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Thread: Installing Gas Checks?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master crabo's Avatar
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    Installing Gas Checks?

    What is needed to install gas checks? I know you would have to have a gas checked mold and I assume you buy a bag of gas checks. Do you do it when you size and lube the bullet?

    Thanks,

    Crabo

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Adam10mm's Avatar
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    The sizer/luber installs them. How that works I don't know either. Haven't used any yet but will in the near future. I think maybe when the bullet is pushed down the check is crimped on the base of the bullet or something to that effect.

  3. #3
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    Freakshow is right, the sizer seats and crimps the gas check on the base. Normally you can just push the check onto the boolit base before running it into the sizer die, but sometimes the fit is tight enough that it takes some special attention, you DON'T want the gas check seated crooked. The Lee sizers are especially good at this, and the Star sizer works well by "bumping" the check onto the base just before pushing the boolit through. With the Lyman and RCBS, you can either purchase a gas check seater (I've never owned one), or you can use the nose punch to fully seat them. This is done by placing a piece of flat metal over the top of the die to act as a base, then use the nose punch to push the boolit onto the check. Once that is done, size and lube as normal.
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  4. #4
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    Just slip it on and give it a tap on the bench to seat it , then size. Done.......Buck
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  5. #5
    Boolit Bub sledgehammer's Avatar
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    I use both Lee and Lyman sizing equipment. I find that Lyman's seating system works better for me, but it does take a while longer then Lee's. I couldn't see paying $8 for a seater for the Lyman 450, so I made one on my lathe. Shoulda bought it! took me more time to make it than if I had done a job for someone and bought the danged thing!
    For the Lyman, you place this gizzy under the sizer die. This keeps the rod down the middle from pushing down and out, while leaving a small recess in the top of the die. You then place your GC cup side up in this recess, put the base of your bullet in the cup and pull the lever. This pushes the bullet into the cup and inside the die a small amount, thereby crimping it in place.
    This was for the original questioner, I know most of you can do this in your SLEEP, but I had help when I started so I'll pass it along. HTH,
    Jon H
    If it doesn't fit, DON'T force it! Get a bigger HAMMER.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master leftiye's Avatar
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    I won't put a boolit in a die without first getting the boolit base completely inside the check to the bottom. Even if the seater or die does compress all of this into just about the same place you've got no guarantee it didn't push lead all over the place in the process. You want the die to crimp the check, that's all. Seat it by hand. Anneal the gas checks first too!

  7. #7
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    I do them by hand sitting in front of the tv and then take them out to the barn to size.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  8. #8
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    I bought a Lyman gas check seater many years ago and never really used it until recently as my CBE 314 220 mould I use in the .303 British has a fullish GC shank and the checks take a bit of fitting. I believe I am getting better groups now that I fit the check prior to sizing/lubing.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I consider the check fitting properly by hand a measure of the molds precision machining.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    If you have a bunch of different gas check moulds you are going to see a nice spectrum of gas check fits. I have a couple where the shank is small enough for a real loose fit. These are easy to use by just putting the check down on the size die followed by the bullet (if you are using Lyman or RCBS) and then the sizing (at least with my Hornady style checks) locks them nicely together. If the shank was so small that it wouldn't lock this way then I would gently polish a bit of metal out of my mould shank area until I got a nice fit.

    I have a number where the base is a little tight and I can sit while watching TV and press checks on bases for later sizing. Or I can do the the same as with the loose fit ones and (depending on the tightness of fit) get an occasional lop-sided check that I send back through the pot. Unless I have the right Starr die for these and in that case I never have a failure.

    And I have a number that are just too danged big in the butt and here is where you'll find that people have come up with a variety of methods for handling the situation. At one time I would put the checks on a hot plate (or top of the old wood stove) and once the checks are hot and the bullets still cool, most will press on fairly nicely. Since those days I have acquired a Starr die for all my problem children (except for my last one and that die will soon be on order from our fellow boolet man Lathesmith). With the Starr you just poke the bullet a bit below flush and place a check on top and POP! it on with a little thwack of the handle. Then complete the stroke and go on to the next.

    Other folks have addressed these "big butted boolets" by expanding the checks with a tool -- carriage bolt head, ball bearing, special made tool. I haven't yet had to do this -- so far I haven't come upon a boolet that the Starr method wouldn't handle.

