Can you reload Nickel cases?


October 2, 2012, 03:08 PM
I found some .223 empties at the range yesterday. It is that shiny silvery finish...that's nickle right? Is it reloadable?

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October 2, 2012, 03:14 PM
as long as they are nickel plated they are reloadable. just make sure they aren't steel. just use a magnet

October 2, 2012, 04:44 PM
Yes those are reloadable if they are not made of steel. Some say the plating will flake off---mine haven't. If you do trim them the plating will be hard on your cutter--I use an old dullish one for that purpose. Also they may split sooner than non plated tend to. I would still load em.:D

October 2, 2012, 04:56 PM
Yes they work fine. TECHNICALLY even if they're made of steel they'll reload fine if they're boxer primed steel. Some people say its harder on your dies but I've reloaded a fair number of the brass-plated S&B steel cases and they all shot just fine. I do typically sort those out separately though and tend to shoot them in venues where I won't be getting my brass back :).

October 2, 2012, 06:17 PM

I have reloaded steel pistol cases before, at least until I realized they were nickel plated steel and not nickel plated brass. It worked fine, no issues whatsoever; I didn't even know until I set one down next to a fridge magnet on the counter.

As to loading actual nickel plated brass, yes yes and more yes. The nickel seems to reduce friction with the dies, makes it even easier than brass. I have some .38 special cases that are older than I am and have been reloaded I don't know how many zillion times, the finish is starting to wear through in places but no cracking or peeling. The necks split long before the nickel does, at least if the plating was done properly. I'm not sure how well that translates into rifle cases, but I suspect it's pretty much the same deal. Perhaps you'll get issues down towards the head but I doubt it.

October 3, 2012, 06:51 AM
Thanks guys for all the help. Now I gotta go find a magnet:)

October 3, 2012, 07:33 AM
Open the door to your refridge and take a known steel item (old can etc) and touch it to the rubber gasket. It has a magnet inside and should feel like it is attracted to it slightly. Then try the casings if they feel the same but less of a attraction (smaller size) they are steel, if not your GTG. Oh you can generally reload all boxer primed casings, even the steel and the aluminum at least once but it is advised against to the new reloader because there are additional problems that you have to deal with. There are enough things to watch out for just using once fired brass casings. I reload berdan primed brass also but that takes special tools so my advice is to stick to "regular" brass for starters OK?:)

October 3, 2012, 08:01 AM
If you can't tell with a magnet you might be able to look up the headstamp to, and see what the good old internet has to say about the case

October 3, 2012, 12:11 PM
if you use nosler ballistic silver tips in them they make the smartest looking rounds on the range.

October 3, 2012, 01:38 PM
I had nickel cases shave my bullets when I seated them. Other than that they worked fine.

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