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Thread: Gas Checks - Cast Lead Bullet for Magnum Revolvers

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    Contributing Member usabaker's Avatar
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    Gas Checks - Cast Lead Bullet for Magnum Revolvers

    No that I have this 44 Magnum, I'm considering casting bullets for it. Since I have limited experance in reloading HOME cast lead bullets I've been doing a bit of research that has left me with some questions. I'm homing the casting folks here on the forum can lend some thoughts.

    I would be casing range lead because I have access to it, so the hardness is going to be difficult to gauge. In a LEE 90338 mold .429 diameter 240-grain Semi Wad Cutter nose bullet. With this in mind, I was wondering about Gas Checks and other methods use when loading with cast lead.



    How necessary is it to use gas checks in these magnum calibers? Not being a handgun person I'm curious about this because when loading for rifles I never used gas checks.

    I've tried power coating in bullets to reduce lead fouling in the bore. Does powder coating eliminate the need for gas checks?

    Thank you for your help in advance

    Bill
    Veteran US Navy Seabees - US Army Corps of Engineers - American Legion Post 0867
    " Only two defining forces have offered to die for me. 1.) Jesus Christ 2.) The American G.I. "One died for your soul, the other for your freedom! "

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I've done lots with .44 mag gas check bullets and just shot some with this Rossi Puma in .44 yesterday... My bullet is a different one but still, when I was shooting them through a S&W 29 I didn't use gas checks because I loaded down to .45 auto spec for enjoyment of shooting it. You can also use .44 special loads, just refer to them in the book. You won't enjoy white box ammo one bit, not even in a light carbine. I keep the loads down and when using revolver I didn't get leading without GC, rifle I have them a bit higher and use GC to keep them flying straight. I was loading Unique and 11 gr but couldn't get them to work right even with GC, seemed to be blowing them right through. I reduced to 5.5 of Bullseye and they work fine. This was also what I used in revolver without GC. Revolver tends to have a more aggressive rifling. I shot a Desert Eagle for some years in .44 and didn't use GC there either, no leading and positive operation even though it has a polygonal rifling... By the way, I cast mine from straight wheel weights. That's a bit softer than the mixes. Weighs a bit heavier but don't worry, no disasters pending. I size to .429 and don't see the need for powder coat expense. I use the lubes as outlined by Lyman in the manual.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member usabaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    You won't enjoy white box ammo one bit, not even in a light carbine. ... I shot a Desert Eagle for some years in .44 and didn't use GC there either, no leading and positive operation even though it has a polygonal rifling... By the way, I cast mine from straight wheel weights. That's a bit softer than the mixes. Weighs a bit heavier but don't worry, no disasters pending. I size to .429 and don't see the need for powder coat expense. I use the lubes as outlined by Lyman in the manual.
    I keep hearing about the White Box ammo, this is the 44 Mag Winchester 240gr. Jacketed Soft Point Ammo with a Muzzle Velocity of 1180 fps correct? If it is then you have me super curious because I shot over 80 rounds of LAX Ammo 44 mag ammo developed for the Desert Eagle with an advertised 240gr. Muzzle Velocity 1500 FPS and while it had a good amount of recoil I enjoyed shooting the stuff.

    If you had no issues with the DE and soft cast lead I figure I'll give it a shot but I think that i'll buy the Lyman Bullet Mold #429421 since it is made without a gas check.

    Thank you for the help
    Veteran US Navy Seabees - US Army Corps of Engineers - American Legion Post 0867
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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    White box simply means factory ammo. The DE has far more weight than a revolver and handles factory better. I also use cast without gas checks without issue but keep the velocities down. If you cast harder bullets or quench them as they come out of the mould they come out harder and it will raise the Brinell hardness in them. Your lube also depends on how fast you push them. You specifically said you'd be using recovered lead from the range, so you'll have some really good stuff and some wheel weights I would think. If you collect a good mass before melting and casting you can likely get a good mix. Like you say, you'll have no real idea...then you need to flux it with bee's wax to keep the tin down in it...don't get the mould too hot or you get frosty bullets, too cold and they're wormy. Read Lyman's cast bullets and you'll see.

    One last thing about the DE, I think they suggested no lead as it has a gas port and polygon rifling, two things they thought would give trouble with lead. I had no problems with either. There's lots of variables with cast though...
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member usabaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    One last thing about the DE, I think they suggested no lead as it has a gas port and polygon rifling, two things they thought would give trouble with lead. I had no problems with either. There's lots of variables with cast though...
    Thanks for the tip's Jim! I'll put them to use. I don't own a DE (wish I did), I was just using ammo developed for the DE in my Redhawk.

    ---------- Post added at 07:05 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:59 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve762 View Post
    May I suggest an easier path than casting and gas checks. Save the time, equipment expense and lead exposure and buy copper plated bullets by X-Treme bullets.
    Steve, thanks for the tip but I already have the equipment, less the .44 mold and access to as much range lead as I want. I did go over to the site and with price and shipping, I would be looking at .17 Cents per bullet which is a decent price. I'll take a look at the rifle offerings.
    Veteran US Navy Seabees - US Army Corps of Engineers - American Legion Post 0867
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