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Iowegan, I read a post of yours in maybe another forum about using a filler with 8 gr Unique in .45 Colt for more consistant loads. My usual load for the .45 Colt is 8.5 gr of Unique under either a 250 gr LRNFP or 255 gr LSWC. Also use the same bullets with 8.5 grs of Universal Clays which is just a tad less bulky than Unique. Would/could the extra half gr cause any problem?? I've never used a filler although did some years ago use the so called soft gas checks which were sheets of a waxy lube type stuff. You just pressed the sheet over the bullet mouth to cut the wad but did no push it down. Just seated the the bullet over it so it stayed with the bullet. It did seem to cut leading in the .357s I tried it in. In fact I still have some of the sheets. I'm interested in the filler though. Exactly what and where to buy it. Thanks
Baker
 

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Go to a fabric store and ask for fiber filler that is used in stuffed toys or quilts. It comes in a plastic bag that will last about 4 lifetimes and cost a couple bucks.

Get your scale out and weigh a pinch of filler. For a 357 case, you want about 1/2 grain. For a 44 or 45s, 3/4 to 1 grain works fine. After you figure out how much to use, there's no need to weigh each pinch.

I have heard all sorts of horror stories about fillers but I think they were from people that didn't have a clue about reloading or used way too much. No, it doesn't leave residue in the bore and it doesn't shoot a fireball. It totally burns up. Because the filler takes no real case volume, chamber pressure is basically unaffected. Yes, you can use more powder if you want but you may not need it. When filler is used, the powder burns way more efficient and produces higher velocity.

Here's how you use it: After dropping powder, place a pinch of filler on the case mouth. Use a tool like a pencil to tamp the filler down on the powder. Seat your bullet and crimp.

The inside of your cartridge is comparable to a gas engine only opposite. When you squirt raw gas in a cylinder, the spark plug will ignite it but much of the gas does not burn. Fuel efficiency and power are poor while soot levels are high. Now if you atomize the gas, it will burn way better, create more power and less soot.

Gunpowder works the opposite. If the granules of powder are all touching, the primer flash will ignite one granule, which will ignite the next one and in turn it will ignite the next and so on. This process is much like a chain reaction. If there is a void (air gap) between granules, some are not going to get ignited. The product of poor powder ignition is low velocity and excess fouling (soot). Unique powder gets a bad rap as a "dirty" powder because most reloaders don't know how to load it properly and they use it in a case with way too much "air space" and no filler.

If you load magnum ammo, likely you will use a very slow burning powder such as W-296 / H-110 (same stuff). It is essential for cases loaded with slow burning powder to be filled nearly to the base of the seated bullet. If light charges of slow burning powder are used, it often results in a squib. That's because an air gap interrupted the chain reaction and put out the fire. Most reloading manuals caution against using light loads with this type of powder. Another weird thing can happen too. When magnum powder is pretty well packed in a case, the primer flash only sees an area directly in front of the primer and a good chain reaction happens. With a light charge, the powder lays in the case and exposes a much larger surface to the primer flash. All of a sudden, this light load could ignite way too fast. This could blow up your gun, as could a squib followed by a normal load.

OK, back to mid-range powders like AA-5, Unique, and others with a similar burn rate. The primer may get good ignition or it may not. It all depends on how the powder is laying in the case. So the position of the powder (thus the term "position sensitive") will change the ignition, thus the burn and of course the velocity will change accordingly. You can hold your muzzle up and shake the gun a bit before shooting. This will position most of the powder near the primer and actually get a better burn. Of course recoil will jumble the next charge so you have to raise the muzzle again.

Here's where fiber filler comes in. Filler will hold the powder against the primer where it belongs. Ignition and burn will be very uniform from shot to shot because nearly 100% of the powder burns. Guess what? The funky soot nearly disappears too. You can aim the gun in any position and expect identical performance. No more position sensitivity, way tighter max velocity spreads, higher muzzle velocity, and much better accuracy.

OK, now for fast burning powders (ie: Bullseye). Many reloaders shy away from fast burning powder because they think fast burners don't work with large bullets. Wrong! They work fine and are specifically designed to get good ignition even if there is an air void between granules. Also, many reloaders are afraid of a double charge because you are only filling about 10% of the case. It makes me wonder if those people should be trusted to reload at all! Bullseye will make a very nice load in a large case such as a 45 Colt. Without fillers, it is way more consistent than the mid-range powders. Now if you use a filler, you can get some phenomenal results. My very best precision target load is 7.0 gr of Bullseye with a filler and a 250 gr LRNFT bullet. I can get max velocity spreads down in the single digits.

So in summary, don't bother using fillers in magnum loads. Fast burning powders don't need fillers but it will shoot better with them. Mid-range powders do need fillers if you want good consistent loads.

The last chapter to this book is about how much it slows down the reloading process. I use a Dillon RL550 and yes, it takes longer to load a box. My normal loading rate without fillers is about 250 rounds per hour, so maybe about 150 per hour with filler. For me, that is a small price to pay for better loads.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a lot for the info. I'll be stopping by Wal-Mart on the way home from the range today to pick up some of the filler material. Figure they should have it. Probably need to reload some more .45s over the weekend and will use it. Also since I have a few Lbs of AA5, will give it a try along with the Unique and Universal.
Baker
 

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Thanks a million Iowegan for the good info. I had heard about this before but was not sure about what I was doing. I got it now.
 

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I just read this post for about the third or fourth time. Iowegan makes good points with a clear and precise explaination. I suggest all reloaders should print out his "book" above and stick it up somewhere near the reloading bench as a reference and reminder. I reload mine the old fashioned way - one at a time, so the use of filler doesn't slow me down all that much. I started using it with Bullseye target loads in 38 & 357 HBLWC and it does improve accuracy tremendously.
 

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Thanks guys. Funny how a post written over a month ago gets resurrected.
 

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Another thank you. I have not reloaded in years but I am in the process of starting again and this info will help tremendously.[^]
 
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