.22 cal cast bullets & gas checks

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  • Last Post 12 January 2019
45ACPete posted this 26 June 2014

I cast a batch of 224415's from a 50-50 lino-WW alloy and then attempted to size them with aluminum gas checks.  My usual procedure is to first seat the bullet into the gas check using my RCBS lubrisizer and Lyman gas check seater.  Try as I might, I could not get  the check to seat evenly--invariably they would be sort of “off kilter” with the aluminum higher on one side than the other, sometimes the aluminum filling the entire gas check shank of the bullet on one side and just barely wrapping over the bullet base on the other.  Tried gently tapping the nose of the bullet with a light hammer after first pressing the bullet base into the check--it would look pretty straight but then try to seat with the L-S and again, crooked!  I do have some copper gas checks on the way and I went ahead and also ordered a Lee push-thru die.  Any guidance is appreciated, also load data for .222 from a 14” twist barrel.  

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delmarskid1 posted this 26 June 2014

I make aluminum checks. I have found that some will be higher on one side. It seems as if the material stretches in the cutting. You may want to have a look at the checks that you have. For myself I like to seat checks by clamping a vice grip to the spindle that goes up to the bottom of the sizing die. I use a Lyman set up but I'm thinking the RCBS is similar.

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onondaga posted this 26 June 2014

Why are you fighting doing things differently than what works for me. Just copy me, I don't care. I like aluminum checks, they work fine for me and I use Lee lube and size kits and 45:45:10 tumble lube. 100 yards .223 Rem, Lyman 225646 #2 alloy sized/checked .225,  You probably have a nicer rifle, this group from my cheap H&R Handi:

http://s30.photobucket.com/user/rhymeswithwhat/media/223Rem.jpg.html>

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gnoahhh posted this 26 June 2014

I have experienced Al gas checks bought from a couple of “cottage industrialists” that were higher on one side than the other. I view them as sloppy quality control that leads to unbalanced bullets, and by-and-large have quit using anything but Hornady's.

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onondaga posted this 26 June 2014

Our member fabricator of Aluminum Checks, Sages Outdoors uses Freechex tooling that cuts, centers Aluminum disks in the Freechex tool that then forms the checks centered by the tool. I have used thousands of Sages checks and have noticed zero off center checks from Sages:

http://www.sagesoutdoors.com/index.php

 It may help some members to get familiar with FreeCheck design to understand the self centering of that tool design and setup:

http://freechex.net/

Gary

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mike0841 posted this 27 June 2014

onondaga wrote:  It may help some members to get familiar with FreeCheck design to understand the self centering of that tool design and setup:

http://freechex.net/>http://freechex.net/

Gary - I cast 350 311299's (NOE mold) this morning using my PID and mold temp sensor.  Have 322 good.  Started to size an GC them and realized I was out of .30 cal GC's.  No problem just setup my trusty Harbor Freight 1/2 ton arbor press and FreechexIII and in about 20 minutes had 500.  I bought some 22 chex from Sage and am going to get in touch with Charlie for a 22 FreechexIII.  My son-in-law and I will probably use up many thousands with the old AR's.

Mike

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45ACPete posted this 27 June 2014

Gary--I'd be more than happy to copy your method, if I knew what it is. I'm just doing what I've always done with .30 cal checks, as well as .32's, 7mm's, and 6.5's. I was going to wait until my Lee push thru sizer arrives to try again, but am more than willing to try something else.

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onondaga posted this 27 June 2014

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=5733>45ACPete

The .225” sizing fits the throat of my rifle so I can feel the bullet slide as I chamber a round. That kind of fit is what I aim for and what works for me. I Tumble lube 45:45:10 once before size/check and 2X after. My LOA is set to .005” engagement of the lands for my single shot NEF. My loads are modest with H4895, currently at 2,020 fps with the checked 225646 bullet. Bullet alloy is Certified Lyman #2 from RotoMetals. I size brass with Lee Collet Neck Sizing Die and use no crimp after seating bullets. My bore is polished with the method I posted on this site at:

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_topic.php?id=8364&forum_id=63>http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=8364&forumid=63

At the range or in the field I pull a dry clean BoreSnake through once every 5 rounds to keep bore condition relatively constant.

