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Thread: Gas Check punch

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Gas Check punch

    Hi Guys.
    Is there any manufacture making a punch that I could buy to make my own gas checks?
    To buy them here in New Zealand it costs US$70.00 for 1000 of them. Makes it almost as expensive as buying jacketed bullets.
    Cheers
    Last edited by irgnz; 03-27-2009 at 03:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I am curious why are the gas checks so expensive there? Is it shipping, import fees or taxes?
    I am not for sure but I think if it is just mark up for your dealers that you could order them from US online companies and save on heck of a chunk of money.
    If that is not possible have someone here purchase them and then ship them to you via UPS.
    Oh I am not aware of the exchange rate for US currancy to NZ....Maybe that is the the problem....Wes
    The problem in America today is, there are to many fools making to many rules that don't apply to themselves. Now just wait until the new pres. takes office and see what happens!!!!!

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    One US dollar is worth $1.75 NZ dollars at current excnange rates. So if 1000 .308cal gaschecks cost $40US in USA it would cost you 40 times 1.75 = $70 NZ. You are being ripped off or more politely ....shafted my friend. Gaschecks are even cheaper if you buy from this site ie they purchase through another manufacturer (not Hornady) at much better rate. NZ laws allow you to import alot of shooting related equipment so explore this option. I thought things were expensive in Australia!!! The price you quoted was outrageous even by Ozzie standards.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Holycrapola, that is one heck of a markup for the dealer in NZ. Forget that s**t. Get online and order your stuff.....Wes
    The problem in America today is, there are to many fools making to many rules that don't apply to themselves. Now just wait until the new pres. takes office and see what happens!!!!!

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Mar 2009
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    The main problem is that Casting is not so popular here. I had to hunt high and low to find someone that stocks the beast, let alone worry about the price.
    Todays exchange rate was NZ$1= US$0.52.
    That coupled with the lack of supplie = alot of profit for those that stock them.
    I will look into getting them from the site, also getting a local engenerning compainy to make me some punches to make my own.
    I can design but don't have the skills make such a thing.

    OH I have edited first post. I snuck in an extra 1. I can see the reason for the shock.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master sav300's Avatar
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    Hi irgnz,not much cheaper here in Aus,check out CBE website for gas check price shock,I buy from the cast boolit forum when they have group buys.ps aud$1 = $0.66.
    The postage from the states can hurt too.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Papa smurf's Avatar
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    Hay --irgnz-------------Cheers back at ya from Pennsylvania,U.S.A.-------------Go to group buys on this forum and look at patmarlins 30 cal. checkmaker. the buys are closed but you may get the information you want there.-------------Good Shooting-------Papa Smurf

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    1,834

    punch your own gas checks

    Irgnz; Go to e-bay and punch up the "Reloading tool" auction. A simple system is available...it is listed under the name "Freechex" and "Freechex II". The guy that makes these has an e-mail address of codarnall@yahoo.com His name is Charlie and he responds/is friendly;will help you with info, etc. Although his different calibers are listed under auction format, there is always the options of buy-it-now and "best offer". You can make gas checks out of aluminum beverage cans, sheet brass, sheet copper, roof-chimmney flashing, cat food cans and probably other sources as well. Generally the price for this system runs anywhere from $30 to $35 US plus postage. I've got one; It works and works well. Comes with good instructions and samples of gas checks made with it. If you plan on making 1500 gas checks in your life you'll get your money back (at US prices) and you'll be ahead after that, so its worth checking the thing out. LLS

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    klcarroll's Avatar
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    I've seen the "Freechex tool on Ebay; .......And I have a question for anyone that has owned one of these for a while.

    Since the tool is going to cost me about the same money as a box of 1000 Hornady Gas Checks, ......I have to wonder about the service life of the tool.

    After making 1000 gas checks, will the tool still be sharp and serviceable??? .........I certainly don't want to buy a tool, and invest the time to make checks if it turns out to be a loosing financial proposition!

    Kent
    KLC


    .....Nuttier than a squirrel turd. - An assertion by a fellow forum member

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



    Charlie Sometimes's Avatar
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    I have purchased the FreeChex I (22 cal) & FreeChex II (30 & 45 cal). I have not made many checks with them yet, as I just got them last month. I have used them a few times learning the technique, and such. It takes a little practice, but works fine. There are multiple parts to the "tool" so it is not a simple question of how long will it last. You could destroy various parts of it by not following the instructions properly, and be out of production quickly. Although, even if you did, I got the impression that Charlie Darnall (the maker) would help you if you have a problem- even if it was your fault. He is very willing to help.

    The FreeChex I require a hole punch to cut out the blank disk and is then placed in the die to form the cup. The process works fine if instructions are followed properly. The hole punch would require sharpening at some point, but that would seem to be quite a lot of checks down the road. Punch included with set.

    The FreeChex II punches the blank and forms the cup, but can be utilized with a hole punch also (not included). The hole punches can be purchased from McMaster-Carr online, and are manufactured by C.S. Osborne. They are sized 9/32 inch for the 22 cal; 13/32 inch for the 30 caliber; and 9/16 inch for the 45 caliber. Maximum stock thickness for each of the above are 0.006 inch, 0.010 inch, and 0.013 inch respectively.

