To check or not to check - That is the question

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pondercat posted this 2 weeks ago

Okay.  So I,m starting to get the hang of powder coating - more or less.  What about gas checks.  I have read different and opposing views on the subject.  Some say it is not necessary or needed, others say because the bullet is designed for checks they should be applied prior to coating, some say after coating (which I have tried with dismal results - however,  that was after two coats with the HF powder).  I even read where that if you leave the check off,  the cut for the check will act as small boat tail increasing the BC of the bullet slightly..

Anybody do any actual testing with and without checks? For accuracy? Bullet drop? Opinions?

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GP Idaho posted this 2 weeks ago

Since you did ask for opinions I'll give you mine. Just think of PC as an alternate lube. It doesn't act as a gas check in my opinion.  As we've been told, the base edge of the bullet is the steering wheel and I believe that means a check should be used if the bullet was designed to hold one. As to before or after coating, that all depends on how the checks fits the bullet. Most of the time I apply the checks before coating. As with everything else in our craft, one size doesn't fit all. I keep an inventory of homemade aluminum checks made of material between .008 and .014 in thickness this helps with the fit when the shank varies in size. I also believe that coating after checking is just one more way of getting a firm hold of the check to the bullet. Gp

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BigMan54 posted this 2 weeks ago

 What GP said.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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pondercat posted this 2 weeks ago

GP and BigMan. 

That all makes sense to me.  In fact, I have already experienced trying to check one bullet that was coated first.  I couldn't make it work. But on a different bullet it worked fine after coating.  On the other hand, if the check is left off and the bullet is sized correctly for your gun, would the job of "steering" simply be taken over by the rear band of the bullet?  or would the bullet fail to obturate properly? 

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GP Idaho posted this 2 weeks ago

pondercat:  So many things we just don't know in this. Any change is going to have an effect, some small others large. I read here (poster forgotten so I can't give credit) that cast bullets were like a musical symphony , change one note on one instrument and you can sour the whole piece. Now I don't think leaving off a gas check is all that dramatic but only side by side testing using your gun will answer that question. Gp

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pondercat posted this 2 weeks ago

 GP,

Thanks for the direction in your PM to me.  Helped a lot

Terry

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GP Idaho posted this 2 weeks ago

Glad to help were I can Terry. A bit of time reading up can save a lot of frustration. Gp

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Randominator posted this 2 days ago

I have been powder coating for over 6 years and in my tests, if the bullet is designed for a gas check then it will require one to maintain accuracy.  I prefer to seat the gas check after powder coating during final sizing.  Never had any issues with them coming off.

I have pushed some plain base bullets well in excess of 2000 fps with absolutely no leading.  The only bullet I still use a traditional lube on is my 190 grain 10mm and that's only because I haven't bought a LEE push through sizer in .401"

 

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pondercat posted this 2 days ago

Randominator,

So in your experience does bullet hardness seem to be a factor in speed and / or accuracy of the bullet?  I have roughly three different alloys I typically use for different velocities and guns, but I haven't had the chance to do any real serious testing since discovering powder coating -  just a few rounds here and there.  Also, have you had any experience with using multiple coatings to augment a bullet that is slightly undersized? Just curious because I have read mention of it on other forums, but never saw where anyone has actually put that to the test.  If that works it could negate the need to enlarge molds and sizing dies.

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