I use Lee Push Through bullet sizing dies with the Lube and Size Kits from Lee for every caliber I shoot cast and every one has been custom honed by me to get that throat bullet fit I mentioned. I have never lucked out with just a standard size from Lee.

Gary

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joeb33050 posted this 27 June 2014

onondaga wrote: http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=5733>45ACPete

The .225” sizing fits the throat of my rifle so I can feel the bullet slide as I chamber a round. That kind of fit is what I aim for and what works for me. I Tumble lube 45:45:10 once before size/check and 2X after. My LOA is set to .005” engagement of the lands for my single shot NEF. My loads are modest with H4895, currently at 2,020 fps with the checked 225646 bullet. Bullet alloy is Certified Lyman #2 from RotoMetals. I size brass with Lee Collet Neck Sizing Die and use no crimp after seating bullets. My bore is polished with the method I posted on this site at:

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_topic.php?id=8364&forum_id=63>http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=8364&forumid=63

At the range or in the field I pull a dry clean BoreSnake through once every 5 rounds to keep bore condition relatively constant.

I use Lee Push Through bullet sizing dies with the Lube and Size Kits from Lee for every caliber I shoot cast and every one has been custom honed by me to get that throat bullet fit I mentioned. I have never lucked out with just a standard size from Lee.

Gary

How about shooting 5 five shot groups at 100 yards and reporting the results? Will you?

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onondaga posted this 27 June 2014

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=3>joeb33050

Maybe after Governor Cuomo legalizes edible Pot for treating Neuropathy. He is trying so hard for me and I am just suffering post stroke with serious left side Neuropathy that I have only been to the range once this year and shot all over the place. I am barely able to cast, and shooting is not working for me since last November stroke.

I cannot take the usual Rx drugs for Neuropathy as I carry TB and the usual meds lower immunity so much that I would go into TB. I have never bench rest shot stoned before but am actually looking forward to that.

Gary

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tturner53 posted this 27 June 2014

Well this story just took a wild turn! As far as the off kilter .22 gas checks give them a shot. You never know! Suckers may shoot great, I've had some real surprises playing this game. Stuff that 'should'nt' work has worked. Gary, sorry to hear about your medical problems. What the hell, if the pot helps let 'er rip.

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gpidaho posted this 28 June 2014

I Concur  GP

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45ACPete posted this 30 June 2014

Just today found a box of Hornady .22 gas checks that I'd forgotten about. One thing immediately apparent ts that they are a lot more shallow than the homemade checks--and as a result they seat much better--pretty square. I've lubed a few with LLA and am going to try them unsized--my Lyman .224 sizer die must be gummed up with hardened lube or something. I last used it about 15 years ago but now I just can't get any lube to flow through it.

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badgeredd posted this 30 June 2014

45ACPete wrote: Just today found a box of Hornady .22 gas checks that I'd forgotten about. One thing immediately apparent ts that they are a lot more shallow than the homemade checks--and as a result they seat much better--pretty square. I've lubed a few with LLA and am going to try them unsized--my Lyman .224 sizer die must be gummed up with hardened lube or something. I last used it about 15 years ago but now I just can't get any lube to flow through it. Put it in the oven on some foil or a old aluminium disposable pie tin with the temp set at 150 or the minimum and it'll soften the lube and not ruin the “o” ring. Mineral spirits will often work to soften/remove old lube too.

Edd

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45ACPete posted this 03 July 2014

Received the Lee push-thru sizer and right away started to get nicely seated gas checks--both aluminum and copper. Lubed them with LLA as Lee recommends and first tried a mild load of 4198 (8g)--groups were like 3"-4'' so today tried a bit hotter load--10g 4227 (still quite mild) and had some improvement but still nothing to brag about. I'll keep at it--am using the same alloy I've been using for gas checked bullets--50-50 lino-WW. Am seating the bullets to where I just feel the bullet engage the rifling on my Remington 722. The gun does have a heavy trigger pull--I found that when shooting jacketed bullets my first groups were king of lousy and only improved to the 1” range when I held the gun with a strong grip and pulled it very firmly back into my shoulder. Will keep at it--my next load will be in the 2000 fps range.

