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Thread: aluminum gas checks

  1. #1
    Boolit Man LGS's Avatar
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    aluminum gas checks

    Has anyone used aluminum gas checks. I am thinking about buying a tool to make them. I use a lot of 44 and 30 cal gas checks and this would save me money. What do you guys think about using aluminum.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Personally, I'm not really thrilled with the idea of putting aluminium down the bore.

    Hard times come to hard times, then it might be necessary. That same tool can make checks from copper, too.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master in Heaven's Range

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have a tool to do the cks and it works fine but I had rather pay for the cks than sit and punch them out. I can go to the range and spend that time shooting. I am retired and have the time but I personally had rather do something else with my time.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    LGS; I make my own and have shot several hundred, but that is not enough to prove if aluminum in the bore creates a problem, as in excessive wear from oxide of Al, personally am not worried about it, .02. I have made them from beer cans, layered up 3 thick and from al roof/valley flashing that is approx .013" thick. I got the tool from a friend in Calif about 3 years ago, he has since changed design and name to free-chex and free-chex II. The set I got from him was a 3 cal setup and used my lube/sizer to form them, I hand punch the disc out over a ww ingot. They shot as good as the store bought Horn and Lyman. As far as I know Charlie only sells on E-Bay anymore, do a search for free-chex, you can contact him through there. A very nice gentleman that I stay in contact with weekly, if not daily. Years ago I gave him this forum addy to talk/test his tool, I've been gone a few years, but don't see him posting here?? Go to e-bay and check it out- pun intended. Scot

  6. #6
    Boolit Man LGS's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link and information. I think I will give it a try. In the words of Joe Kidd " I have more time then money".

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Aluminum gas checks.

    I bought and use the Freechex tool for 30 caliber. It does a good job for me. The pop can thickness measures .005. It is thin and some folks don't like it as such, but it protects the base of the bullet against flame temperature and hot gases. It is possible to use 2 aluminum discs together and when formed they are .010 thick. Codarnall who manufactures the tool includes instructions and samples of gaschecks made with different combinations of aluminum, brass and copper. I have used one layer of aluminum and found it satisfactory for my needs. If you feel that the doubled discs provide a better gas seal than one disc thickness alone, then use 2. Not much is cheaper than an empty pop can that someone tossed out. There are other sources of gas check material; sheet brass or copper (use Freechex II model), chimmney-roof flashing, cat food cans and probably other alternatives as well. The point is that the tool works and it works well. The choice of material is yours. The alternate choice is to buy gas checks from Hornady (who makes all of them commercially and also sells to Lyman who puts their name on them and their % cut as well) and pay $25.-$30. a thousand. They're the only game in town. As for the point that Aluminum Oxide is an abrasive...yes it is, in its highly crystalized form such as on sanding discs and sandpaper. But pop and beer cans are coated on the inside according to FDA regulations and coated on the outside with advertising-whatever it is, so no air/oxygen gets to the actual metal. And no oxygen=no oxide. For those who are still skeptical, you can put and keep the punched out/formed gas check discs into a corked test tube, vial, or very small lidded jar. Identical story! No oxygen=no oxide and the same goes for once on the bullet and seated in the cartridge case. Persons with chemistry backgrounds have also stated that even IF Al-oxide were present the amount involved would be infinitesmally insignificant. Aluminum gas checks in single layer; if they do not initially adhere tightly to the bullet base, they can be held in place with a drop of crazy-glue or a dab of bullet lube until they are sized and tight. The Freechex tool costs from $30-$35 and if you are going to use 1500 or more gas checks then you will be definitely ahead from that point on. Good luck and good shooting. LLS

  8. #8
    Boolit Man LGS's Avatar
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    The FREECHECK tool is the one I am considering. The price is right and will pay for itself within 1000 checks. Is there any issue with the Marlin micro-groove rifling with aluminum. The guy who makes them was unsure when I asked about this tool for my 444 and Micro-groove barrel.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Thumbs up gas checks

    I would just as soon buy copper gas checks one less variable to worry about.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Single and even double layer did not work for me, but when I got to 3 layers of Bud Lite they performed just like the boughten ones. Std gas check shank max diameter for a 30 cal is .284", add .010 for a single layer you get .294, 2 layers= .304 and 3 layers= .314" just right to size to .309/.313.

    Your 44 cal bullet should have a .402 shank, looks like you'll need .030" of GC(.015" per side) or about 3 layers of Bud lite can to get to sized .431/2 .02 YMMV

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    This was the PRE free chex/fcII tool designed and sold by Charlie. He has improved on it, but this model-30-32-35 cal- works fine for me once you get the learning curve down.
    Last edited by swheeler; 02-24-2010 at 07:16 PM.

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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