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Nickle plated brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Dups, Nov 30, 2010.

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  1. Dups

    Dups Member

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    Ok,
    so i just bought some Nickle plated Winchester brass for my .280 Winchester model 70 featherweight. I reloaded the absolute snot out of some nickle plated .223 brass, but i was loading low and slow (55 grain vmax at 2800 fps using 3031 powder). mainly for target shooting and 100 yd jackrabbits. I never experienced a problem with nickle plated brass then, and i don't expect to now. What are the pro's and con's of nickle plated brass other than the stated (smoother feeding, and prettier). i know the deer thats in my crosshairs will never know if the bullet that just tore through his heart came from a nickle plated case, or moly coated bullet or etc... just curious i suppose. Thanks for your input.
     
  2. MrOldLude

    MrOldLude Member

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    My limited experience has shown a slightly lower lifespan for nickel plated over pure brass.

    If you're just neck-sizing, I wouldn't worry about it one way or another. If you like the look of nickel, more power to ya.
     
  3. kimbernut
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    kimbernut Member

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    Nickel

    Nickel is harder than brass and therefore more brittle. Necks of nickeled brass will split sooner than plain brass generally. I shoot a lot of light target loads in .357 mag. cases- even the light loaded rounds seem to split quicker in the nickeled cases than the plain brass but not enough to make me quit using it. Nickel polishes up nice and generally in once fired brass can be bought for less because many reloaders shy away from it due to the brittleness.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  4. Robert Wilson

    Robert Wilson Member

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    I have had some lots of nickel that lasted forever and others that couldn't even be reloaded once. I have experienced this kind of inconsistency even with individual brands, ie. some lots of Remingchester are great and others awful.

    Some people claim that flaking nickel will damage dies. I don't believe this and have never experienced it myself. I think people damage dies the usual ways and then blame it on nickel.

    I almost always choose nickel simply because it's pretty. I know there's a bit of a gamble involved because there's no guarantee it's going to last as long as unplated. Compared to the other ways I waste my money, having to throw out on occasional batch of prematurely useless brass doesn't bother me. The question is whether it bothers you.
     
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I don't buy Nickel Brass because it costs more. I have had 30-06 Nickel plated cases split sooner than yellow brass. I do like Nickel plated brass because it cleans up better and faster but like i said, I don't by it because of the additional cost.
     
  6. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I have a Redding case trimmer I used on some nickel plated 308 Win. brass. The cutter head was dulled in short order and had to be replaced (they cost about $18 each). Now, if I'm going to trim nickel plated brass I do so with a trim die.
     
  7. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I prefer nickel plated brass for range pistol ammo; it cleans up much faster between loadings.
     
  8. DickM

    DickM Member

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    I have some nickel-plated Super Vel .357 brass that came with the first centerfire handgun I purchased, about 40 years ago. I've been reloading that brass, primarily but not exclusively, with moderate target loads since that time and I don't think I've ever had a case fail. I couldn't begin to count how many times it's been reloaded, and much of it has the nickel worn off to where the brass is showing through.

    On the other hand, I picked up some obviously once-fired Remington nickel-plated .357 brass at the range last year and it started to flake with the first resizing, and so it got tossed. As others have said, results with nickel seem to vary - some love it, others hate it, still others (like me) just use it interchangeably with non-plated and inspect cases as we go along, which of course we should be doing anyway.
     
  9. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    The main problem with nickel is if it flakes off in your sizing die, it will damage every case you run through the die.
     
  10. howlnmad

    howlnmad Member

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    I have loads of them in several calibers. Never had a problem with flaking and as far as shorter life-span for bottlenecks, I anneal mine. My opinion, use em if you like em.
     
  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    It sure does, that's why all my .357 Magnum brass is Nickel instead of yellow. (I didn't buy it new lol)
     
  12. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I have never experienced that and I load a large volume of nickle brass also. In 357 I have federal, RP, S&W, and I believe some Win Nickle. I dont have any higher failure with those either.

    The only nickle brass I have had flake is Starline 45 colt brass. It started to flake on the third reloading at the mouth where I roll crimp. I have not had it damage any of my other cases at all, and I load a large volume of it. I would guess that 45 colt and 357 are about 70% of my reloaded cartridges.
     
  13. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I've heard this A LOT over the three decades that I've been reloading, but I've never had anyone explain to me how nickel can score or scratch steel or carbide. AFAIK - it actually can't.

    Empirically, I've never had this be an issue, even at the necks of trimmed bottleneck brass.
     
  14. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    As posted above, rbernie, thats my experience too. Glad to see I'm not the only one that believes it to be myth.
     
  15. SuperNaut

    SuperNaut Member

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    My Remington nickel .45+P cases are on their ~10th-ish reload - still look new. My Hornady Nickel .308's are on about their 5th - still look new.

    No flaking, no scratched dies, no brittleness, no splits, no yellowing, no dulled trimmer blades.
     
  16. doorman

    doorman Member

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    I had a guy at the shop where I occationally buy reloading supplies tell me the same thing about nickel cases ruining dies. I have been loading nickel cases in .45 and .308 and have not experienced anything like this.
     
  17. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    I've had problems with it wearing the cutterheads on my trimmer. Rem. nickel 270 Win was what gave me the problems. I've never loaded nickel in any straight walled case.
     
  18. Seedtick

    Seedtick Member

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    I wouldn't care if all of my brass was nickel plated.

    I like it. It's purdy.

    I do have some that has been used so much that the yellow is showing through in places but the only thing that hurts is how it looks. :rolleyes:

    Seedtick
     
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