Reloading Nickel cases?


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Charley345
February 2, 2008, 07:42 PM
Are there any differences between loading brass and loading nickel cases?

My sons friend brought 100 new nickel cases as a gift for getting to shoot several times. At least I believe they are nickel, they are shiny silver.

So, these are new cases in .243 caliber being loaded in my single stage Rock Chucker. Any special concerns? Do nickel cases last longer than brass? (as in more reloads.)

Planning to load with 85gr speer boattail using IMR 4831.

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Uncle Chan
February 2, 2008, 07:52 PM
As far as reloading goes, there's no difference. But, from my experience, nickel does not last as long. As a matter of fact, I've purged my supply of nickel cases because they don't last. Seems to me that they split and chip more frequently than my brass ones.

GearHead_1
February 2, 2008, 08:13 PM
Uncle Chan hit the nail on the head. There is no problem in reloading nickel cases but the nickel plating tends to flake where the case mouth/neck is enlarged to receive the bullet. If one is careful they can still get a number of reloads out of the case. The secret is when resizing the mouth/neck must be kept to a minimum and though this is true with any brass a little carelessness here is easily manifest on nickel cases. In some respects it's almost easier to see when the case mouth fails on a nickel case than brass. Occasionally I'll miss brass splitting on the first inspection but it's pretty easy to see failure on nickel.

lee n. field
February 2, 2008, 08:14 PM
And they're a little harder to size than brass.

kir_kenix
February 2, 2008, 08:55 PM
i dont care for nickel cases much myself. they seem harder to size, they are rougher inside necks, and dont last as long (but they look really nice). having said that, i usually reload and shoot away just like normal brass.

id take free, new brass anyday! what a great present.

birdbustr
February 2, 2008, 09:05 PM
I don't load them any differently either. I use nickel brass for hunting due to them not tarnishing like brass. I use brass for regular use at the range or whatever. Have to agree with them not lasting as long and being harder.

sargenv
February 2, 2008, 09:58 PM
I've found just the opposite. The nickel is slicker to reload than the regular brass cases are. I've reloaded nickel cases in rifle and handgun. Currently all of my 38 spl cases I use are nickel plated. I do find that for high pressure ammo, nickel does not last as long as regular brass, but at 38 spl levels of pressure, they last just about as long as brass.

Mr White
February 2, 2008, 10:04 PM
I've heard from a few guys I trust that nickel plated cases are hard on sizing dies and will easily scratch them. Any truth to that?

lindy
February 2, 2008, 10:11 PM
make sure to trimm and prep the case mouth on new nickle before using for the first time,, as there will be small flaks of the plating just inside the case mouth that is a very hard metal and can errode throat and rifleing in a hurry.

lindy

GearHead_1
February 2, 2008, 10:26 PM
I've heard from a few guys I trust that nickel plated cases are hard on sizing dies and will easily scratch them. Any truth to that?I only use carbide dies on the calibers that I have nickel casings but I have not had any problems when using these dies (all pistol and .223). For the most part I find nickel case pretty slick and size quite easily.

Javelin
February 2, 2008, 10:31 PM
Seems to me that they split and chip more frequently than my brass ones.

I bought some "factory reloads" in .40 cal that were nickel and about one in three were showing small splits around the mouth. Brass does not seem to do this.

:)

Kimber1911_06238
February 2, 2008, 10:31 PM
+1 to them not lasting as long as regular brass. I barely size the case mouth, just enough for the bullet to get in there....you can't even see that the case mouths were expanded. they size as easily as brass for me.

Charley345
February 3, 2008, 01:36 AM
Thanks everybody, I will inspect carefully and then carry on.

The Bushmaster
February 3, 2008, 11:16 AM
I will take everyone's nickel plated cases. Especially in 9mm X 19, .38 Special, .357 magnum, .45 ACP, .30-06 and .30-30. I have never had a flaking problem (I inspect and trim those that need it), loading problem (they don't resize any harder then regular brass) and I have some Rem-Peters that I bought in 1966 that I'm still reloading in .357 magnum. If you carry any cartridges in leather belt loops you better hang on to a few of them, but the rest you can definitely send to me...

snuffy
February 3, 2008, 01:31 PM
The OP could have done a search here instead of starting a new thread. The same old BS comes up every time this topic comes up.

Yes, nickel is a little bit harder than plain brass, but not nearly hard enough to scratch steel dies, barrel chambers or bores.

Some of the older nickel plated 38 cases had problems with flaking, but the modern stuff doesn't. The plating is all of a few microns thick, not thick enough to peel or flake.

If buying new rifle cases, if nickel is offered for a reasonable price, I'll buy it. I find it easier to work with, and it lasts as long as plain brass.

Doug b
February 3, 2008, 03:35 PM
I like nickel clad and use it when I can.It's only problem is cost.

GearHead_1
February 3, 2008, 07:45 PM
The OP could have done a search here instead of starting a new thread. The same old BS comes up every time this topic comes up.... and this thread would have done very nicely without this portion of the post. It's O.K. for topics to come up again. It gives people who haven't made comments in previous posts to say something that may hit home to the new poster. I'm not trying to be rude but it amazes me when discussion forums get up tight about discussing topics that may have been covered previously. After all most are here to discuss. This in no way discounts or knocks the excellent search function of the board.

Charley345
February 4, 2008, 05:46 PM
Thanks Gearhead_1

I did a search today to see what was out there, some good info. I'm still glad I posted though because they didn't answer my question about reloading nickel cases. Is there any special procedure? The answer here, no, load like always but maybe stay away from max loads.

The Bushmaster
February 5, 2008, 10:24 AM
Load'em as you wish. slow, mild or hot...They are just brass cases with a nickel plating added...Some say they split a little sooner, but I really haven't noticed...

GearHead_1
February 5, 2008, 04:11 PM
load like always but maybe stay away from max loads.

I haven't noticed any problem relative to how hot the case is loaded. In my opinion (which may not be worth spit) the problem arises when the case mouth is belled a little too aggressively, non-plated brass is simply more forgiving. I load them up the same as any other round and some of my .44 Mag and .357 Mag loads are on the "hot" side.

Some say they split a little sooner, but I really haven't noticed...

I'm with The Bushmaster, some may see these cases splitting but what I've noticed is that the nickel plating tends to flake off where the case has been stretched to receive the bullet. No real problems for me with the case actually calling it quits. It just leaves me feeling uneasy when the nickel has flaked plus it wouldn't make for a very nice looking reload. :rolleyes:

The Bushmaster
February 6, 2008, 11:55 AM
Never seen them flake off at the case mouth...I do keep my cases trimmed (.357 Magnum) and inspect all my cases well. I have seen the nickel plating wearing (thinning) off though...

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