    The Lee size die works great but has not been as good as the Starr for the truly large butted boolets. I think it would work just as well as the Starr if I'd mount a press upside down so I could push the boolets down through the die rather than up. And that is the sum total of what this olde phart thinks he knows about gas checking boolets.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Some of my molds / boolits fit the checks well, some don't. Loose ones, I try and open the mold cavity slightly with a machined specific tool adapted to my hand drill. The ones that are too tight I move over to my Lee "C" press. I machined a tall flat "shell holder", screwed in a flat faced bolt where the dies would go, and use the ramming action of the flat shell holder against the flat faced bolt to press the gas check in place. Sounds more complicated than it is. Take the offending boolit, put the gas check in place, take that combo and set it on the "tall shell holder". Lift the ram, like an upside down arbor press and run boolit home. Very small learning curve. Within a couple, they all come out flat & square. Very minor pressure exerted on the cast boolit.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    To understand a bit better the checks have an edge that crimps onto/into the check when sized on proper equipment, see also post on using "cupped punches" on Star equip. for the ultimate gas check seating.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    A couple years back I was "given" (OK I paid $3) 3000 older Lyman 22 checks, 1500 older Lyman 25 checks, and over 1000 brass 30 cal Lyman checks. None fit well or crimped on except for a couple different molds. It has been a bit of a nuisance but I have been super gluing them on then lube/size as usual. They shoot fine. I have the regular crimp-on checks for all the other molds that require checks. I guess this makes me cheap.

  14. #14
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    Before the Hornady crimp on gas checks were marketed, Lyman was the major supplier of checks. The Lyman checks were designed to "fall off" in flight, but that didn't always happen. You would assume the boolits would be inaccurate because of that, but I never saw any evidence that it caused poor grouping.

    I still have a box of Sierra .30 caliber gas checks, they are considerably tighter fitting than Lyman .30 caliber checks and have a rounded bottom. I have no idea how old they are, but the price written on the box is $3.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    I have a gas check seating feature on my Saeco lube-sizer and I've put a lot of checks on with thumb pressure and a good whack on the table top them crimping them on with a lee push through die, but I just bought one of the NOE gas check seating dies and it really works great. I highly recommend this product. You still need to crimp the check on with a push through die but the seating die gets every one on tight and square. Best tool I've bought in a while. Gp

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    First, Gas checks come in boxes not bags. Two ways I put on gas checks. First , if they fit slide them on and then size the boolit. Check should be crimpedon. Second method if checkdoesn't readily go on boolit is to place over holein sizer then place boolit on the check. Size everything. If check doesn't stay on superglue it on.Hornady's crimp better than Lymans. Have some Sierras but don't remember how they go on. Don't over think the gas check installation process. You want them to fit over the base of the boolit and stay on at least until things go bang.

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    Just got 5K checks. They are in plastic bags of a thousand each in the individual Hornady red boxes!
    So did I get bags or boxes?????
    Pete

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I hopped on the lathe and made a little jig out of UHMW plastic. Holds check on the bottom, bullet goes in the top. Little smack with the software hammer and then through the LEE sizing die.
    My checks came on a roll???????????
    Last edited by Retumbo; 09-15-2017 at 08:40 AM.

  19. #19
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    Usually you can just pop them on with your fingers, they stay put and are crimped on during size/lube . Every once in a while you run into a check larger than the base and they keep falling off. I set the gas check in the lube/sizer die recess, place the boolit on top and size, it gets crimped on and will stay put.
    And every once in a while you get the base that's fatter than the gas check. I bevel the base with a little hand tool (inside and outside chamfering tool) then place gas check on sizer recess , boolit on check and it gets sized , lubed and the check gets stays forced on .
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    Usually you can just pop them on with your fingers, they stay put and are crimped on during size/lube . Every once in a while you run into a check larger than the base and they keep falling off. I set the gas check in the lube/sizer die recess, place the boolit on top and size, it gets crimped on and will stay put.
    And every once in a while you get the base that's fatter than the gas check. I bevel the base with a little hand tool (inside and outside chamfering tool) then place gas check on sizer recess , boolit on check and it gets sized , lubed and the check gets stays forced on .
    Gary
    ^^ What he said. This is the exact method I've been using for nearly 40 years


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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check