I've been cast bullet browsing online and I've noticed that the majority of bullets for sale do NOT have gas checks. This got me thinking about my own bullet casting and reloading practices. I was taught reloading by an older generation - guys that grew up reading articles by P.O. Ackley and other well known wildcatters - and they were quite fanatical about using gas checks. Most everything I cast and load uses gas checks. I'm now wondering if it is a waste of time and materials. I load a lot of .357 magnum cast bullets with gas checks. I shoot them at modest velocities - around 1200 fps - and out of shorter barrels in the 2.5 to 4" range. Never any leading after a usual range session of 50-60 rounds. Another cartridge I frequently reload and shoot cast bullets with is the .45-70. I use 400 grain cast bullets and, while I've not yet chronographed them, I'm almost certain velocities are below 1500fps. That's out of an 18" barrel...with NO gas checks...and no noticeable leading during cleaning. Based on my limited experience so far, I'm beginning to think I am wasting my time and money attaching gas checks to my bullets. Could it be that firing through shorter barrels and at modest velocities doesn't cause noticeable leading? Wouldn't longer barrels and/or hotter bottleneck cartridges be the main culprit in lead fouling? Since I'm using mostly moderate pressure, straight-walled cartridges in the 1100-1500 fps range...do I really need to mess around with gas checks? Thanks for your opinions.
Give em' Hell Pike!!!