Nickel casings


August 11, 2013, 10:30 PM
I found a bunch of what appears to be nickel casings, see picture bottom casing. Can I reload these? Are there any issues I need to take into account if I do?

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August 11, 2013, 10:47 PM
U can reload them. There are no issues. Nickle does grab on to copper better than plain brass, so you may experience harder seating with them.

August 11, 2013, 10:48 PM
Excellent, thanks

August 11, 2013, 11:01 PM
Nickel cases reload just fine but nickel cases are harder on steel resizing dies.

Just make sure your cases are lubricated properly, that does not mean over lubricated. Nickel cases are less tolerant to too little lubrication. Too much lubrication, even with brass cases, cause other problems.

August 12, 2013, 01:26 AM
I load quite a bit of nickel and haven't found it any different to work with. About the only difference I've found is that case volume is slightly less. But other than that, I haven't experienced any problems or difference sizing them, they slide in and out of the die just as easily as yellow brass, and I use spray on lube, usually Dillon or One Shot. Case life seems to be about the same, and if anything, I might be getting an additional load or two from it, due to primer pockets not getting loose as quickly.


August 12, 2013, 08:30 AM
nickel takes a little more effort to resize than plain yellow brass, people have claimed nickel coated brass are more brittle than plain yellow but then others have claimed thats not true and I am inclined to think that its not true. but blind folded I could tell you every time a piece of nickel brass is being resized in my dillon because it takes more effort.

August 12, 2013, 09:16 AM
If it's an American made brass casing in good condition then you should be fine. There are nickel plated steel casings from Russia and those present a host of challenges to the reloader.

In my experience nickel brass does crack faster but it also cleans up a lot easier, I'll use it when it's free but I don't buy it.


August 12, 2013, 10:54 AM
Thanks for all the input. I've prepped and primed my nickle casings now ... Here is what I've noticed :

I found a much higher rate of elongation compared to brass so I trimmed a much higher percentage of nickle (50%) as opposed to brass (5%). I don't know the history of the nickle casings though ...
When trimming nickle, I found the casings to be a lot more brittle than brass and as a result, a whole lot more burrs. So, I spent a lot more time deburring/chamfering
Cleaning the primer pocket took a little more effort relative to brass

Bwana John
August 12, 2013, 11:18 AM
When I tried nickle plated brass cases in my 7 Mauser I only got 3X reloads before the neck split, I do believe that they are more brittle than just plain brass.

August 12, 2013, 08:01 PM
I have found nickle cases in both pistol and rifle size significantly easier.
Thats on .38 spl,357mag,357max,222rem,243win,7mm-08,.308win,25-06,/280rem,30-06,7mm RemMag,300win,338winMag,45-70. To name a few.

The only negative experience I have had is that the chips and flakes of nickle that come off on case trimming is extreamly sharp and hard on the dies!
Otherwise, I find nickle does nothing that brass doesnt.

The case where nickle cases crack prematurely, that may be a problem from the factory. Improper annealing. The nickle coating/layer may cause issues with the annealing process.

August 13, 2013, 05:13 AM
Something, and about the only thing, I'd like to correct going foraward- as it hurts my eyes;

"Its Nickel like the coin, not nickle like a pickle. "

I actually had that as my sig line, for awhile.

They also have the bonus of resisting all kinds of corrosion very well.

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