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Old April 11, 2013, 02:13 AM   #1
flitemedic13
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nickel plated bullets

I asked on another reloading site with no luck..quick questions -

1. ive noticed a couple of manufactures that have pistol/rifle ammo that use nickel plated bullets (or what seems to be nickel), but cant find any nickel plated bullets by themselves. Anyone know where to get any?

2. is there a reason why not many companies manufacture them?

3. Is there a pro or con to actually using nickel plated bullets - like bad performance, fouling, expense, etc?
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Old April 11, 2013, 08:02 AM   #2
Magnum Wheel Man
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I will almost bet you they are not nickel... nickel is harder that the barrel material & would wear out a barrel in very short order...

... they may be Guilding metal, which is a reasonably soft alloy that is silver in color...

that is of course unless you are calling "cartridges" "bullets" which bullets is not the correct term for a loaded round...

there are several manufacturers that offer nickel plated cases, which I believe were 1st offered for police officers ( & cowboys ) to keep their brass from turning green while in leather cartridge belts, often cases of premium rifle ammunition are nickel plated to protect the brass in tropical climates... & make them look "pretty" to aid in prying the premium price out of your wallet...

there are no nickel plated "bullets" that are designed to actually shoot
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Old April 11, 2013, 08:28 AM   #3
Bart B.
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Norma made several nickel plated match bullets in the 1960's. I shot over 600 of them in a .264 Win. Mag. It was a softer nickel and didn't wear out the barrel any faster than normal bullet jackets did. Other nickel plated bullets have been made.

Gilding metal is a copper alloy, comprising 95% copper and 5% zinc. Technically, it is a brass. It's copper colored in appearance. Most bullet jacket material is guilding metal.
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Old April 11, 2013, 08:32 AM   #4
Magnum Wheel Man
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Nickel isn't an alloy, & its hard... so if the nickel was "softer", it was some sort of silver colored alloy, that may have had a minor percentage of nickel in it ???
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Old April 11, 2013, 08:39 AM   #5
Mike Irwin
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At one time the standard bullet jacket material was an alloy of copper and nickel, called cupronickel.

As a jacket material it had some drawbacks, chief among them its tendency to foul the hell out of rifling and impinge on accuracy, which is what led to the development and adoption of gilding metal.

Pure nickel has a Mohs hardness of about 4, or roughly the same as elemental iron, which isn't particularly hard, and is probably in the realm of mild steel in some forms.
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Old April 11, 2013, 09:47 AM   #6
Jimro
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Federal Trophy Tip: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shoot...ion/740265.uts

They are advertised as nickel plated brass and bullet, but I assume that like a 5 cent nickel that the plating is a nickel/copper alloy (the 5 cent coin is only 25% nickel, and 75% copper).

I've not seen the Federal trophy tip bullets sold straight to reloaders.

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Old April 11, 2013, 10:02 AM   #7
Jim Watson
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The high velocity pistol Silvertips have copper (or gilding metal) jackets plated with nickel. It looks shiny enough to be straight nickel or a high nickel alloy. The low velocity rounds have aluminum jackets.


I once took an author to task for arming his heroes' troops with cupronickel jacketed bullets but he pointed out that the popular (in Europe) RWS bullets had them. I didn't get into a debate over the applications of a couple of shots fired at game versus a sustained firefight.
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Old April 11, 2013, 10:02 AM   #8
Magnum Wheel Man
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I have Federal Premium with Trophy Bonded Bear claws ( mine aren't nickel )

I guess I stand corrected...

as I said before, I'd also suspect nickel is a minor ingredient the alloy they are plating with, but I guess at least Federal is calling it nickel...
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Old April 11, 2013, 10:45 AM   #9
Jimro
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No better accuracy, but better corrosion resistance if that matters to you. If you are going to put ammo in a leather loop holder, nickel is your friend.

And sometimes ammo companies do something simply because it looks cool.

I still have a bunch of pulled turk 8mm bullets with the cupro nickel jacket. They are magnetic. I don't have any plans to shoot them currently, but I've never sold them off or traded them away either.

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Old April 11, 2013, 10:57 AM   #10
mete
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Jimro , have you taken apart one of those bullets ? Nickel is magnetic ,in fact at one time the Canadian nickel coin had so much nickel it would attract a magnet. I wondered if those bullets were steel core with nickel jacket or lead core with nickel jacket.
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Old April 11, 2013, 12:30 PM   #11
Jimro
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Mete, lead core, cupro-nickel jacket, no sparks off of the jacket when grinding.

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