Case fillers


February 6, 2007, 09:58 PM
A buddy of mine heard that you can put powder in a cartridge case, and then top it off with something like oatmeal to fill the case. I guess the thinking is that it will keep the powder back by the primer promoting better ignition, and also keep the powder in the same location to improve accuracy. Has anyone else heard this, and has anybody tried it? Thanks, Neil

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February 6, 2007, 10:20 PM
Here's a thread I found on the subject using the search feature,

February 7, 2007, 12:44 AM
For years I've used Super Grex for a filler when shooting smokeless powder in my 45-120 Sharps, but if you're an inexperienced reloader, it's best not to use fillers. If it's not done correctly, you can end up ringing your chamber and ruining your firearm.

Hope this helps.


February 7, 2007, 01:10 AM
"...something like oatmeal..." Sounds daft as hell doesn't it? Cream of Wheat is another case filler. So is dacron and cotton fluff. Lint. However, it's only done with large capacity cases using smokeless powder charges in big BP cartridges like ReloaderFred's .45-90. You don't need it for regular smokeless powder loads.

February 7, 2007, 08:05 AM
Years ago I tried cotton in 38 Special cases. I can't say I ever found any advantage in doing so but it was interesting seeing whisps of cotton flying around when I fired.

February 7, 2007, 09:00 AM
Stay away from oatmeal, cream of wheat etc., although some use it. Like ReloaderFred says "Super Grex" works great but it adds variables to your loading and he is right to try to use loads which don't need fillers until you get some more experience loading. There are substitutes for Super Grex which are the same material, just not marketed by Winchester and labeled as such.

February 7, 2007, 07:36 PM
i don't know if this helps or not with what your shooting, but these guys seem to be serious about there product. they have lubricant additives and such in the filler thats supposed to increase accuracy. found it under ballistic filler on google ;)

February 7, 2007, 08:01 PM
I agree with Sunray on this. Filler is good for BP cartridges with smokeless loads (i.e. my .45-70 loads), but unnecessary otherwise. No need to mess with it, really.

February 7, 2007, 10:05 PM
Some time ago I was looking for accurate and consistent light recoil lead loads for my 10" Super Redhawk in 44 mag. Since I had a ton of H110 I really down loaded it trying to get a MV of around 1000 fps using a 200 gr. lead round nose bullet. This is before I knew better than to down load H110, although I must say I never had an ignition or any other problems doing this. Anyway, I knew the powder was just laying on the bottom of the case so I used some cotton plugs to hold it against the primer. At that time I was doing a lot of load development work and shot everything through a chronograph. The result was that standard deviations were cut in half and accuracy increased. I just looked back in my log and one of the loads was 16.5 gr H110, 200 gr Magnus #705 lead round nose bullet, and CCI 350 primer in Winchester cases. MV was 1120, s.d. = 12. This was a dirt cheap load with almost no recoil in this big revolver. I tried the same thing with Unique but did not achieve the same effect.

February 7, 2007, 11:08 PM
sounds kinda funny never heard of this. One hell of a way to build up case pressure.


ok not too sure id do that now that i think about it.

February 8, 2007, 09:05 AM
It has been done but you are pretty much on your own as far as liability. While most of the people who try fillers do not have problems, there have been ringed barrels and high pressures. Since the people who publish data do not recomend fillers, data is hard to come by as well. But you should remember that the fillers reduces case capacity and effectively increase the weight of the bullet. Both of these things increase pressure, so do not assume that just adding filler to a proven load is always OK.

My use of fillers has been related to some CAS loads with light weight lead bullets and grits as a filler. I will not list the load but you can google it if interested. I found the velocity (and I assume pressure) was higher but more consistent. I have heard others report that if you let the rounds age for many months the filler starts to solidify, which causes pressures to get very high. I pretty much gave up on the idea since fillers are messy to load.

February 8, 2007, 10:03 AM
ya i think i will pass sounds to dangerous. messing around with increased case pressure. that can get a little tooo dangerous.

February 8, 2007, 10:07 AM
A round packed with oatmeal... sounds like a new way to feed an obstinate kid.:D :D :D

February 8, 2007, 11:52 AM
The only case filler I've ever used is Super Grex, as it will not pack. In fact, you don't want to sneeze around it or you'll have it all over the place. I'm told that's why distributors stopped handling it, and Winchester stopped offering it. When the lid came off a bottle, it made a real mess. You can't sweep it or herd it. It has to be vacuumed up and it clogs filters quickly. Been there, done that.

I've never been a fan of using cereal for a case filler for the reasons stated. I do use corn meal for case forming, but without a projectile. It will blow the shoulder out on a 30-06 very nicely to make 8X57 Mauser cases, but again you can't just throw some in there and hope for the best. It has to be done properly to work properly.

I don't think most reloaders have the proper understanding of what adding a filler does to pressures, etc., so it's best left alone. Any load using a filler has to be worked up from the beginning with the filler in place. You cannot take an established load and just add a filler to it. I can't emphasize this enough.

The bottom line is, if you don't understand what it's going to do to the load, then don't try it. There is no sense in ruining a good firearm or injuring yourself with something you don't understand.

Hope this helps.


February 8, 2007, 09:13 PM
Thanks - I've got no interest really in doing it, since I'm still learning and not going to do anything unless it's in a reputable reloading book. I was just curious, and, to be honest, it sounded kind of "corny" Thanks for the responses.

February 8, 2007, 09:21 PM
Not quite on subject, but Super Grex can stop leading when used with cast bullets. I have a Winchester 94 in .44 mag with an oversized barrel. It would lead very easily. If my alloy was hard enough to handle the velocity I wanted it would not obturate and seal the bore well enough. Super Grex solved that problem. You have to slightly compress the Super Grex to keep things from shifting around (very important) and you have to work the load up using Grex the whole time. Not for the novice. Start slow and be safe.:)

February 8, 2007, 11:10 PM

That's about how I use it in my 45-120 Sharps. I'm shooting a plain base 420 grain cast bullet at just under 2,100 fps, with no leading whatsoever. The Super Grex forms a gascheck of melted plastic on the base of the bullet and there is no leading. As you noted, the key is slightly compressing the Super Grex.

I once put 60 rounds through that beast in one sitting and there was no trace of lead in the barrel at all. Most people who want to shoot it hand it back after one round, but I once had a female game warden put 21 rounds through it, and laughed the whole time. She was a tough little gal...


February 9, 2007, 08:24 AM
Yep. I've used wax gas checks effectively also, but they are a pain to load. Super Grex is much better. I just used a Lee dipper for it. A measure will work as well.

February 9, 2007, 12:15 PM
I've got several powder measures, so I just dedicated one to Super Grex on one end of my loading bench. It wasn't that accurate with powder charges anyway, but works just fine for dispensing the Grex.

That stuff sure makes a mess if you spill it, doesn't it? I bought two unopened bottles of it on ebay just last month, but you don't see it much anymore. I've got a full case that I'm hoarding.


February 9, 2007, 01:42 PM
It's like trying to sweep up miniature "peanuts" they use for packing only exponentially worse!:) I don't have a case, but I have enough for my needs for a while.

February 11, 2007, 05:16 PM
I have used styrofoam for years. I don't "pack" it, just fill up the empty space in .38, .357,.44, & .44 mag. I never load to max anyway and only shoot them in .357 & .44 mag revolvers. Makes a nice white poof.

February 11, 2007, 05:47 PM
Does anybody know how well oatmeal will meter in a Lee Pro Auto Disk?:D

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