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Thread: Cast gas check bullets

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Cast gas check bullets

    Have cast .44 mag bullets for 20 years with linotype...none requireing gas checks. No leading problems. Just purchased a Lee 310 grain mold that requires a GC. Must I use a GC on this bullet even if my alloy does not lead my barrel? What about ballistics if I do not use a gas, tumbling, etc.

    Also, this mold is .430 and my sizer is .429. Do I have to buy a new sizing die or can I size to .429 (I tried to size a few and it works with a little effort)?

  2. #2


    I guess I have to ask, why not go ahead and use the gas checks? They're cheap and easy to apply when resizing. I always put them on bullets that have a base groove intended for them. I have no way to proove my concern, but it has always worried me a little that I might get some bullet erosion and leading right at the front of the groove around the base if I didn't use the GC. Idle worry, but it has been so easy to put on the gas check that it was simpler to go ahead and do it.

    I'd go ahead and use the .429 sizer if that's the diameter your gun likes. It's not uncommon to have to squeeze a bullet .001 when sizing, and in fact some folks claim you get better accuracy in the process because it "trues up" the bullet, whatever that means. I haven't tested that theory, but I wouldn't go with the larger sizer until you proved to your satisfaction that your guns don't like the bullet at .429.

    As for linotype, I've got a funny reaction. That stuff is hard to get and expensive to ship up here, so I kind of hate to use up my dwindling supply by shooting it as-is. If you have any concern about running out some day, have you considered using it to alloy lead? Done along with the GC, you could probably stretch a lot more years out of your supply, reserving the pure linotype bullets for carry when you really need them? Just a passing thought from a guy down to his last few hundred pounds with no prospect for getting any more cheap.

  3. #3
    Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    You can make-up an alloy equal to linotype any time you want.

    Where do you find gas checks that are cheap?

    The more tin in your bullet metal the larger the dia. of your cast bullet.

    Really linotype bullets for handgun use is a waste of good alloy.

    Going over 6-2-92 for the kind of velocities in .44 mag is a waste. Most lino was 12-4-84, so cutting with pure lead at the ratio of 50/50 would net you the perfect alloy for your use.

    Shoot the gas check bullet without the gas checks.

    I worry more about my bullet lube doing it's job, than about the alloy standing up to the task.

    Hunting bullets made from lino are vary poor because they fracture on impact.

    Why would you need another sizer die if you already have a die that sizes to .429?

    Look this site over, it has a lot of good information and links to the infor you need.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    You can shoot them without gas checks and they will likely do ok. No reason for it to tumble or otherwise fail in accuracy. Without a gas check on that now tapered heel or "semi-boattail" it may cause leading. One of the causes of leading is from hot gasses getting past the base of the bullet and melting the lead along the shank of the bullet. One of the advantages of gas checks particularly with hard bullets is that it makes a good gas seal even though the pressure isn't enough to obturate (bump up) the bullet in the bore to make a gas seal. Your extra hard linotype bullets would benefit from a gas check and would be more versatile, they could be shot at low or very high velocity without leading. The 44 isn't bad to lead anyway.

    If you gun likes .429", by all means, size to .429" this will true up the bullet (make it round) and make a far more accurate load. I would agree with Brownbear, alloy your metal and make it last. You don't need anything that hard for the 44, even in rifles.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    I cast all my handgun bullets from wheelweights with 2% tin added for mould fill-out. I mostly use gas checks. No leading.
    BTW; You will like that 310 gr Lee. It is my favorite .44 bullet.


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