View Full Version : Fillers - What to use ?

10-03-2010, 05:41 PM
The Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, 3rd Edition, speaks of Dacron Batting as a filler.

All I can find is "Low Melting Polyester Batting" in fabric stores.
I don't think they care exactly what the batting is anymore - most folk wouldn't
know Dacron from Bamboo Batting....(which they have!).

Sporting Goods store clerks look at you like you are crazy when you ask....

I bought 1.5 yard of that low MP Polyester to try in lower loads in a 6.5mm Carcano and
6.5mm Swedish Mauser.

The case is maybe half full of Reloader 15.

Has anyone tried the 'Polyester' batting.

Using Cream of Wheat and Lint and Cat Litter and such stuff seems like a 'bad idea'
mainly because the powder could juggle past it or mix with it.

A Polyester (no Dacron to be found) wad would keep the powder pushed down
near the primer.

How much of these 'Fillers' gets burned up and how much goes out the front ?

YES - I know you start low and always add the filler, if you are going to use filler. I can read. p 123.


10-10-2010, 11:30 PM
I found a post on a forum wherein one person uses TOILET PAPER as a filler !


All I can say is....why the Hell didn't I think of that !?

Also - decided not to try the "Polyester" batting.

I put a lighter flame to it and it melted like wax into a big sticky drop.

Toilet Paper has so many uses and w/o it, civilization comes to an abrupt end.


10-11-2010, 02:47 AM
To be honest, I'm not convinced of any need for fillers. I have yet to find a cartridge that I couldn't work up a decent load for without any fillers at all (assuming the gun likes the bullet). I know they may be useful for very low loading density loads to keep all the powder in the base of the case next to the primer for good even ignition, but even with reduced cast loads I can always find a powder that will take up sufficient volume to overcome positional problems. I have experimented with kapok, dacron, milkweed, and COW. They work, especially with light charges and pistol powders, but I prefer the alternatives. I don't like not knowing what happens to pressure levels as the case capacity is decreased by the filler, and I don't like the fact that the ammo has to be carefully handled to avoid mixing with COW. Neither do I like having to raise the muzzle before every shot for loads with only a few grains of powder (which probably is responsible for someone coming up with the whole idea of fillers in the first place). As long as loading density is above 40% I don't have to bother, and I choose a powder that will do that.

As for TP, I already have a perfectly good use for it. :)

10-11-2010, 09:37 PM
I have not tried ANYTHING yet, but TP sounds like the ticket if I want a filler.

As to your last comment, I have a wise acre friend who wanted to know if I used
"used toilet paper"....lol.

I've heard about MilSurp ammo from Poland, Hungaria and Eqypt that stinks very
badly when shot.

Maybe they are using "Used TP" fillers !

Or maybe dried Camel Crap. Now THAT is a thought....dried Cow Manure.

Fertile idea, that. Fertilizing your rifle...

There are a couple of guys on ParallaxBill's site who have me scared to do ANYTHING
not written down in loading tables.

I want to make reduced loads to keep my shoulder from hurting (calcium deposits)
and thus the Filler to prevent "SEE" from happening. Thinking of 66% loads.

I think maybe those guys are going way overboard - are they Lawyers?

Should I worry as they warn, or not...?


10-11-2010, 11:00 PM
IMR powders reduce without problems as do flake powders. I use them all the time with cast bullets. SEE's are a known danger when trying to do it with spherical powders, so do keep that in mind. I don't know what kind of accuracy you'll get with jacketed bullets, but like anything else, if you try enough combinations you're sure to hit on one that will do what you want. The reason you don't find reduced loads in manuals is that they can perform erratically, with a wider range of SD's than is acceptable for long distance accuracy.

10-12-2010, 04:50 AM
I looked thru my collection of smokeless gunpowders.

None are spherical - I looked at each one.

In order of burn rate (Fastest --->Slowest), I have

Red Dot
Reloder 7
Reloder 15


10-12-2010, 02:32 PM
woo hoo fillers again.
fillers are mainly needed with the medium rate powders starting about 322 speed through about4064 speed.
if using unique-2400 fillers are not needed.
fillers are used to position the powder near the primer for better [more consistent] ignition.
and do provide a bit of protection to the base of your boolit.
most every one of my more accurate loads use a filler but i can come very close without [with a faster powder].
if you do use a filler make sure it is on top of the powder and is definately touching the base of your boolit.
toilet paper will be blown out the end of your bbl without burning in most cases, but does not help the accuracy of your load..
the batting you talk of usually comes in sheets and is used in quilting, you cut out squares and poke it in the case.
it won't burn [like with a lighter] in your bbl.
i use a lot of dryer lint in my filled loads, as usually a grain of lint will fill a case sufficiently.
but it keeps a bbl in a dry state, which is no problem with the lubes i use.
fillers are also handy in loads where one shot is up hill and the next is down hill or across a canyon like in rock chuck, or coyote, or even deer hunting.

remember adding a grain of filler effectively makes your case smaller and is like adding two grains of powder. in the medium velocities we are using with cast.

so the best rule of thumb is to use no filler with fast shotgun type powders.
filler with medium rate powders [and the primer is very important here also]
and no fillers with the slow for caliber powders which fill the case or nearly so.

