RotoMetals2Titan ReloadingLee PrecisionInline Fabrication
Reloading UKRepackboxADvertise hereMidSouth Shooters Supply

Donate Now Goal amount for this year: 6000 USD, Received: 55 USD (1%)
Our Annual server fund drive is going on now! This donation drive helps fund Cast Boolits for an entire year, and helps support our 2nd amendment rights! You can donate by Paypal by clicking the DONATE button. Or by Cash / Check / MO to the address below:

Willy Snyder
PO Box 2732
Pocatello, ID 83206
****Due to overwhelming e-mails, I will be very slow in updating this list. Please bear with me!****


Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 39 of 39

Thread: Aluminium vs Copper Gas Checks

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy muskeg13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Houston, Alaska
    Posts
    220
    Quote Originally Posted by tomme boy View Post
    Nice way to contaminate the lead on the range. If there is never a chance for the lead to be recovered then it might be a good choice to use the zinc. I find gas checks all the time e in my range lead I collect. I don't need anything else to worry about in the lead.
    The minute quantity if zinc presented by gas checks isn't going to contaminate anything. Zinc is not kryptonite. A small amount of zinc is soluble in lead alloy and serves as a hardening agent. As mentioned in previous posts, zinc washers (which weigh a lot more than a gas check) were widely used in the 50s and 60s in some cast bullet designs, and I've never read anything to indicate they caused any problem with contaminating range lead. If you want to worry about something, worry about range lead contamination caused by the growing use of powder coated bullets.

  2. #22
    Boolit Grand Master

    tomme boy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    5,191
    I reclaim my own lead in my berm. So yes it will make a difference. At a public range maybe not. A lot better choices out there.

  3. #23
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    7,438
    Quote Originally Posted by markmars View Post
    Finally ordered two gas check makers from Pat Marlins. My question is which material do you prefer for gas checks aluminium or copper and why?

    The difference I see are the following:

    Aluminum is cheaper easier to work.

    Copper is stronger and more expensive.

    Copper also is a better conductor of heat.
    As for that last line, "Copper also is a better conductor of heat."
    I'm not sure what the OP means by "conductor of heat", but I'm positive that when talking about a gas check, it's a non-issue.

    The length of time heat is applied to the bullet base is extremely short. And while both materials will obviously conduct heat, the copper is denser than the aluminum (again, a total non-issue in that application).

    So of the factors the OP lists, I think the last one is a total non-issue in that particular application.

    Expense, ease of forming and maybe weight would be far more critical factors.

  4. #24
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    58
    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    As for that last line, "Copper also is a better conductor of heat."
    I'm not sure what the OP means by "conductor of heat", but I'm positive that when talking about a gas check, it's a non-issue.

    The length of time heat is applied to the bullet base is extremely short. And while both materials will obviously conduct heat, the copper is denser than the aluminum (again, a total non-issue in that application).

    So of the factors the OP lists, I think the last one is a total non-issue in that particular application.

    Expense, ease of forming and maybe weight would be far more critical factors.
    My understanding is on rifle bullets the base of a cast bullet will melt and leave lead in the barrel. So copper would cause ore heat on the base.

  5. #25
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    7,438
    Quote Originally Posted by markmars View Post
    My understanding is on rifle bullets the base of a cast bullet will melt and leave lead in the barrel. So copper would cause ore heat on the base.
    Your understanding is a bit flawed.

    The tiny fraction of a second that the bullet is in the bore and exposed to the hot expanding gases pushing on the base of the bullet is not enough to melt the lead at the base of the bullet. Gas cutting, is the culprit that causes leading.
    Hot gases forcing their way around the bullet in the bore WILL result in leading. The GAS check is not a heat shield but rather a stronger metal that helps to seal the rear of the projectile against 50K + pressure and lots of heat. It only needs to do its job for a tiny fraction of a second.

    NOW, this is not an absolute. There is undoubtedly a tremendous amount of heat at the base of the bullet but the length of time the bullet is subjected to that heat is not sufficient to allow the heat to overcome the mass of the bullet BUT hot gas leaking past the base will erode the lead.

    The slight difference in mass of a copper gas check as compared to an aluminum gas check is not large enough to matter during that tiny fraction of a second worth of heating.

  6. #26
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    58
    Thank you for the information. I'll make the gas check out of aluminum and save some bucks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    Your understanding is a bit flawed.

