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Old June 11, 2000, 08:10 PM   #1
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I thought I saw a string on this, but now I can't seem to find it. At a cost of $5 per 500,(that's the difference, not the total price unfortunately) which is superior and why? I have been told that the nickel ones last longer???????

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Old June 11, 2000, 09:41 PM   #2
Art Eatman
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Dunno about lasting longer through reloading cycles. The nickel cases don't corrode as quickly or as badly when stored in a leather shell-belt.

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Old June 11, 2000, 10:39 PM   #3
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I can't really say which is better but, going by my limited experience, I will probably not buy any more nickel plated brass. On some of my .357 Mag. cases the nickel has started to flake off and, IIRC, I read somewhere that nickel flakes are not good for barrels. I'm not sure if that's a fact or just someone's opinion, but I'm not taking any chances. Regular brass works just as well for my purposes anyway.

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[This message has been edited by DAL (edited June 12, 2000).]
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Old June 12, 2000, 12:56 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
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Nickle-plated cases generally won't last as long as brass ones. The nickle and brass "work" at different rates, meaning that each time the case us sized, then fired, the nickle and brass layers are stressed at greatly different rates. This, combined with the fact that the nickle is so much more rigid than the brass, means that they'll generally crack before and all-brass case.

I've got some brass .38s that I have reloaded over 40 times with light loads. I've yet to get over about 25 loadings with a nickled case using the exact same load.

This will be a MUCH bigger problem if you heavily roll-crimp the case as with a hot magnum load.

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Old June 12, 2000, 09:12 AM   #5
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The nickel cases sure do shine up pretty in hte tumbler, tho'. They are also a little slicker (natural lubricity), so they MIGHT be a LITTLE more reliable in a semi-auto. They are also easier to find, hiding in the grass, when you're policing your brass.
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Old June 12, 2000, 03:23 PM   #6
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My experience mirrors Mike Irwin's comments. The nickle plated cases I have (in different calibers) seem to split way faster than brass. Given my druthers, I'll take brass cases every time.

Regards - AZFred

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Old June 12, 2000, 03:38 PM   #7
Paul B.
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I'll have to third Mike and Fred's comments about nickel plated cases.
I think I read somewhere where some brass is now cadmium plated and the cracking and splitting problem has been reduced.
Heck, if I got 25 reloads from a nickeled case before it split, I'd figure I got my money's worth out of it. I use both.
Just to keep the vote even though. I bought 500 rounds of one of the big three's .38 Spl. wadcutter target loads, in brass, IE, unplated, cases. Reloading them with a light target load with Bullseye, and a 141 gr. wadcutter, over 20 percent of the cases split lengthwise on the body, not the neck. I can't blame it on the gun as they were fired in 8 different revolvers.
I've reloaded the survivors with the same load, but any more splitting and the whole batch goes into the scrap brass pile and to the recyclers. Too bad, beacuse this has usually been a very fine brand of brass to work with.
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Old June 12, 2000, 04:09 PM   #8
Mike Irwin
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I, too, use both, but I don't go out of my way to get nickled brass. When I buy once shot, I always buy brass.

Beware the man with the S&W .357 Mag.
Chances are he knows how to use it.
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Old June 13, 2000, 04:01 PM   #9
Calif Hunter
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I'll go along with some of the other posts...nickle-plated brass in my .357 loads always split at the case mouth sooner than brass cases. I would not pay anything extra for nickle-plated cases. I have to admit they look pretty, but as Forrest Gump said, "Pretty is as pretty does." (Was it him who said that?)
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Old June 13, 2000, 06:32 PM   #10
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I prefer brass cases. I think the plating process embrittles the brass (probably Hydrogen embrittlement) and causes it to crack sooner.

[This message has been edited by CCV (edited June 13, 2000).]
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Old June 15, 2000, 04:13 PM   #11
Mike / Tx
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I will go along with the others comments on the splitting. I do and will continue to use both type cases. I do a lot of handgun hunting and sometimes the weather isn't cooperative. The hunting loads I use in all of my six shooters are all in nickle cases. I have found them IMO to be superior to the brass not only in corrosion resistance but also in reliable ejection in miserable weather. Sometimes the all brass just seem to stick in the cylinder when wet. The nickle hasn't let me down so far. If you are going to put loads in a leather belt or cartridge holder you better go with the nickle as the acids in the leather will corrode the plain brass if left there for a while.

Good Luck.
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