Comments from users


Hey folks, I now have three of Charlie Darnall's gas check tool sets (.30, .38, & .45 calibers), and they make great gas checks from soda can material. I and a few others have used single layers of aluminum for all three calibers mentioned, and seem to get the same results as when using the old Lyman or Hornady copper gas checks. I know Charlie only sells them on E-Bay, but I as well as some other members on this forum can tell you that he makes a good product and is a gentleman to work with. ....I know nothing about patent law, but if Charlie Darnall wants to patent his tool, that is up to the US Patent Office to determine if his efforts meet their requirements. All I know is that I have bought three tool sets for less than $45 each from Charlie Darnall on E-Bay, and they are a good product and well worth the cost. ... I have also read posts from quite a few members here who have purchased Charlie's tool sets and reported good results with them. Most of these folks have also reported that Charlie has been quite helpful in working with them. At this date, Charlie does not have any tool sets listed on E-Bay, but he will be putting more up for bid in the weeks to come. I would advise anyone who wants to make his own gas checks to keep an eye out for Charlie's tool sets. They are a good product. Best wishes, Dave Wile (6/18/08)


Just bought two of the Free Chex tools, 30 and 22 cal. from Charles Darnall in CA. These little buggers work SWEET! For the price of a couple of thousand factory made GC`s, I can make my own. Question: Would you trust the aluminum GC`s not to unduly wear on a barrel, or would you chase down some 10 mil copper stock? Anybody with experience with these? Maybe a metallurgist out there in the forum? - One Bullet Dan (7/27/09)

The freechex system is actually very cool. I like it anyhow. Some people have expressed concerns with using aluminum in rifle rounds, but so far, with about 200 or so down the tube, no problems have become apparent.
-Iraqveteran8888 (11/16/09)


Hi- As we know a big problem with GCs is that bullet GC shanks vary quite a bit. The ideal is that a GC slip on snugly--not too loose & not too tight. That is almost impossible as bullet dimensions change due to the alloy, how casted, etc... I have a new RCBS 9mm 125 grain RN-GC bullet that has an oversized GC shank. I tried different thicknesses of aluminum and then it dawned on me..when forming the GC "cup" just tap it enough to form a \__/ configuration..then place on your lube sizer and seat as you size & lube the bullet--works like a charm. This beats the s*** out of any preformed GC as this cannot be done with any them. One can also employ this method to make GC for slightly larger or smaller calibers using on Freechex II tool. Perhaps you should mention this on your web page--I am sure many would sure like to know this. Also, one can use a GC on a PB bullet if you reverse it..I have done so & tested it extensively--works far better than I would ever have imagined. There are two tricks---1) you must size the GC alone to the caliber diameter...I use a Lee push through sizer with a dowel 2) it is a bit tricky to seat the GC in reverse as you want it to go in flat not cocked...this does take more time, but it is not hard to do. All the best, Wally

I'd like to give a shout out to the fellow who is making the FreeChex II and FreeChex III gas check makers. Not sure what has changed, but I've had my eye on one of these for a long time. The issue has been the eBay auctions driving up the price.  Well, they are still being sold on eBay. BUT......... There are auctions, and there are also now "BUY IT NOW" purchases available. I saw one of the 30 cal FreeChex III's on auction for about $10 under the BUY IT NOW price, and figured..."What the heck, nothing to lose"..... Well, someone came in and bid it up to where it would have been for the Buy It Now purchase. Silly. So, I shrugged my shoulders, and purchased one of the BUY IT NOW versions, and then saw an email in my IN BOX... It was from the manufacturer, offering me a second chance purchase at my original bid. But, I had already bought one. So, after a couple of emails, I was given a partial refund on my BUY IT NOW purchase. So, while many have been complaining recently about the way that these are being sold (high bid auctions), you now have (for the first time in over a year!) a BUY IT NOW option for getting one of these FreeChex gas check makers. Offering me a second chance buy, and then a partial refund was very generous for an eBay seller. I'm glad I got the FreeChex III version, and can't wait to mount it on a press. Color me: VERY HAPPY with the product and the service, and the new way of selling it on eBay! – DukeInMaine (5/11/10)

Charlie is a good guy, I have been in contact with him for several years and helped iron out a few bugs on his early tools, I was impressed then, and continue to be impressed now and will continue to buy his products. Where, pray tell are all the other people making these for commercial consumption? Pardon my ignorance but all I know of are Charlie and Pat Marlin (has he started shipping his product yet? Just asking). I know there are quite a few enterprising and talented individuals making tools for themselves but that does not equate into a market flood of consmer ready products. The beauty of these tools is that they will NOT wear out, unless you abuse them, and they will pay for themseves in a hurry, after that depening on you're source of material you have a limitless free supply of gas checks (granted, you're time does count for somehting but this is a hobby after all). I will be more than happy to pony up whatever Charlie asks for his tools, especially the Frechex III, I consider it to be the absolute best check making tool out there by virtue of its versatility, it is the only one step tool that can be used in a variety of presses AND can also be used by itself with a hammer (or even a stick of wood around the camp fire for that matter!), you cant beat that with a stick! ;^ ) Charlie made a very good point to me about using e-Bay exclusively, he said it is like having a small company but not having the overhead, they (in essence) supply a secretary, billing department, records keeping, etc., etc. for a very small fee. A very convenient way to keep track of all you're transactions without having to pay anyone else. As far as price and Buy it Now is concerned, Charlie had been shopping around for the best deal a machine shop could offer him on making the new tools, so, he did no have a fixed/stable price for a while till the details were worked out and he struck a solid deal allowing him to establish a fixed price, as you can see he must have accomplished just that, so that now you do have the option of outright purchase via B.I.N. There are a few folks here that for whatever reasons have sour grapes about Charlie and his tools and the way he markets them, the beauty of a free market economy is that you have the choice of buying from whomever you want, if you dont like the way CHarlie does business than you can always go elsewere. Those of us that have gotten to know Charlie a bit and have dealt with him, can assure you he is an honest and upright man who is doing this to help fellow shooters, at the prices he charges there sure as heck isnt much of a profit margin! And Jeff in NZ (nice name by the way!), I for one believe you about pricing outide the US, too many of us here in America take for granted the freedom we have and the options we have, most of the world doesnt have the free and relatively cheap access we have here to firearms and components, and we tend to be a bit arrogant about it! How soon we all forget just how great our constitution and bill of rights is and what it affords us in personal freedoms! Jeff in NY (5/14/10)


From: Kent Carroll <>
To: charles darnall <>
Sent: Saturday, February 2, 2013 4:08 PM
Subject: Re: Freechex III

Hey Charlie

I felt that I had to drop you this email:

I received my .30 caliber Freechex III on Thursday, and after scrambling around to find some .014" aluminum, (...all of the "home improvement" stores in my area have "gone cheap" and are stocking only .0095 and .011.) .....I was able to set up for some serious work.

In a few hours of leisurely effort, I produced enough checks to pay for the tool: ....And all of them perfect!!

I spent quite a few years working as a Design Engineer, and I have a deep appreciation for the effort and genius required to produce such an effective and elegantly simple tool! .....I was particularly impressed by the intentional alignment that allows the initial cut to just barely "break through" in order to free the punch for its return stroke! .....A true stroke of genius!!!

Thank you for a fine tool; ....And feel free to give out my name and email if any of your future customers want a testimonial!

Kent Carroll