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Gas Checks

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by floydster, Mar 17, 2008.

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  1. floydster

    floydster Member

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    With the ridiculous price of gas checks, does anyone have a good source for buying 30cal. checks.
    Thanks for any info.
    Floydster
     
  2. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

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    There used to be a kit to make them from aluminum cans, and they pressed onto any cast bullet when sizing. I don't know if there still available.
    I needed some for 45-70 and I'm trying homemade lubed felt wads
    instead. I cut them from an old hat, goes pretty fast. From what I learned here:
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=123266 .
    I think they will work for my application.
    Maybe they would for 30cal with a 5/16" leather punch?
     
  3. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Member

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    Have you considered cream of wheat as a cheapo gas check? I started experimenting with it a month or two ago when I was looking for a way to home-make gas checks. Some cream of wheat under the bullet appears to act as a gas check when chamber pressure compresses it up under the bullet base. The c.o.w. plug even appears to actually clean the bore, too.

    I've successfully tested cream of wheat with lead bullets in 45, 357magnum, 7.62x39, and 7.62x54R. Especially for pistol reloading it slows me down to add the extra step of adding the c.o.w., so I'm trying maybe 10-15 rounds out of a box of 50 made with cream of wheat and the rest just plain lead. This seems to totally prevent/remove any leading and my bores are cleaner than they've ever been. I used to keep my lead 357 loads pretty tame to prevent leading, with this I've been able to shoot some stronger lead bullet loads (no chrono results yet but by felt recoil approaching commercial jacketed bullet recoil) with no leading at all. I have a chronograph on order and am looking forward to collecting some hard data about how hard one can push cream 'o wheat boolits.

    A possible downside is loss of accuracy - my initial rifle results have shot safely but accuracy has been quite poor. I plan to explore effects of sizing/lubing/powder charge on accuracy, but I've been cautioned by one guy who does a lot of cream of wheat loading that accuracy may not be all that good with cow. If I can't get cream of wheat loads to work well with rifle I may go back to some sort of punching soda can approach to making gas checks.

    One of several earlier THR cream of wheat threads, food for thought?
     
  4. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    I think I read somewhere that Hornady is the only major commercial producer of gas checks anymore. There might be some smaller bullet makers who make some. But if there *is* only one major manufacturer, then the prices will be pretty well equal.

    Q
     
  5. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

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    New tests have shown that smokeless reloads topped with cream of wheat or grits have a problem. The problem is COW or grits is hydroscopic and changes while in the loaded case. It also reacts with the powder. Results of these reloads in a pressure barrel or shot over a chronograph are increasingly higher pressure, higher/erratic velocties after each month of storage. Pressure was shown to increase by 10,000psi in one batch of reloads (if my memory serve me correctly) in a 12 month period.

    Fillers need to be inert. Some suitable filler would be:
    Poly fiber fill (dacron), very light and vaporizes almost instantly, leaving room for the burning expanding gases . It keeps a smokeless powder charge over the primer, while not excessivley increasing projectile/bullet weight or pressure.
    Another is GREX I think it's called, a light weight granular shot buffer that can be used for a filler.

    But floydster is asking about gas checks and fillers won't take care of that application. A lubed fiber or card wad might. But care has to be taken that the card/wad stays at all times up against the bullet base or you can wind up with a ringed chamber/barrel. Same thing can happen to a gas checked bullet if the check falls off the bullet while in the case.
     
  6. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Member

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    I'm not doubting this, but do you have a link handy for this info? I had head the same thing, that the COW could absorb some of the solvents from the powders and thus increasing its burn rate and pressures over some amount of time.

    The guy (from castboolits.com) who advised me on this claims that's not true, and he says anyway that he's a research chemist. According to him smokeless powders are hydrophobic (I think that's the word) and reject contact with water. I don't know, I'm certainly no chemist not even an alchemist.

    Out of concern just in case there *is* something to this concern, I've promptly shot up any cream of wheat loads I've made though. For rifle loads I put a patch of cotton over the powder up to the case neck, and only fill the neck with c.o.w., hopefully the cotton acts as somewhat of a barrier to that kind of effect if it's real.

    The pictures I saw of clean bores after some hot lead loads were compelling enough for me to try. I have heard one can remove leading with a homemade remedy of vinegar plus hydrogen peroxide and let that sit for a few minutes, although it may cause pitting. I'd much rather clean mine by shooting a few extra rounds! Not that I'll use them for anything but paper punching but I also like the idea of being able to load up some pretty stout loads with plain old lead home-cast bullets, too.
     
  7. floydster

    floydster Member

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    I am surprised there is not more response on this gas check thread, doesn't anyone but me shoot lead in thier rifles???
    Floydster
     
  8. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I shoot lead bullets in my rifles, and use gas checks, but I've stocked up over the years and have several thousand in each caliber that I shoot. I was looking at my inventory and I have about 6,000 .35 caliber, 4,000 .45 caliber, and assorted amounts for others.

    Someone posted that Hornady is the sole source for gaschecks, but that's incorrect. Lyman, Hornady and Gator are currently making gas checks.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  9. Travis Two

    Travis Two member

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    Try Bullet Swaging Supply Inc. p.o.box 1056 303 McMillan rd. West Monroe, LA 71291 318-649-5156.
     
  10. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    I know nothing about Gator, but had read back in the Fall that Lyman was now just selling the Hornady gas checks under their own label.
     
  11. floydster

    floydster Member

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    Thanks guys for the input, I'll have to do some searching, last time I checked Lyman was over $40.00 a
    thousand for 30 cal. I'll shoot jacketed before I pay that.
     
  12. Bula

    Bula Member

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    Check out midsouth shooters supply. Pretty sure they are less than $40. You're right, I'd rather shoot jacketed for the common stuff at these crazy prices.
     
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    You can always make your own Gas Checks with this kit made by Corbin. They have kits for over 20 different calibers available. The prices are a little high but you only buy it once and then you can make all the gas checks you will ever need.

    Widerer's has .30 Cal gas checks for $26/1000. That's not as high as $40 but they only have 8 units of 1000 in stock so hurry if you want them.

    Buffalo Arms sells gas checks for a little better price than you quoted. Their price for .30 Cal gas checks is currently $29.79/1000. That's not super cheap but it's not $40 either.

    Cabela's has .30 Cal Lyman gas checks for $28.99/1000.

    If you look around a bit you can find them for under $30/1000. I know they should be under $20/1000 but I fear those days will never be seen again, even if Copper prices drop.
     
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