    I like mine, and even though these are not a very fast mechanical process, once you get the hang of it, it goes quicker than you think it would. I think it is a good investment and will pay for itself very quickly. Charlie Darnall has sold these the world over, and has lots of good feedback about his product. He is currently the ONLY person manufacturing a DIY gas check maker, so I bought them.

    I intend to take pictures and post on another thread that was generated about the FreeChex units when I get the extra time to do a proper evaluation, etc. Too many irons in the fire right now!
    USMC 1980-1985

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Know any machinists? Home shop or otherwise?

    Here at http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=45542 is a pretty good thread on home made check tools that you can copy at will, if you are so inclined.
    There has to be a sheddie near you that can help you out.

    I have an objection to having to swing a damned hammer for the sake of a single gas check. I definitely won't swing a hammer several times to make a gas check. I built my punch to use on my reloading press ( a crappy little die-cast-zinc Lyman press, not the last word in sturdy!) and intend on using the same press to shape my checks, and probably to set them, either pan lubing, or Alox, until I find a cheap lube-sizer, or build one.

    I've punched out a little over a thousand blanks in a two hour stretch, while watching a video in the background. Pounding out a thousand checks with a hammer would make me buy them instead!

    Cheers
    Trev

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    gas checks

    Hi
    The hand punch die setup should last almost forever. You will likely get tired of it before it should wear out. The hole punch may be a bigger problem.Depending on the quality of how its made. Years ago ,when I seemed to have a lot of time (where did that go?). I made two press mounted gas check makers . Both ended up working best useing aluminum valley ( roofing flashing). Very low cost and easily available at nearly any home improvement store. It usually maesures at.009 to .0095. I also found some thicker stuff at about .0105. It was painted and that had to be removed. I know that .009 makes 30 cal checks a little loose on the base. I glued them on with the blue loctitie 242 threadlocker. Still much better than pop cans. They are as accurate as the standard copper checks. I gave some out at cast bullet matches .The guys who used them like them just fine.
    My version of a press mounted check maker punches the disk and forms the cup with one stroke. Ejection with the down stroke. I have made several thousand 7mm,30cal and 8mm checks . No measurable wear on any of the critical parts.
    I could make about six to eight hunderd checks a hour. More than that is possible but I can't move any faster without mistakes.
    I have read the other threads on die setups to make the checks. We have a very industrious and innovative group here.
    One thing mentioned was that punching the disks were too much for a reloading press to do. That was not born out in my efforts. The weakest press I have could do this. I will admit there is a jolt whan the disk punches through. A press with a heavy ram will add momentum to smooth this part of the stroke out.

    The dies were all made on my lathe and drill press. The steel used in one die set, was all made from hi grade hardware store bolts and hardened after macheining.
    Grade three to eight bolts is a cheap and easy scource for steel. Just anneal first to work it and harden later.
    n.h.schmidt

  13. #13
    Boolit Master mtnman31's Avatar
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    My Freechex tool currently has produced around 500 checks. It is for .458 bullets and has not shown any signs of wear what so ever. I have used strictly aluminum soda cans for my checks so far. I may get one in .338 caliber but am not certain that I shoot enough of the .338's to recover my costs for the tool.

    I consider my Freechex tool money well spent.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



    Charlie Sometimes's Avatar
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    If someone had been making press mounted sets for DIY gas checks, I probably would have bought them because the gas checks would be quicker to produce, but they aren't available yet. Even patmarlins check makers aren't available, to my knowledge.

    Lots of inovative people on this site. I wish I had the resources that most of these gentlemen seem to have. I have to make do with what I have- adapt, improvise, and overcome! I learn something every day on this forum.

    It's not mark up that our "down under" brothers are fighting- it's exchange rate. If you think our dollar doesn't go as far these days, consider the above examples more carefully and what they are dealing with. Ours is about 1/12 what it used to be, and may continue to only be less favorable now that we are printing more to bail out big business to slow down the slide to the bottom of the hand basket- and you know where that handbasket is going.
    USMC 1980-1985

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    eastern Iowa
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    Checks

    Hi
    Can you tell me the outer dia. of a FreeChex maker. It my be possible to make it work on a press. Could save the hammer work. For just the cupping operation it would be easily practical to make the two parts to work on a press. Maybe I should experiment a bit at this .
    n.h.schmidt

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    miestro_jerry's Avatar
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    I have seen the Free Checks and remeber when Paco Kelly made the tools for his free checks that was a while ago.

    This is really an economical way to get gas checks. I would suggest eVilbay for the current tool on the market.

    Jerry
    Honor is a Way of Life

    NRA Benefactor Life Member

  17. #17
    Boolit Master



    Charlie Sometimes's Avatar
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    The FreeChex sets are two step processes no mater how you flip it. You would have to change everything around to make them work in a press. There is another post somewhere on the forum with a great example from Captain Morgan, I believe. Look at it and see what he did.
    USMC 1980-1985

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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