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Thread: Gas checks on a Star

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Gas checks on a Star

    Nose first or base first?
    Founder of the Single Shot section.

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    8 in the 10 ring, then I get a PING. Love my Garand.

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    Just marking it, so I can watch this.

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    Boolit Master quail4jake's Avatar
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    Funny you should ask...I just called Magma last week ordering dies etc and asked about GC seating, this is what they said: nose first, flat punch fitting close to the die diameter, sizing tight enough to offer resistance at the base to seat the GC squarely. I am currently turning punches to clear the die within .010 for GC size boolits. I'm new ish at this size/lube game so I will post when I work out the details and study my boolits for concentricity, base square etc. Anyway that was Magma's advice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quail4jake View Post
    sizing tight enough to offer resistance at the base to seat the GC squarely.
    This might be the tricky part for me.
    Founder of the Single Shot section.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.


    8 in the 10 ring, then I get a PING. Love my Garand.

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    Boolit Master quail4jake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cabezaverde View Post
    This might be the tricky part for me.
    I'm thinking that NOE's GC expander might play a roll here. The cockeyed GCs that I've seen looked like they were too tight before seating as there was alloy sheared on the side seated deepest. Anyway please let us all know how you do, thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cabezaverde View Post
    This might be the tricky part for me.
    My concern is that the bullets drop about .311" as cast, and I want to check and size to .310". Not sure if that is enough resistance to seat the checks properly.
    Founder of the Single Shot section.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.


    8 in the 10 ring, then I get a PING. Love my Garand.

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    Nose first.

    1 thousands is enough in my experience. I do however true the GC's first as the dome in the GC can cause it to crimp on skew.
    Liberalism is the triumph of emotion over intellect, but masquerading as the reverse.

    I don't know how we ever shot maximum loads before P/C come along and saved us all. R5R

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    This is where the hollow-nosed punches shine. A flat-nosed punch will push flat and straight down but the hollow-nosed punches push down around the outer edge of gas checks and will not allow gas checks to go on crooked or askew. Big Boomer

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    The nice part is that this is a flat nose bullet, so I am thinking base first. Should be compatible with a flat nose punch.
    Founder of the Single Shot section.

    A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.


    8 in the 10 ring, then I get a PING. Love my Garand.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Boomer View Post
    This is where the hollow-nosed punches shine. A flat-nosed punch will push flat and straight down but the hollow-nosed punches push down around the outer edge of gas checks and will not allow gas checks to go on crooked or askew. Big Boomer
    It is true that the hollow-nosed punches are preferred when seating checks nose first and that is what I use.

    Thread drift warning:
    What drove me to making a truing and sizing tool was a certain 30 cal mold that has a tight fit shank when cast. It was a bear on the fingers to fit the checks yet the CB worked perfectly except for weird flyers. During a loading session I rolled some of the ready to load CB's on my bench and I noticed a few that had wobble of the checked bases. Checks were well crimped yet they were not right.

    I did some internet searching and came across a piece written by Goodsteel on his work truing checks and the test results. I don't go as far as he did but the crude tooling I made removes the doming of the check as well as truing the opening large enough for a slip fit. Checks are easy to fit now and no run-out of the check is observed after sizing. The pesky weird flyers are gone now. Checks used are Hornady and CB is the Ranch Dog C311-170-RF. I'll post some pics if anybody is interested.

    Some of the things I have learned is that small things matter a lot when trying to create or craft the best ammo for yourself economically. I'm a hobbiest and not into bench rest competition. YMMV.
    Liberalism is the triumph of emotion over intellect, but masquerading as the reverse.

    I don't know how we ever shot maximum loads before P/C come along and saved us all. R5R

    "No mosque in the United States flies an American flag."

  11. #11
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    The Star is great for seating gas checks. Nose first, press boolet into die far enough to be a bit below flush, push gas check into position and size. If I am sizing one that I feel doesn't have enough resistance to seat the check well I give the handle a little "pop" to let the boolet inertia help seat the check. All my nose punches are flat and work fine for all the boolets I am sizing at this point. I may have to try a hollow nosed one next time just for grins and because of the positive input from some of you other Star guys.