    The tiny fraction of a second that the bullet is in the bore and exposed to the hot expanding gases pushing on the base of the bullet is not enough to melt the lead at the base of the bullet. Gas cutting, is the culprit that causes leading.
    Hot gases forcing their way around the bullet in the bore WILL result in leading. The GAS check is not a heat shield but rather a stronger metal that helps to seal the rear of the projectile against 50K + pressure and lots of heat. It only needs to do its job for a tiny fraction of a second.

    NOW, this is not an absolute. There is undoubtedly a tremendous amount of heat at the base of the bullet but the length of time the bullet is subjected to that heat is not sufficient to allow the heat to overcome the mass of the bullet BUT hot gas leaking past the base will erode the lead.

    The slight difference in mass of a copper gas check as compared to an aluminum gas check is not large enough to matter during that tiny fraction of a second worth of heating.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master 0verkill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cranks, KY
    Posts
    644
    Quote Originally Posted by muskeg13 View Post
    The minute quantity if zinc presented by gas checks isn't going to contaminate anything. Zinc is not kryptonite. A small amount of zinc is soluble in lead alloy and serves as a hardening agent. As mentioned in previous posts, zinc washers (which weigh a lot more than a gas check) were widely used in the 50s and 60s in some cast bullet designs, and I've never read anything to indicate they caused any problem with contaminating range lead. If you want to worry about something, worry about range lead contamination caused by the growing use of powder coated bullets.
    I was going to try some of that stuff a few years back but the local hardware store stopped carrying it. Have you tested against aluminum and copper? I ask not so much about shooting but manufacture. Form easy, reject rate etc. I get about 1/300 AL that tear rather than fold, getting less so it was either something I was doing wrong or a bad batch.
    As far as berm pollution, I can always pull checks off with the same pliers I use to cut plated bullets, always got a few minutes before the pot melts.

  8. #28
    Boolit Bub wilecoyote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    venice, italy
    Posts
    67
    powdered aluminium can be used as abrasive or polishing compound, therefore I can't think about sending alu in any form or speed down my gun barrels.
    my OCD says no alu cleaning rods (do you remember old S&W revolver rods or K98 alu chain as part of their cleaning kit ?) and no alu gas checks in my reloading room.
    ...next thing you know they'll want your pistol and your tobacco...

  9. #29
    Boolit Bub

    notenoughguns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Pa
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally Posted by wilecoyote View Post
    powdered aluminium can be used as abrasive or polishing compound, therefore I can't think about sending alu in any form or speed down my gun barrels.
    my OCD says no alu cleaning rods (do you remember old S&W revolver rods or K98 alu chain as part of their cleaning kit ?) and no alu gas checks in my reloading room.
    I definitely have to agree with you on this !

  10. #30
    Boolit Master




    Tar Heel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Raleigh NC
    Posts
    1,113
    Quote Originally Posted by bangerjim View Post
    I solve the questions by just buying quality commercial Hornady copper checks of the right size for my loads.

    Problem solved. And I leave the cans for the recycle plant and the flashing for the roof.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	beano.jpg 
Views:	6 
Size:	6.1 KB 
ID:	284470

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Old Dominion
    Posts
    124
    Guys: Where has gunsmithing metallurgy knowledge gone?

    Aluminium oxide is the abrasive, not the aluminium; and the reason you shouldn't use aluminium rods is also the reason you shouldn't use brass rods -- grit (primer-glass-sand and dirt) which is abrasive gets embedded in the soft metal turning into a rattail file of sorts, and the grit is what then causes the damage. The soft metal in the rods IF TOTALLY CLEAN (as in only the first time it is poked in a barrel) cannot harm steel in any way.

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    MA and NE VT
    Posts
    148
    Quote Originally Posted by wilecoyote View Post
    powdered aluminium can be used as abrasive or polishing compound, therefore I can't think about sending alu in any form or speed down my gun barrels.
    my OCD says no alu cleaning rods (do you remember old S&W revolver rods or K98 alu chain as part of their cleaning kit ?) and no alu gas checks in my reloading room.
    Aluminum as a metal and the compound Aluminum Oxide which is used as an abrasive are two different animals when it comes to their physical properties. Try sharpening an axe using a beer can and let us know how it came out. I'm not a chemists by any means but combining elements into compounds can make drastic changes to them. A perfect example is Sodium Chloride (common salt) that you can't live without but each of the elements separately are extremely poisonous. And cleaning rods used properly should not contact the bore. How do explain steel cleaning rods being so popular if steel is so many times harder than aluminum. The issue with Aluminum rods has been explained as due to it's softness grit can be imbedded in the rod but again the rod shouldn't contact the bore.

