Best Filler Material For 45-70

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GBertolet posted this 15 September 2013

I am helping a friend who is new to reloading, work up a load for his new 1895 Marlin 45-70. He has lots of IMR 4227, so that will be the powder of choice. Bullet is a Lee 340 gr PB. He is after traditional trapdoor or 1886 power levels. We believe 25 to 30 grains will achieve this. Problem is this powder is pretty dense and leaves lots of free space in the case. We are now considering adding a filler. What kind of filler is best for this cartridge, and how it is it best applied? 

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RicinYakima posted this 15 September 2013

Air is the best filler, applied under the bullet and over the powder. HTH, Ric

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linoww posted this 15 September 2013

nicely said Ric.I agree!

George

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onondaga posted this 15 September 2013

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/view_user.php?id=1738>GBertolet

Something is always the “BEST” for one reason or another. I use a lot of different fillers. The easiest one for just filling light load airspace for powder ignition in large bore straight walled .45 cal. cartridges is right at your Value Hardware Store.

http://s30.photobucket.com/user/rhymeswithwhat/media/P9150031_zpsd7514855.jpg.html>http://www.midwayusa.com/product/695248/bpi-shot-buffer-original-500cc-approximately-1-2-lb>http://www.midwayusa.com/product/695248/bpi-shot-buffer-original-500cc-approximately-1-2-lb But BPI Original is not cheap! The clapper on the #55 measure makes metering BPI Original very consistent.

Gary

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linoww posted this 15 September 2013

I dont think many that shoot CBA Military Big Bore matches use filler.I know Ric has won quite a few matches not using it.I dont like fillers and if a load needs it to shoot well i would look for a different powder.I played with Super Grex in a 30 BR and 30-30 a 20 or so years ago and got it to work OK but never any better than a non filler load.Some that used it back then got a build up in the throat of the during the course a of a match.It  was not too easy to remove so they stopped using it.

Gary-your “backer rod” is the same material that plainbase shooter use to hold the powder back on their cases for breech seat loads.It is “sill sealer” they use and thinner but works well.I tried it on 30-06 plainbase loads but holding the powder back didn't give me  any  better accuracy with my 7-8g of Bullseye loads. .

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jhalcott posted this 15 September 2013

Poly fill, the stuff you find in old pillows wll work.

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linoww posted this 15 September 2013

jhalcott wrote: Poly fill, the stuff you find in old pillows wll work.

true.the one case where i i saw huge improvement was my buddies 7.62 Russian and 16g 2400.With no filler 2"+ groups,with filler about 1.5".But when he bumped it to 17g and no filler it shot just as well.

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GBertolet posted this 15 September 2013

I have the dacron poly and the BP filler which I have used in other cartridges. I also have some corn meal, which some old timers like, but I would prefer to use something a little cleaner. I was just wondering what the more experienced shooters prefered in the 45-70, and what worked well for them. I did not want to try to reinvent the wheel here if possible. My friend does have a lesser amount of Unique powder on hand, which currently is almost impossible to replace due to market conditions. That's why at this point we hesitated to use it. Lyman no longer gives cast load data in the 45-70 using Unique, for some reason. I have heard around 14 to 15 grains works fine. Maybe that will fill the case more, eliminating the need for a filler. I do like the idea of using the poly foam, but doesn't that melt upon firing and gum up the bore?

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onondaga posted this 15 September 2013

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/view_user.php?id=1738>GBertolet

The 1/2” diameter Frost King Poly Foam just blows out of the muzzle like any other filler. It does not leave burned/melted poly in the barrel but you will find spent slightly scorched plugs of it a few yards downrange.

The BPI original is my first choice but it is nearly the same per pound as powder. The best feature of BPI Original is that it acts as a Quasi gas check and extends the load range of plain based bullets significantly.

PRPSB is also a filler I use and much less costly than BPI, but it is heavier being a spherical particulate instead  of the fluffy BPI original. PRPSB also has a significant cleaning effect on your bores. PRPSB:

http://www.precisionreloading.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=PRE&Product_Code=PRPSB22&Category_Code=BUFFER>http://www.precisionreloading.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&StoreCode=PRE&ProductCode=PRPSB22&CategoryCode=BUFFER This is a large container, one quart volume and weighs 22 ounces. The PRPSB is dense and heavy enough that you need to add the weight you use of it in a round added to the bullet weight for total projectile weight in your safety, pressure, velocity calculations. The PRPSB is very easy to measure consistently with Lee scoops. DANGER! Don't spill any PRPSB on hard floors, it is like thousands of micro ball bearings and unless you're an excellent ice skater, you will end up on your butt or worse!!!!!!

