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Old April 18, 2005, 07:32 PM   #1
Shoot-N-Scoot
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Nickel plated brass

What does the nickel plating do for the brass?
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Old April 18, 2005, 08:00 PM   #2
bergie
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It makes it purty.

Other than that, not a whole lot. I suppose the nickel plating could give some corrosion resistance if you were going to store it for a long time under less than optimum conditions. Generally, after being reloaded a few times it may start to peel or flake off.

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Old April 18, 2005, 08:21 PM   #3
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It's generally not the best for reloading, I don't know why, but the plating seems to make it brittle or something.
Nickel plated brass usually doesn't last more than a couple of times being loaded so most don't fool with it much.
If it's free range pickup's I always grab it, but I have never bought any new brass that was nickel plated.
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Old April 19, 2005, 04:54 AM   #4
WESHOOT2
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Did you ever notice.....?

1) increased lubricity; easier to slide from the magazine into the chamber, and out again.

2) corrosion resistance

3) easier to find in the grass


All my 'social' ammo, unless otherwise specified by the customer, was put up in nickeled cases.

Check major-brand premium ammo; nickeled cases.
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Old April 19, 2005, 05:20 AM   #5
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if you have ever left brass ammo in leather belt loops for a period of time you will find that it turns green. nickel plating helps to prevent that. I use only nickel plated brass in 45-70 , 270 win , 45 acp and I will eventually have everything in nickel. nickel plating maybe a little harder on reloading dies but it is unlikely that you will ever wear a set of dies out.
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Old April 19, 2005, 07:20 AM   #6
Ruger4570
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I have a small supply of nickel plated 45-70 that I have reloaded. I really don't see much difference so far in brass life. It seems like most all of the above posts are correct. If nothing else, the rounds sure look pretty.
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Old April 19, 2005, 08:30 AM   #7
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I shoot a lot of .38 and have taken all my Nickel cases and put them aside just to many splits.Had some R-P and if I shot 50 I had to throw away at least 3 but will say don't have a clue how old they were.Can't remember the last split with brass.But the nickel did unload great most would just slide out.But I do intend to use them????????/
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Old April 19, 2005, 09:38 AM   #8
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I don't have to check their headstamps for the dreaded "NT" symbol. That's what they're good for.
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Old April 19, 2005, 11:23 AM   #9
cheygriz
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Lubricity and corrosion resistance are the primary functions. Most premium ammo is nickeled for those reasons.

As for reloading, I must respectfully disagree with Cap. Razor. I have been reloading nickel plated brass for over 40 years. I have nickeled .38 and .357 Mag brass that has been reloaded in esxcess of 20 times. some of them have had the nickel wear completewly off, amnd look like plain brass, but they still work well.
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Old April 19, 2005, 05:12 PM   #10
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Wow!

I didn't know so many folks loaded it!
The main reason I don't fool with it much is because I have vast quantities on military brass, (for a few calibers).
I do have some nickel brass, and I have reloaded it, but generally I don't, unless it's ammo that I plan to keep around for a while.

cheygriz, I too have some highly worn nickel brass, but I noticed more splits in the nickel cases than I do in regular. Might just be the ones I have "acquired", I couldn't even tell you where it all came from, I've never bought any new nickel brass.

Do you guys buy your brass in nickel? Or do you buy plan old brass, brass?

I see specials often enough on new nickel brass, I just figured they couldn't get anybody to buy it, I'm thinking I might be passing up on some good deals since you all seem to have some luck with the stuff.
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Old April 19, 2005, 06:05 PM   #11
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I had some Federal nickel plated 45 acp cases that had over 30 loads on them. I threw them away because at that point I was getting some split cases. I think I got my money out of them
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Old April 19, 2005, 09:39 PM   #12
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Cap,

In military calibers, I use MilSurp brass almost exclusively. It seems to last longer than any commercial brass. When I buy new I always get nickel plated, for either handgun or rifle.

Once fired brass, I will only buy from contractors that buy it in bulk from government agencies, like LE or military. I've been burned too many times buying "once fired' from dealers only to find out that it was worn out range pick up.

Interestingly, most of the .38, .40 and .357 Mag that I have on hand in nickeled once fired federal LE or state police stuff.

