Cream of Wheat filler for lead rounds


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xsquidgator
February 22, 2008, 08:52 AM
So I was researching some home-made gascheck options for my cast 45 and 357 boolits, and I first saw this at Cast Boolits.com although it's been discussed here as well.


How about adding some cream of wheat filler in between the powder and the base of the bullet when loading? Supposed to do some *nice* bore cleaning action, and if you work up to it, it's supposed to allow shooting some hotter lead bullet loads without leading. the principle is supposed to be that the cream of wheat is compressed up against the bullet base, and acts as a gas check.

So here's the thing I'm throwing out for the peanut gallery. (I've gotten a bunch of cautionary responses from the gang at castboolits.com) I've made up some test loads for 45ACP/230LRN and 357/158LSWC using W231 powder and up to 8-10 grains of cream of wheat filler. I've reduced the powder charges by about 50% and would like to work up a load using Cream of Wheat. I've used enough cream of wheat in my 45ACP and my 357 loads to fill the empty space above the powder with slight to a little bit of compression. Would you worry about possible explosive results with this? The castboolits gang express concern about compressing a fast powder like 231. The guy who posted the pictures has done this with Red Dot and Unique.

I've already made the loads and am thinking of trying out the weakest of them today or tomorrow. For instance, in my 357 (a Ruger Sp101 built tough), the max load for 158LSWC in 357magnum is between 5.5 and 6.7 grains of W231 depending on which guide you use. I cut my starting load with 158LSWC and cream of wheat down to 2.0 grains of 231 (my normal light plinking load is 3.8 grains of 231 under the 158LSWC). These loads have about 8 grains of cream of wheat on top of them, so the powder charge is effectively pushing a 158+8=166 grain bullet once the cream of wheat gets jammed up to the base of the bullet. My Lee#2 guide says the max W231 charge for a 200 grain lead bullet is 5.7 grains of W231, so in terms of powder charge and total bullet weight, I'm way way below that limit. the only unknown I can see is will a fast powder like 231 go nuts on me if it is even slightly compressed by the cream of wheat on top of it?

I guess I'm guilty a little bit of asking around until I get the answer I want (which is, of course, "go for it you're fine!"), but it will give me pause and maybe I just'll throw these out if people keep telling me "danger danger will robinson". (Or at least, I might throw these out and do them over with Unique powder which this guy used successfully). What do you all say (and I know a lot of you also likely frequent castboolits.com but please fire away anyway!)


LINK to cast boolits thread (http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=23767&page=2)
Link to THR thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=334518&highlight=cream+wheat)

45ACP bore after regular lead rounds
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=71846&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1201380218

45ACP bore after 20 of the cream of wheat rounds
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=71848&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1201380324

45ACP bore after all the above and a bore snake once-over
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=71849&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1201380348

The pictures are mighty compelling looking to me!

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xsquidgator
February 22, 2008, 09:02 AM
Just for completeness' sake, I've been advised based on what leading I get to look into adjusting the sizing and lubing of my cast boolits, which I'm also looking into. But boy, cleaning a bore by shooting? Wow, if that works and isn't dangerous, wow that's cool.

Seafarer12
February 22, 2008, 11:02 AM
I could see it maybe working if you used a wad or patch to keep the stuff seperate in the case but without any kid of wad it would all get mixed up and probably crud up your barrel

moosehunt
February 22, 2008, 11:08 AM
Besides that, I can't think of a better use for Cream of Wheat!!!!

I'm no expert on it, but I do know the practice has been around and used since Christ was a kid. I always kind of wondered what kept the C of W from mixing with the powder unless one used a separator of some sort.

xsquidgator
February 22, 2008, 11:36 AM
From what i've read, having the COW somewhat compressed onto the powder is supposed to prevent mixing. Some people say they've put a small layer of fabric in between, others don't.

A potential hazard (unsubstantiated internet rumor here, but it sounds plausible) is that over the long haul, if you let one of these rounds just sit, the cereal could leach some solvents out of the powder and change its burn rate (for the faster, or for worse). I don't intend to let these rounds sit for more than a short while just in case there's something to this. I also treat them gingerly just in case.

