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reloading nickle cases

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by kennedy, Dec 10, 2010.

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  1. kennedy

    kennedy Member

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    I was given a box of winchester silver tip .308 nickle cases, since I don`t know what they were shot in, I plan on full lenght sizing them, I have never worked with nickle before, anything I need to do differant?
     
  2. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    "anything I need to do differant? "

    No. A case is a case.
     
  3. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I find you don't need to polish them as much as standard brass but all the same otherwise. Stop using if the nickle starts to flake off in large chunks however.
     
  4. fractal7

    fractal7 Member

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    I've reloaded nickel handgun cases with no problem. The only difference is they might chew up your trimmer blades a bit.
     
  5. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    In my experience, nickel is slightly more brittle than plain brass and has a somewhat higher failure rate when resizing/belling. Size them just the same as your brass brass, bell them the same as your brass brass, but examine the case mouths very carefully for cracks. Do this before priming, because it's really annoying to toss a bad case in the trash after having wasted a primer in it.
     
  6. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    If the nickel flaks, it will damage standard steel dies. I have used nickel 357, with carbide dies, until the brass was showing.
     
  7. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Nickle that has galled onto the sides of steel dies is fairly easily polished off with fine wet or dry sandpaper using a split dowel rod. Use paper 200 or finer.
     
  8. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

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    I have heard, but not verified, that nickel on the inside of the case neck can travel down the barrel when fired, and wear out rifling as subsequent shots "scrub" it in. I loaded nickel 300 Win Mag casings for years before switching to brass when I started neck turning. It was much easier with Brass - the nickel plating dulled the cutter quickly!! I've got 2,000 rounds out of it before the throat erosion got bad enough I threw in the towel. Approximately 1,200 shots were with nickel casings. That's pretty respectable life for a 300 Win Mag.

    Anyway I did notice one thing about loading nickel plated brass - the inside of the case neck is far more abrasive on bullets, and (for me anyway) resulted in a LOT more velocity deviation than after I switched to brass. That lead to vertical stringing on long range shooting. When I switched to brass, my vertical stringing was cut in about half. After getting match prep down right, I cut it out pretty much entirely.

    So, I won't use nickel plated brass for the long range guns, but I will keep using it for 223 and handguns - cleans up easier, sizes with less effort, etc. In my 223, I have one picky chamber that WILL cycle reliably WITH nickel plated brass, but NOT with normal brass, on the _exact same load_.

    I can say that it can positively, absolutely, definitely DOES help with feeding / extraction issues on semi-autos!!!
     
  9. Robert Wilson

    Robert Wilson Member

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    Nickel cases damaging dies, barrels, or anything else (except maybe wallets) is a myth that refuses to die.

    The only real downside with nickel (other than the price) is that some batches don't last very well, and there's no way of knowing beforehand. But if the price is right - like the free ones received by the OP - there's no reason in the world not to use them.
     
  10. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Then will you explain to me why nickle flakes galled onto the inside of my steel dies creating scratches on my cases? You may consider it a myth but I'm one who had to polish the inside of my dies, this is a fact, and not a myth. Believe it or not, been reloading for 50+ years.
     
  11. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    If nickle galled into your dies, I'd send those dies to whoever made them for a new set. They should be much harder than nickle plating is. It's nickle not chrome! The nickle plating is MUCH softer than a good quality die SHOULD be.

    IS it harder than plain brass? Of course it is, BUT it's not so hard as to cut steel. Those that say it dulls cutters on trimmers, should do the same as above. Somebody skipped the heat treat step when making the cutter.

    I've used nickle cases of all kinds for the 50+ years I've been loading. I never had one peel, flake, or damage anything. If you don't like it or want to believe they're bad for some reason, then don't use them.
     
  12. Robert Wilson

    Robert Wilson Member

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    People damage dies in all sorts of ways. Sometimes they damage their dies in one of those ways while using nickel cases. It's kind of like the guy that claims dies are softer on Tuesdays, because he damaged a die on Tuesday.
     
  13. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I have ruined a Redding cutter blade on a case trimmer after only trimming a few nickle plated case so now, if I really must trim nickle plated cases, I use a trim die with a file.
     
  14. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    People damage dies in all sorts of ways. Sometimes they damage their dies in one of those ways while using nickel cases. It's kind of like the guy that claims dies are softer on Tuesdays, because he damaged a die on Tuesday.


    So then you're claiming I damaged my dies by sizing them with nickle cases is my fault, correct? You gotta be joking. The nickle flaked off the case and galled onto the inside of the die, thru no fault of my own. Reloading all the thousands and thousands of rounds that I do a year, and having reloaded for 50+ years I still am learning but I do know about nickle galling in a die, that I'm sure of.

    And no it had nothing to do with loading on Tuesday, I only reload on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Only shoot on Tuesday & Thursday. Also, believe it or not my dies have the same hardness every day of the week, just checked them again last week on my Rockwell Tester.
     
  15. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

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    You dies didn't know it was a myth.

    I've never damaged standard steel dies with brass cases. I have a set of .223 dies that have loaded at least 50K since the late '70s. Not a mark on 'em.
     
  16. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    snuffy, reread my post carefully, the key word is "onto" I did not say "into". Yes, dies are hardned, a file will not even touch them.

    Correct, this is why once galled ONTO the inside surface of the die the cause scratches in the brass cases.

    You've got a point there, and it is why I do not use nickle plated cases.



    Point to take note of, have you never seen alu. galled onto a steel surface? Obviously the steel is harder.
    Have you never seen bearing materal galled onto the harder surface? If not you've never worked on many engines no matter what size.

    Fact, softer material will gall onto harder metal.
     
  17. Horsemany

    Horsemany Member

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    Agreed. I'll take it a step further. Rock is harder than water but someone forgot to tell the grand canyon. Repetition and pressure can do amazing things.

    I'll never use nickel again after it eating my cutterheads(not a myth). Judging by the reduction of nickel brass available these days I'd say most folks have found brass works just fine without the plating.
     
  18. kennedy

    kennedy Member

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    thanks for all your inputs, I ended up just neck sizing the nickle, since they fit my rem 700 ok, had no problems. Next is to see how they shoot.
     
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