Artillery Collectors - Question

When I rebuild an artillery cartridge I like to add weight to the case and projectile to simulate a real live cartridge. For the big cases I use wood stove pellets which are very close to the powder used, both in size and in weight. For smaller cases I use small grain rice. For projectiles I use rice or sugar.

What do you other guys use?

Is there any reason not to use things like sugar? I assume it is inert and will not harm either a brass case or a steel projectile. It doesn’t seem to hurt my belly at all.

Any comments??


Ray, I have a 27.5 MM experimental APT-D round that looks like it was filled by the factory with wheat grains or maybe barley. It certainly adds weight but also makes a cool “live” round sound when inverted :-)


Soviet inert (TP) shells are often filled with tar or sulfur. The sulfur’s density (2g/cm3) is very close to the TNT’s (1.7g/cm3) and RDX’s (1.8g/cm3). It’s color is almost identical to TNT.


Just one word of caution – if you have reason to believe that your inert shell will ever be disassembled to ensure its status as inert – be certain that the filler can be identified by a non-expert – just in case.
Also, avoid any substance that will attract moisture. I’m not certain, but sugar may be somewhat hydrotropic.

I’ve heard of wax being used too.

Kind regards,


That’s good advice. But I’m confused. What is “moisture”? I’ve heard that word before but I’m not sure what it is. I don’t think I’ve ever seen any. :) :)

Thanks to all who responded.


Ray–I know it is hard to believe, but once long ago (just shortly before you were born) even Arizona was covered in “Moisture”.

I think Ray was the first guy to ever shoot a Dinosauer with a wildcat cartridge. He did it a couple of years before I shot one with a 9mm cartridge.

Well - maybe we’re not quite that old, even if our young friend Falcon thinks 30 years ago was the middle of the dark ages.

This Forum can be fun, as well as informative! I love it!

As far as I know, the middle of the dark ages was around AD 700 during the Saxon Era in England, they used arrows etc. as ammunition then :-)