Corn meal and other coarse vegetable fiber fillers are even heavier and more potentially dangerous due to their weight. All vegetable/bio-fillers readily absorb moisture from the air and I stay away from them.

Gary

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onondaga posted this 15 September 2013

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/view_user.php?id=1738>GBertolet

Incidently, I hope you and your friend do better with the Lee 457-340-RNF than I did. That mold dropped bullets .457” in diameter with #2 alloy  and my .458 Win Mag likes cast bullets .460-.461” or it shoots all over the place. I had to hone the Lee 340 mold out to drop bullets .460” before they would group 1"at 50 yards for me at any load level. Before honing the mold out, my groups were 3-6” at 50 yards and mostly off target paper at 100 yards.

Gary

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giorgio de galleani posted this 15 September 2013

Gentlemen , do NOT use fillers,they might cause chamber rings ,or worse .

If you have to use a filler,you are using the wrong powder or primer. or both.

I use  large  rifle magnum or Winchester large rilfle primers in the 375H&H ,458 Lott and 416 Rigby with loads of shotgun powders and have no problems.

Now I am using AQUILA L  CHEDDITE,  a powder  studied for 36 grams of shot in the 12 gauge.( a little more than 1 ounce and 1/8)

A little slower than Unique.

Fillers add a variable ,cost time and money and most nobody that is anybody uses them anymore..

And if you take them filler loads  afield ,either they are packed tight as in the shotgun shells or they move in the case.

In the case of 45/70  Marlin with Lee's light bullets ,stay away from fillers and undersized bollets get a four cavity 460 bullet .From LBT or Accurate Molds et coetera.  I load Accurate but  gentle loads  killing the boars ,if I connect.

Vihtavuori 120 burns badly in the 45/70 while Vihtavuori N 110  burns well ,at the 24 grains level.

N120 is similar ti  4227 , while N110 is similar to 2400.

I like to say that fillers in smokeless loads, are like double acton in automatic pistols ,a complicated solution to a nonexistent problem..

 

Of course Black powder cartriges are another world,light loads of black powder must be compressed in the cartridge..

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giorgio de galleani posted this 15 September 2013

PS Read with attention the  late two or three Lyman manuals ,and the old cast bullet manuals. 

In the49th edition read at page 445,They still put  unique in the 45/70 ,look at the loads in the Contender pistol 45/70.

The Lyman manual perpetuates a lot of obsolete old wives tales on cast bullets ,as the size to diameters of cast bullet.

Like many other reloading manuals , they are essentially  advertising catalogs  for their reloading tools.

Powder makers  and bullet makers are more useful for us.

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onondaga posted this 15 September 2013

http://castbulletassoc.org/view_user.php?id=519>giorgio de galleani

There are a few specific reasons that fillers can cause chamber rings. A generalization such as yours is unfair and nonfactual.

There may be more reasons but these are the reasons I know of that can cause chamber ringing with fillers:

1) loose filler not completely filling the airspace, causes a pressure spike similar to a bore obstruction.

2) loose hard fillers that act like a plug with combustion blowing by and around, again causing a pressure spike.

3) heavy filler weight not added to bullet weight for a total projectile weight. This may put you past safe pressure level for your firearm.

4) using a filler with very fast pistol powders that are sensitive to case volume. Again causing a pressure spike.

If these things aren't common sense to you, Brain-up and learn something  before fooling with fillers. Don't just blindly be in terror of fillers.  An excellent informational primer on the safe use of fillers is at:

http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting/castfiller/index.asp>http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting/castfiller/index.asp

This is not a short read and could save the life of an ignorant person from improper use of fillers.

Most shooters want to try fillers due to a low volume charge of a relatively slow powder for a reduced load level, using fast pistol powder in that application is a reasonable blunder to avoid that some shooters will never heed and they will continue to curse fillers because of the damage and injury they cause. Using the slow powder with a reduced charge leaves an airspace that the filler remedies in wide applications.

Sure, selection of  a recommended powder giving the same low load level desired is the best idea,  and for rifle,  H4895 has manufacturers recommendations for reduced loads down to 60% of case volume for cartridges that H4895 is recommended. Cases over 60% full of H4895 dont have ignition problems due to airspace or position sensitivity.

Gary

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giorgio de galleani posted this 15 September 2013

Please do not take offense, i do not mean to be rude or offensive.

Everibody is free  to use fillers  and double action autopistols and steckers or schnellers on their hunting rifles.

As I do have the right of not using them.

I am a cast bullet shooter since 1969 and I have read something since then.

Let me shake hands with RICINYAKIMA and LINOWW  and the shooters that do not use fillers.

