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Thread: GasChecks, some solutions.

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy braddock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Dover, UK

    GasChecks, some solutions.

    First up, I'm in the UK so your ammo component supply issues are multiplied several times for us poor sods over here.
    I use cast boolits in my 30/30, 308 and 357, used to use them in my 223 but bought a blow out amount of Barnes varmint grenades really cheaply.
    I bought some of Sage outdoors alloy plain base 30 cal gas checks and the cbs I used them for were 165 grn FP plain base intended for the 30/30,I just happen to use them in my 308 as well.
    I had all sorts of issues with the gcs just falling off and the first solution I used, which was very effective was to crimp a second gc immediately on top of the first, never had another come off, quite expensive in terms of gas checks then I pondered and managed to get the supplier to send me the CBs un lubed. A quick spray with brake cleaner aerosol and then a drop, literally, of medium superglue in the gc cup then push them through my Lee sizer die gc first and she's a good un. I've put nearly 700 of these through either the 30/30 or the 308 and never had a one drop off. After sizing them gc first I turn em round and shove them through pointy end first, this squeezes the gc flat.
    I had been loading them in both 30/30 and 308 ahead of either Rx7 or 2400 but ran out of Rx7 and am running low on 2400.
    I came into a sizeable amount of CFE 223 and Lever Evolution powder and e-mailed Hodgdon to ask if they would give me an idea of what kind of loads that would get me mvs of 2000 fps with gas checked 170grn boolits.
    They responded pdq and said don't try to reduce either load for the 30/30 as both powders MAY be load sensitive, simply take the start at load for the 170 grn sierra FP jacketed and load that behind the cast boolits.The barrel on my gun is 20" and they observed that the load was tested in a 24" barrel to give about 2150 fps, speed loss should be about 25 fps per inch reduction.
    Just saying.
    Full text of my correspondence with Hodgdons follows
    RE: New submission from RDC - GF New Contact Form

    Help Account <help@hodgdon.com>
    29 Apr 2024, 17:30
    to me

    These are both spherical type powders, they can be sensitive to case fill and are not recommended for downloading. The published start load however would be fine to use , these are from a 24 in barrel. You can expect to loose around 25fps per inch of barrel.


    30-30 Winchester

    Load Type:


    Starting Loads

    Maximum Loads

    Bullet Weight (Gr.)

    Order BW


    Bullet Diam.



    Vel. (ft/s)



    Vel. (ft/s)


    170 GR. SIE FP







    28,900 CUP



    35,400 CUP

    170 GR. SIE FP


    CFE 223





    30,600 PSI



    36,800 PSI

    From: <websitecontact@hodgdonreloading.com>
    Sent: Monday, April 29, 2024 7:35 AM
    To: Help Account <help@hodgdon.com>
    Subject: New submission from RDC - GF New Contact Form





    Contact Category

    Product Question


    Lvrevolution and cfe223 powders in 30/30 with cast bullets.


    I have quite a bit of both powders and wanted to know if I can use them with 170 grain gas checked FN cast bullets in my 30/30 winchester 94 of 1958 vintage.
    Not looking for ultimate velocities around 2000 fps would be my target.
    Is this possible? I know you might recoil in horror but I thought I'd ask anyway.
    Many thanks from the UK.

    Hope that helps!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    N Alabama
    I agree that the starting load with LVR should give you about 2,000ft/sec when you consider that the load data was obtained with a 24" barrel and your carbine is 20" as are most 30-30's. Should do exactly what you want with the powder you have in hand.

    When you say the gas checks are coming off, do you mean during flight or some point before that? I've never tried the plain base gas checks but have imagined that they might be prone to coming off easily.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Middle of the Mitten
    My $.02
    Assuming that a charge with a Jacketed Bullet can be substituted for a Lead Boolit...Is Not how I would Go. I would be trying Very Hard to find a Tested Load.
    Of Course...I would redouble my efforts to locate a More Suitable Powder..

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy braddock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Dover, UK
    I'll try and answer your observations/questions.
    Rem35, I've fished a few gas checks out of cases after firing, others seem to have come off just after leaving the muzzle as we found a few on the flat ground in front of the aim point and at least 2 or 3 have departed down range as I found small oblong holes in the target. The great bulk appear to have stayed in place.
    I don't mind those that come off after discharge but those that come off inside the gun aren't doing their job.
    As I mentioned in the OP, the application of medium superglue stops this problem. I've just used up a bunch of gcs on some more plain base boolits and don't expect them to part company. TBH, I now have a mold, Lee 309-170 gc that is rebated, and I'll be fitting hornady copper checks on as they crimp on real tight.
    racepres, referring to your final observation first here in the UK suitable powder is like rocking horse crap so I make do with what I can get. Ditto primers and brass.
    In addition to several pounds of Lovex powder, I have a few bottles of H-lvr, ditto cfe223 and a large keg of Vhitavuouri N-150, The latter will power my hardcast 180 grain gc in my 308 with the start at load and the first two I'll use as indicated in my OP. Lovex is still a bit of an unknown quantity so I'm just using that as prescribed.
    I find it's better to go and get her done than sit around waiting on someone else doing it, using caution and best practices. I'm a couple months off my 80th birthday and time is a commodity I don't have a infinite amount of.
    If I retain all my arms and fingers I'll post here how things went.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    LeverE will work great for the 30/30, it is also used ( and I have loaded it) in 308ME with cast or 160FTX bullets.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Braddock - re LVR with .30-30 cast, I've now put quite a few through my Savage 99 .30-30 with great success. This has 24" barrel and 12" twist, and scope.

    My bullets are 175 gn hollow points, .312" diameter, .700" bearing length, BHN 16 per Lee. Mould is actually #U321297HP with some subsequent processing. I mention this because my bullets require a couple of grains less powder for the same velocity than Larry Gibson found with #311041HP.

    My regular hunting load of LVR is 32 gns for 2200 fps, average five shot group 2.7" at 100 meters. I can go further to 34 gns for 2300 fps with another inch on the group.

    My experience was that LVR does not like being downloaded. Below 32 gns I got vertical stringing associated with velocity variation. If velocity = pressure, then 2200 fps (maybe 2100 for a carbine) might be a more accurate expression of the minimum consistent load with LVR. With a "normal" bullet this may require more than 32 gns.

    Herewith Larry's writeup on LVR in .30-30. The .30-30 cast bullet stuff is at #45.

    It'll be handy if I never need it.

    Insomniac, agnostic, dyslectic - awake all night wondering if there is a Dog.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master hickfu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Salem Oregon
    On my 35 Rem with lube I did the super glue thing on the plain based gas checks, But then I started powder coating and after when I put the PB gas check on I would put the bullets back into the toaster oven for 5 to 10 minutes at 400 and air cool them. Never had another gas check come off.

    I now do that to ALL of my powder coated gas checked bullets.
    I had to pull a few bullets a week or so ago so the nose was messed up. going to toss them into the re-melt bucket but had to get the gas check off first. Tried for a few minutes before they came off with plyers.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Luckily my 30-30 bullets are GC bullets and I have some gators for those since I cant powder coat them as it makes the noses too large and they jam in the rifling.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy andrew375's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Sounds like the problem is that your gas checks are made from material that is far too thin for the job. The gas check shank on the bullets I've measured are roughly .025" smaller than the full bullet diameter. This means the material has to be at least .0125" thick just to take up the gap. I'm currently using material that is .018" thick and this gives checks that fit tight, they require pliers to remove, without the sides being "ironed" up in to the bottom driving band.
    "Consciousness is a lie your brain tells you to make you think you know what you are doing." Professor Maria Goncalves.

    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. George Orwell.

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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