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    No problem seating gas checks nose first. I just try and use biggeset possible punch and go to town. D. C.
    Dennis Eugene "You know why no one panic buys 30-06? Because people who shoot 30-06 don't panic"

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    Gas Check choice makes a difference too.

    I just did 1500 Hensley & Gibbs #51's w/ GC. I tried some old (and I mean old) Lyman and Hornady gas checks and they were very inconsistent.
    I finally put them back (I had about 2000 of them that I got in a trade) and will only use them in a SHTF scenario.
    I switched to Gator's checks and every one simply popped onto the shank and they seated perfectly. What was I using to size/lube and seat the checks? Star sizer of course.
    I have done thousands of #51's and #503's with gas checks and Gator's are the best.
    Collector and shooter of guns with selector switches and threaded barrels. Collector of suppressors, SBR's, AOW's and SBS's. Lead and brass scrounger. Never too much brass, lead or components in inventory! Always looking to win beauty contests with my reloads.

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    Boolit Mold TemplarKnight's Avatar
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    I concur with BigBoomer's comment on nose first and using a "cupped" punch. I have sized nose first exclusively in my Star for over thirty years. Other than hollow base wad cutters (Remington swaged HBWC preferred) for my Model 52 and my Clark, Bob Chow, and Bob Day 1911 .38 wadcutter guns all the other lead bullets I shoot are cast gas checked handgun bullets for hunting and defense loads. George Rainbolt, who ran the office at Star Machine Tool, shared this tip with to me years ago which I used to good effect ever since. His suggestion was that to take advantage of the Star's potential with gas checked bullets, the pusher punch must be fairly close to sizer diameter, having about .010 to .015 undersize. Then its end needs to be cupped out a few thousandths so only about a 1/32 inch wide contact ring is left around the perimeter. This is so all the punch's pressure is applied around the outer edge of the gas check base, straddling any raised imperfections in the bullet base (sprue pimple etc.). The cup punch described pushes the gas checks on if they are a bit tight, then sizes them on with perfect concentricity to the bullet body, and perfect squareness around the critical perimeter of the heel of the buller.

    By contrast, the other sizers that size bullet base first (RCBS/Lyman) crimp the gas check as the base of the bullet enters the die, before any of the bullet enters the die, so you are dependent on the gas check to align the body of the bullet in the die which is not a great thing. if the gas check shank has any deformities, or if the check shaves lead a bit on one side when pressed on, the check, being far stronger than lead, will force the bullet to size out of balance at the base end.

    My 1990's vintage S&W Performance Center Heavy Hunter 44 Remington Magnum w/ Leupold 2x LER will keep six rounds (Lyman 429640 HP-GC Devastator over 2400) in a three inch diameter group at 100 yards off a sandbag rest. With more magnification I think I could control crosshair movement on the target (can't control what you can't see!) and shrink those groups to a 2 inch diameter.

    I don't see a problem with the bullets dropping at about .311" as cast, and sizing to .310". The way the cupped punch applies pressure to the outer circumference of the gas check will insure enough resistance to seat the checks squarely and the sizing action will insure they are locked on the base of the bullet (Hornady style gas checks - which are current industry standard).
    Last edited by TemplarKnight; 01-05-2018 at 06:12 PM.

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    Boolit Mold SpadeAce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quail4jake View Post
    Funny you should ask...I just called Magma last week ordering dies etc and asked about GC seating, this is what they said: nose first, flat punch fitting close to the die diameter, sizing tight enough to offer resistance at the base to seat the GC squarely. I am currently turning punches to clear the die within .010 for GC size boolits. I'm new ish at this size/lube game so I will post when I work out the details and study my boolits for concentricity, base square etc. Anyway that was Magma's advice.
    I anxiously await your findings
    SpadeAce
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  16. #16
    Boolit Mold HH928's Avatar
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    Does anyone besides Magma make/sell Star size punches?

  17. #17
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    At the top of this section, Lathesmith has an ongoing thread about the star dies he makes. I've purchased several dies, top punches and locknuts from him, and he does good work. He's also very reasonable, and will make the dies to your specifications.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

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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