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Thread: Easy to build gas checkmaker

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Idz's Avatar
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    Easy to build gas checkmaker

    I put together this writeup of how anybody with a small lathe can make their own gas checkmaker. I've made about 1000 checks of various calibers and the dies and punches still function as new. If you decide to build one let me know how it turns out. Enjoy!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails GCI gas check maker.pdf  

  2. #2
    Boolit Master dkf's Avatar
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    I will have to make one when I get time.

    Just an FYI if someone uses 1018 to construct it and wants to harden it for durability. Pick up a small can of Kasenite and follow the directions on the can.(will need oxyfuel torch) It will put a nice 60rc+ case roughly .030" deep on the steel. All the nuts on my Lee decapper pins get case hardened with it.(helps prevent galling)

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Idz's Avatar
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    Hardening isn't really necessary unless you want to go into mass production. You would probably want to use a steel that finishes better than 1018 CRS before going to the effort of hardening it. My goal was easy to build and use at the lowest cost. Yesterday, I punched out another 200 40cal PB checks and still don't see any wear on the punch or die. I decided to spray a little furniture polish on my aluminum strips after every 50 or so checks just to lube things a little.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for sharing. I will have to keep this in mind as someday (another one of those to do later) I would like to try this out.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Well the little Freechex II in 22 sets on the bench, doesn't tie up a press and is really hard to beat. Check as needed. Hard as a rock too, use it as needed and less than $50 total. Two operation rig but never touch the cutouts, bam bam and nice checks out of .010 brass shim stock for under $20 shipped from Enco. -tj

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Idz's Avatar
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    Some photos

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Photo of punched out disk, strip material, and complete checks. Disk punching and forming is done in one stroke.
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    Photo of check installed on bullet next to fired and recovered bullet.
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    Image of the checkmaker in operation on a Lee Reloader Press. An old pill bottle screwed on top of the punch catches checks. It doesn't take much force to use this checkmaker so Lee's cheapest press has worked fine for several thousand checks so far.
    Last edited by Idz; 10-18-2013 at 05:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master WILCO's Avatar
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    Just checked out the PDF. Very detailed and well written. Thanks for taking the time to share this Idz.
    Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

    Yeah, I love cast iron cookware.

    Life is too short. Live yours to the fullest.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Nice, if I did not have a 5 year supply of Gator checks on hand, I would make one.
    DKF, I found a recipe for a brine that lets you harden 1018 CR very much as the CM alloys are hardened, I have tried it and got decent results.
    drinks, NRA life, TSRA life, SAF life, CCRKBA, GOA, JPFO, CBA, Def-Con.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    hey drinks------------ care to share the recipe for some of us others? God Bless to all and yours.


    Goofyoldfart < aka GOF, Goofy and Godfrey>
    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America " for an amount of "up to and including my life."

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Lead Fred's Avatar
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    Sure glad I just bought them from Pat. Takes out all the hassle
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    " Any law that is NOT constitutional is not a law" James Madison

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Forrest r's Avatar
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    Lets see:
    1 pull of the handle vs pull handle make disc, put disc in container, install forming die, put disc in forming die, pull handle again. BIG HASSLE!!!
    1 size fits all when buying a check maker/checks. BIG HASSLE!!!

    Only people that demand the best accuracy from their firearms/cast bullets make their own gc makers to tailor their gc's to the bullet shank/base size & wall height they want to use. It's nothing for a person that makes their own gc maker to make different diameter stems so that the same die body can be used to make checks from several different thicknesses of types of gc material. Or use the same die body to make gc's for .355" & then .360" bullet bases.

    With custom made gc makers there is no pb gc maker only. Or a regular gc that fits on bullets cast with a gc shank only. Or the gc maker is limited to only .003" to .005" material.

    Yup, I'd rather buy a gc makers that takes 3 times as long & twice the work that is limited in the materials that I can use & only makes 1 gc size fits all rather than have 1 custom gc makers that easily can & will replace 3 of the others, NOT!!!!

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
    whelenshooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idz View Post
    I put together this writeup of how anybody with a small lathe can make their own gas checkmaker. I've made about 1000 checks of various calibers and the dies and punches still function as new. If you decide to build one let me know how it turns out. Enjoy!
    Thanks for info and effort. This is something I've wanted to do.
    I'm clinging to my guns and religion, but I'm not too bitter...

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Good project !!
    Need to make one up in .22

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
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    I downloaded the PDF and read it. Looks like a project I can take on in the shop. From your photos it looks like it does a good job, too. Soon as hunting season is over I'll try my had at it. Thanks!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master WILCO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike3855 View Post
    I downloaded the PDF and read it.
    Welcome aboard Mike3855!!!
    Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert Schweitzer

    Yeah, I love cast iron cookware.

    Life is too short. Live yours to the fullest.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you for this one.
    When time allows will have a go at making one in 25 cal.

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold DLeeHarley's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot Idz I'm a real newbie at casting and I've got loads to learn, but one of my life long friends is a machinist with his own lathe and also CNC unit, so I'll have to make him an offer that he can't refuse. I've been lurking around here for sometime now and have been taking all kinds of notes and the like. almost enough to fill a 3 ring binder, but I'm sure it'll all be a great asset as I move along. Thanks again all of you. Later,

    Dennis in Idaho

    “Those who Talk, don't do. Those who Do, Don't Talk!”

  18. #18
    Boolit Man
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    Idz,

    Thanks for posting this. They work great!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    DonHuff

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I'm not sure I will ever get around to this, but that is awesome[p!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Idz's Avatar
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    22 Bator bullet gas check. Same design as my write-up except I used a 1/4" end mill counterbore in the die body. Die disc punch hole is #O drill (0.316"), Punch forming hole is #A drill (0.234"), forming pin 0.216".

    photo shows checked Bator bullet, cast bullet and a check

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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