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Thread: Any Alternatives to gaschecks?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Any Alternatives to gaschecks?

    I'm looking for alternatives to gaschecks. I plan on starting to load up some .308, 06, .303, and 7.62x54r. I ordered molds from accurate molds that will be to size for both my .303 and 7.62x54r and will be sizing down the .303 to .309 for my .308 and 06. I have a sizer for .309 so I can easily gascheck them. However, I would like to avoid buying two more sizers for the other calibers. I'm using coww water quenched and plan on using vht or pc but wouldn't mind using some alox also. Is there any way to push these bullets to 2500+fps without checks?

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Some molds provide the capability to put zinc washers in the bottom of the mold. Alternative have a custom mold made
    Rule of thumb - use GC's for reloads greater than 1600 fps. Might want to try casting with lino or monotype but no guarantees the high velocities won't burn the base of the bullets
    However, I would like to avoid buying two more sizers for the other calibers.
    Lee Lube Sizers are cheap and do a good jobseating GC's. Otherwise sell the other 2 rifles
    Regards
    John

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Yes. Powder Coating. The problem is "some" bullets that are designed for gas checks don't shoot as accurately without them installed. I shoot some pretty high pressure loads with powder coating alone but the only so far that is with a bullet designed for a gas check is my 440gr Lee for 500 S&W. This one is very accurate without the gas check.

    I did try some 55gr Lee in .223 without the gas check. This ammo is around 2000fps and will cycle a standard carbine length AR-15. The ammo shot as clean as jacketed but this bullet relies on the gas check for over 50% of it's bearing surface so accuracy was poor.

    I actually intended to test 160gr Lee 2R TL with powder coating and no gas checks today in 300 BO loaded with the starting load of Lil-Gun (jacketed data) but the weather is too bad to shoot today.

    I currently use this same bullet in several 30 and 30ish caliber rifles un-checked sub-sonic and checked super-sonic with very good results. The reason I never tried them before super sonic without checks is that's the way I initially used them when I started shooting cast with lubed bullets.

    I do load a 45-70 340gr Lee that is not designed for gas checks with powder coating in a ported Marlin Guide gun. They work great. I use the shake and bake method to powder coat so the base is coated. So people who use the spray gun stand their boolits on the nose so the base gets coated.

    I suggest you look for a .312 or .312+ mold no lighter than 160gr that is NOT designed for a gas check. I believe such a bullet cast with 15BHN alloy and powder coated will achieve your goals.

    Motor

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    The part that a GC provides is the ability for the base of the bullet to resist bullet skid as RPM's increase. Take out the gas check and there must be something that will replace what is missing. Powder Coating or Hi-tek coatings will not replace the GC by itself as it is not magic. It may eliminate the leading issue however as RPM's increase bullet skid can or will happen and accuracy falls off. You can increase bullet hardness with an alloy mix but heat treating an alloy will not work as one comes back and anneals the hardness away when applying the powder coat at 400 degrees etc.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I bough two in the 170 to 180 grain range both are gc molds bit I could open up the gc if needed.i rune about 20bhn with my wc coww. Both have a larger bearing surface. I guess it looks like I will probably just did some experimenting with vht and pc and if all else fails pick up two more lube sizers

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobS View Post
    The part that a GC provides is the ability for the base of the bullet to resist bullet skid as RPM's increase. Take out the gas check and there must be something that will replace what is missing. Powder Coating or Hi-tek coatings will not replace the GC by itself as it is not magic. It may eliminate the leading issue however as RPM's increase bullet skid can or will happen and accuracy falls off. You can increase bullet hardness with an alloy mix but heat treating an alloy will not work as one comes back and anneals the hardness away when applying the powder coat at 400 degrees etc.
    A gas check is a seal much like a piston ring. I hear what you are saying but the fact is people are shooting powder coated bullets without gas checks successfully above 2000fps.

    According to my Lee manual my alloy is only 1/3 the strength it needs to be for the load I am shooting from my 500 S&W magnum. It seems like powder coating is re-writing the rules.

    Motor

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    The Lee manual, if anyone has been casting boolits long enough knows is a suggestion. People have been running 44 magnum loads and many other calibers for that matter without leading and accuracy for years with softer alloy than suggested in the Lee manual, Elmer Keith ring a bell. Fact is a person can find wiggle room with coating however best accuracy will come with load development that matches alloy and gas check if needed to twist rate (RPMs) along with pressure curve to peak pressure of the expanding gases from the powder with a line of other variables that come with sound handloading practices. Your 500 S&W barrel twist is slower than a rifle and your boolit has much more surface area to keep it from skidding.

    To each their own and experimenting will tell the tale.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    To each their own and experimenting will tell the tale.[/QUOTE]

    This is exactly my point you don't know until you try it.

    From my experience with the .223 shooting a bullet with only half of it's intended surface area contacting the bore in a 1-9 twist barrel above 2000fps without a gas check and not having any skidding of other bullet failure issues is where my opinion comes from. It kind of makes me optimistic.