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max503 posted this 02 February 2015

Do the Lee push-thru dies work better than a lubrisizer? I load cast bullets in a 22 Hornet and I have had trouble with squished bullets in the lubrisizer.
Should I try a push thru die?

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OU812 posted this 02 February 2015

max503 wrote: Do the Lee push-thru dies work better than a lubrisizer? I load cast bullets in a 22 Hornet and I have had trouble with squished bullets in the lubrisizer. Should I try a push thru die?
If using flat nose bullets you can size and seat gas check nose first. Next lube base first.   The Lee sizers are good, but I debur and square face. I also put a little concave on face of punch. 

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John Alexander posted this 03 February 2015

In my opinion, the Lee dies are not a panacea have at least two advantages.

  1. I think they are inherently a bit better in aligning a lot of bullet types.  Nose punches fit pretty loosely in the four or five lubrisizers I have owned and the set screw pushes the punch to one side. There are solutions to the off center punch but most don't apply them.   See Pat Iffland's Fouling Shot article a few years ago on a comparison test.

  2. They avoid upsetting the nose of a bore riding bullet to a larger diameter causing variation in the nose diameter.  As OU812 mentioned, they can be used to avoid this problem even if you want to fill lube grooves in conventional way by sizing first in the Lee and then lubing in the lubrisizer using a die of the same or slightly larger.

A disadvantage in some situations is flattening of the nose of pointed bullets if sizing several thousandths.

John

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tturner53 posted this 03 February 2015

Probably like a lot of you I use both systems, the Lee and the traditional lube/sizer. Sometimes I have to use both to get what I want. When running pointy bullets thru the Lee push thru die it's necessary to use a wood or aluminum rod to push it thru one at a time. With flat nose types it can be used as Lee instructs, pushing the top one out with more bullets from below.  EDIT; An example of using both systems is using the push thru die to size and then a Lyman to lube. Sometimes the Lyman press can help seat a stubborn gas check better than a push thru which offers much less resistance to seating gas checks. I've used the Lyman gas check seater attachment doodad to seat checks, then tumble lubed and run thru Lee push thrus. It's all in the name of accuracy but I hold no records here yet. I won't stop until I achieve at least a reliable MOA with a .22 center fire.

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John Alexander posted this 04 February 2015

Turner53 has summed it up well.

The only comment I would make is that I size the NOE 22780 SP bullet (the sharpest point cast bullet I have ever seen) by pushing the bullets through with the next bullet without flattening the noses.  However I am only sizing from .2275” to .226".  BHN = 14 with LBT tester.  

It all depends on how much you are sizing, the hardness, and probably the smoothness of the die and the taper going in.  This is obviously a die that I have lapped from .225” (the largest Lee offers) so maybe it is smoother than it came from Lee or has a more gradual taper although I don't know if either of these things are true.   John

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OU812 posted this 04 February 2015

Here is a press mounted die body kit that allows use of all Lyman and some RCBS sizing dies.

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?258427-Sign-up-list-for-push-through-sizer-set

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18mm posted this 27 February 2015

onondaga wrote: Our member fabricator of Aluminum Checks, Sages Outdoors uses Freechex tooling that cuts, centers Aluminum disks in the Freechex tool that then forms the checks centered by the tool. I have used thousands of Sages checks and have noticed zero off center checks from Sages:

http://www.sagesoutdoors.com/index.php>http://www.sagesoutdoors.com/index.php

 It may help some members to get familiar with FreeCheck design to understand the self centering of that tool design and setup:

http://freechex.net/>http://freechex.net/

Gary


I love dealing with Sage but i buy his Gator checks. Onondaga, I'm be interested in what load you are using in your 223 to get those groups? And velocity. That's a respectable 50 yard load in my world

