First time with Pat Marlin’s PB checkmaker, LEE sizing dies, and thicker Al.

I think I’m getting it. I wrinkled a few, tore a few off, got a couple stuck in the Lee sizing die, then figured out that if I moisten my fingertips with mink oil (I just rub the surface of the tub of mink grease) before handling the boolits (that have already been sat squarely in the check).

Then shove em through my Lee sizer backwards, it seats just fine and doesn’t tear. These are with Pat Marlin’s PB checkmaker, using Yonky’s .006 Al strips.

The checks punch out easy as can be, and form easily too, but they do want to grab the die.

The mink oil fixed that. I believe I could get the same results with Crisco or vaseline too. 

Have you polished the interior of the die?

Yes, I took it from a .358 to a .3585 with some 600 paper, then some 800. It looks like a mirror in there. It slides through with some lube, but it grips the sides when it’s dry. ‘No way it’s going through there without something slippery involved.

I think we’ve made friends now. I figure I’ll make half a lifetime’s worth of checks this week while it rains.

edit: the powdercoat boolits do not normally need checks, but these are about 95% pure lead and I wanted to push them fast for some testing, so I am gas checking them.

Has anyone tried making checks with Pat’s checkmaker out of .008 aluminum?
I just bought the last of the .006 x 667 for my 45Cal PB checks and they have the .008 in the .545 for the 35Cal…. Just wanted to see if anyone has used the .008


I have only used .004 and .006, but it seems to get better as you get thicker. So I figure .008 would be great.

This is addictive! I got my setup in front of the tv where I can watch baseball while I make checks, and it’s like eating popcorn… I can’t stop!!!! 

I’ve been using the Pat Marlin, 35 cal, PBGC maker for about a year now. I’m quite happy with it.

I bought a really cheap paper cutter to slice up aluminum cans, so I no longer have troubles with too wide/thin strips.

I use Lee sizers and since I am a big fan wide meplat boolits, I simply turn them upside down and run them through base first with a gas check on.

If I needed a HF press for anything else I’d do it that way, it seems just a little easier than my way.

I’ve also used my Dremmel with a fine stone to polish down the pronounced shoulder on the entry of the sizing die. I haven’t torn a check since. 

For my only RN boolit, a Lee 356-102 2R, I simply bored and honed one of my sizing rams to be able to hold the boolit inverted.

It was fairly easy to do with just a drill press and the right bits at low speed oiled. It also works beautifully. 

In previous threads I have stated that I have, so far, gotten my lee 358-158-RF up to 1800fps in .357 mag in an 18″ barrel. 
I hope this gives some of you confidence with PBGCs and Lee sizing dies. 

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-More Comments-


“I havent had any issues w gas checks using the lee sizers. I just make sure their on straight to start, no lubing before hand.

I really want to get an actual sizing press, but the cost does it for me. The press, then the dies, and the bullet pointers. So I work with what I have.”

“I have had problems with gas checks hanging when using Lee push thru dies. I enlarged and polished entry hole to cure the problem.”
“A little trick I’ve learned is this (only works with a flat nose bullet):
before running the bullet up through the sizer die, I take the flat part of my lyman sizer die wrench (any flat metal will do), and block the opening to the sizer die. push the bullet (with gas check on) up and fully seat the check, remove the wrench/metal piece, and size as usual.
if there is enough resistance (i.e. sizing down more than a few thousandths), this isn’t necessary.”
I have found the bullets need to be lubed.”
“Try sizing them once without the gas check, then put the check on and size again.
That way you are taking it down in stages instead of all at once.”
“Lee die works flawless.

Been (new to GC’s) doing hitech and lubed boolits (these are flat nose 122 gr/plain base) with coke can gas checks. l mash a couple dummie boolits down in Lee .356 die to have level seat for first GC boolit. I guide top of GC boolit with my fingers, it has a level seat. Then set another and keep going.
I do not do RN boolits. “

“Are you sizing first then coming back to seat and resize/swage the GC on the base of the boolit. This is how I do all of my PB GC boolits. As you have done I also push the boolit base first through the Lee push through die.”
“Yes. I lube them then size them (they come out of the die at .410) then seat the check on the boolit then push them through the die again base first.”
“A rough finish in your LEE die is ” smearing ” the check.

When the interior of your die is mirror smooth, you’ll minimize and/or eliminate your problem.”

“I have encountered one problem with lee push thrus with to much lube, seems like the over lubing kept the gas checks from “biting” the base of the boolits, the GCs crimped fine just not on the boolit, simple hydrolics really. I use thined out LLA or pam or nothing. No problems since.” 
“I have not had any issues using Lee sizing dies and aluminum checks.

How much are you trying to size them down?”

“I use lee sizer for 308 & 357 never had a problem yet with the checks.”
i just check and go with bare bullet nose first.The lack of lube helps the bullet drag a bit and seats the check.Never had a problem with the GC not fitting tight.Nose first it a better way to size anyhow.”