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Thread: Problems with Gator gas checks on Lee 158 grain SWC bullet

  1. #1

    Problems with Gator gas checks on Lee 158 grain SWC bullet

    I am having problems with seating gas checks on my Lee 158 grain lead SWC bullets. It is a gas check mold design. I am using the Lee .358 push through sizing die with Sage's Gator gas checks. I can attach the gas check flush and use the push through sizing die, but my gas checks are not being crimped tight on the shank of the bullet. I could pull every gas check off but one by hand. I am not blaming the gas checks because I possibly could be doing something incorrectly. If you have any ideas to help, please let me know. Thanks for any Sage advice. No pun intended.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy 405grain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Modesto, Ca.
    I was having a similar problem with a 6.5mm mold. I tried powder coating the boolits before seating the gas checks and it cured the problem.

  3. #3
    Moderator Emeritus

    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    It seems like magic when you get a boolit to have the perfect size GC shank for a particular GC. When that doesn't happen, there are a couple things you can do...which amounts to something like putting "English" on a pool ball.

    Here are a couple tricks to rectify a loose crimp on a GC.

    1. Increase the size of the shank...that can be done by casting cooler, so the boolits aren't frosty. A shiney boolit, depending on alloy, will be a tiny bit larger. A more aggressive (advanced) tactic would be to polish the area of the mold that forms the GC shank.

    2. Run the boolit through the sizer twice. First without the GC, then install the GC, then run it through again. What happens is, the GC area is likely to expand slightly during the first sizing, depending on how soft/hard the alloy is and how much friction is created during that first time through the sizing die.
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Aberdeen, South Dakota
    I had never considered that JonB, I'll have to keep that in the memory bank.

    Some other tricks I've used before.

    #1 anneal your checks. Sometimes they just have too much spring back to work well. You stick the checks in a metal can, then put them in the grill for a while. You can find more detail instructions online. I actually prefer to anneal regardless, it just makes things go easier.

    #2 use a thicker check. This isn't always an option. Sages sometimes offers checks of both .015" and .017" thick material. The thicker material will crimp down harder on the bullet shank. Also, if you bought aluminum, try copper.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
    Shiloh's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Upper Midwest
    What does the shank measure??
    If it is under .340, its too small.
    what is your alloy??

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    NE Kansas
    What happens when you size and seat the gas check by pushing the SWC bullet through base first?

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy

    Electrod47's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bannister View Post
    What happens when you size and seat the gas check by pushing the SWC bullet through base first?
    I always do base first and it works for me. I use generic Hornady .35's on Lee sizing die .357 on 158gr LWC base first. I'll get one every now and again that needs a second trip.
    “You should tell someone what you know. There should be a history, so that men can learn from it.

    He smiled. “Men do not learn from history. Each generation believes itself brighter than the last, each believes it can survive the mistakes of the older ones. Each discovers each old thing and they throw up their hands and say ‘See! Look what I have found! Look upon what I know!’ And each believes it is something new.

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    The Californios

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    barry s wales uk
    used Hornaday and gator checks with my rcbs 158and 180 g gc molds never had a problem.yes i use lee 358 push through sizer after ive used lee tumble lube .

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy TomAM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    The easiest solution to this issue is to stop pulling off your GCs.
    If any effort at all is required to remove them, then there is no problem.

    When fired, the GC is pressed into the shape of a gear, with half of it's circumference now at .350 diameter due to the rifling lands. This happens while being pressed against the bullet base with tremendous force.

    Nothing can crimp it on tighter than that.

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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