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Thoughts on ringing a chamber with fillers?
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February 19, 2024 - 11:33 pm
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Current thoughts or experience with this?  I have little experience with filler.  Somewhere between 30 and 40 years ago I used cornmeal in some .45-70 loads.  I’ve always wanted to avoid ringing a chamber. I’ve never used dacron, toilet paper, etc.  I know many do and it’s been a controversial topic in many forums.  Here’s some information and thoughts Kirk D. had over ten years ago:

https://winchestercollector.org/forum/winchester-shooting-and-hunting/Ringing+your+chamber+with+and+without+filler/

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February 20, 2024 - 12:30 am
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  I would have found this subject scary if I hadn’t been using fillers for 35 years in  32-20 to 50-110. I put the powder up tight to the primer, add a thin paper wad over it , then fill the rest of the cartridge with corn meal just leaving enough room for the bullet. I use 3031 and load to original black powder velocity. It requires less powder to achieve original velocity than without the filler. The bullet packs the the load tight, it doesn’t rattle. On 45-75, 50-95, and 50-110 I use 4198 and rolled up TP.

 List of calibers loaded with corn meal and 3031: 32-20, 32-40, 38-56, 38-70, 40-60, 40-65, 40-70, 40-82, 45-60, 45-70, 45-90

 List of calibers loaded with corn meal and 2400: 38-40, 44-40

 List of calibers loaded with TP and 4198: 45-75, 50-95, 50-110 

 Some of these calibers I’ve owned more than several different guns. I shoot everything I own smokeless, never a problem. T/R

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February 20, 2024 - 12:38 am
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steve004 said
Current thoughts or experience with this?  I have little experience with filler.  Somewhere between 30 and 40 years ago I used cornmeal in some .45-70 loads.  I’ve always wanted to avoid ringing a chamber. I’ve never used dacron, toilet paper, etc.  I know many do and it’s been a controversial topic in many forums.  Here’s some information and thoughts Kirk D. had over ten years ago:

https://winchestercollector.org/forum/winchester-shooting-and-hunting/Ringing+your+chamber+with+and+without+filler/

  

Filler is used to avoid need for any kind of over-powder wad, which is the component that can, under certain conditions, cause ringing. What’s the gist of the above thread?

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February 20, 2024 - 2:27 am
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I’m not a fan of fillers, cornmeal and cream of wheat scare me but I finally worked up the courage to use a half sheet of TP in a 32-40 project I’m struggling with. In my feeble mind cornmeal and cream of wheat can conceivably become a solid under pressure and I’m pretty sure that’s a bad idea. On the other hand I know shooters who have been using a variety of fillers for years with no issues. The problem with enjoying BP cartridges is that few safe charges of smokeless powder fill the space available in a BP cartridge case and the most accurate load will almost always be the one that fills or very nearly fills the space available. Some powders are not “position sensitive” and may not require a full case but the others could probably benefit from use of a filler. Since my loading room is adjacent to the guest bathroom TP is readily available and seems to work pretty well. 

 

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February 20, 2024 - 2:36 am
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I have used Kynoch Nitro Express Wads in my ‘nitro for black’ loads in 50-95, 45-70 and 11.15x58R. Kynoch uses them in their ammunition. I would like to think they would not use/sell them if chamber ringing was an issue.

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February 20, 2024 - 2:47 am
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Roundsworth said
I have used Kynoch Nitro Express Wads in my ‘nitro for black’ loads in 50-95, 45-70 and 11.15x58R. Kynoch uses them in their ammunition. I would like to think they would not use/sell them if chamber ringing was an issue.

  

Good point, wads have never been a problem. Trick is finding one of the correct dimensions. 

 

Mike

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February 20, 2024 - 3:22 am
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I’m not a fan of fillers, cornmeal and cream of wheat scare me but I finally worked up the courage to use a half sheet of TP in a 32-40 project I’m struggling with. In my feeble mind cornmeal and cream of wheat can conceivably become a solid under pressure and I’m pretty sure that’s a bad idea. On the other hand I know shooters who have been using a variety of fillers for years with no issues. The problem with enjoying BP cartridges is that few safe charges of smokeless powder fill the space available in a BP cartridge case and the most accurate load will almost always be the one that fills or very nearly fills the space available. TXGunNut said

So many have used these fillers for so long without reporting the danger you suspect, that it seems unlikely to me it’s cause for serious concern.  Fillers, like a heavier bullet, increase chamber pressure, but not to a significant extent, as far as I know.  Though it seems counter-intuitive, I’ve read of more problems using slow-burning powders than fast ones.  Many, not excluding myself, feel more confident using slow powders because a double charge is immediately obvious.  When I’ve used fast powders in the past, I was always so nervous about a double charge that I marked on a dowel the powder level in one case, then tested all my filled cases with that same dowel.  Despite the potential danger with fast powders, my experience has been that they often provide best accuracy.

