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GASCHECK OR PLAINBASE? – We recommend gas checks without reservation under the following conditions:
  • If velocities will exceed 1400 to 1600 fps, or estimated chamber pressure will exceed about 35,000/40,000 psi.
  • For velocities over 1000 fps if shooting sequence will be rapid enough to heat the barrel until uncomfortable for the hands, and especially so if atmosphere temperatures will exceed 90 deg F.
  • In revolvers with notably misaligned cylinder throats.
  • In almost all new handguns which haven’t had the bore smoothed by lapping. (Extensive jacketed bullet use helps smooth a little.)
  • For anyone who shoots so little that GC cost isn’t a concern, and especially so for beginners loading cast bullets.
  • Whenever optimum accuracy, and, or, ease of load development takes precedence over slight higher cost and production effort.
  • When desirable to use one bullet and load in several guns of the same caliber.

Note that all gas checks sold by Lyman and RCBS are made by Hornady and are Hornady specs, so you should no longer specify which brand of checks you’ll be using.

NOSE SHAPE – For revolvers used for hunting we recommend the widest nose offered, for the quickest kills. Don’t be concerned about ballistic coefficient unless you intend to shoot at ranges exceeding 150 yards with our lightest weight offerings, or 200+ yards with the mid to heavyweights. In 44 caliber and larger, the LFNs are clean quick killers, and if a mid to lightweight 41 is driven at maximum velocity potential they perform very well. Ross Seyfried likes to say that handgun bullets don’t have a ballistic coefficient. Keep that experienced gent's words in mind as you order, and note that our offerings tend to be heavier than most manufacturers offer. Even though they look too blunt to fly, these heavyweights keep moving so well and so accurately at longer ranges, that they make most pistol bullet performance look sick! (See the throat slug and sizing sections to learn about fitting.) – The same criteria applies to autoloader handguns and we recommend the bluntest that will feed reliably, except for paper punching, where SWC’s cut a cleaner hole to make scoring easier.

Since rifle bullets can easily be pushed fast enough to obtain expansion on game, pick the nose style you prefer and it will perform well, or for the ultimate game performance purchase a softnose mold. When softnoses are used on handgun bullets, an impact velocity of approximately 1200 fps or higher is required to make a pure lead nose expand reliably.

WHICH WEIGHT IS BEST? – We recommend the mid to heavy listings for revolvers. Stay with the standard available weights in auto handguns, but lean toward the heaviest. In rifles the throat will determine maximum bullet length, and the longest that will chamber with the base covered by the cartridge neck will generally be the most accurate. However, look hard at our FN series in the weights we offer for rifles if you want a super accurate plinker/game bullet in a lighter weight. Interestingly enough, it is near impossible to find a gun that they will not shoot very accurately in! In other words, if you’d like a very universal bullet to use in many rifles, try one. Shoot them as large as will chamber freely and it’s hard to do anything wrong! E.g., a 140 grain, 312 diameter will shoot superbly in almost any 30 caliber rifle, sized down as needed for the tight chambered ones. The same applies to the 115 grain FN, both listed under 32 revolver. – There is no available load data for our heavier revolver bullets, and we do not offer any. However, you can become expert in developing maximum power loads by reading our book Jacketed Performance with Cast Bullets, listed in the catalog. You can expect approximately 300 fps higher velocity with LBT gas checked revolver bullets, when lubed with LBT lubricant, and loads are developed to take advantage of the power potential built into our designs. This compared to jacketed of similar weight, and in most cases other cast designs of similar weight.

WHAT ALLOY TO USE?– All listed weights and diameters are with wheel weight metal. If you’ll be using another alloy you can calculate the resulting weight quite closely by multiplying our listed weight by .977 if you’ll be using Lyman #2 alloy or most commercial bullet casting alloys, or for linotype, multiply our listed weight by .935. Select the listed bullet weight that comes closest to what you want, and be sure to name your alloy on the order form. We’ll select the closest diameter mold we have in stock, or cut one, to produce the size you need. DO NOT ADD DIAMETER WHEN YOU ORDER BUT ASK FOR EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT, EXCEPT FOR STAR SIZERS WHICH YOU SHOULD ADD .001 TO THE DIAMETER FOR TO PREVENT LUBE LEAKAGE. WE GUARANTEE THE MOLD WILL NOT CAST UNDERSIZE.

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