Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Nickel or Yellow brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by biogenic, Dec 12, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. biogenic

    biogenic Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Messages:
    268
    Is it true that Nickel brass life expectancy is a lot less than yellow brass ?
    I see the nickel brass runs more $$ than regular.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    A "lot" less?

    No I don't think so.

    I have old .38 Spl & .357 Mag brass I have reloaded so many times the nickel is worn almost off.

    rc
     
  3. biogenic

    biogenic Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Messages:
    268
    Thanks RC ! Some of the guys at the range were arguing that nickel brass get brittle and cracks a lot quicker than yellow.
     
  4. rikman

    rikman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Messages:
    822
    Location:
    People's Republic of IL
    I guess I have reloaders bad luck. I bought a bunch of once fired nickel 38spl brass and had some cases split with a mild load. The few nickel 45acp's have been ok. I loaded some new nickel 308Win and they shaved the bullets during seating.I'm sticking with yellow brass only.YMMV
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    All mine are 40+ years old.

    Maybe they did it better back then too??

    rc
     
  6. rikman

    rikman Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Messages:
    822
    Location:
    People's Republic of IL
    If it wasn't for bad luck, Rikman wouldn't have any luck lol ;-)
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  7. biogenic

    biogenic Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Messages:
    268
    Everything was made a lot better back then ;) Most of today's stuff they have today is pure junk. Things were made to last. My parents 50's washer and dryer are still going strong. So are my pre 80's Smith's ;)
     
  8. Kyle M.

    Kyle M. Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Bucyrus Ohio
    I bought 1,000 pieces of once fired nickel .40 S&W a while back, because it was cheaper than yellow brass. I loaded them light and about 60% cracked on the first firing. At first I thought it was due to my G35's over sized chamber, but they did the same out of a Ruger SR-40, S&W 4006, and Para 16/40 limited. I switched back to yellow brass and have had no trouble with the same load.
     
  9. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Messages:
    7,244
    Location:
    East TN
    My experience is nickel plated cases last a little bit less than un-plated, but not enough to worry about. But, I also have some 38 Special and 357 Magnum nickel plated cases that have been resized so much the nickel has worn off.

    Nickel plating is harder on steel resizing dies without proper lubrication.
    than un-plated cases.

    The extra step required for the plating makes them more expensive or that is what the manufacturers want you to believe.
     
  10. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    7,741
    It does seem like most of the split case necks I find are with nickel.
     
  11. Ken70

    Ken70 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    350
    The nickle plated cases took more effort to resize than the plain brass. I could hear the die groaning when it hit a plated one. It was a solution to the corrosion problem when you kept the same magazine or cylinder in the gun while you CCW. Your BO and other noxious vapors aren't good for ammo....
     
  12. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,293
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    I was wondering about this. Me personally, I just don't like the look of nickel plated ammo.
     
  13. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    6,408
    Location:
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    My 38 SPL and 357 plated brass do not last quite as long as yellow brass but not so much that I would not buy them to reload. My 300 WSM on the other hand will last 3 firings with nickle plated before the necks split while some of the brass casings are on their seventh reload without problems yet. YMMV
     
  14. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    Messages:
    9,832
    Location:
    SW Arizona
    No, not a lot less. I laod with quite a bit of nickel and can't honestly say I can see a difference in life span and most of my loads are pretty much full tilt. Some say necks split quicker, I don't have that issue though. The only thing I do see happen is the nickel will begin to flake off in certain areas, but not usually until it is getting near the end of it's life span.

    GS
     
  15. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,572
    Location:
    SW Ohio
    ive had one piece of yellow brass 357 crack. i probably have 100 nickel 38 and 357 in the scrap bin...
     
  16. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    919
    Location:
    Central of the Commonwealth of PA
    Every piece of brass or nickel is made differently. I prefer only brass, in my reloading. Some guys swear by nickel. I dont load nickel so i dont know if it would crack or anything. I tend to keep my nickel til there is a good bit of it then trade off for brass.
     
  17. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,106
    Location:
    South Texas
    I load some 9mm nickel plated range pick-ups. I have seen some more cracked case mouths with the nickel on a percentage basis. It's the only "one" I ever had crack while sizing it. I still use them if they look good.
    The press "feel" shows them to be a little stiffer/harder than the same headstamp brass cases.
     
  18. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    7,384
    Location:
    NW Montana
    I think there's some finesse on the part of the reloader too. Ni has a much higher Young's Modulus than brass, close to that of steel. Ni has a higher coefficient of static and kinetic friction compared to brass. These properties mean that Ni is harder to work, and it work hardens at a faster rate. If you're working the case mouth a lot (increased residual stress) then you'll probably have shortened case life compared to brass.


    Ni plating adds a lot of cost, there's no way around it
     
  19. Otto

    Otto Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,393
    Location:
    Lone Star State
    The life expectancy of the Nickel that I find is 1 day...that's how long it takes before it goes into the dumpster.
     
  20. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,397
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    I have some .38 Special like that too. I've only had a .38 for a few months and I bought some fired brass at a local pawnshop at .06 each. Seemed like a good enough deal. Anyway, some of it was nickle with about 1/4 of the nickle worn off. It loaded and shot just fine, so I'm gonna keep on using it. I don't load em hot anyway.
     
  21. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    172
    I don't like nickel for reloading, but if you are shooting a semi auto outdoors I find the nickel is easier to see on the ground. I agree it has a slightly shorter life. however its almost always sold out when I look on midway so someone likes it.
     
  22. Magnum Shooter

    Magnum Shooter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2012
    Messages:
    406
    Location:
    Just East Of Cleveland, OHIO
    Makes no difference to me, I just load them all till they crack
     
  23. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,038
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    It depends. I have some Speer .44Mag cases that have been reloaded so many times the plating is almost completely worn off. I think I may have had one crack. I've also had nickel Remington .38 cases that split on the first reload.

    Nickel cases do tend to be tougher to resize and if the plating ever starts to flake, it can get embedded in your sizing die. IMHO, use them only if you need them.
     
  24. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,299
    Location:
    Southeastern Pa.
    I have Nickel Plated .38 Special brass that is ancient and has been reloaded inumerable times,
    I don't think that it makes a difference.
     
  25. eam3clm@att.net

    eam3clm@att.net Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Messages:
    768
    I am still reloading some old nickle plated MPD (Memphis Police Dept.) headstamp 38 special brass. I do get an occasional split case, but I also do with regular brass cases.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page