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codarnall posted this 18 March 2015

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OU812 posted this 19 March 2015

I size/crimp nose first thru my RCBS Lub-a-sizer using #506 nose punch. I finish pushing bullet thru using stem from matching rcbs sizer. Next I reassemble and lube bullets base first using .001 larger die and matching nose punch..

http://s1225.photobucket.com/user/aviserated1/media/DSCF8354_zps7zlw4cm3.jpg.html>

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billglaze posted this 15 May 2015

For years I have used the Lyman with no problems seating gas checks. Like others on this list, I am using copper checks obtained from Sages outdoors, with complete satisfaction on the Lyman 225415 and 225438; they center perfectly. I have nose punches for the Lubrisizer that are tailored for these nose profiles and, overall, they are satisfactory for the job. However, I seem to have lost the spitzer (225450) bullet nose punch, and, having been quoted a questionable date for delivery somewhere in the fog of the future, I decided to try the Lee push-thru sizing die.
Understand, I haven't yet been able to try it in a press, as designed, but I did install it inverted in a Dillon, and tried to use the supplied punch to “tap” it through the die. Surprise! “Tap” didn't begin to do the job, even with the supplied Alox liquid. (Lube was dried, per the instructions.) When I got the poor, abused bullet through the die, the gas check had a definite “rim” around it, making it unusable, except for display as an oddity. Don't even think about sizing with no gas check; the base will be expanded to bore-size, I'm sure. I can hardly wait to use this unit in a regular press, as designed. I am dying of curiosity to see just what the output will be. It may just start a new fad.

Bill

In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is. My fate is not entirely in Gods hands, if I have a weapon in mine.

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John Alexander posted this 15 May 2015

I seat almost all of my gas checks in the Lee push through dies set in an ancient RCBS Junior press.  If set us correctly to push the bullet all the way through the constricted part with the Lee pusher it will not blunt the sharpest of bullets (NOE 22780 SP has the sharpest point of any cast bullet I have every seen and they come through undamaged. John

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billglaze posted this 31 May 2015

John, it's not the point that's damaged, it' the base. The bullet is deformed; an actual rim is formed around the base (actually, the gas check is badly mutilated) which it appears is caused by a too-small punch. As I previously stated, I tried to “tap” the bullet point-first thru the die. “Tap", indeed; it had to be driven through. The point's fine, it's the condition of the base that makes the bullet unusable. Before sending it back, I'll use it in a regular press to see what happens. I will be perfectly happy if it works O.K. in the press. Meanwhile, I have the proper nose punch on it's way from Lyman. Bill

In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is. My fate is not entirely in Gods hands, if I have a weapon in mine.

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gpidaho posted this 31 May 2015

Bill: I make my own gas checks and have experienced the mutilated checks you mention when using the Lee push through size die. The aluminum being relatively soft will at times smear back resulting in a sharp edged hollow base when using the Lee. As with everything related to cast, accurate measurements are the key. Being able to chose the material thickness is the advantage when making your own checks. We all have moulds with less than optimum sized check shanks, so I keep on hand aluminum in incremental steps from .008 to .016. Using this and a flaring tool when needed, I've had good results using either the Lee dies, my Saeco lube sizer or both as situation dictates. GP

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John Alexander posted this 31 May 2015

Bill,

Your first post was perfectly clear I guess I didn't read it or was answering someone that I thought was having mushed noses.

I have some thin al. checks that fit my bullet shanks better than the Hornadys but require about twice the force to push through the Lee sizer and have the rim or cupped bases that you and GP have experienced.

I may turn out a closer fitting punch but I fear that isn't getting to the basis of the problem.  Why is so much force required?

John

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mike0841 posted this 31 May 2015

I used to have that problem with my aluminum checks and a Lee size die.  When the bullet and check are dry it will happen after a few sizes.  My solution is to roll the bullets on a almost dry RCBS case lube pad.  Since I started this the checks come out almost perfect.