It is kind of odd though to pick up a 357 case, give it a little shake, and to not hear ANYTHING sloshing around.

xsquidgator
February 22, 2008, 11:39 AM
From what i've read, having the COW somewhat compressed onto the powder is supposed to prevent mixing. Some people say they've put a small layer of fabric in between, others don't.

A potential hazard (unsubstantiated internet rumor here, but it sounds plausible) is that over the long haul, if you let one of these rounds just sit, the cereal could leach some solvents out of the powder and change its burn rate (for the faster, or for worse). I don't intend to let these rounds sit for more than a short while just in case there's something to this. I also treat them gingerly just in case.

It is kind of odd though to pick up a 357 case, give it a little shake, and to not hear ANYTHING sloshing around.

Harley Quinn
February 22, 2008, 12:41 PM
There is another thread that talks about COW mixed in with the lead pellets to keep down the leading of a barrel with shotgun shooting, which I have read about before. The odor would make you hungry unless you had a full stomach :neener:

moosehunt
February 22, 2008, 02:08 PM
It wouldn't make me hungry! I believe what you are referring to here is using it as a buffer to protect the shot pellets from deformation, not protect the barrel from leading. C of W works for that, but it is relatively heavy and there are far superior buffers available for this purpose.

SlamFire1
February 22, 2008, 03:07 PM
I don't use Titegroup nor am I using the same bullet as you. I had to go over to Cast Bullets to see the pictures and Cream of Wheat does make an effective abrasive and will wash out fouling.

However, I seldom have any nasty leading problems with my 200 LSWC's. It is probably due to the fact that the commerical caster uses the appropriate alloy and the appropriate lube.

I suspect if the bullets you were using had a better lube, you would not be getting that sort of fouling.

If I get fouling, I shoot it out with Jacketed bullets. I load my pistol ammo on a Dillion progressive; I don't want to spend the time adding Cream of Wheat and then adding powder.

Cream of wheat is obviously an abrasive of some sort. Does long term use cause accelerated bore wear?

Harley Quinn
February 22, 2008, 03:29 PM
It wouldn't make me hungry! Far superior buffers available for this purpose.:D

I have used this combination when loading up some 30-06/308/243, cut down casings to go into my 45 colt revolver with 1/2 moon clips and using #8 or so shot for snake loads to assist in buffering along with a cardboard wad and 44 cal gas check, makes for a nice snake shot load along with some 45 cal 185 HP in the other side. 3 for snake 3 for the normal 45 acp ;)

I XXXXXX**I***I

Above shows the gas check, shot, cow,wad, powder and base where primer is, Left to right... Each hand loaded and carefully done with unique powder.

ScottG1911
February 22, 2008, 05:41 PM
My grandfather does this on loads he wants to tame down. keeps the powder compressed for fast burn rate and works perfectly fine. He also uses corn meal

xsquidgator
February 22, 2008, 06:26 PM
Well, I played hookie from work and took my first cream of wheat loads out to the range today. Worked great, no real problems. Well, none other than I'd cut back so far on the W231 charges from what I normally use, that it was a little bit of a problem in the 45ACP.

FWIW, YMMV etc-
in 357 magnum with 158LSWCs, shot from 2.0 to 4.5 grains of W231, all worked fine. 4.5 grains is a little more than the 3.8 I normally use; the felt recoil was starting to get nice and peppy by the time I got up to the 4.5 grains of W231 and COW. No leading AT ALL, and after one pass with an oiled boresnake, the bore IS cleaner than I've ever gotten it before.

45ACP, I tested 230LRNs (cast sized and tumble lubed myself) with 2.0 to 3.5 grains of W231, I normally use 4.5 to 5.5 grains of W231 (leading occured with my boolits above 5 grains of 231).
Shot well, cleaned the bore REALLY well for me. Totally got rid of the little bit of leading I didn't get out from the last range trip. Only the 3.5 grains of W231 loads had enough pep to cycle the action on my M&P45. With 2.0 grains under a 230LRN, the diminutive "pop" of firing sounded like a 22. In fact my dad who was with me got puzzled and asked "is THAT a 45? Sounds like a 22"

So good news as far as I'm concerned, so far I haven't seen any signs of anything funky as far as pressure signs. The loads SO FAR seem to behave the way I'd expect with the same amount of W231 and no c.o.w. I plan to work up cautiously to some higher levels.

