View Full Version : Seating gas checks without sizing
11-20-2006, 02:09 PM
I'm sure this has been discussed, but I can't find anything with the search feature so forgive a new guy for asking it again.
How can I seat gas checks without using a sizer?
I have 35 and 44 cal bullets that I want to do this with, I also have the Lee Push Thru sizers, but I wanna do the gas checks on some of them as cast.
11-20-2006, 04:04 PM
If they are cast hard I have seated gas checks by using a large pair of waterpump pliers (channel locks) and padded both jaws by wrapping tape around them. I'd sqeeze easy and they'd pop on. Keep checking the tape, steel teeth mark bullets
11-20-2006, 04:19 PM
Got any Lee Factory Crimp Dies? A 7mm Factory Crimp Die can be used to crimp checks on a .30 caliber. A .30 caliber die works for 8mm and .338. Look at the outside diameter of the case neck the die is designed for. It'll work on bullets of similar diameter. Hold the boolit in the top of the die so the top of the check is just even with the top of the collet jaws as you run the die down. Start with it loose and carefully adjust it till the check mikes to the diameter you want. Definitely a shade tree method, but it'll work.
11-20-2006, 07:03 PM
My experience is you have to crimp them somehow. If not they are larger than the base of the bullet and they expand the case neck on the way in leaving the bullet loose.
11-20-2006, 07:51 PM
I have pushed just the gascheck and the bullet shank into a Lyman sizing die .
Just far enough to crimp on the gas check .
But I then had to lube the bullet
Found it worked better to hone out a sizer die to the as cast size then lube and seat the gas check in 1 pass .
But I found you can only go so large , before you don't crimp the gascheck on tight
Gator checks may solve that problem .
Lost some gaschecks and the groups were bad to say the least
I am going to try to hone out the top part of the sizer die and leave just enough of the bottom area tight enough to crimp the gas check .
I will put that on the project to try list ...........................Hope I ever get to it :confused: :confused:
11-20-2006, 09:27 PM
..............Lyman makes a GC seater which is easy to duplicate with a connector nut. It set's under the die and limits the depth the ejector pin moves down allowing only the GC to get seated.
Ricochet, that's a pretty nifty idea. Good thinking, that!
11-21-2006, 05:15 AM
If you have a sizing die that is .001" larger than the as cast diameter of your boolit you can seat the gas checks without disturbing the bands on the boolit. I use this method for the RCBS 30-180-SP that I shoot in my MAS-36. The boolit drops .309" cast of wheelweight from the mold and my barrel slugs at .307"
It works in my Magma Star Lube-Sizer to seat the checks with a .310" sizing die as I like to shoot these boolits without sizing them down. After the checks are seated I dip lube them in a heated glass bowl of Johnson's Paste Wax and set the boolits on a sheet of wax paper to dry.
From there it's just load and shoot. Load used was 18 grns of 2400 and after a full 50 rounds the bore was bright and shiney. The JPW has worked great so far up to about 1,850 fps in the mil-surps and to 1,500 - 1,600 fps with a 500 grn boolit in the .450 Marlin.
Hope this helps,
11-29-2006, 07:34 PM
For Lee .312" 155gr boolits I run them through a Lee .314" push through sizer. This crimps the gas checks on but does not size the boolit.
When these are loaded into a case the gas check is bigger diameter than the boolit and they sometimes sit in the case at an angle. A slight angle but it's there.
11-30-2006, 10:44 AM
A number of years ago Al Miller (Handgun and/or Rifle contributor) mentioned in his articles a number of times how shooting "unsized" cast bullets provided greater accuracy for him more often than not as compared to sized boolits. He also noted that unsized boolits didn't seem to cause pressure increases or accuracy decreases in his loads. This seemed worth a try.