 

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 15 September 2013

GBertolet wrote: I am helping a friend who is new to reloading, work up a load for his new 1895 Marlin 45-70. He has lots of IMR 4227, so that will be the powder of choice. Bullet is a Lee 340 gr PB. He is after traditional trapdoor or 1886 power levels. We believe 25 to 30 grains will achieve this. Problem is this powder is pretty dense and leaves lots of free space in the case. We are now considering adding a filler. What kind of filler is best for this cartridge, and how it is it best applied? 

In the .405 Win I use a 3/4” square of paper towel pushed in so as not to touch but be just above the powder. It burns completely and with the powders I've tried it leaves a very clean bore. It has made position sensitive powders consistent in ignition.

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GBertolet posted this 16 September 2013

onondaga, My friend lucked out on the new Lee mold. The bullets drop out at .459- .460 when cast of WW.

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Brodie posted this 16 September 2013

I'll stand with Giorgio, Rick, And Linow.  Find a better powder, primer combination. Brodie

B.E.Brickey

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frnkeore posted this 16 September 2013

Old Coot wrote: I'll stand with Giorgio, Rick, And Linow.  Find a better powder, primer combination. Brodie

I stand in that row, too. The only filler I've ever used with a 45/70 is 4831. I “rang” a chamber on a very valuable rifle barrel with one. It wasn't in a 45/70 but, a 30 cal. Once bitten shy forever!!!!

Frank

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CB posted this 16 September 2013

giorgio de galleani wrote: Please do not take offense, i do not mean to be rude or offensive.

Everibody is free  to use fillers  and double action autopistols and steckers or schnellers on their hunting rifles.

As I do have the right of not using them.

I am a cast bullet shooter since 1969 and I have read something since then.

Let me shake hands with RICINYAKIMA and LINOWW  and the shooters that do not use fillers.

 

Hi giorgio (Italian for 'great guy'), I shake yer hand also...Dan

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Uncle Russ posted this 16 September 2013

I like to say that fillers in smokeless loads, are like double acton in automatic pistols ,a complicated solution to a nonexistent problem.. a quote from the famous Italian hog hunter.

I could not agree with you more. I have used the DA remark ever since the introduction of the wonder 9 in the 80's. All hype and BS. What did these guys do that Walther did not do in 1935 with the P-38?

My trapdoor likes 27 gr of IMR4227 with a 380gr bullet. NO FILLER.

Ric says no fillers, I use no fillers. He threatens me if I don't listen and I shoot with him at least once a week. The stress is unbearable!

RicinYakima --> :drillsgt:

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RDUPRAZ posted this 16 September 2013

Make room for one more giorgio. Have been reloading since the early 60's and have never used any type of filler in order to make accurate loads and never will.

RD

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onondaga posted this 16 September 2013

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/view_user.php?id=1738>GBertolet

 See the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook 4th Edition, page 217.

You are looking for a IMR4227 load for your fiend.  This load is for 1886 Winchester and 1895 Marlin pressure level .

Bullet listed is the Saeco 350 gr #017. This bullet is 10 grains heavier than your selection of the Lee 340 gr bullet so you will have slightly less pressure and slightly more velocity but be safe through this recommended  charge pressure range; and the load does not specify any filler:

IMR4227 35.9 gr start, 1538 fps @14,200 CUP,  39.5 gr MAX, 1838 fps @ 25,500 CUP

The MAX load listed will have a greater safety factor with your bullet that is 10 grains lighter than the Saeco 350 gr. I'd start right there and see how it prints on paper.

I will still recommend the BPI original filler with this load as it acts as a quasi gas check and will protect the plain base of your Lee bullet and seal the gas better. Without the BPI you should expect poor accuracy with the Lee plain base 340 @ 1838 fps @ 25,500 CUP as it is beyond reason for a plain base bullet. This is hotter than I shoot this bullet from my .458 WM. (1610 fps). The rifle will talk to you too and I doubt it will go farther if at all past 1610 fps and maintain accuracy even with the BPI.

Without the BPI, I doubt that even the start load at 1538 fps will be accurate because the plain base  of your bullet is a significant accuracy limiting factor at that load level without the BPI quasi gas check effect.

I hope other comments haven't made you oversensitive to fillers. They are opinions as I give you while I believe they are patently wrong, ill informed, and I have provided good study literature to the safe use of fillers.