I still also plan to look into my lubing and sizing situation, as several people have told me that's what my real issue sounds like with the leading. But, this is cool, and I *know* that a few of these will clean up a messy leaded-up bore if for some reason I don't address my underlubed or undersized boolits. I forsee keeping these around for end of the range trip use like I used to use FMJs to try and shoot the lead out; these REALLY DO shoot the lead out like gangbusters! With FMJs I wasn't ever quite sure if it was really working... no doubt with cream 'o wheat.

THere is at least one commercial product that does this too, really tiny tiny little balls, but why pay $15 for that stuff when $3 will get me a buttload of cream of wheat from the Publix down the street? Oh, and with the higher loaded loads there IS a scorched smell in the air that I'm sure was scorched cream of wheat, but you wouldn't confuse it with cream of wheat smell in your bowl on a cold winter morning.

xsquidgator
March 18, 2008, 01:06 PM
Bump. Tested the cream of wheat thing all the way up to 5.6grains of W231 and 230LRNs in 45ACP, no problems or pressure signs. Clean bore. I also worked up to about the same level (5.6 grains W231) with 158LSWC in 357 magnum, also w/o problems. Once my chrony arrives I'll be taking a closer look at just how fast these bullets are being pushed.

I also tried it out with some 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R, successfully. Well, shot safely but accuracy was pretty bad. No leading at all. I plan to work up a 7.62x39 load with my cast 167 grain lead boolits and cream of wheat to attempt to get better accuracy. I have since been cautioned that cream of wheat will allow you to easily push lead boolits fast in a rifle, but that accuracy likely will suffer. I have a chronograph on order and am awaiting it's arrival before working up these loads. I didn't have ANY lead bullet data for 7.62x39 or x54R, so I took the closest jacketed bullet data I had and reduced the starting load way down another 20%. It shot and didn't produce squib rounds but I don't have any idea how fast or slow the bullets were going.

(Rubbing hands together) Can't wait - lot's to do! Pretty cool if you ask me, blasting/plinking ammo for my centerfire rifles for about 8 cents each! (i.e. - powder and primers only)

Uncle Chan
March 18, 2008, 11:32 PM
If I may....

I've been shooting CAS for eons. My favorite load is 3.5grn of Clays with white hominy grits filled to the bullet seat mark and a 200grn RNFP pill on top of it. The revolver never needs cleaning. The load is light but accurate. The brass doesn't get hot. The brass doesn't get dirty. I take'em home and reload'em immediately.

There is nothing separating the grits from the powder. The combination is compressed into place with the bullet.

I've had some sit on the shelf for several years without a problem.

Atlasx
March 19, 2008, 07:04 AM
I have never used cream of wheat or cornmeal in cartridge guns but I did use it a lot back in my black powder days. I still had a lot of gun cleaning to do afterward . We use to use it as a cushion for round balls in Ruger Old Army revolvers. You had to shoot with the wind because we topped the cylinders off witha little Crisco so if you shot in the wind you came home with cream of wheat, cormeal and Crisco all over, you eyes glazed over from Crisco and smelling like rotten eggs. I imagine you could still get that stuff all in your hair shooting into the wind. That stuff must have worked we never had a crossfire between cylinders.

good shootin'
Atlasx

Grandpa Shooter
March 19, 2008, 01:20 PM
You mean somebody finally thought some way to use Cream of Wheat and grits. Wow, I thought all that stuff was used for was to torture young children. Like, "If you don't behave, I make you eat some ----!":scrutiny:

ForneyRider
March 20, 2008, 07:00 AM
Wow!

I have a box of cream of wheat wasting away in the pantry.

Hmm, sounds like a good use.

Master Blaster
March 20, 2008, 08:25 AM
MY concern with this is that you could have the powder and cream of wheat mix and cause a squibb load.

I use trailboss for my target velocity cast bullet loads, and coat my bullets with a dollop of liquid alox.

I get no leading.

JMHO YMMV

xsquidgator
March 20, 2008, 09:18 AM
MY concern with this is that you could have the powder and cream of wheat mix and cause a squibb load.


If the cow is put in loosely with extra space under the bullet, I would be concerned about that too. I deal with this possibility by either 1) making the powder+cow slightly compressed when the bullet is seated or 2) putting a wad of cotton on top of the powder and below the cream of wheat. I tend to use approach #1 for pistol and #2 for rifle, since I'd otherwise be using a lot more c.o.w. in rifle loads due to the larger volume of rifle cases. Both ways seem to shoot fine.

