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How are nickel cases better than brass?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by KodeFore, Nov 13, 2007.

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  1. KodeFore

    KodeFore Member

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    Are nickel cases better than brass?
    Do they last longer?
    Are they safer for max loads?
     
  2. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    They don't last longer and aren't safer for maximum loads.

    The only respects in which they're better than brass is that some consider them prettier, since most people don't use them, it's easier to keep track of them at a range and they clean up easier than brass.

    At least when first loaded, nickel from the case mouth can become embedded in the bullet and potentially cause increase barrel wear; that's why I don't use nickel plated brass any more.
     
  3. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    What Grumulkin said.

    The main reason for so-called nickeled cases is to protect the brass from the elements. Goes back to the days when reloads were carried in belt loops. No reason for it now.
     
  4. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    I like em:) A few minutes in the tumbler, and there spotless inside and out.
     
  5. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Member

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    Pros:
    • They clean up quicker
    • They won't corrode as quickly (especially when stored in leather)
    • They extract easier

    Cons:
    • They split sooner (with 10mm, often on the 1st reloading)
    • Nickel is abrasive (bad for dies and barrels)


    I'll pick them up if I'm absolutely sure they're once-fired. I'll then load these for use at events where I can't pick up my brass.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  6. birdbustr

    birdbustr Member

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    I like them too. They don't tarnish and the harder makeup of the cases don't lengthen like brass ones do. The necks are also stiffer making the bullets seat more firmly into the case neck; so not as much work to get consistent over all lengths.
     
  7. bakert

    bakert Member

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    I prefer brass cases but I have a lot of .357 nickel brass and it works just fine. Does develop neck splits quicker than regular brass but lasts much longer than many would have you believe.
     
  8. strat81

    strat81 Member

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    I use mostly nickel in 9mm. They look nice, but they feed and extract much easier than brass. They tarnish less too.
     
  9. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Most "premium" handgun ammo is made using nickel cases. The nickel being slicker than plain brass is supposed to enhance reliable feeding and extraction. I don't think nickel or brass makes a lick of difference.
     
  10. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    "No reason for it now." Quoted by Ron in PA...Excuse me, but I still carry 25 rounds in a leather belt loops for my hunting handgun and 12 rounds in leather loops for my carry handgun. Nickel plated cases still have a use any time you insert them into leather belt loops for any time at all...

    And Grumulkin...I have never heard of the nickel plating sticking to a bullet and damaging barrels. That's a new one on me...If you have trimmed and debured them properly there will be no problem because that will mean that you have inspected them more then once...

    Hey...Let me know...If you don't want your nickel plated cases, send them to me. Just PM me and I'll send you my address. That includes rifle and handgun cases...
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I'm with The Bushmaster on this one, although for general shooting I prefer brass for its longer life expectancy.
     
  12. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I've carried rounds in duty leather, and the only way to prevent verdigris is to use nickel plated brass. Even at that, the rounds will have to be changed out regularly, since the chemicals used to tan the leather causes all kinds of problems with brass, even when plated. I've seen plain brass cartridges that have been left in leather loops for a number of years that have been eaten all the way through.

    Now that my wife and I have taken up Cowboy Action Shooting, the only rounds we can use in our Cowboy rigs are nickel plated. I also use the nickel plated cases for the carbine rounds, for "lost brass" matches, where we have to leave the brass on the ground because of the size of the match, in numbers of shooters. When you have three or four hundred shooters at a match, there isn't time to pick up brass.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  13. rc109a

    rc109a Member

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    I like them to help tell the difference between my 41 mag loads. I use nickel for my hunting loads with H110. I use brass with my Trail boss loads. This way I can tell the difference really quick. Since I shoot more of the T/B loads I cannot tell you which ones last longer. I also think that the nickel loads are a lot smoother running through the dies.
     
  14. GCW5

    GCW5 Member

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    I use nickel to sort for my 30/06, nickel for the bolt action rifles & brass for the Garand.
     
  15. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    1. Nickel plating is very thin.

    2. While it is harder than plain brass, it is NOT hard enough to scratch even mild steel, let alone barrel steel or dies.

    3. It is nearly impossible to corrode the plating. A nickel plated winchester .280 round was dropped in the snow one November during deer season. It was found the next summer after 6 months in Wisconsin elements. It was still bright and clean, it functioned and shot like new,(the BT bullet was a dark brown).

    4. It is NOT chrome! If it was, the claims of scratched dies and barrels would be true.

    5. Flaking or peeling can happen to any plated product if it's not done right. Some old 38 special plated brass did that many years ago, I simply tossed it.

    If any caliber I'm buying new brass for is offered in nickel plated, I buy it instead of plain brass. The potential of not having to worry about corrosion if stored in a belt loop or leather ammo pouch.
     
  16. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Vertigris, vertigris, vertigris...Gotta remember that word. I always forget it when I need it for strings just like this one...Thanks ReloaderFred..
     
  17. fletcher

    fletcher Member

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    That's why I like them for my revolvers. Otherwise, don't really care one way or the other.
     
  18. EddieCoyle

    EddieCoyle Member

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    Actually, it is. Electroless nickel plating has a Rockwell C hardness of up to RC-55. This is much harder than mild steel and harder than many tool steels.

    While the outside of most nickel plated cases is very smooth, the inside of many of these cases is quite rough. Deburring and chamfering takes care of the case mouth, but the inside of the neck can still be rough. Try pulling the bullet on a nickel plated rifle case and comparing it to one from a brass case. At the very least, roughening up the bullet will increase fouling, at worst some nickel gets embedded in the bullet jacket and scraped through the barrel. Handgun cases don't seem to be as bad WRT to inside roughness, but they're still not as smooth as they are on the outside.

    With all that said, the overall effects of all of this are probably minimal, and (if you need it) the corrosion resistance gained by using nickel cases is worth it.
     
  19. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Member

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    Nickle is slicker than brass.
     
  20. Guy B. Meredith

    Guy B. Meredith Member

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    One more vote against nickel for it's short life span. I have had no success in getting any where near the use out of nickel cases as brass.
     
  21. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    the sell for more if your trying to buy other reloading components . . . .

    I like them- it helps me segregate loads. hunting or match loads go in nickel cases. that way i can tell at a glance what box to grab :)
     
  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Hunting or SD loads for me. That way I know for sure when I pick up a box. In case I get in a hurry or get too lazy to read the label.
     
  23. achildofthesky

    achildofthesky Member

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    They are just purtier...

    I must have been a crow in a previous life cuz I like em...

    Patty
     
  24. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Nickle prevents corrosion in damp environments and when the cases may be in contact with leather. And its shiney and makes the SD rounds I load look cool.
     
  25. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    So you don't get as many reloads from plated cases...Is that what you're saying Guy B. Meredith...Big deal...They still have a place for us people that wear animal skins. I usually get 8 to 10 loadings from plain brass .357 magnum and maybe 6 to 8 loadings from nickel plated .357 magnum cases. Whoopty-doo...
     
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