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Author Topic: Gas checks - Do I need them?  (Read 14579 times)

cpaspr

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Gas checks - Do I need them?
« on: April 09, 2012, 05:16:05 pm »
A couple of years ago my dad gave me several boxes of .38 special lead semi-wadcutter bullets that were cast back in the 70s.  Most of them are intended to have a gas-check added.  I don't know if he used to shoot them with or without.

Two general gas-check questions:

Do I need to add gas-checks, or can the bullets be shot without them?

If I need to add gas-checks, do I do that by simply running them back through the sizing die to force the gas check onto the bullet, or do I add them before I run them through the sizing die the first time?



I also have some molds for .308 bullets that are intended for shooting out of .30 carbine (110ish grains) and .30-06/.308 (175ish grains).  I'm not sure at the moment if those are gas-check molds (they're at home, I'm not).

I'm assuming (dangerous as that often is) that the .38s can be shot with or without gas checks, but the rifle bullets probably shouldn't be.

Thanks in advance.
Oregon

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    xsquidgator

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    Re: Gas checks - Do I need them?
    « Reply #1 on: April 09, 2012, 08:21:24 pm »
    The answer is "depends".  You don't HAVE to have a gas check on a bullet that can take one, it'll still go on down the bore.  But if you're going to push it hard, a gas check will probably help with preventing leading.  Maybe it does more than that too, I don't know.

    I still haven't ever tried real metal gas checks.  I thought the way they went on was to push them on by pushing a gas check and bullet through a sizer die, seating the gas check as it goes through. 

    Have you checked out the tools you can get from different internet people to make your own gas checks out of soda cans?  (punch set)  Another possible alternative to the standard gas check is to use case fillerhttps://wethearmed.com/reloading-and-handloading/marlin-336-%2830-30%29-microgroove-barrel-and-cast-bullets/msg260680/#msg260680.  I've tinkered with cream of wheat as a case filler and have been pretty happy with the results, especially since cream of wheat is easier to obtain than special gas checks.

    cpaspr

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    Re: Gas checks - Do I need them?
    « Reply #2 on: April 09, 2012, 09:46:26 pm »
    The answer is "depends".  You don't HAVE to have a gas check on a bullet that can take one, it'll still go on down the bore.  But if you're going to push it hard, a gas check will probably help with preventing leading.  Maybe it does more than that too, I don't know.

    For the revolvers, probably only .38 special velocities, no .357 mag.  The rifles though, different story.  As I stated earlier though, I'll have to look at the molds to determine if they are GC molds or not.

    Have you checked out the tools you can get from different internet people to make your own gas checks out of soda cans?  (punch set)
    I've seen them, but the ones I saw were rather expensive.  For the amount of bullets I'll shoot, not worth it.  Those were for using in some kind of metal punching machine though, so if there were a cheaper alternative, as in "making one at a time with a hammer and the punch", I'd be more interested.

      Another possible alternative to the standard gas check is to use case fillerhttps://wethearmed.com/reloading-and-handloading/marlin-336-%2830-30%29-microgroove-barrel-and-cast-bullets/msg260680/#msg260680.  I've tinkered with cream of wheat as a case filler and have been pretty happy with the results, especially since cream of wheat is easier to obtain than special gas checks.

    I remember reading that thread.  I'll have to re-read it.
    Oregon

    coelacanth

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    Re: Gas checks - Do I need them?
    « Reply #3 on: April 10, 2012, 01:06:08 am »
    If you have access to a hardness tester you might want to try one of the .38/.357's to see how hard they are.  Harder stuff will not lead as badly at lower velocities but at .357 levels it could become a problem.  The rifle bullets would probably benefit from gas checks but often the 110 gr.  .30 cal. was used as a "gallery" or plinking load for pest control and such so they were only loaded to about 1200 fps.  I remember shooting a bunch of them in the old .30/30 as a kid.  At that velocity a gas check is probably not necessary unless they were cast of pure lead.
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    cpaspr

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    Re: Gas checks - Do I need them?
    « Reply #4 on: April 10, 2012, 03:38:31 pm »
    Hardness tester?  Might have access to a friend's.

    I remember we used to shoot 110s out of the .30-30, but I think my dad loaded jacketed bullets.

    And, I'm not positive I have a mold for 110gr .30 caliber bullets.  I just think I remember that I do.  This time of year, in my profession, I don't have much memory (or brain) for anything other than taxes.
    Oregon

    coelacanth

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    Re: Gas checks - Do I need them?
    « Reply #5 on: April 10, 2012, 09:30:03 pm »
    Most of the 110's were half jacketed but we even shot some buckshot out of an old 30/40 Krag one day.  Just press fit the ball halfway down into the case mouth.  Fun!
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    Re: Gas checks - Do I need them?
    « Reply #6 on: April 10, 2012, 10:16:11 pm »
    As a general rule, I'd avoid shooting a gas check bullet without one.  It's just begging for gas blow-by and leading.  And they do need run through a sized die to put them on tightly.  Otherwise you risk leaving one in the bore when you pull the trigger.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    cpaspr

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    Re: Gas checks - Do I need them?
    « Reply #7 on: April 11, 2012, 11:03:31 pm »
    Do I put them on as I sized them, or by running them back through after I've sized them?
    Oregon

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    Re: Gas checks - Do I need them?
    « Reply #8 on: April 11, 2012, 11:23:16 pm »
    As you size.
    This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. . . . The right of self defence is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction- St. George Tucker, Blackstone's Commentaries

    reloader7.62

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    Re: Gas checks - Do I need them?
    « Reply #9 on: October 21, 2012, 09:38:39 pm »
    I've have excellent success shooting gas check bullets with the gas check left off especially when the velocity and pressure don't warrant using the check .  A couple of examples are my NOE 158 gr. 38 cal. HP bullets I cast from 50/50 in my 38 special loads with 3.5 grs. bullseye,I just light tumble lube the bullet size to .359 and light tumble lube once more before loading.

    No leading issues and accuracy is excellent at normal handgun ranges.


    Another is my Lee .309 170 gr. RNFP I shoot  those as cast with two light coats of Alox/JPW lube with the check left off at around 1230 fps. in my old savage 30-30. They shoot excellent groups with a light load of Alliant Red Dot.


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