Jim Watson
March 20, 2008, 09:36 AM
Friend of mine has used various fillers for smokeless loads in his .450 BPE; they leave a LOT of space to take up. Hard to tell a difference between Cream of Wheat, cornmeal, and Grex, except by the smell.

I would be reluctant to use granular fillers in a bottleneck cartridge; the friction of filler being extruded through the shoulder has been reported to give some unpleasant effects, like case separations. Some loaders get away with it, of course.

jr45
March 20, 2008, 11:14 AM
1) making the powder+cow slightly compressed when the bullet is seated

Does this increase the pressure? I am getting alot of leading and may want to try c.o.w.

xsquidgator
March 20, 2008, 02:52 PM
Quote:
1) making the powder+cow slightly compressed when the bullet is seated
Does this increase the pressure? I am getting alot of leading and may want to try c.o.w.

I was certainly very leery of this possibility, especially with pistol powders. (The guy who got me to try it had only used it in rifles with cast boolits). This guy told me to work up any loads if I wanted to try cream of wheat, don't just stick it in there with an already worked-up load.

I first tried it with W231 in 45ACP. My normal light 230LRN load is 4.5 grains of W231, and a stouter load near the max in Speer #13 is 5.6grains IIRC. (Max based on bullet velocity not chamber pressure, IIRC). I backed off to 2.5 grains of W231 and worked all the way up to 5.6 grains of W231 plus cream of wheat. I didn't see any signs of increased pressure, but I don't have a chrono. I did learn that 2.5 grains of W231 + c.o.w. will barely get the bullet out of the barrel, and I did have to pound one bullet out of the barrel when it got stuck at that low charge. Anything less than 3.5 grains of W231/230LRN won't even work the slide on my M&P45, just like when I didn't use cream of wheat. If there is a pressure increase by adding cream of wheat, it may be very nonlinear, like near a max load. I have worked up some fairly stout 357 magnum loads with cream of wheat and 158LSWCs too, well at least I've cautiously tried more and more powder without seeing pressure signs. No leading at all and the plug of c.o.w. seems to scrub the bore out very cleanly. The guy who told me about this accidentally fireformed a plug of cream of wheat in a rifle of his once and got it stuck in the bore. It seems that under chamber pressure, it forms a really hard plug behind the bullet. Perhaps this plug, in addition to acting like a gascheck, acts like running a greenie up and down the bore too.

I have a box of 9mm 124LRNs with c.o.w. that I still need to test, never tried it with 9mm yet. I would guess that if I run into a pressure increase problem that it would be with 9mm since it's higher pressure anyway and there is the least amount of free space under a 9mm bullet compared to 45ACP and 357. Hopefully this weekend I will get a chance to try those 9mm out.

Walkalong
March 20, 2008, 03:05 PM
When using fillers you must back off the charge and work back up, just like you do when you change anything else.

Also: It needs to be slightly compressed to hold the powder under the filler. This is important.

I agree with Jim about being leery to use fillers in bottlenecked cartridges, despite what some people may do.

xsquidgator
March 21, 2008, 11:59 AM
Regarding bottleneck cases- how would filling only the case neck with cream of wheat strike you? I've tried this with 7.62x39 and 7.62x54R (not done it and gotten away with it for years and years though, mind you). A piece of cotton ball goes on top of the powder up to the bottom of the case neck, then the cow fills up the neck, then seat the bullet on that.

Of course the c.o.w. will get pushed down into the shoulder some when you seat the bullet, but it's also minimizing the amount of cream of wheat that's going to get pushed through the shoulder and neck (not like filling the whole case with c.o.w. above the powder).

