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Gas checks on not GC bullets

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Brian Williams, Aug 19, 2003.

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  1. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 22, 2002
    Kampong Cham, Cambodia
    Has any one sized a gas check on a bullet that is not molded for GC's?
    or is there a source for unsized bullets with the GC groove on them?

    I want to start loading some hot loads for my 586 and 1894 marlin and i would like to start with 158 gr and 180 gr but I hate cleaning lead so gas checks come to mind.

    I really want to mold my own but the lead hazards ????????
  2. cdbeaver

    cdbeaver Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Tekamah, Nebraska
    In 50 years of reloading I've never heard of attempting to put gaschecks on bullets not made for them. But, I'm willing to learn.

    I only recently read of riflemen shooting lead bullets over snow so they could retrieve their gaschecks that had fallen off their bullets. I read that little bit of wisdom in "Rifles: A Modern Encyclopedia" by Henry M. Stebbins, published by Stackpole in 1958.

    The book is seriously out of date, but the old boy uttered truths that are still very true today.
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I have READ of putting gas checks upside down behind plain-base bullets. The case neck MUST be tight enough for the check not to shift or it will get down on the powder and fly into the bullet and ring - bulge the chamber. Not worth the risk in my book.

    There are the CF Ventures Soft Gas Checks. You get a sheet of their wax blend and cookie-cut a wad over the case mouth and push it into position as the bullet seats.

    There are a few custom casters making gas check bullets, enough Googling ought to bring them up.

    There is a series of posts on www.1911forum.com about bullet casting. Look under Reloading. He is up to no IV now, but a search will find the rest. Bullet casting is not terribly dangerous IF you do it right. But it IS a lot of work and I do it only for guns with no other option. Right now that means my .38-55 BPCR match gun and nothing else.

    Henry Stebbins was a jewel of a gunwriter; and a writer, English professor and all. I have three of his books, and articles in several old Gun Digests.
  4. happy old sailor

    happy old sailor Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    i tend to use things as they are designed to be used.

    when buying gas checks, note that one mfg sells for more than primers.
    the best ones are cheaper than primers and have a little lip thingie that bites into the bullet when seated and deters check loss when fired.
  5. Paul "Fitz" Jones

    Paul "Fitz" Jones Moderator - Emeritus

    Dec 26, 2002
    Northern Calif
    Lead bullets in Winchesters and Marlins

    I have used the founding Saeco company #182 158 grain 38/357 SWC keith bullet in my 1892 winchester up to 1750fps by alloying wheel weights with linotype for a hardness of 9 on a scale of ten for pure Lino with an original Saeco Steel lead hardness tester.

    Of course I painted the cases red with a marking pen so they would not be used in a pistol.

    I also tapped the same bullets of wheel weights into a gas check and ran them through a Star luber with no problems and got them up to higher velocities and these loads were for my Winchester and Marlins only.

    I coated the Star luber die with automotive STP to have them seat and size easier.

    Retired Saeco Distributor
  6. LewG

    LewG Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    The "Hanned" Co. makes dies to cut gas checks from Al. cans to get swaged GCs on the bases of PB bullets. They work great.
    The dies come in many calibers.
    Go to this site to read about them.
    The rest of their site is worth reading to learn a lot.
    If you have any questions, call or email them. I have had many conversations with them, and learned a lot. Nice people.

    Nothing will compensate for the bullets not fitting the leads of the pistols or rifles, especially at the higher velocities. Shooting the correct diameter bullet is the place to start. Slug your cyllinders, and the leade of your rifle to just not have most of the possible leading and accuracy problems.


    An alloy of 1/1 Linotype to WWs will give you a BHN of ~17-19, the nine on the Saeco tester. This should be more than enough to not strip the bullet with the GC for the higher velocities in your rifle.
    You can also just heat treat straight WWs to get this hardness (Without the Lino) for any shooting you are doing.
    Many shooters cast their bullets hot, and drop them quickly from the mold into a bucket of water to quench them, resulting in a bullet of ~ 17-18 BHN. - Lew
  7. labgrade

    labgrade Member In Memoriam

    Dec 22, 2002
    west of Loveland, CO
    & you can home-oven heat teat cast bullets which may preclude any leading (over & above a proper lube & bore/slugging check), but don't disregard what's been proven to work = proper lube & sizing to bore, + that gas check - depending.

    Proper alloy can help out.

    Best bet is to combine all available casting information - I'd suggest the latest Lyman cast bullet manual.

    & still, the buffs were wiped out with cast bullets in likely less than optimal conditions - & this at well over 1/2 mile shots - perhaps something to be learned there, no?

    All told, I'd go with the latest, while takiing a real good look at what used to work quite well.

    But best bet is what works best for you - after playing (safely, please) within standard safety limits.
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