10-12-2010, 10:04 PM

Couple of questions for you.

First, I have a butt load of Reloder 15 which I'd like to use in "Gallery Loads" in my
MilSurp rifles (Lee-Enfields, 8mm BRNO Mauser, Mosin-Nagants, 6.5mm Carcano,
6.5mm Swedish Mauser, 30-06 Springfield, 30-30, etc.) so that I don't beat the Hell
out of my bad shoulder.

So - should I use a filler in them ?

I bought 1.5 yards of Polyester Batting.
Would that work - or just melt and coat my bore ?

Cannot find Rayon. TP won't melt - don't care if it gets popped out the barrel.

Dryer lint bothers me in that it's composition is a mixed bag - would change with
whatever is dried in the dryer. I have a lot of it, by the way.

I have loaded 25 grains of Reloder 15 in a Carcano with the LEE 170 grain Cast
WW bullet and 30 grains in the 6.5mm Swedish with 149 grain FMJ Prvi Partizan
(pulled from their Carcano rounds) bullets.

The case is about half full - wanted to keep the powder back by the primer hole.

So, what do you think ?

A couple of guys on the ParallaxBill web site have me spooked about using lighter
loads. They seem to think I'm going to blow my head off.


10-13-2010, 02:43 PM
rl-15 is in the 4895 range, so a filler would help if needed.
if you have a chronograph it will tell you if one is necessary.
i have had deviations of 150 fps brought down to 10-20 fps with the use of a filler.
you can also often tell by vertical stringing on target.
the dacron will hold the powder down just fine.
remember it needs to touch both the boolit and the powder,
and will just blow out the bbl, no worries.
now in your jacketed load filler won't be much help as the jacketed bullet has a bit more neck tension and resistance in the bbl.
with dryer lint as a filler i usually use either from levi's or from a load of bath towells.
dont pack it in.
but i make sure the case is full to the neck mouth and seat the boolit down on top of it.
i have gone as low as 24 grs in the 7x57 with a 145 cast boolit with both 4895's without fillers and as high as 30 with them in a 308 with 170 gr cast and up to 35 in the 0-6.
a pretty broad range with cast.
i have also went down to around 30grs with jacketed loads in the 308 and 7x57.
the recommended amount is 60% of a case full for a reduced load with jacketed rounds up to max with the 4895 range powders.

10-14-2010, 01:59 AM
I reloaded 18 Carcano Brass with the LEE cast bullet (170 gr Cruise Missile) sized to
0.268 and lubed, with 25 gr RL-15 load.

Shot it today and Chronographed six rounds.

1. 1693 ft/sec
2. 1563 ft/sec
3. 1602 ft/sec
4. 1551 ft/sec
5. 1579 ft/sec
6. 1521 ft/sec

mean was 1585 ft/sec.

I have never measured velocity before.

Are those good or bad deviations from the mean in velocities ?

Also, a bit too fast for Gas Checked Cast bullets - yes ?

BTW - I shot at 50 meters and had all round holes.
I like that LEE molded 170 gr bullet.


10-14-2010, 02:36 AM
well the carcano is a gain twist rifled gun.
but those velocities should be okay.
the 6.5's are notoriuosly difficult to get velocity from [with cast] because of the fast twist rates but a gain twist might actually work in your favor.
however that spread is too far apart, try the filler.
go to 24 grs and a square of the dacron.
also don't be afraid to try a large pistol primer with the lighter loads.
you are well under the 40k that a magnum revolver round will have with those pistol primers.
and is my cut-off point for going to rifle primers.
you could also do some load work with the 2400 powder which might be an easier [non filler load]

10-14-2010, 05:14 AM
I use 9 gr. red dot, fill the case to the top with used dried coffee ground. Press a lee 185 gr. cast bullet down to hold the coffee and powder firm. very accurate load for the 303 british enfield. about 1200 fps. with a pb cast bullet lubed with lee alox.

10-15-2010, 04:48 PM
I love the idea of 'dried coffee grounds" !

They are regular in size, dried, extracted of any sticky proteins, they are light and I have a Butt Load
of them - we are BIG coffee drinkers...


Question - does the Brand make a difference ?

Fine grind versus coarse grind ?

Decaff versus regular ?

Is Folgers better than Yuban ? lol


10-15-2010, 11:37 PM
in the 303 a solid filler is a bit more acceptable because of the sloping shoulder.
that 9 gr load is in the 35 k range with the filler a 13 gr load without is a bit over 40k.

10-19-2010, 01:25 AM
Just loaded up some 'light load' 6.5mm Carcano's last night using toilet paper filler
and a LEE Powder Scale.




10-24-2010, 09:48 PM
Haven't used my dried Coffee Grounds yet...

I found this mentioned somewhere and just ordered 500 cc's of it.


Been loading Toilet Paper, but have not had the chance to shoot it - RAIN and/or work.


11-03-2010, 10:58 PM
The coffee I use comes from the coffee maker at work, it holds one pound of grounds per run. I dont know the brand or the grind, dont think it will make any diff. I also use 7gr. red dot in 30-30 case filling the same way with coffee held in with 150 gr. cast bullet from a lee mold. very accurate to about 80 yards.