  13. #33
    Moderator Emeritus robertbank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Terrace, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    5,037
    notenoughguns I am mindful of the phrase" the blind leading the blind". Do either of you think the collective here who use GC's regularly would not have satisfied themselves years ago that aluminum gas checks work just as well as copper GC's with no impairment to our valued firearms. Many of my friends who were here when I first arrived are in heavens range now. The wealth of information that resides on this forum is immense. The information goes well beyond just personal opinion. Read, learn and contribute.

    Take Care

    Bob
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon..... No matter how good you are, the bird is going to s#!t on the board and strut around like it won anyway."

    "If the human population held hands around the equator, a significant portion of them would drown"

  14. #34
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Beautiful Idaho
    Posts
    2,483
    I've made my own gas checks for several years using aluminum and have had no problems with them and don't worry about abrasion one bit. Come on guys, most all of us cast bullets out of some sort of reclaimed lead, wheel weights and such. If you're so worried about abrasion, you better buy your lead casting material from the site sponsor "Roto Metals" and be safe. The only time I buy commercial checks, Hornady and such, is when I get lazy and just don't want to go to the trouble of making them. Gp

  15. #35
    Boolit Bub wilecoyote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    venice, italy
    Posts
    67
    NKVT,
    ... are my personal choices as admitted above. this knowing full well that I would probably be able to ruin an anvil with a rubber mallet.
    I try to limit the consequences of murphy's law to my guns created by me for mishandling a rod or simply to save a dime. again, maybe am me_
    I bet others are happy with different choices: their guns, their choices.
    Last edited by wilecoyote; 06-13-2021 at 08:18 PM. Reason: NKVT
    ...next thing you know they'll want your pistol and your tobacco...

  16. #36
    Boolit Master




    Tar Heel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Raleigh NC
    Posts
    1,113
    Quote Originally Posted by NEKVT View Post
    How do explain steel cleaning rods being so popular if steel is so many times harder than aluminum. The issue with Aluminum rods has been explained as due to it's softness grit can be imbedded in the rod but again the rod shouldn't contact the bore.
    Because they don't bend and break as easily as the aluminum ones. Aluminum became popular BECAUSE of its softness and the idea that it would be less damaging to the muzzle crown of the firearm thereby preserving the crisp rifling at the muzzle. Since most nimrods shove and unprotected cleaning rod with a steel cleaning tool attached directly into the muzzle and then work the rod in and out and in and out 500 million times while drawing it against the crown rifling, they abraded away the crisp rifling. Manufacturers marketed aluminum rods to delay muzzle crown abrasion and because they were lighter (and cheaper to produce) for the sportsman.

    Experienced shooters clean from the breech end whenever possible. When forced to clean from the muzzle end, a muzzle protection device is placed on the cleaning rod to prevent muzzle abrasion. My rods are made of aluminum, steel, and plexiglass. All are used depending on the firearm. My 1861 Springfield is loaded with a steel rod and I cringe every time I run it into the bore in an authentic loading sequence. I can hear the steel on steel SCREECHING in my ears.

    Anyway - that's why aluminum rods came onto the scene. Use any material, just protect your muzzle crown.

  17. #37
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Old Dominion
    Posts
    124
    It's funny how we remember things differently. Go back to the times when Townsend Whelan was a popular gun writer and what did we see? Brass and aluminium rods were popular because they were CHEAP while steel rods were expensive. Every-day wags and hunters thought cheap was ok while people that were concerned with rifle ACCURACY uniformly recommended steel as the rod material, precisely because grit did not embed in it and damage the crown or the bore (and non-embedding coated rods like Dewey did not yet exist). I don't believe there is a bench-rest or long-range competition shooter out there that wouldn't assault you if you tried running a soft-metal rod down the bore of one of their rifles.

  18. #38
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Posts
    3,379
    Not all aluminum works for GC Just like not all copper works for GC

    copper needs to be 99% pure/dead soft. I get mine from riogrande (a jewelry making supplier)

  19. #39
    Boolit Master




    Tar Heel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Raleigh NC
    Posts
    1,113
    Quote Originally Posted by oldcanadice View Post
    It's funny how we remember things differently.
    Truth! I think it's a matter of when we became active shooters, what we have read over the years, what we retained from all that reading, and what we have personally tried. It's all good.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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