Brass vs Nickel Cartridges

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jack1653
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Brass vs Nickel Cartridges

Post by jack1653 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:23 pm

Hey Guys,

I have another question regarding reloading. I am not going to get into reloading, but I am trying to buy the components so that I can have some reloaded for me. A friend told me he has a source for once fired cartridges that have been tumbled but not trimmed or de-primed. He said it was a mix of brass and nickel. I don't know anything about nickel cases and have always used brass cases. Is there any issues with re-loading nickel cases? I know this is a loaded question, pardon the pun, :) but what should I expect to pay for this mixture of 50 cases? Thanks for your help and advice.

Regards,

jack1653

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Sarge756
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Re: Brass vs Nickel Cartridges

Post by Sarge756 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:55 pm

This debate has gone on I suspect for as long as the two have been around and folks have been reloading them. Both have pros and cons. The nickel tends to be a little harder and slicker and for a semi-auto action that is good.Nickel also is more corrosion resistant so if storing for a long period would be a good choice. Nickel cases tend to get brittle though causing splits. The annealing process is more difficult and tedious. A much higher temperature is needed than with brass so the risk of having excessive heat migrate into the case body is present. Though brass cases tarnish easily they are more durable and the number of reloads per case would be higher. If I had a choice between the two it would be the brass. Realizing that at the present time all of the obsolete Rem brass seems to be in short supply it is pretty much a sellers market.
With a mix of once fired,deprimed and tumbled I would think .75/1.00 per piece would be a good starting point.
Joe
".......ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

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Sarge756
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Re: Brass vs Nickel Cartridges

Post by Sarge756 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:03 pm

Sorry Jack...reread it again and noted ....not deprimed. Not a big deal, just another step for the reloader. The trimming you mention would not be an issue with once fired brass. At the load levels for our Rem auto ammo I would not expect the cases to need trimming until after several reloads.
".......ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

sighthound
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Re: Brass vs Nickel Cartridges

Post by sighthound » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:42 am

Once had a problem with nickled 45-70 cases, maybe it was just a bad batch but bits of nickle flaked off and scored my sizing die. Anyone else ever encounter this? Cases were new, trimed, tumbled and cleaned before using and after running a few noticed scratches on cases and in die. Only thing I could think of was that bits of nickle flaked from trimmed mouth. Jerry

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Sarge756
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Re: Brass vs Nickel Cartridges

Post by Sarge756 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:49 pm

Had the same problem with nickel Jerry. They tend to flake at the mouth and can cause damage to dies. Solution for the bunch I had was to carefully chamfer and inspect before running them into the die.
".......ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

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Phyrbird
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Re: Brass vs Nickel Cartridges

Post by Phyrbird » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:00 am

Dudes,
From a Handloader mag years ago, the nickel has a different metallurgy. Brass will resize a lot easier, the nickel is plated on the outside. It fractures and flakes off, then promptly sticks to even a carbide die. :ugeek:
Thus the lengthwise scratches. It usually takes 3-5 resizings B4 they start flaking, but you cannot prevent it. :oops: Nickel makes nice display reloads for a box but will damage your dies. Once smeared on the inside of your die you could polish a carbide die till it's gone, but you just changed the ID of the die. Steel dies are mostly a lost cause, the nickel is harder than steel.
I have pulled all my nickel cases from reloading, use them for setting dies, display, or hole punches. I avoid buying them unless for single use. And my first 45ACP sizer die is no longer useable. :cry: BEWARE :!:
Phyrbird
SOKY

ranman
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Re: Brass vs Nickel Cartridges

Post by ranman » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:59 am

I just acquired some nickel empties for my 300 wsm . I have loaded them once with no problems. I will pull them from service and stick to brass. Very good info,thanks.

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Sarge756
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Re: Brass vs Nickel Cartridges

Post by Sarge756 » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:29 am

Phyrbird I`ll admit I havn`t reloaded 45 ACP with nickel so your problem with them may be common to that round.Have reloaded thousands of 38Spl and can`t recall ever having an issue with nickel .The number of reloads possible before failure is ,as agreed, less than the brass. As to the rifle calibers, careful chamfering and close inspection solved the problem with 270,30-06 and 280 Rem nickel cases. In my experience the case mouth rim is the area where flaking is most likely to occur. Even with new nickel cases I chamfer them and remove the plating from the rim. A piece of 400 paper with hard flat backing is used to remove it and square up the case mouth. Careful check for any rough edges will assure that damage to dies can be avoided. The resizing of course eventually works the metal whether nickel or brass to the point of failure. I avoid full length resizing for that reason and neck size only. If the reloaded round is fired from the same rifle the case came from full length resizing is not necessary. Just make a note on the box of reloads which rifle it is for.
Realize we have strayed some from Jack`s initial question but thought this info may be pertinent since ranman mentioned he was going to pull his nickel 300WSM cases. With the considerably milder loads of our springpoles and no need to full length resize ,I would expect nickel cases to work ok. I mentioned earlier that due to the nickel being harder it is somewhat slicker and sometimes work better in semi-autos. I have seen this with model 742`s with the well known ailment of stuck cases in the chamber.At least in this instance the nickel was more than just a pretty case to display and worked when the brass cases didn`t.
Joe
".......ain't many troubles that a man cain't fix
With seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six."

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Phyrbird
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Re: Brass vs Nickel Cartridges

Post by Phyrbird » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:51 pm

Jack, Sarge,

Guys you have valid points, :) the extra time to perfect a case mouth is a good procedure. I'm reporting the info I got from a source I consider to be impeccable and adding some of my personal experience to add spice. I have no nickeled bottle-neck cases, so I cannot speak for their performance. I do have a few 357 cases, they are loaded once and given to my brother for single use.
My major point is to help our newer members avoid my SNAFUs. :oops: But, I really needed to convert to a carbide 45ACP die anyway so all was well in the long run. :lol:
Note: I don't currently own any steel dies for straight cases now. The carbide are way easier to use and Tough. Wish I could afford some Dillon carbide dies for 223 and 308, They are Nice...
Phyrbird
SOKY

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