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Thread: "Nickel Plated Brass" Why

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default "Nickel Plated Brass" Why

    I have been reading that nickel plated brass is harder and is sometimes used in magnum calibers because they extract easier and they are more corrosion resistant for hunting conditions.

    The cons being they are hard on your dies and they don't last long.

    Wondering if they would function better through my Remington 700 TI.

    What do more knowledgeable reloaders think??

    Steve

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    I don't think they function any better or extract better, not in any amount I can tell anyway. To me they are just a corrosion inhibiter for use in ammo that will be in a gun or ammo belt for long periods. In the old days cops in much of the country would qualify yearly then load their revolver and gun belt then often not do anything with it till next year. This neglect is where plated ammo shines (pun intended) and it also looks good in patent black leather loops. I see little other benefit to it but I do keep quite a bit of 357, 45 Colt, and some 45-70 nickel around just for my leather loop belts.
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    Nickel plated brass was "designed" for lawman. The purpose being it would not turn green or tarnish while sitting inside leather loops.

    Personally I don't care for it as it quickly begins to flake off the case after a reload or two. Doesnt hurt anything but it looks bad.

    Not sure about it being able to feed better, it is easier to clean.
    Tennessee

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I have read that the friction coefficient is lower for nickel plated brass. Meaning is is slicker than non-plated brass. My thinking is that the nickel will slide better over the Titanium action.

    I would most likely would only use once fired for hunting anyway.

    Steve

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    Plus it looks real cool. Especially with those superduper black bullets with the red tips. Brass, copper and lead is so old school....

    Seriously though. It does seem a little slipperier doesn't it. Is that a word?

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Try it and see if you like it, what you have to loose on a small batch. One drawback I didnít see talked about here is itís a bit** to resize because itís so much stiffer. I know a guy that pushed the die out of the threads of an aluminum Lee press with a nickel 308 case. Iíve been using the same 357 dies since the 70s and put a lot of nickel through them so I donít see die weir as a big issue.
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    Default Good and bad

    In my experience, nickel brass is great in straight-wall cases that you can use in carbide sizer dies. With bottle-necked cases and non-carbide dies though, you need to lube them quite well or they have a much worse tendency to stick in the sizing die. Nickel plated brass does clean up alot nicer and tarnish less than brass, but I don't know as there are any real advantages other than that in practical applications.
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    About the best benefit I can think of for nickel plated brass is that it's easier to find when you knock the box of ammo off the table.

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    I hate nickel plated brass, regardless of whether it's straight or bottleneck. If you're getting sticky extraction with normal brass then either you've got excessive pressure or a rough chamber. Along the same lines, if loads using normal brass don't feed reliably, then you've either got an OAL problem, a magazine problem, or some other similar feeding problem, and relying on nickel plated brass to overcome problems like this instead of addressing them is just silly. I don't count the 'rounds sitting in leather gun belt loops for an eternity' as a benefit, because there's no excuse for doing that--it's nothing more than neglect, as ADfields points out.

    I simply see no practical, real-world benefit to the stuff, however the headaches it causes when I reload it are certainly real-world. Use it if you think it looks cool, but you're kidding yourself if you think it's actually doing anything for you.

    Mike

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    I don't use much in rifle calibers because I don't have much. I use a lot in 38spl and 45acp because it cleans up real easy and I have a bunch of it. Don't see any real advantage or disadvantage. It does seem to flake off of rifle cases and that doesn't look very good but I don't care much one way or the other. Brass is brass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MToutdoorsman View Post
    In my experience, nickel brass is great in straight-wall cases that you can use in carbide sizer dies. With bottle-necked cases and non-carbide dies though, you need to lube them quite well or they have a much worse tendency to stick in the sizing die. Nickel plated brass does clean up alot nicer and tarnish less than brass, but I don't know as there are any real advantages other than that in practical applications.
    That's the same way I see it, and how I do it.

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    I find that it peels a tiny bit of copper as the bullet is pressed into the neck leaving what I would call flakes protruding from the mouth, but I have only reloaded it a bit.

    I don't see any advantages to it and I can't imagine only using it for hunting. Why would I spend a bunch of time and money working up a load with one kind of brass and then switch it at game time? Capacity and neck tension among other factors could change ballistics to the point where it matters- though that point is probably out there a good ways.

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    The real purpose of nickel plated brass is for the hand loader learn why he never wants to trade into any of the crap.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

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    I like nickel plated brass, as mentioned before it prevents brass corrosion, i have a SS m77 ruger with a boat paddle stock, this rifle is meant for wet hunting. Why would i want to unload my rifle at the end of the day and have green brass?

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    Default Wal, don't paddle your boat with your rifle butt. (Just Kiddin.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Barkbuster20 View Post
    I like nickel plated brass, as mentioned before it prevents brass corrosion, i have a SS m77 ruger with a boat paddle stock, this rifle is meant for wet hunting. Why would i want to unload my rifle at the end of the day and have green brass?
    I can see that roll for nickel brass factory loads, or first time loaded handloads, because when resizing NEW brass, the die barely touches it.

    I wouldn't re-size and re-use fired nickel brass because RCBS says, and I have an email to prove it, that it can damage your die. They must feel the need to cover ther butts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I wouldn't re-size and re-use fired nickel brass because RCBS says, and I have an email to prove it, that it can damage your die. They must feel the need to cover ther butts.

    Smitty of the North
    It will scratch a die if it's flaking and yes I know firsthand. So will other things like grit, which RCBS also advises agents putting in their dies. I have resized a bunch of shiny silver cases over the years without a problem once I made it over the hump of the learning curve. I only get 3 or 4 loads from it and donít even attempt to trim the nasty stuff, but itís easy to come by in 357 and usually very cheap if not free . . . just ask Big Al, bet heís got some he wants to dump.
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    Member atvalaska's Avatar
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    Thumbs up never had any "flaking"

    i run my tumblers over nite and..... "get too it in the mor'in"..... i toss my cases "before there time".....i'm not sure if i have some nickel brass that is going to brass, or the other way, but they shoot the same.. i use both kinds to 'work up loads.' so i can "see" what i got...(I figer if i can make them come togther tight)..... on paper "I'm sure I can get them where they need to be under hunting cond"
    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    It will scratch a die if it's flaking and yes I know firsthand. So will other things like grit, which RCBS also advises agents putting in their dies. I have resized a bunch of shiny silver cases over the years without a problem once I made it over the hump of the learning curve. I only get 3 or 4 loads from it and donít even attempt to trim the nasty stuff, but itís easy to come by in 357 and usually very cheap if not free . . . just ask Big Al, bet heís got some he wants to dump.


    Had a guy give me several thousand nickel ed .38 sp years ago. They looked OK. I started to run them through one of my RL 1000's for some cheap reloads, what a surprise I got when I found the bases had expanded and they wouldn't run through my case feeder. They moved from the loading area to the trash can, I haven't seen them since. Wonder whatever happened to them?
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  19. #19

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    I use some nichol brass when i have two loads worked up for the same caliber gun. It makes it eaiser for me to keep every thing straight. I shoot all nichol or all brass when working up loads or hunting with loads. I only use them in about three different calibers and they work fine for me.

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    I know there are a lot of folks who poo-poo nickel around these parts. My experiences have been stellar with straight nickel. Have lots of .38Spc nickel that's been reloaded dozens of times over many years. Also have great luck with .40S&W nickel. It cleans up much easier and glides through the press like it is lubricated. I've yet to run into the chipping or peeling problems that are so often reported.

    I've never tried reloading necked nickel, but only because offerings in necked calibers are so rare.
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