There are other remedies if you are looking for this high of a load level from the Lee 340 plain base bullet. Sages Outdoors, a member here, can provide thin .009” aluminum gas checks for plain base 45 cal rifle bullets. I have experimented with these on your bullet to over 2,000 fps and they hold accuracy. I apply the checks with a Lee bullet sizing die honed to .461” and push the bullet with checked base first through the sizing die. http://s30.photobucket.com/user/rhymeswithwhat/media/Lee457.jpg.html>

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Brodie posted this 16 September 2013

Gary;  This Forum is for the exchange of ideas and opinions about making, loading, and shooting cast bullets.  Readers and participants are invited to take what they want and leave the rest.  Why don't you just drop that arrogant attitude you have and the idea that YOU are the ULTIMATE AUTHORITY.  It doesn't endear you to anybody, and rankles the rest of us.  You seem to be a pretty decent guy with a broad knowledge of casting and shooting, and willing to share that with the rest of us.  That is wonderful, but quit getting peeved or angry because everybody doesn't agree with you.  Among other things it makes you sound childish and I think that you are much better than that. Brodie

B.E.Brickey

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CB posted this 17 September 2013

Let it go guys, you'll never get a pretty picture now that true colors have been exposed upon the palette...Dan

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Michael K posted this 17 September 2013

Well said Dan.

Back to fillers. Try the loads first without and see how things go. If accuracy is not what you are looking for, then give fillers a try. If nothing substantial is gained it just adds another step.

I try to keep the process simple and easy- Fill'er and shoot'er.

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delmarskid1 posted this 17 September 2013

Skip it. They don't help anything and have been known to ring chambers. I used toilet paper for a filler with the bullet that you mention over 12 grains of unique and got a lot of leading and the accuracy was not as good as without. Fillers go along with button hooks and skate keys as far as I am concerned. That being said I know some guys who shoot very well who swear by them.

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Brodie posted this 17 September 2013

 I  used as filler in one load.  >458 win mag, 300 gr. Hornady half jacket with (if memory serves me) 25 >>45 gr. 2400 with enough cream of wheat to almost fill the case.  It worked pretty good giving decent accuracy at 100 yds11/2 to 3 in. but I really did not have a use for it.  I would not want to use fillers in any bottle neck case.  I think you  can get away with them in straight cases.  But, I don't want to try any more.  Brodie

PS .  The above load worked great for getting mistletoe out of trees.  One round and the whole limb came down.

B.E.Brickey

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karlrudin posted this 26 April 2016

IMO, I shoot 45-70 with a Lee 405 gc bullet. I use powders from HS-6 to IMR 4064. Alloy ranges from pure lead to WW air cooled. I have shot groups ranging anywhere from all touching at 50yds to 2” at 100yds. I also have used large PISTOL primers with my pistol powders and Large Rifle primers with rifle powders. ALL use filler. Here's the BIG BUT, according to folks on another cast bullet site, NO FILLER SHOULD BE USED ON RIFLE POWDERS FROM IMR 4227 TO THE FASTEST PISTOL POWDERS! This being said, you have their infinite years of info and those here. I only use poly fill from a crafting store which is 1/2” thick to fill the air gap. Do as you dare. I personally have had no problem.

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Larry Gibson posted this 27 April 2016

I have for many, many years found dacron (polyester fill) to be the best “filler". I use a filler only when appropriate. Many think I always use a filler with every powder....I DO NOT!!!! The use of the filler can cause problems if not used correctly and when appropriate. If the powder is not correct for the bullet/cartridge combination then the filler is not going to make it “right". Many want to use a specific powder for a cartridge because the powder is “cheap” or because “they have a lot of it". There are lots of powders that are not only poor choices to use but that can be dangerous if used in an inappropriate bullet/cartridge combination. Do yourself a favor if you are wanting to use an inappropriate powder (usually “no data” available is an indication the powder might be inappropriate) and get an appropriate powder. You will save yourself a lot of frustration. The use of the dacron filler only makes an appropriate powder perform better. The dacron filler will not make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Also many do not understand the difference between a “wad” and a “filler”. A wad is a material pushed down on the powder to hold it in position against the flash hole. There is a gap between the wad and the base of the bullet. A “filler” fills the entire space between the powder and the base of the bullet. The filler will not move under recoil or rough handling of the cartridges. The use of a appropriate filler prevents migration of the powder through or around it.

I don't use the dacron filler or a wad with the fast to medium burning “fast” pistol /shotgun type powders. I find one of these fast burning powders that is fast enough to ignite and burn efficiently at the velocity I want and avoid using a filler with them. I almost always use the dacron filler in rifle cases with the slower “fast” burning powders (4227, 4759, 5744, 4198, etc. with lighter medium weight bullets for the cartridge; i.e. 140 - 165 gr bullets in .30/.31 cals of 30-30 through '06 case capacity), the medium burning powders (RL7, 3031, 4895, etc.) up through the slow burning powders (RL19, AA4350, H4831SC, RL22, 3100, etc.) that give around 80% or less loading density under medium to heavy weight bullets for the cartridge; i.e. 170 - 220+ gr bullets in .30/.31 cals. Those examples are for the .30/.31 cals but the same guidance applies to other calibers. The dacron filler is used only between the powder and base of the bullet.