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billglaze posted this 02 June 2015

John, like you, I questioned why so much effort was required to push the bullet through the die. I pushed another through and the same thing happened; rim around the base, thoroughly unsuitable for use, etc. I miked the finished bullet, and apparently it only needed to be sized about .001"; not enough to require all that effort. Plus, I feel that the ram is too small, leaving room for the gas check to be “pinched” against the side wall of the body. This, along with the fact that the ALOX lube might be breaking down under high unit loading, might be the cause.

In any event, I'm going to send it back to Lee, (along with the questionable bullets, as well as some unsized samples) and see what they have to say. meanwhile I have the correct nose punch on the way from Lyman; I am sure that it will work well; it always has. I'll keep you informed as to developments.

Bill

In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is. My fate is not entirely in Gods hands, if I have a weapon in mine.

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OU812 posted this 02 June 2015

billglaze wrote: John, In any event, I'm going to send it back to Lee, (along with the questionable bullets, as well as some unsized samples) and see what they have to say. meanwhile I have the correct nose punch on the way from Lyman; I am sure that it will work well; it always has. I'll keep you informed as to developments.

Bill   I experienced the same problem with my Lee sizer and Hornaday checks. I think the opening of sizer  body needs to be polished smoother/larger. The pushing stem needs to be slightly larger also.   The only good method that I found was nose first thru the RCBS sizer. Remove all lube from die so that stem and bullet will fall into hand after bullet exits die. This method is more time consuming, but works best for me.

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billglaze posted this 13 June 2015

Well, after I found myself so confident that a nose sizer punch for my lubrisizer was coming, and I could work with the Lee if I still wanted to, I've had a very eventful time with Lyman. They have sent me the wrong item four times in a row, and after talking to a lady who actually knew what I wanted, she told me that the 450 nose punch was no longer produced, and probably wouldn't ever be made--forever. Put me right back in the Lee camp.  I talked to the Lee factory troubleshooter, and he finished up (after some conversation breaks where he apparently consulted with other people) by asking me to send the complete die set, along with a couple of the bad bullets, some new cast bullets, and some gas checks, to the factory with a detailed letter, etc. Which I am going to do. The proffered idea of using the Lyman die and sending through from top to bottom with a punch for the base never occurred to me.  I think it's a great idea; thanks for sharing. Bill

In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is. My fate is not entirely in Gods hands, if I have a weapon in mine.

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mike44 posted this 15 June 2015

Just a head's up,,was going to check out the sagesoutdoors website from the link above yesterday evening and the antivirus software on my computer said it was a malicious::something or other:: threat. No thread hijack just a heads up.

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max503 posted this 11 January 2019

I don't have a nose punch that fits the Lee 55 grain boolit.  Is there an easy way to modify the existing one?  I'm thinking epoxy. 

 

I'm thinking of using the Lee push-through die just because the nose punch I have leaves a sharp ring on the boolit.

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onondaga posted this 11 January 2019

Max503, you said:

I'm thinking of using the Lee push-through die just because the nose punch I have leaves a sharp ring on the boolit.

 

Max, if your bullet is the Lee soup-can flat nose, just reverse the plug in your Lee seating die, one end is flat for flat-nose bullets and works very well without leaving ring marks.If you want to use the end for ogive bullets, you can also radius the edge so it won't mark bullets.

Gary

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Lee posted this 12 January 2019

This is a very good thread. I use a Star lube/sizer if not the Star a SAECO. With the Star I size nose first. With plane base bullets no problems unless they are pointed then I use a point protector, however, gas checks are another matter. What has been said about the push rod being a good fit in the die and square is gospel!!! You know that small ridge around the base of the bullet caused by the gas check slipping by the push rod. No sense loading that bullet, it wont group with the others. To help this problem I push the bullet into the die so the base is below the top of the die about .125" then put the gas check on the top of the die and push it on to the base of the bullet. Helps start the gas check square with the base of the bullet. Apply pressure till the check seats then pressure enough to complete the cycle. Works for me.

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max503 posted this 12 January 2019

Thanks Gary.  I will try that.  That's the kind of trick I was looking for.

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