OT: Handloading question

I'd ask this in a more appropriate place if I knew or trusted the judgment
of the people there, but I know there are handloaders here, and that people
here are a little off the wall in general, so you guys are more likely to
have a good answer to an odd question.
I need a replacement for the kapok I use to fill space in .32 H&R magnum
cases when I make light range loads for it. They're loaded with wadcutter
bullets and a light load of Red Dot, and they're lousy when you don't fill
up the space.
But my 47-year-old kapok life vest has given up the ghost (it's a shadow of
its former self) and I need a replacement. I've tried the polyester fluff
but I hate the sticky goop it sometimes leaves in the cases. I haven't
looked around for alternatives for so long that I have no idea what's out
there.
Any suggestions? I have to do something fairly soon. I have to take some
beginners to the range and the old Single-Six Magnum is a good one to start
them with.
Thanks.
--
Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
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Suggestion 1: Find the oldest marina/boat dealer in the area and see if he has any old life jackets in the rafters. Estate sales and junk stores are another possible source.
#2: It's still available---
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$5 a pound, but a pound fills the space in a LOT of 32 mag cases!
#3: Change powder to something that fills the case. Trailboss?? The little donut powder. Made for full case cowboy loads.
Reply to
BillM
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Aha! All good suggestions, Bill. I'll bet there are a lot of old kapok life vests around. NJ boaters never throw anything out. I'll hit the yard sales down at the Jersey shore this coming spring.
Short term, I'll spring for the $5. I've asked around for it and people look at me like I'm from Mars.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
Have you tried plain old cotton from a cottonball, Ed? I wonder if that would work without leaving a residue.
Jim Chandler
Reply to
Jim Chandler
This isn't something I know from experience, but only from reading some handloading experts: they frown on it because, IIRC, cotton is hygroscopic and it always contains some moisture. Kapok is not. That's why it's been the preferred filler material for as long as I can remember.
There are some other materials that have been used, including rice hulls and other grain hulls, but they mix with the powder and give a different result. The idea with the kapok is that it keeps the powder up tight against the primer. When it floats around, you get uneven ignition.
As a last resort I have loaded without the filler and just tipped the gun up after every shot. I also used to shoot single-shot antique rifles that way, when they're loaded with BP, without bullets, and you separately load a patched bullet from the muzzle. It's a PITA, and not something I want to do with beginners.
-- Ed Huntress
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
How about cork ? Cork sheet can (I suppose) be put in the mixed drink maker - blender and ground - or in a like kitchen toy you bought for the beloved.
Bound to have some import junk at a big box sports place.
Martin Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member.
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Ed Huntress wrote:
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Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
I don't know. Handloading is not something I like to experiment with. I like for lots of other people to try something first.
It's an interesting idea, though.
-- Ed Huntress
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Reply to
Ed Huntress
I had forgotten about that. Don't want wet powder!
Jim
Reply to
Jim Chandler
A different powder might serve well. What bullet and how much Red Dot are you using? There is very likely a powder that would give you a mostly-full case and stil match the m.v. and max chamber pressure of your load. I could build a propellant table in Quickload and suggest a couple if I know a bit more about your powder, bullet and present load (hence m.v. and max pressure) with Red Dot. It would also be useful to know the water capacity of your case in grains of water.
Reply to
Don Foreman
I don't even remember. I worked it up from some comments in one of the handloading books, trimmed an old .32 S&W Long case to equal the weighed volume, soldered on a piece of heavy wire for a handle, and I just use that as a powder measure. I could go weigh it again but I hope you won't ask me to.
As it is, this is not a careful business of loading for accuracy or sophistication, just a range load for shooting informally at 50 feet, with wadcutters pressed flush with the case mouth. I'd consider changing powder if it was worth it but I already have a big supply of Red Dot and, for this modest purpose, I'll just keep using that until it's gone -- which won't be soon.
But I do appreciate your offer. My favorite range has closed down and I have to go back to one I didn't like much in the past; if it's improved, I may start shooting regularly again and I'll have a project for which I could use your help: developing a high-velocity, high-accuracy load for the Ruger Single Six. That .32 H&R Magnum cartridge has some nice properties. It shoots flat and the gun is known for very high accuracy.
-- Ed Huntress
"Specialization increases economic value. As an example Smith famously used the 'trifling manufacture' of a pin. Without specialization and specialists' machinery it would take us all day to make one pin. In an early draft of _Wealth_, Smith noted that if we went so far as to dig in the iron mines, smelt our own ore, and so forth, we could 'scarce make one pin in a year.' And somewhere a group of hobbyists -- contactable via the Internet -- is doing just that, to the irritated mystification of their wives." -- P.J. O'Rourke, _On The Wealth of Nations_
Reply to
Ed Huntress
I'd be glad to help if I can. I'll also pass this along to Fitch if he's not reading the group. He's an afficiando of Ruger single six's and he also has Quickload. He had it first, I followed his lead.
Reply to
Don Foreman
I'd appreciate that, Don. I originally bought the SSM 15 years ago for hunting javelina in Arizona. Now it's just for target fun, and a good gun to introduce people to handguns. Unfortunately, NJ is not a good place for long-range handgun shooting, so its best virtues are kind of a waste here.
This is my second Single Six. I had an early Single Six Convertible, pre-hammer-blocker, which I traded away almost 40 years ago. 'Wish I still had it today. The new ones are just as nice except that the hammer blocker gives the action a kind of gritty feel.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
cottonwool balls? like the type the grils use to remove warpaint :-)
Reply to
Stealth Pilot
Cream of Wheat or Quaker Oatmeal?
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Many reloaders use a small wad of Dacron. Cotton balls are not always cotton.
I've got some unspun hemp that looks like it might work.
I'd stay away from solid stuff like cream of wheat. I've heard of issues with pressure spikes.
I'm not very adventurous when reloading.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
I did some more reading up in the CB-L archives. Kapok seems like a very popular filler. Parial sheets of toliet paper have a following too. It looks like you had the best solution already.
Cruising a couple fabric stores asking questions might get you a lead on where to get some.
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Wes
Reply to
Wes
Have you considered reducing the powder space by loading the bullets BELOW case mouth? Then no filler might be needed ;)
Free men own guns - www(dot)geocities(dot)com/CapitolHill/5357/
Reply to
nick hull
Cream of Wheat is sometimes recommended. I've heard the results are not consistent.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
I looked around a few years ago and the fabric stores I asked had never heard of it. Even now, on the Web, I see that there are only a couple of retail sources -- unless you buy a designer pillow and gut it.
Thanks for that link, Wes. At $40, it looks like a ten-lifetime supply, but at least there's a source.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
I don't like to have the bullet leap that far to the throat. I have used .32 S&W Long and Short, but their accuracy is awful in the Magnum.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress

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