The “dacron” is polyester fill as commonly found in pillows and toys. It also comes in sheets called “batting”. It can be obtained very reasonably at most any fabric store.

The dacron batting comes in various thicknesses. I prefer that which is about 5/8” thick. My wife recently bought me 10 yards which will give many, many thousands of cast bullet loads. With this current batch of batting I cut it initially across the width into strips about 3/4” wide. I then “eyeball” cut 1/2” wide chunks which is close to 3/4 gr.

A smaller chunk is cut for 1/2 gr and larger for a larger amount. I've cut some chunks that weight 1/2, 3/4, 1, 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 grs and have them in a “snack” baggie stuck on a poster board above my loading bench for quick reference when I need to cut new chunks. The batting will run thin and thick throughout the sheet so I again just “eyeball it” based on the thickness of the batting when cutting the chunks.

Pretty extensive tests have demonstrated that the weight of the filler does not have to be exact, only close. What is important is that there is enough so that it “fills” the space between powder and bullet. A little too much hurts nothing but too little poses problems. That's why I have the different size “chunks” so I can use the right size for the case capacity I am filling. For example; with most medium burning powders (3031, 4895, 4064) in and '06 to function an M1 a 3/4 gr dacron filler is about right. With slower powders that give a higher loading density like 4831 a 1/2 gr filler is about right.

I use a section of .22 cal cleaning rod in cartridges of .30 - .375 cal to push the Dacron chunk inside the case just so it is all in. The 6 to 10” section gives plenty to hold onto and sufficient “feel". Merely hold the chunk of dacron over the case mouth and shove it in with the rod. Sometimes it takes a couple three pokes to ensure all is inside the case mouth. I poke the chunks in until all the dacron is at the bottom of the neck or at least all in the case. It doesn't matter exactly where just so long as you don't tamp it down on the powder as a wad and leaved a space between the base of the bullet and the dacron.

What you want to do is push it in to let the base of the bullet finish pushing it down and adding any compression against the powder. Thus I do not push it down on the powder but let the bullet do that when the bullet is seated. Using the right size chunk of dacron this method then provides a “filler” in the air space between the powder and base of the bullet.

A small length of coat hanger works for the .22-7mm cartridges and an unsharpened pencil works well for .45 cals. With the charged cases in a loading block I simply hold the chunk of dacron over the case mouth and push it in with the rod. It is quite easy and a lot of “precision is not required, just get the dacron into the case and let the bullet finish pushing it down.

With regards to the OP's question using a 350 gr cast bullet over 4227 powder and keeping the loads down to “trapdoor” levels I would suspect a Dacron filler would be beneficial. However, that bullet weight with that powder in the 45-70 cartridge is what I consider “borderline” for the use of a Dacron filler. A lot depends on what the OP considers “trapdoor” levels. If he is referring to velocity level of 1400 fps or less then the Dacron filler will probably be beneficial. If the OP refers to psi levels then enough 4227 may be used so that the Dacron filler isn't beneficial (that isn't saying it will be harmful BTW). Only way to really know is to try it both ways; work up a load to the expected “trapdoor” level with both the Dacron filler and without.

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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Enri posted this 09 July 2016

Ciao Giorgio. I own a Pedersoli Rolling Block 45-70 and cast my bullets. I mainly use a Lee 458 450 grn FN. Besides BP (pretty messy however) i had got good performances in the opast with Bofors JK6 x 20 grains which gave me a velocity of about 400 m/s 8circa 1300 FPS) nowdays JK6 is unfortunately out of stock, at least in my area. So mightbe a good idea to use N110 that I had purchased for reloading the 22 Hornet. Just to be from the safe side I would try a couple of grains less then yor suggested load as strarting point. Have you a idea of what velocity that combination might give ? Thank for your attention. A presto!

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Premod70 posted this 09 July 2016

Black powder tactics such as fillers don't work with smokeless powders. Read the labels on the smokeless powder cans, nowhere do they say mix, blend, use case filler, etc. and the reason is smokeless powders are blended to do a specific burn within a certain area against a constant restriction. Smokeless is one bad mother and will surpass the limits of any firearm's strength when used improperly. I side with using the proper powder and NO fillers.

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