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February 20, 2024 - 3:45 am
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  The reason I use fillers in the large black powder cartridges is to get consistent velocity, 20fps strings. If I had fliers I would be concerned, but I don’t. I know some of the new powders do better than 3031 loose in the case but the fillers give me the results I want with the powders I’m using now. When it comes to the pistol cartridges 44-40 38-40 factory ammo works good in my 73s but I don’t like the price. I weigh every charge, use less powder, and corn meal is cheaper than powder. I will not use cornmeal in 45-75,50-95, and 50-110, TP only. This is what I use and not a recommendation. T/R

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February 20, 2024 - 2:01 pm
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Clarence-

I’ve found faster powders are more likely to cause soft lead or lightly constructed jacketed bullets to obturate and fill the bore when necessary. Double charges of the tiny (but appropriate) amount of Unique, for example, are a concern so my regimen makes it very difficult to do so. 

 

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February 20, 2024 - 3:38 pm
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TXGunNut said Double charges of the tiny (but appropriate) amount of Unique, for example, are a concern so my regimen makes it very difficult to do so.  

That’s why I said I went through the rigamarole of testing each case with a marked dowel–you can see at a glance if a case is overfilled, & much faster than individual weighing. 

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February 20, 2024 - 6:02 pm
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You need to read P.O. Ackley’s comments on flash over.  Half loads of powder were found to cause flash over and barrels were destroyed.  In my case many of the smokeless loads are way less than half loads so I have always used TP to fill the void.  Been doing this for over 30 yrs.

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February 20, 2024 - 6:21 pm
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February 21, 2024 - 2:44 am
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Chuck said
You need to read P.O. Ackley’s comments on flash over.  Half loads of powder were found to cause flash over and barrels were destroyed.  In my case many of the smokeless loads are way less than half loads so I have always used TP to fill the void.  Been doing this for over 30 yrs.

  

I have given the flash over phenom considerable thought, study and attention. First, it is my understanding that it is nearly impossible to duplicate under controlled conditions. Second, I spent more than a few years as a PPC shooter, fired somewhere in the neighborhood of 250,000 rounds of 38 Special rounds with less than three grains of 231 or Bullseye powder. Hundreds of PPC shooters have fired millions of rounds and I never heard of a flash over. The few “flash over” incidents I’ve been able to investigate were possibly obstructed barrels and I’ve never been able to do any definitive testing. I know the physics involved make it plausible. Quite honestly, tho, I don’t want to see solid proof. If would likely involve serious injury.
I’ll agree that filler seems to help the powder burn more consistently but I’ll always approach the topic with caution. Snookie Williamson was an advocate and frequent user of TP filler so it seems I’m just a few decades late to this party.

 

Mike

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February 23, 2024 - 3:12 pm
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I mainly shoot black powder in all of the calibers that were designed for it. However, when I occasionally go off the beaten path, I use 5744, 4198 or 4759 which don’t seem to need any other foolin around with other than dumping the powder in. My accuracy is good with these powders if I fool around with the load a bit.

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February 23, 2024 - 5:37 pm
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Brooksy said
I mainly shoot black powder in all of the calibers that were designed for it. However, when I occasionally go off the beaten path, I use 5744, 4198 or 4759 which don’t seem to need any other foolin around with other than dumping the powder in. My accuracy is good with these powders if I fool around with the load a bit.

  

I almost exclusively use 4198 as my black powder substitute, and like you, I never mess with fillers.  The 4198 powder is not position sensitive, and typically, the cases are at least 40 – 50% full.  Accidental double charging would be very difficult to not readily see.

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February 23, 2024 - 10:12 pm
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I loaded some 450 No. 1 Express cartridges with a (black powder equivilent) 40% charge of IMR 4198, without a Kynoch wad. That was my first experience with an actual hang fire. The case is large, at 2-3/4″, which left some space. My loads with the Kynoch wads performed perfectly.

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