Nickel or brass ????


January 24, 2012, 09:53 PM
Hi, i would like to have your advice about this. I have a press Dillon square deal ajusted for .38 special, my question is, do you think than i could break some parts if i reload with nickel because nickel is harder than the brass. And for the precision if i reload with brass for practice and i shoot with nickel for competition, at 50 yards it make difference for accuracy? Thank you for your help.

If you enjoyed reading about "Nickel or brass ????" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 24, 2012, 09:59 PM
You can load them just fine. There is no difference, except the nickel plated brass will split before the yellow brass cases.

I would do it just the opposite, yellow brass for competition and nickel brass for practice. When I was shooting PPC that was the way we did it, since a split case can affect accuracy at the 50 yard line.

Hope this helps.


January 25, 2012, 12:34 AM
I load gobbs of both nickel and yellow brass. The only difference I notice is nickel produces noticably higher velocities with the same powder most of the time, it produces more neck tension, and it has a less internal capacity which probably explains the higher velocities. Oh, and it produces more resistence when I resize it and when seating bullets. But so far as splitting or separating quicker, I haven't really noticed a difference in that respect, it actually seems have about the same life span to me.

I particularly like it for my hunting and self defense carry rounds, because it doesn't tarnish or turn colors from exposure to the elements.

Steve C
January 25, 2012, 12:45 AM
If you are going to carry your reloas in leather holster loops or leather ammo carrier use the nickle as it won't turn green like the brass cases will. For .38's I generally have nickle mixed in with brass cases for practice ammo and there is really no difference.

Bits of nicle can flake off the egdge of the cases furing resizing and get attached to the die which produces scratches in the brass cases but when it becomes intollerable to you just clean out the die. I use a bore brush wrapped with fine steel wool chucked in an electric trill to get the nickle out of the die.

January 25, 2012, 02:22 AM
Between my wife and I, we go through about 10,000 +/- rounds of .38 Special per year. They're put through our revolvers and Marlin carbines. I won't load nickel brass for the carbines anymore, due to the case splitting problem, which locks up the carbine. I get approximately 1/3 fewer reloads from nickel cases.

I've been loading .38 Special since about 1964 or so, and shot it extensively when I was actively shooting PPC in the late 1970's and early 1980's. I'd guess that I've loaded and shot roughly 300,000 rounds of .38 Special over the years. If you get busy, you can catch up........

Hope this helps.


January 25, 2012, 04:23 AM
I prefer nickel but do load both. I find the nickel more accurate. They are a bit thicker and heavier, stiffer than the brass but haven't encountered any problems with them as far as loading. Shiny nickel just looks better also.

January 25, 2012, 09:01 PM
I prefer brass but both will make excellent reloads. Nickel cases just wont last as long.

January 27, 2012, 12:40 AM
I reload & shoot both for plinking.. I find no big difference myself with either one.

If you enjoyed reading about "Nickel or brass ????" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!