The guy who suggested this to me, the same guy who accidentally plugged his bore once with c.o.w. while fireforming, said that the plug of cream of wheat made it several inches into the bore before stopping. That, and that peak pressure doesn't occur until an inch or two down the bore downstream of the chamber, makes me suspect that the cream of wheat can flow from the shoulder to the neck before it gets uber-compressed into a hard gas-check plug. Thoughts?

xsquidgator
April 1, 2008, 09:59 AM
FWIW, I did a science experiement last weekend with 7.62x39 cast bullets and cream of wheat. I tried simply filling the remainder of the case above the powder with cream of wheat up to the top of the neck. No cotton wad filler between the powder and the dab of cream of wheat at the top, just filled the whole empty volume up with cream of wheat. It shot fine in my SKS and my AK, no problems. Interestingly the cream of wheat loads were fairly accurate at 25 yards in the SKS, enough to reliably hit a water bottle. Not so out of the AK, bullets weren't grouping they were patterning. I'm not clear if this is due to the cream of wheat or if I need to play around with bullet size and lubing +/- different amounts of cream of wheat.

zxcvbob
May 24, 2008, 09:48 PM
I have worked up some fairly stout 357 magnum loads with cream of wheat and 158LSWCs too, well at least I've cautiously tried more and more powder without seeing pressure signs. No leading at all and the plug of c.o.w. seems to scrub the bore out very cleanly. The guy who told me about this accidentally fireformed a plug of cream of wheat in a rifle of his once and got it stuck in the bore. It seems that under chamber pressure, it forms a really hard plug behind the bullet. Perhaps this plug, in addition to acting like a gascheck, acts like running a greenie up and down the bore too.

I have a .357 (bought new and fired maybe 200 rounds so far) that leads badly no matter what cast bullet loads I use. Even with .38 Specials. It is getting easier to scrub out though.

Might be worth a try using c.o.w. to make up some scrubber rounds for it. If they shoot well, I may start using it in all my .357 cast bullet loads. I assume grits should work just as well as c.o.w? I got a box of 'em in the pantry that nobody is eating...

TexasSkyhawk
May 25, 2008, 12:40 AM
I tried the CoW thing years ago. Found out two things:

1. The time I spent at the loading bench pouring in CoW and fretting over getting everything just right took longer than it did to just clean the gun after I got through shooting.

2. A 50 - 50 mixture of white kitchen vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in the barrel for about ten minutes dissolved any and all leading or traces of leading with no scrubbing. A swab with some Hoppes #9, a couple of passes with the brush, then clean patches and I was done.

Still use that method to this day on my cast boolit shooting.

Also found that while a bit messy, the Lee Liquid Alox cut by half with mineral spirits, and then filled with some Johnson's Paste Wax has eliminated ALL leading--all the way up to some of my cast loads that are approaching 1400 fps.

Added benefit is that the carnuba in the JPW helps clean and shine my barrel.

Jeff

Walkalong
May 25, 2008, 09:43 AM
When I used Super Grex I ran it through a measure, just like the powder. It sure speeds things up. I don't know if it would work with COW, but I don't see why not.

zxcvbob
May 25, 2008, 09:19 PM
I loaded 10 rounds tonight; gonna try them in a few days if I get a chance. 9.5 grains of Blue Dot, a Lee 0.5cc dipper of Quaker quick grits, and a 158 grain LRN bullet with Lee liquid alox.

I have 50 or 60 .357 wadcutter cartridges that lead like the dickens. I'll shoot some .38's first, then those WC's, then shoot the grits loads last before I go home.

Okiecruffler
May 25, 2008, 11:44 PM
a buttload of cream of wheat
How much is that exactly? How does one measure it? Do I really want to know?

I've never used it as filler, but I used to make my 30-30AI's by loading 5gr of Red Dot in a virgin 30-30 case, fill to the top with COW and then cap off with a bit of tissue paper. Gave me great fireformed brass. Tried it to make 7tcu from 223 tho and it didn't work so hot, brass was abit stouter.

FLORIDA KEVIN
May 26, 2008, 12:11 AM
I made up some rounds for my .454 casull srh using cream of wheat ! They shot well and really cleaned the bore ! I dont think i would try it with a botleneck cartridge though ! Kevin

Sgt.Dusk
May 28, 2008, 11:36 PM
Cream of wheat is my new religion.
Tried it yesterday with .357.
-Cast 158grs TL LSWC
-Vihtavuori N340 6.5grs

50m with scope in my Taurus 689
I didnt measure the 5-shot group, but all holes were touching each other. I used sandbag under the barrel of course. Ive never had this good grouping with gascheckless homecast bullet.
After shooting I looked into the bore and it was cleaner than before I started shooting.

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