My impression was Miller used the cake cutter method of lubing. I had started my use of CB's for pistols (.357 Mag.) using the LEE cake cutter kit and didn't like it. Melting lube, waiting for it to harden, cutting the boolits out, greasy boolits, etc = work. Cast boolits = fun, or should anyway, so that process had to go. When I ordered my lubrisizer (Lyman) I noted that you could buy a whole bunch of different sized sizer dies, but what to buy? There was no forum (hell, there wasn't even a hand held calculater then!) available, and the Lyman book was out of print, and all the other information I could find didn't address the issue. I finally found a coy of the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook I could borrow, and it recommended groove diameter boolits and Lyman # 2 alloy, so that is what I did. Not knowing any better, I assumed my moulds cast boolits of the correct diameter (whatever that was) and I bought standard groove diameter dies. Accuracy was better in some rifles than others. I had recently had RCBS replace my lubrisizer to correct an alignment problem, so one problem was solved. The boolits shot after lubing in the new lubrisizer were definitely more accurate than those shot before (same mould, alloy, and rifle), but everything else was the same. Being very ignorant, I believed all my rifles, moulds, and sizers had the "proper" dimensions and Lyman # 2 alloy was correct for nearly every CB application, with linotype the solution for everything else. How much more trusting (dumb?) can you get? A number of years later, money spent, lessons learned, computers created, forums formed, I was a bit more educated.
My current method is to slug my barrel (duhhhh!), measure the "as cast" diameter of my boolits, and then buy or have made a die .001 oversized for the "as cast" boolit. After sizing I measured the "as sized" boolit diameters to be sure I got what I thought I should be getting. One or two dies were replaced before all was said and done. Fortunately, nearly all of my moulds cast roughly .001 over groove diameter of my barrels. Thus I buy, or have made, sizer dies that are .002 over groove diameter. The GC's are crimped on well enough that the boolit doesn't give me problems with neck tension after seating, and the GC's (Hornady) have still been on the base of the boolits I've found. In addition, the boolit has a thin film of lube over the entire groove diameter portion of the boolit. I dunno if the thin film of lube helps or not, but it sure enough doesn't hurt anything! You need to use a hard lube to eliminate the "greasy boolit" problem, but a heater under your sizer and a bit of cooling solves that problem.
This sizing process has worked for me for quite a while now with all of my CB rifles. I am fortunate that my barrels have all been close, or right on, advertised groove diameter (no military or antique rifles in my collection and some barrels have been replaced), and my moulds cast boolits .001 or so over my groove diameters. The closest mould (as cast diameter compared to groove diameter) that I have is the RCBS 37-250 I use in my .375 Win. It casts right at .3755, and my groove diameter is right on .375, so I size in a .377 die to ensure no boolit damage. So far so good with that rifle. All of my rifle moulds are RCBS, NEI, or Mountain mould. My Lyman moulds are all handgun moulds at this time. I sold my Lyman rifle moulds due to boolit design, not as cast diameters as I hadn't measured the "as cast" diameter of any of them. By that time I was using "RCBS 35-200" boolit designs, or as close to the RCBS 35-200 design as I could find. So far it has been working for me.
So my method is as follows; Barrel groove diameter, + .001 (minimum) = As cast diameter. Sizer diameter = as cast diameter plus .001 (minimum). All rifle boolits are GC'd, all GCs' are Hornady, and all are lubed with a hard lube (currently LBT blue). FWIW...Pilgrim
11-30-2006, 11:38 AM
I took a bullet puller with collet and made a check crimper. I tightened the collet tight with the screw and turned it in a lathe to make a crimping cup. Then remove the screw handle and make an adapter to fit the press ram and the finger collet. Screw the die in upside down. Put in collet and adapter. Adjust die up or down until full press stroke just barely crimps as you want it. Bullets can now be hand lubed or I lube in way oversize die.
380F shows the whole system.
381F shows the crimper in place...note the hornady check is not sized
385F shows all checks are crimped
The aluminium checks are homemade.
Hornady checks should be spread with the homemade tool reccommended By Col Harrison. It is simply a homemade punch to spread the check. You can see mine at the top of 380F. I simply turned a rod in a lathe and attacked it with a file and stone until it did what I wanted. If you don't spread most Hornady checks, they deform the bullet and still don't bottom out correctly. Sooo....spread the check so it seats very easily by hand....then crimp.
I think the base of the bullet will stear the bullet like a rudder on a ship....put it on flat, true and with both the bullet and check undamaged for the best groups...
your mileage may vary....
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