    Motor

  9. #9
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    I'm to dumb to sort all that teck-nickle stuff out so I just paper patch fast flying bullets.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    get plain base versions. no gc's needed.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Paper patch DOES require either a mold that's small enough in diameter to make up for the paper's thickness, or a larger bore to make up for the diameter of the bullet + paper's thickness, or maybe thinner paper would do it? It's been on my do list for TOO long, want to try it out. In the OP's case a .303 cast bullet might work rather well for a .311 bore

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Sheesh View Post
    Paper patch DOES require either a mold that's small enough in diameter to make up for the paper's thickness, or a larger bore to make up for the diameter of the bullet + paper's thickness, or maybe thinner paper would do it? It's been on my do list for TOO long, want to try it out. In the OP's case a .303 cast bullet might work rather well for a .311 bore
    .303 is as in a .303 brittish not .303 diameter


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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by RobS View Post
    The part that a GC provides is the ability for the base of the bullet to resist bullet skid as RPM's increase.
    I doubt that. Silver solder a nut to a gas check, fit it, drive the bullet through from the rear until copper is protruding and lead isn't, and twist it with a wrench. Lead to copper engagement is almost sure to give way before lead to steel. The main value of the gas check is to keep hot gases from leaking into the grooves.

    You can get much of the same benefit from a grease cookie, although it demands a case with a fairly long neck. Melt beeswax or other lube on top of hot water, and when it cools you can pick out a disc of wax, even in thickness. A tenth to an eighth inch is good. Put a close-fitting card wad in the case and cut out a disc from the wax, then insert another card. The under-bullet wad, especially, needs to be tight fitting, as you don't the wad sticking to the base.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    .In straight walled cases ,some use a cardboard wad just under a flat base bullet. This works very well 'sometimes'. YMMV Dale

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Tyguy95 - Just saying that the paper, should you use paper patching, NEEDS to have room to exist Usually 2 full wraps (or 1.9999) so 4 thicknesses of the paper, probably 8 mils or something "will do it", so a .303 sizer + 8 mils = .311, was what I was trying to communicate. I wouldn't want to say that a .311 bullet + 8 mils of paper would much like being pushed through a .309 bore, that could be, "exciting" and I'd expect it would at least raise pressures - No one wants any safety issues here!

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Sheesh View Post
    Tyguy95 - Just saying that the paper, should you use paper patching, NEEDS to have room to exist Usually 2 full wraps (or 1.9999) so 4 thicknesses of the paper, probably 8 mils or something "will do it", so a .303 sizer + 8 mils = .311, was what I was trying to communicate. I wouldn't want to say that a .311 bullet + 8 mils of paper would much like being pushed through a .309 bore, that could be, "exciting" and I'd expect it would at least raise pressures - No one wants any safety issues here!
    Haha I lost that in text

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  17. #17
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barrabruce View Post
    I'm to dumb to sort all that teck-nickle stuff out so I just paper patch fast flying bullets.
    I have just read lots of stuff that is pure myth ans superstition regarding gas checks. Me, I am too lazy to mess with them so, as pertains to .30, .303 and .323 bullets at 2000+ fps, paper patching is my solution as well. It works on bullets with a gas check shank sans gas check too.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballistics in Scotland View Post
    I doubt that. Silver solder a nut to a gas check, fit it, drive the bullet through from the rear until copper is protruding and lead isn't, and twist it with a wrench. Lead to copper engagement is almost sure to give way before lead to steel. The main value of the gas check is to keep hot gases from leaking into the grooves.

    You can get much of the same benefit from a grease cookie, although it demands a case with a fairly long neck. Melt beeswax or other lube on top of hot water, and when it cools you can pick out a disc of wax, even in thickness. A tenth to an eighth inch is good. Put a close-fitting card wad in the case and cut out a disc from the wax, then insert another card. The under-bullet wad, especially, needs to be tight fitting, as you don't the wad sticking to the base.
    Amen. Mann demonstratd this in 1900 or so.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Cash View Post
    Amen. Mann demonstratd this in 1900 or so.
    Well you guys were willing to go there I agree but didn't want to be argumentative. I don't see paper as being any stronger than powder coating. Like you all correctly pointed out gas checks are not needed with paper patching. I think it's becoming more apparent that they are not needed with powder coating either.

    Motor

  20. #20
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    HangFireW8's Avatar
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    An alternative I don't see listed is soda can checks, which can (in some cases) be placed on PB boolits, and can be made at home. I haven't tried it myself, but I'm kicking the idea around of getting said check maker. It seems like a good bridge between the cheap, lower velocity PB boolits and the pricier copper gas-checked boolits (due to the price of the gas check). Seems it might be cheaper than buying a PB and a GC mold (or multi-cavity combo mold) for every style of boolit.

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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