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Thread: do i need a gas check for .44mag

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    do i need a gas check for .44mag

    Iv just cast my 1st boolits and have powder coated them, i have a .44 underlever and plan to load spl and mag for it, do i need a gas check??

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy

    Dieselhorses's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Southeast Louisiana
    Just my opinion, but yes, I would definitely use a gas check even being powder coating in rifle rounds. Alloy, sizing and powder all play a part too.

    “To achieve victory we must mass our forces at the hub of all power and movement. The enemy’s "center of gravity”

    ― Karl Von Clausewitz

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    303max- welcome to posting on CB. If you decided to start casting to save money, forget it. You won't, you'll just shoot more.

    As diesel said, there are several variables to take into consideration. If you plan on pushing the boolit over 1600 fps yes. I don't in my Winchester. I PC (powder coat) all my boolits but that makes little difference, I just don't need lube.

    To get an accurate answer for your situation, try it both ways on your particular gun and see what it says, likes

    Casting boolits (lead bullets) properly is a science, once you know the basics, not a hard science.
    There is a lot of good information on CB. The Google search (top right of every forum page) is a gateway to all the knowledge on this forum. IF you can’t find your answer there ask the question (Please be as detailed as possible, pictures help I would be very surprised if there wasn’t someone on this forum that could answer ANY (firearm related) question you might have)
    1. Boolits need to be cast .0005 to .003 (normally .002) over the slugged diameter of your barrel for accuracy and to avoid leading. If the fit is wrong nothing else will work right.
    a. slugging a barrel (it is safer to use a brass rod or a steel rod with a couple of coats of tape to avoid damaging your barrel
    b. chamber casting
    or pound casting
    2. the right alloy needs to be used for the velocity and purpose of the boolit (don’t fall into the trap of going with too hard an alloy

    Economical way to easily test lead hardness

    Some alloys harden over time
    different alloy’s different end hardnesses

    Lead alloy calculator
    3. velocity the bullet needs to be pushed hard/fast enough to get the proper spin, have the proper velocity to accurately reach the target but not so hard as to be dangerous or strip the lead off in the grooves instead of spinning the boolit..
    The boolit needs to be the right weight for the riffling/twist rate of your barrel
    Powders range from fast to slow, you need to choose the right powder for your barrel length & application.
    Loading manuals list the best powders for certain calibers and boolit weights.
    NEVER use any posted noncommercial load data without first checking commercial load data to see if falls in the safe parameter for your firearm!! There are several firearms out there that can handle much higher pressures than others!!
    Link to free online load data

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Thanks for the very thurough reply!!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Katy, Texas
    If you bullet has a recess for a check I would use one as it will provide a flat base, which otherwise you will not have. As far as the PC if you have a PC that is of sufficient thickness and it is properly cured then you do not need a check to seal & protect the alloy.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    I like to use gas checks where ever possible but some cast combinations just don't work with checks, my brother shoots a 320gr Hi-Tek coated un checked bullet that I make, at near 1900 fps from his 460 SW revolver with no leading and outstanding accuracy. I should point out these are cast from CWW with a little tin added. Regards Stephen

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Northern Wisconsin
    If your mold doesn't have a base for a gas check, you can't use them. I would try your loads and see what happens without. You can push WW pretty fast if the bullet fit is good before you'll see any leading. Lube isn't an issue because you powder coated, so that is off the table.

    For example, I push LEE 170 gr FNGC bullets @ 2150 FPS in a 30-06, (Chronographed), with liquid alox with zero leading. That is with WW with a bit of range scrap mixed in. If you were to follow most books, it would say my barrel should look like a clogged lead water pipe.

    Give your bullets a try and see what you can push them to before getting too worried. That's part of the fun.

  8. #8

    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    welcome to the forum.
    a quick answer to your question, "do i need a gas check for .44mag"
    The answer is: you do not "need" a GC.

    There is a lot of info in the "classics and Stickies" section.
    this one also addresses your question.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Castlegar, B.C., Canada
    I load top end "J" bullet loads under my equal weight cast boolits in my 1894 marlin .44 mag and use all PB boolits with little issue. It used to lead a bit but for two reasons:

    - boolits were undersize (SAAMI rifle spec is 0.431" groove diameter where it is 0.429" groove diameter for handgun)
    - My gun had tight spots in the bore under dovetails and roll stamps

    Fat boolits then lapping the tight spots out improved accuracy and now leading is no longer.

    So, from my perspective... no you do not need gas checks for .44 mag rifle loads if the boolits fit well. However, there is nothing wrong with using gas check boolits if you prefer and they may take care of less than perfect boolit fit.



  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Phenix City, Alabama
    Some of my .44 molds use a gas check, most don't.
    μολὼν λαβέ

    Did I ever mention that I hate to trim brass?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    barry s wales uk
    Depends on how fast you want to push them .in my 357 mag I just use gas checked boolits if I go faster than 1100 fps .boolit fit is the main thing .

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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