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Old September 3, 2012, 10:27 AM   #1
Gster
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nickel casings and reloading

How do nickel casings compare to brass when reloading?
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Old September 3, 2012, 10:34 AM   #2
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I have found that you treat them just like brass if you use carbide dies. They will reload several times but eventually the nickle will start to peel. That is when I chunk 'em.
I haven't used many lately. They may have found a better plating method.

Last edited by arch308; September 5, 2012 at 07:01 PM.
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Old September 3, 2012, 10:40 AM   #3
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Ok. thanks. Reason for asking is, I've had some for .357 sig. up for trade on other forums for awhile now with no hits. Will post them in classies here when I have enough posts to allow me.
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Old September 3, 2012, 11:11 AM   #4
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I think being bottle necked the .357 Sig is much more likely to peel. Just a guess.
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Old September 3, 2012, 11:27 AM   #5
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My experience is with bottle neck rifle cartridges. The factorys just plate the nickel over a regular brass case causing them to be slightly thicker. This has resulted in some necks being too thick on new brass causing feeding problems and I imagine greater pressure. This could also happen with a bottle neck pistol cartridge. Anyone else ever had problems with nickel plated cases being too thick in the neck area, perhaps even with straight walled cartriidges?
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Old September 3, 2012, 08:10 PM   #6
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I should let this run for a while before debunking the myths.

The "nickel" is actually only an extremely THIN coating. In the past is was electroplated, a much thicker layer. Now it's an electroless coating process. The old plating process resulted in peeling like a chrome plated bumper.

Someone will make the claim that it's hard enough to scratch steel dies! Not so! It's nickel, NOT chrome.

It's been quite a while since the nickel coated brass case subject has come up!
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Old September 3, 2012, 08:17 PM   #7
math teacher
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Never had that problem with brass cases, but I have experienced it with Remington nickel plated cases in both 7mm mag and 338 purchased in bulk from MidwayUSA. Most required having the necks reamed as they would not accept a bullet after firing.
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Old September 3, 2012, 08:24 PM   #8
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I had the same thing as math teacher with Remington .280 nickel brass Maybe it was just the luck of the draw and regular brass made at the same time would have been too thick also.All I know is I had to turn the necks to use them.Its been 20yrs or so.
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Old September 3, 2012, 08:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Someone will make the claim that it's hard enough to scratch steel dies! Not so! It's nickel, NOT chrome.
True. But in the old days with the heavier coating there were times when the Nickle would gall onto the inside of the die, more prevalent with all steel dies. But anyway the galled nickle would then scratch the brass cases. Think, if the die was scratched the scratch would be a depression on the inside of the die, how is a depression going to scratch. The galled nickle is a bump on the inside of the die, thereby the scratch on the cases surface. Simple? Right?
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Old September 3, 2012, 08:52 PM   #10
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Other than being a different color I can't honestly say I can tell a difference with nickel handgun brass. I toss it all in the same bucket and grab them randomly when reloading. The nickel has worn thin enough on some to see the brass underneath, but I haven't experienced any peeling. I also can't honestly say the nickel cases have any more tendancy to split than brass.
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Old September 3, 2012, 08:58 PM   #11
Gary Wells
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I have loaded for my own use only R-P nickel plated .45 auto brass for the last 20 or so years. I will get 16-30 reloads with per case with light target loads before the neck splits beyond use.
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Old September 4, 2012, 01:07 AM   #12
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Like Sport45 I have loaded nickel cases until the nickel wears off. But, no flaking.

At one time I was loading a lot of 45 Long Colt Nickel cases and they tended to split sooner than the Brass cases. Might have just been that batch.

It seems like I get a few more splits in 38 Special in nickel over brass. If its a small split I go ahead a load it and throw it away after I shoot it. The key is SMALL split.
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Old September 4, 2012, 07:18 AM   #13
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Nickel coated cases seem to be much less likely to tarnish and even then, clean up quicker for me than brass. Other than that, I haven't noticed any difference in how long they have lasted for me when reloaded. My experience is limited to 45ACP and 38Super cases though.
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Old September 4, 2012, 08:42 AM   #14
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IME: Nickel cases stay cleaner, feed better, and clean up faster ...... but split at the mouth much sooner.
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Old September 4, 2012, 10:09 AM   #15
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Yes, Nickle will damage a sizing die

I had a/one RCBS sizing die (don't remember the caliber) that had nickle embedded in the wall of the die, RCBS sent another die promptly but was told don't expect another if I continued to load nickle cases. I no longer load nickle cases!! FWIW it was a rifle caliber.. William
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Old September 4, 2012, 10:09 AM   #16
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In straight-wall handgun cases, in my experience .357 and .38 Spl., nickle plated cases split with fewer reloads than plain brass. I know this because I shoot about 100 rounds of mixed (nickeled and plain) each day. Each reload session, I toss one or two nickeled cases that have split, rarely brass ones despite the exact same reload count. Therefore, I will not discard any free supply of nickeled cases, but I will never buy any new ones that are nickeled.
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Old September 4, 2012, 10:48 AM   #17
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The ONLY reason they're nickle coated is for corrosion resistance. The first use was for 38 special ammo that was to be carried in leather belt loops that cops used back in the day. The tanning chemicals in the leather would turn brass cases green in a few weeks. Various methods were tried to prevent that, but eventually the brass still turned green. Nickle plating solved the problem.

Now-a-days, the nickle coating keeps premium rifle loads clean and shiny when on safari, or hunting the, "rain forests", yuppie word for jungle!
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Old September 4, 2012, 11:06 AM   #18
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I have found that the nickel plated cases fed better than tarnished brass cases .....
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Old September 4, 2012, 12:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I had a/one RCBS sizing die (don't remember the caliber) that had nickle embedded in the wall of the die, RCBS sent another die promptly but was told don't expect another if I continued to load nickle cases. I no longer load nickle cases!! FWIW it was a rifle caliber.. William
Easy fix for that was with a piece of wood dowel with a saw cut to accept a strip of emery cloth {fine}, this takes the galled nickle deposits off/out.
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Old September 4, 2012, 12:47 PM   #20
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No emory paper in my dies

No way, emory is still sand paper, I've used flitz for scratches that works well, for something tougher maybe JB's.. William
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Old September 5, 2012, 12:01 PM   #21
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Nickle handgun cases don't last as well.
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Old September 5, 2012, 12:12 PM   #22
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Send all those nasty old nickel cases my way. I like them. I load them to +P. It helps me keep +P out of the detective special. Most of the .357 magnum I load goes in shiny cases as well. Just another mental jog to help keep it all straight.
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Old September 5, 2012, 01:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
No emory paper in my dies

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No way, emory is still sand paper, I've used flitz for scratches that works well, for something tougher maybe JB's.. William
Worked fine for the two times I did it in 38 spec steel dies, years ago, I now have and use carbide dies. Actually all it did was polish the inside of the cases, you polish it enough to remove the galling, not long enough to change the diameter. This my experince from reloading for 50 plus years, your experience may very.

BTW, if in fact you have scratches on the inside of your dies and need to polish the scratches out you will without a doubt change the inside diameter of the die.
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Old September 5, 2012, 03:40 PM   #24
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I hate them and avoid them like the plague.
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Old September 5, 2012, 08:15 PM   #25
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Quote:
I have found that the nickel plated cases fed better than tarnished brass cases .....
With a tumbler there is not reason to use tarnished brass cases...they tumble clean just fine. I also tumble any nickeled cases to get the carbon off them also.
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