Is a gas check really needed?

  • Last Post 07 October 2021
GBertolet posted this 06 October 2021

I have a pair of Krag rifles, that I was using the 311284 bullet with a gas check. I am shooting in the 1500 fps range. The price of gas checks have become insane, if you can find any. My 311284 is only a 1 cavity mold, and I was thinking of getting a multi cavity 311299 custom mold made. Can I just delete the gas check, and have a flat base instead? Will it withstand 1500 fps, if cast moderately hard? I can powder coat if necessiary. I was thinking maybe, 2 cavities GC, and 2 cavities PB on a 4 cavity mold block. That way I am covered both ways. I was considering Accurate Molds to make it. Any thoughts?

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Spindrift posted this 07 October 2021

One of the merits of powder coating I appreciate the most, is the increased tolerance you get with bullets without gas check. You can load PB/PC bullets to 17-1800fps with good accuracy, with no problems. 


You can also coat and shoot GC- shanked bullets «checkless» with PC. When you omit the GC, you sacrifice bearing surface. A bore-riding GC bullet might not have a lot of bearing surface left. You also have the potential for chambering issues when adding coat to a well- fitting bore-riding nose.


The Don Eagan/Saeco #315- design is a very good bullet design. I have a 4-cav NOE- mould that drop 2GC/2PB. I have shot this bullet in multiple configurations

-Lubed, PB

-Lubed, with plain base GC (made from beverage can material)

- Lubed, with regular GC


-PC, with GC

-PC, checkless

All these configurations shot well. I have yet to identify a .30-cal rifle that didn’t like this bullet.


If you happen to have a Lee CTL312-160, this often works well with checkless PC.


I have a new mould, Arsenal 311-176-PB (range report posted short time ago). This seems to have quite the potential with PC bullet, but only shot in one rifle so far.

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RicinYakima posted this 07 October 2021


I shoot with 311284 without gas checks all the time. Softer is better, as I only gas check them when cast of linotype for match bullets. You are on the cusp of at 1500 f/s, but I have been doing 1450 (16 grains of 2400 in '06) for years for practice. 


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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 07 October 2021

my chance to again remind us that 22 rf high speed uses no gas checks at 1300+ fps ... and shoots 1 moa with lucky ammo ... btw, with very soft alloy ...


i haven't shot gas checks for 25 years ... i live in the cast plinker world, and 2 moa does it for me.

however, back when i was group shooting gas checks always shot a little better ... sometimes twice as better .

i would be very interested in a bench rest match for cartridge guns with no gas checks ...  plain based cartridge ammo guns ...  should be interesting.   the recent * groundhog * matches were mostly no-checks, but were from field positions .. some fine shooting was done .

if gas checks get up to a nickel or so, they will get into the area where an old style manual swiss screw machine could turn them out ... to custom fit and with a thicker base .



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Little Debbie posted this 07 October 2021

Yup you can have a mold made with no gas check. I ordered the NOE copy of the Saeco #315 with no gas check and have had excellent results in several rifles. I keep my velocities under 1600 fps and use Bullseye and Red Dot. I get best results in my Krags with .314 and .315 diameter bullets, gas checked or not. I frequently shoot the 314299 in Krags and Enfields at about 1200 fps with no gas check, as cast with 45/45/10 or Ben’s tumble lube. If you’re braver than me you can remove the gas check cut too. Lots of options to get away from gas checks.

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John Alexander posted this 07 October 2021

If you don't mind me adding to your question I would like to know if there is any advantage to having a flat base bullet for shooting without the gas check?  My limited experience is that well designed and fitted bullets with gas check shanks shoot OK without the gas check although not quite as accurately as with a gas check installed. 

If a flat base bullet is better, why is it better?

Very soft (25 to 1) bullets shoot very well at 1,500 with a gas check. Is there any reason that harder would be better without?  The harder alloy will probably melt at a lower temperature than a softer. 


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