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Old 04-26-2017, 08:33 PM
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Default Aluminum gas checks?

I am in the process of returning to casting my own bullets after an involuntary hiatus due to a disabling accident. For Magnum loads, I cast my own gas check SWC bullets for 357 and 41. I am finding that copper 0.410" gas checks are becoming scarce, and 357 gas checks gave me sticker shock [the last box of gas checks that I purchased cost about $11!]

I am now seeing aluminum gas checks are being sold, along with a device similar to the black powder afficiandos tap-a-cap. For those of you that cast and load gas check bullets, what has been your experience with aluminum gas checks?

Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:31 PM
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Hello, I have and use both, honestly I can't tell the difference, the aluminum are a lot cheaper, I'm thinking about getting a gas check making tool!
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:31 PM
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Default I don't do it myself....

.....but lately people have said that they make gas checks from soda cans.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:40 PM
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I am looking at the tool to make my own gas checks. I would need two, one for 357s, the other for 41s. From what I have seen, the tools would be equal to 2-3 boxes of gas checks, per caliber. Soda cans tend to be plentiful. In some respects, making my own gas checks appears to be as easy as making my own percussion caps.
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Old 04-27-2017, 12:05 AM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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IME soda and beer cans are too light, go with a medium thickness roof flashing.
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Old 04-28-2017, 10:43 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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Thanks for asking Irrifleman for I've been asking myself the same question for 2 years now(for .357,.41 and .44 cal).I'll be watching this post very closely.Just for the benefit of S&W forum,around
here,beer cans are more plentyfull than pop cans.Wonder if there's any difference?
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:32 PM
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I've used the 30 cal Hornady gas checks and more lately, the aluminum Vulcan gas checks (bought several thousand the last time they had a sale). The aluminum gas checks work just as well and produce just an accurate load as the copper gas checks.

They are a little thinner but that actually works to my advantage because I also use them on 7.62x54R cast bullets where I beagled the mold to produce bullets that are about 3 mils thicker than stock. The aluminum gas checks require a little less force to press them onto the base before they go through the Lee push through sizer.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:09 PM
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Soda and beer cans work well when making gaschecks for plain base bullets.
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Old 05-08-2017, 06:45 AM
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Typical home made al gc's are made with roof flashing. What you want to do is measure the gc shank on the cast bullet.

35cal (38spl/357/etc) ='s .344"
41cal ='s .395"

10/1000th's thick material will work for both calibers.

.344 + .010 + .010 ='s .364" for a .358" bullet
.395 + .010 + .010 ='s .415" for a .410" bullet

You want 5/1000th's to 6/1000th's of crimp to the gc. That ='s 3/1000th's per side to have the gc lock/bite into the shank of the bullet to hold it in place.

If you get too thick of a material it will actually deform the gc shank enough to affect accuracy. To thin of a material and the gc will not crimp/hold onto the gc shank.

I was making my gc's in the traditional style (right). When I started pc'ing (powder coating) bullets it made the gc shank larger so I redesigned my gc forming die to flare the gc's mouth a little larger. I also rounded the base a little more for better bullet seating in the case. (left)


I've made my own gc makers for years. 2 Thompson designed bullets. Left is a 200gr hp for the 44cal's. Right is a 150gr hp for the 35cal's.


I also made gc makers for the 30cal's & 22cal's.

The gc makers pictured above use an arbor press to make them. I cut al roof flashing into strips and dip them into a full pot of hot lead for casting to anneal them. Then I turn them into gc's. 1 pull of the handle ='s 1 gc.
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