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Old December 28, 2008, 12:51 PM   #1
DiscoRacing
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Brass question... Nickel??

Was wondering if anyone can help me with the fact of whether or not nickel plated brass does in fact last longer/ is more durable, or if it is less durable,, or if there is really not much difference in reality.. more than speculation.
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Old December 28, 2008, 01:28 PM   #2
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seems like mine wears out faster, (as far as how may times reloaded)i have some in all my handgun ammo calibers, my 38 cases and 357 seem to get splits faster then the brass ones do. So I try to load the ammo i shoot the least of in my nicle cases, hunting loads ext. The nickel cases seem more brittle and ive heard the nicke part will flake off over time also. As far as nickle brass for rifle rounds i dont know about as i dont have any, its all brass.
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Old December 28, 2008, 01:37 PM   #3
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I've read since nickel is harder than brass that it's tough on your dies. I've loaded very few nickel casings(rifle) and I can tell a difference in the amount of force needed to size a nickel casing and to extract that casing from the die verses brass. I don't use them.
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Old December 28, 2008, 03:07 PM   #4
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Nickel plated brass cracks more readily than unplated brass due to the needing the finished product to be the same dimensionally means thinner brass under the nickel plating, and the fact that nickle is less elastic than brass. However, nickel is harder and slicker than brass, and is more corrosion resistant than brass, so for service in hostile environments that promote corrosion or where extraction must be flawless, nickel is often used.
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Old December 28, 2008, 03:39 PM   #5
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The concern when reloading Nickel plated brass is that you could conceivably have some flake off and imbed in the die wall. So, it would scratch subsquent cases.
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Old December 28, 2008, 04:13 PM   #6
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A Hornady A-Max sure looks nice sitting on top of a nickle case though.
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Old December 28, 2008, 04:58 PM   #7
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Nickel plated brass was developed back in the pre-speed loader days when LEO's carried revolvers and leather gun belts with ammunition loops in them. The ammo in the loops was often there for years. The brass would react with moisture and tanning and preservative compounds in the leather and turn to verdis gris (green oxide) and sometimes even stick the corroded cases to the belt loops. Generally made a mess. The nickel prevented that, and since LEO's mainly had factory ammo and didn't reload, that was just fine.

Otherwise, as stated above, the brass is shorter lived for reloading, splits more easily, and can indeed embed small flakes in a steel sizing die that act to scratch all the other cases run through it afterward. It doesn't affect carbide dies, that I've seen, and I've had a few plated cases that I fired light target loads in that lasted until well over 50% of the nickel was gone.
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Old December 28, 2008, 05:40 PM   #8
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On a related note... anyone seen .44 Mag in nickel plates cases?
I can't say that I have looked for any of it-- in fact, I don't recall ever actually buying any factory .44 Mag ammo (I reload in this caliber, but never bought factory stuff)

I like to use nickel in .38 Spl. I have a heap of it, so if I wear it out, that's okay. It's pretty, it's slick, so I like it. If I were buying new (or even once-fired) and I had a choice, I'd choose regular brass for it's longer life-span.
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Old December 28, 2008, 05:46 PM   #9
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Here
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Old December 28, 2008, 05:47 PM   #10
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I do not know why anyone would still be using steel dies instead of carbide, which are harder than the nickle plating on brass. Nevertheless, nickle will soon wear off a case as it is resized enough times...there is no point to having it there anyway. Nickel's only purpose is to look pretty.
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Old December 28, 2008, 05:50 PM   #11
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Or to serve its original purpose, to survive long exposure to leather.
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