Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Shop Notes: Fillers

The last few trips to the range have made it official: summer has long since gone bye-bye.

The road into my campsite definitely runs
through October country.

It was pretty crappy and windy out but it never stopped me from enjoying the shooting when I was a kid, and it won't stop me now either. The problem with this weather is that proper black powder shooting becomes problematic in winter. Mopping the bore between shots and strings becomes a nasty business with the mercury drops. That means in winter I gotta go smokeless - and that can be problematic in the old cartridge guns like the .45-70. That opens a can a worms with inconsistent ignition. The powder charge only fills a quarter of the space inside the case, and if nothing is done about it you get inconsistent ignition, which means inconsistent velocities, which means inaccurate shooting downrange.

I was forced - literally at gun point, HAR HAR HAR!!! … to go to using fillers. My first experience looking into it was grim. I went on the Cast Boolit forum for my info and wound up smack-dab in the middle of a senior citizen's food fight. There's a lot of old boys in Velcro shoes over there and they fight about EVERYTHING. If you go on there and note that the sky is blue, most of 'em will agree as long as you're reasonable about it - but there's any number of old bastards that will contradict you and call you out as an idiot for saying something so blatantly false. Who knows what colour the sky is in their world? I was pissily referred to a particularly long thread about the use of cartridge case fillers - and blew an hour of my life wading through debates, idiocy, and reading about how this old fart used them, and how that old bastard thought he was an idiot for doing it that way. Then some retard would chime in and talk about a friend of a friend who had a great grandfather that blew up is rifle using fillers back in 1936 and they are still finding bits and pieces of him as far away as south America. FFS!!! I sent a private message to one of the moderators and asked for a little bit of practical assistance - and the man saved my sanity. Now I use fillers all the time without an ounce of worry - so here's how I do it. There's other methods, but this one works for me so I don't mess with it.

Don't even think about reloading without a trustworthy manual.
A chronograph is essential too, especiaaly when you go off side and start dabbling
in the black arts.

I look at the velocities. Today I'm getting around to loading some Postell or Money Points - you can't buy these around these parts, so ya gotta make 'em yourself! I use the recommended powder charges with a couple grains of salt - my attention is squarely on the published velocities. When you use fillers they can spike pressures - so my outhouse rule of bum thumb is take whatever charge the manual has, start low, and your starting charge should be about 2 grains lower than the published charge weights. That will put you somewhere between the lower half and lower third of the target velocity envelope and you can start to tweek your charges from there. For these big fat slow boys, I want to be going between 1200 ~ 1350 FPS.

Those tufts of green threads are dacron fillers - the old lady
will use this to make quilting and arts n' crafts.
That is going to be our case filler that will take up excess volume in the case,
and hold the gunpowder charge in the bottom of the case
near the primer - where it should be for optimum ignition.
Don't worry about fouling; the stuff gets completely consumed
during the ignition sequence.

Each of those green wads weighs EXACTLY 1.5 grains. You don't want any more than that or you very well could blow yourself up if you went overboard! That's what works for the snipers that moderate Cast Boolits, that's what works for me - so give it a try yourself if you're so inclined. The usual weasel words apply though! I have no control over how you reload, what condition your gun is in, etc etc. I will not take responsibility for anything that happens to you using this data incorrectly! Having said that - if you reload like an adult and use your noggin - you won't get into any trouble.

I pull those tight wads apart, and thin out the tuft of filler so that it isn't lumpy or squashed together. Then I carefully fold it into the case, taking care not to compress it. It is a slow and boring process - don't cheat by pushing the wad down into the case with a pencil or implement! You want as little compression as possible!

Try to let the filler compress itself as you fold in the tuft.
If a little pokes out the top don't worry about it.

Let the bullet do the compressing! You will
get much more consistent and safer results.

And there ya have it - a safe, accurate and handsome round
of vintage 45-70 ammo!

Yannow I take a lot of heat from fags like Quartermain and Pete and WL Emery when we are out robbing African tribesmen of their gold idols, shooting elephants, krauts and man eaters. They've been hanging around creeps like Borepatch and ASM and are stuck on smokeless nitrocellulose ammo like flies on a turd. The strut around with belts of gleaming brass cartridges for their Rigby's, Maxim and Spandau machine guns, showing off for the ladies with all their bling.

For me - love the way using black powder tarnishes the cases to give them a vintage antique look.

Those cases are perfectly clean and fine - they're just tarnished a bit. A little patina
adds charm and romance to my home brewed ammunition... or at least I think so!
To me this ammo looks experienced, refined and distinguished - a suitable accoutrement 
for a gunnie stubfart of my obsolete stature.

If you young ones are heading afield this week - good luck out there, eh? Hope you lucked out on the draws, and full freezers to the lot of ya's!!! And have a great Humpday!


  1. Awesome Glen! Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. Thanks for stopping by TB - do you shoot too...?

  3. Not really Glen - I have some guns but do not practice as I should. It is on the list...

  4. I had a friend who used oatmeal as a filler once. He torched one off and the range smelled like cookies in the oven.