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Can you reload nickel shells?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Keeperfaith, Jan 9, 2012.

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  1. Keeperfaith

    Keeperfaith Member

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    Hello all

    I was wondering if it is possible or advisable to reload nickel shells. I have speer gold dot 40 cal hollow points and the shell is nickel or silver in color. Are these reloadable?

    Thanks
    Steve
     
  2. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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  3. Nomad

    Nomad Member

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    If they are in fact nickle they can be reloaded. However, if they are aluminum (which they may be) they can not be reloaded.
     
  4. beeenbag

    beeenbag Member

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    I have never seen a gold dot loaded in aluminum. I'd say it's nickle.
     
  5. squarles67

    squarles67 Member

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  6. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    I believe you are referring to nickel-plated brass, in which case, Yes.
    Aluminum? No. More than likely NOT.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  8. goon

    goon Member

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    If the case is shiney silver in color it's nickel plated brass and can be reloaded. If it's dull silver or grey in color it's aluminum and can't be reloaded. Having said that, in my experience nickel-plated brass doesn't last as long as regular brass casings. Watch them for splits in the body or cracks near the case mouths and you should be fine.
     
  9. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    I agree with goon.
    I ended up trimming many which were just starting to develop cracks at the case mouth, the amount of trimming needed to make them proper length took away most of the small cracks, IOW, the cases were still good to go a few more reloadings.

    This was back in the days when I would reload like 1,000 .357 Magnum cartridges on a progressive I used to own, and shoot them all with a friend several nights a week in a range set up in a large basement.
     
  10. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    If they are a shinny high luster silver finish nickel color, they are probably nickel plated and perfectly safe to load with. However, the aluminum cases out there are also silver, but they have a dull or flat finish, those are not advisable for reloading purposes.
    Another quick test to determine nickel from aluminum is how soft they are. The nickel brass is actually quite hard, and would be difficult to mash the mouth closed with your fingers. The aluminum one can be fairly easily mashed with the fingers.
     
  11. goon

    goon Member

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    It's also been awhile since I've used any aluminum cased Blazer ammo, but I think it's Berdan primed (someone help me out here?). If so, when you look in the case you'll see two holes at the primer instead of one.

    And to date the only handgun casings I've managed to really wear out are nickel plated .357 casings. Slowly but surely, every time I reloaded them I'd notice a split in one or two more. Regular brass casings have kept going strong until I got uncomfortable and just scrapped them on my own. My brother has done an experiment and has one batch of 9mm casings that have 20 loadings each with no obvious ill effects. He decided he'd gotten his use after that and pitched them.
     
  12. markdoddridge

    markdoddridge Member

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    Nickel plated Brass is sweet, i get almost twice as many loads out of them before they start cracking.
     
  13. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    When the aluminum Blazer was introduced, I remember that they were primed with an off sized primer that was not available to the public so that folks could not reload them. I thought it was still boxer primed.

    But, I could be in error.
     
  14. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    From my steel resize dies, nickel plated cases were a bit harder on the dies that just brass cases.

    Probably not an issue with carbide dies.

    When I buy new cases, I do not buy nickel plated. But, what I have in inventory from whatever source, I use them as normal. I have many where the plating is wearing off and the brass is showing through in spots.
     
  15. MattGP

    MattGP Member

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    Sorry guys, stupid question...

    If the cases are only plated, I understand we are talking about just a few thousandth's of an inch of nickel; if I remember correctly, nickel is magnetic...

    If these cases were to be put on a smooth surface such as a glass table top, do you think you would be able to get them to roll around using a large magnet (not necessarily lift them, just get them to 'respond' or roll)?

    At least I seem to recall nickel as being magnetic... I'd test it if I had any nickel cases.

    It's early in the morning...
     
  16. Stormin.40

    Stormin.40 Member

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    Yes its reloadable.

    This is simply cosmetic and is not practical but I like to load plated bullets in my nickle brass and lead in regular brass. It just looks cool to me. I shoot 40 at outdoor ranges and seem to lose brass before it wears out. I have seen a few split cases and they we all nickle plated.
     
  17. CHALK22

    CHALK22 Member

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    All my factory Gold Dots are loaded in nickel cases. Supposed to aid in low light press checks or something. I also scored 40 nickel .243 a while back, they'll last me forever at the rate I hunt.
     
  18. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    As I have read, the ammunition companies started to make nickel plated cases to be used in leather belt loops. Some chemicals used in the tanning process would attack brass and corrode it. The nickel was much more resistant to the chemicals.

    Over time, there have been lots of other reasons folks like nickel plated cases.
     
  19. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    CALK22, I do the same thing, Gold Dots in nickel makes for a good carry round. I also haven't had any expire, and I would bet they've been reloaded 20 + times, all with H110/296.
     
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