But 9MM, .45, .223, .308, I buy only MilSurp.
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Old April 22, 2005, 05:28 PM   #13
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Nickeled brass

I thought the original reason for it was to look pretty and shiney and also not corrode, in LEO's black leather pistol belts, back when they carried revolvers and a waist-circling band of cartridges.

Hadn't thought about lubricity. Hmm.

HAVE heard all the usual horror stories abt splitty nickeled cases, and free range brass is easy to get in my neck of the woods so I just recycle the nickeled cases I pick up.

People who actually pay money for super-high-grade factory ammo rather than rolling their own don't have to consider the brass re-use factor. So the hi-velocity ammo is put in nickeled cases just for looks, I bet.
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Old April 23, 2005, 07:48 AM   #14
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for myself, bet yer wrong.........

I use(d) nickeled cases to improve the quality of my ammunition; I could care less about superficial distractions........
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Old April 23, 2005, 07:57 PM   #15
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I loaded some rounds for the .270 with Winchester "combined technology" bullets. They were coated with some kind of black coloring.

They looked SEXY in the nickle cases, and "ho hum" in the brass.

But I too, have noticed that nickel cases seem to split at the neck after a few reloads.

They still look sexy for a few shots.
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Old April 23, 2005, 09:37 PM   #16
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Nickle cases

I have some .45-70 nickle cases, R-P, after only 3 reloadings, a case started to peel and left some particles in the sizing die.
I cleaned the die and tossed the rest of the cases in the melt down bucket.
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Old April 24, 2005, 05:56 PM   #17
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I believe the nickel plate was originally for corrosion resistance, brass cases in a duty belt cartridge loops don't last very long. Nickel plated brass isn't very good for reloading, it is brittle, and that's not an old wives tale. The process for nickel plating the brass includes an acid wash to etch the brass, the entire process weakens the brass and en brittles it to a certain extent, it is fine for the original loading, but tends to split quickly in reloading. I've been reloading for around 40 years, I first observed the problems with nickel brass at least 35 years ago.
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Old April 24, 2005, 06:35 PM   #18
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I think that Remington has the worst nickel plating and I think the Federal is the best. Winchester and Starline are in second place
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Old April 25, 2005, 10:01 PM   #19
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I get all my nickel plated brass either from the range or my son, who gets these high- dollar Winchester cartridges and just shoots them once. Well, he did until this spring, when he asked his brother to load up some rounds for him. He was a bit leery of handloads until he saw that my rifles and handguns were still intact....
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Old April 30, 2005, 10:21 AM   #20
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I just got 100 each of Starline brass for my 32 H&R. Loading it side-by-side, the nickel is definitely more slippery when is comes to sizing and priming. I plan to keep reloading them side-by-side to see if the nickel lasts as long.
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Old April 30, 2005, 12:07 PM   #21
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Nickle plated brass serves two basic functions:
1. Reduces corrosion -- that "green grunge" or "black spotting" on brass cases.
2. Smoother surface allows easier extraction.

Nickle cases can last through a lot of reloads IF you don't bell the case mouth very much during reloading AND you fire moderate loads out of them.

If your dies get contaminated (e.g. you used case lube on dirty brass before resizing) they can leave scratches in your brass. On Nickle cases this will gouge the nickle off and cause weaknesses that result in split mouths very quickly.

Lastly, when reloading, once you find a good load for your firearm, load a few nickled cases and test it (especially if your nickle cases are a different brand than brass cases). Once satisfied, you can make your "serious" loads in nickle cases for easy identification -- that is, all of your defense/hunting reloads are in nickle cases and range loads are brass.
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Old May 1, 2005, 02:32 AM   #22
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The one place I have found nickled brass to come in useful is in Handi rifles for high pressure cartridges. The Handi has a very poor ejection system (spozed to be changing now) and nickled cases help a bunch with the dreaded stuck case.
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Old May 1, 2005, 07:04 AM   #23
auto45
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Do you think the nickel cases are easier to clean, meaning less time in the tumbler?
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Old May 3, 2005, 05:09 AM   #24
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Yes

Easier to clean, easier to find, easier to feed-eject, harder to keep forever ('cause they split easier).
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