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Old May 9, 2013, 11:38 AM   #1
superump
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Reloading other casings besides brass

Hi I am fairly new to bullet reloading and have only reloaded brass casings. On gun broker I just bought 1000 .45 ACP caliber casings and when I got them, 400 were polished brass and 600 were polished nickel! It's not the cheap aluminum or tin and they (the nickel ones) look really heavy duty. Are the nickel casings re-loadable and as good as the brass? When I emailed the seller he told me brass stood for empty bullet casings (his gun broker page stated 1000 brass casings) and he has sold tens of thousands of nickel casings and never had a complaint! Thanks in advance because I can send them back at my expense, but if they are re-loadable I will keep them!
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Old May 9, 2013, 11:40 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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They're not nickel, they're nickel coated brass. They are reloadable, just like brass (because they are brass) but most folks report that they don't last as long as conventional cases.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; May 9, 2013 at 11:50 AM.
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Old May 9, 2013, 11:45 AM   #3
BigTex308
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Re: Reloading other casings besides brass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Pfleuger View Post
They're not nickel, they're nickel coated brass. They are reloadable, just like brass (because they are brass) but most folks report that they don't last as long as conventional cases.


Yep. My nickle coated casings tend to crack after several reloads. They look pretty. But are far inferior to the conventional brass casings.



Ike

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; May 9, 2013 at 11:51 AM. Reason: Fixed quote of my typo
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Old May 9, 2013, 05:45 PM   #4
histed
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I, on the other hand, have aout 1000 nickel plated .357 cases that have been loaded many times and are still in good shape. Maybe I got lucky, who knows? Anyway, you have the cases now and they are reloadable. Follow the same procedure you would with the unplated cases and enjoy!
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Old May 10, 2013, 12:14 AM   #5
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Typically nickel plated brass will crack after a few firings right on the lip of their mouth opening. Many times if the split isn't to bad upon inspection. You can Trim that mouth area a little which helps to clean up that minor splitting. (That technique only applies so long as your cartridge case doesn't exceed what is stated in your Hand Book under >Minimum Trim Length.)__ If the cartridge case develops a larger split than expected. Cull it.

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Old May 10, 2013, 01:36 AM   #6
Lucas McCain
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When reloading nickel cases it would be advisable to use a carbide resizing die as they can cause galling to the standard resizing die, damaging it and scratching the cases.
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Old May 10, 2013, 06:45 AM   #7
TimSr
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Quote:
I, on the other hand, have aout 1000 nickel plated .357 cases that have been loaded many times and are still in good shape. Maybe I got lucky, who knows?

I'm with you. I have several lots of .357 nickel that have been loaded between 9 and 14 times with full power magnum loads.
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Old May 10, 2013, 07:18 AM   #8
serf 'rett
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You should get a good number of uses with a low pressure round like the ,45ACP.
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Old May 10, 2013, 02:01 PM   #9
BigJimP
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Nickel plated ases are fine in .45acp....( or any other caliber for that matter ) .....but if I load .357 Mag nickel cases toward the upper end, I will get a few cracking now and then ....

I haven't seen any nickel cases in .45acp crack...( and I load thousands of .45acp every year --- with maybe 5% of them being nickel plated ).
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Old May 10, 2013, 03:02 PM   #10
Brian Pfleuger
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There's seems to be considerable variation. I had several hundred nickel plated Speer .357sig GD ammo. About 1 in 3 had cracked necks on firing the factory ammo. I didn't bother keeping any of them.

I'm sure the PSI, chamber dimensions and other factors all play into it but nickel plated certainly seems more prone to failure, particularly neck splits, on average.
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Old May 10, 2013, 06:20 PM   #11
bigautomatic
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I've had really good luck with nickel plated cases that get a taper crimp, with a little less success on roll crimped cases. The good thing about magnum cases that wind up with a split mouth is the fact that they can easily be trimmed to "special" length and used further. Like .357, .44, etc.
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Old May 11, 2013, 10:54 AM   #12
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I can only share my experiences with nickel plated brass in .38 Special, 357 Magnum, and 45 ACP. I use the same methods, loads, etc., reloading plated cases as I do plain brass. I have some .38 Special plated cases that are at least 35 years old and have been reloaded so much that the nickel is worn through down to the brass. I have some .357 nickel plated cases that have been reloaded many times with moderate loads (150 LSWC & Unique). I have a few (100 or so) .45 ACP cases I have reloaded a few times, but could not say how many exactly. I keep them sorted from other cases, but for OCD reasons only, I like them to all be the same. None of my cases have flaked plating off, and I can tell no difference in the longevity either. So, for me, there ain't no difference.
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Old May 11, 2013, 05:54 PM   #13
Electric Head
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Quote:
Yep. My nickle coated casings tend to crack after several reloads. They look pretty. But are far inferior to the conventional brass casings.



Ike
Agreed - I had factory .357 Mag nickle brass that split when fired (5 of a box of 50).
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