Can You Anneal Nickel Brass?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Freebore, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Freebore

    Freebore Well-Known Member

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    I have a rifle that just shoots really well with Nickel Brass (Fed). Unfortunately after contacting Fed they do not sell just the brass in 7mm-08, they have their Premium at 54 bucks a box which has Nickel plated brass though. Norma, W-W, Rem don't perform half as good.

    The only cases I have are showing cracking in the necks of some cases. Just curious if anyone has ventured down the annealing road for Nickel plated brass. I am a firm believer in annealing and do so on all my unplated brass.
     
  2. alf

    alf Well-Known Member

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    It anneals like "regular" brass.
     

  3. Freebore

    Freebore Well-Known Member

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    I've always used 'color/timing' in the flame. I tried for some color and it did not change so how do you know where you are temp wise..tempil stick?
     
  4. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

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  5. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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  6. Freebore

    Freebore Well-Known Member

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    Thanks this is what I needed:

    Note: "that if you anneal your nickel plated necks, you are hardening the nickel plating. It can be harder than many alloyed steels before you anneal and can increase is hardness as much as 2 fold by precipitation hardening". I have over a dozen loadings on them I guess it explains the high neck tension too.

    Guess I'll buy some Fed factory Nickel ammo....you gotta give them (the rifle) what they want if you want a shooter.
     
  7. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Kevin,

    A slight correction here; your rifle doesn't shoot nickle plated brass really well, it shoots that particular batch of nickle plated brass very well. Nothing magic about the nickle, and it's not making the rounds shoot any better or worse, per se. I'd be willing to bet you that the brass you're using right now, simply measures well, and is uniform in neck thickness and concentricity. That's why it shoots well. The nickle plating is a fairly irrelevant issue that's clouding up the water here.

    Use good brass, prepare it properly and whether it's nickle plated or not, it will shoot.
     
  8. Freebore

    Freebore Well-Known Member

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    Kevin,

    The Nickel I have is all I got in that cartridge. I was just trying to see if there is any nickel plated brass in this particular cartridge available or is annealing what I have left viable which i see is not.

    I'll refer back to to this thread;

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f37/sticky-chamber-37201/

    So shooting 139/140 at 2500 in regular unplated brass or run nickel and get 2800 as chambering should be. i have come to the conclusion that it must be the reamer that was used to chamber the barrel. It just functions flawlessly with Nickel brass..period. Any other input would be appreciated.
     
  9. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    You have a sloppy chamber, and the nickle doesn't have the same exspansion rate as plain brass so with less exspansion and higher neck tension you get more velocity. Use a bushing die with norma brass and increase the neck tension and possibly up the charge and I bet it will do just as good.
     
  10. Freebore

    Freebore Well-Known Member

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    Re:Sloppy chamber?!

    backwoods83,

    I'm guessing you have some bench-rest background. I thought about what you said. Went to the bench and shimmed/backoff the RCBS die to get most of the neck and grabbing minimal wall on once fired unplated brass. Put 3 together 45.0 grains of Big Game and the 145 Speer .025 off lands. The first 2 went into same home 2751 and 2748...the friggin' 3rd wouldn't chamber. I only checked the first 2 before leaving house. Very, very slight ejector mark, slightly flattened primer, no ejection issue. I think down a .5 grain will alleviate this.

    Thanks for the insight and getting my gray matter working in a different direction. I guess I'll get some new brass and a bushing die. But what to I do about the body/shoulder bump after 2-3 firing? Get a custom die made or send a full length to Jim Cahrstisen to do minimal brass dimensional move. It's a lever action rifle and any cartridge hangup is not acceptable.
     
  11. backwoods83

    backwoods83 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I got a little bench rifle experience! Try using a body die in conjunction with a redding type s neck sizer bushing die, measure the neck of a fired round and get 3 bushings, .002",.003", and .004" maybe as much tension as you need get the 3 bushings 3 to 5 thousandths under what the fired neck measures. You may be able to get the combo where you have just the right amount of tension to run the powder charge you just tried. I have a 250 sav lever gun that runs 87grn spire points at 3160 from a 19" barrel, you won't find any data that even comes close to saying that with a stubby barrel, but I've picked up a couple tricks! Good luck.