Gas checks or NO gas checks
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:57 AM   #1
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Default Gas checks or NO gas checks

Is it a requirement to use a gas check when loading cast bullets or is it simply a step used to achieve better performance? I'm sure leading may be a reason to use the gas checks but need to know if it's really needed. I want to start reloading 440gr cast bullets for my S&W 500 and now have everything needed but the gas checks which, like most everything else right now, are out of stock or way over priced...

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Old 03-05-2013, 12:17 PM   #2
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May sound like a smartazz answer but,get both.There are times when GC's make a lot of sense....other times they're a waste of resources(time/money).Having both will set you up for either.

Googlefoo,youtube for homebrewed gaschecks.Lots of folks makin them out of Aluminum "flashing" materials from homestores.And theres not a whole lot of reason you can't tool up for producing whatever "flavor'd" GC's...should the Aluminum not strike your fancy.

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Old 03-05-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
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There is a rule of thumb concerning gas checks. That is they are not needed at velocities of 1,500 fps and below. That rules out the need for gas checks for most handguns.
The very short time the bullet travels in a handgun barrel the base is not often damaged. The gas checks can become important in barrel lengths over 18 inches. Gas check prices are running the cost of cast bullets too high any way.

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:35 PM   #4
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I have fired 44 mag at 240 grains with full powered loads out of a 7 1/2 barrel with no leading. And they were pretty soft bullets. No where near the rcommended hardnesses. I pour all my own bullets. But I would never shoot out of a rifle without a gas check. I pour a 150 grain .308 with a gas check for 30-30 to 30-06 and 7.62x54r. No leading there either.

How fast are you going to push those 440 gainers? You can always get a mold for a gas check bullet and not gas check it. Try it out. See if it leads. If it does...check it. If not, don't. Thats my 2 cents anyway.

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Old 03-06-2013, 02:28 AM   #5
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A gas check can come in handy to make up for less than ideal lead alloy. The .500 can achieve some pretty impressive velocities even with a heavy like the 440. I doubt you will be shooting enough max loads through it for leading to be an issue as long as you are at least using heat treated wheel weights. Ideally, add about 2-4% Tin to the wheel weights and you should be good to go.

This is my opinion if the barrel is broken in (smoothed out a bit) and if the bullet is at or .001" over bore size.

I use gas checks for some loads in .357, .41 and .44 Mag. I do not use gas checks for a 340 gr bullet @2100 fps in my .45-70, but I use a very hard alloy of Linotype

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Old 03-06-2013, 05:15 AM   #6
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Antimony is used to harden lead alloy. Tin is used to reduce the surface tension of molten lead. The tin allows an even pour and fill in the mold. Tin has a very minimal effect on increasing the BHN level.

Elmer Kieth father of modern six guns never used more than a BHN of #8. He pushed the .357 and .44 Mag to unheard of velocities. The WW with 40 to one alloy lead to tin will work just fine. Leading or gas cutting is more often an incorrect bullet to bore dimension.

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Old 03-08-2013, 07:24 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the input guys... I've got my answer (no gas checks needed at this time).. I know it sucks that gas checks are increasing the price of lead / cast bullets..

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Old 03-08-2013, 07:48 PM   #8
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Gas Checks can also be useful in older guns where the cylinder throat and/or forcing cones are over size. Colt SAA .45s are notorious for this.

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Old 03-09-2013, 04:02 PM   #9
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Can I use a "normal" rifle powder with lead loads if I use a gas check? Specifically RL-15 in a Mosin. The minimum load has a velocity of approx. 2,100 fps with a 150gr projectile.

I have a friend that shoots alot of cast but he only does the reduced rifle loads with 2400 or Unique...

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Old 03-09-2013, 08:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trez View Post
Can I use a "normal" rifle powder with lead loads if I use a gas check? Specifically RL-15 in a Mosin. The minimum load has a velocity of approx. 2,100 fps with a 150gr projectile.

I have a friend that shoots alot of cast but he only does the reduced rifle loads with 2400 or Unique...
If you have a nice smooth bore, hard cast (linotype) bullets and a good lube like Thompson's "Blue angel."

Personaly, I like to keep them down to 1800 or less. But give it a try. some folks get good results at that speed or even higher.
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