compression in the .45-70 & likewise a 55gr charge needing a card wad, but a 60gr charge appears to get slight compression from the 405gr bullet itself. Wolf mentions this in his book & I just assumed the idea is no space between powder & bullet? Likewise, I assumed the benefit of the drop tube was to help settle larger grain loads to minimize the amount of compression required. Should all BP loads be compressed prior to bullet seating?
I used to skydive also. Quickly learned that like reloading, it doesn't demand perfection on the 1st attempt but the outcome is far more rewarding.
Yes, the basic idea is to have no air space between bullet and powder in a BP load. Even a 55 grain load and a 405 grain bullet will have a slight compression of the powder. With a 55 grain, and maybe a 60 grain powder charge you can probably get away with compressing the powder by seating the bullet on it. However, that all depends on how hard the bullet is. BP bullets are typically cast from soft alloys - typically in the range of 20:1 to 40:1 lead/tin. These bullets are soft enough that if much pressure is exerted on them in seating, the nose will deform. For that reason, most folks will use a powder compression die to compress the powder charge and wad to the height needed to properly seat the bullet. Then all you do is set the bullet on top of the powder charge and apply just enough crimp to keep the bullet from falling out of the case during handling - really just removing the slight bell in the case mouth required to insert the bullet.
In fact, I don't resize brass at all. I fire form it to the chamber, then just clean, reprime and load. I don't even use a bullet seating die. I just VERY slightly bell the case mouth and can drop the bullet in by hand.
That did clear much confusion for me. I don't remember being overtly cautious 45 yrs ago with my 1st smokeless reloading efforts...just followed load data. BP protocols seem to vary depending on which book you read. Outside the certain knowledge something will go bang I'm most desirous of walking away from the experience intact.