nickel cases?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by 375fan, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. 375fan

    375fan Well-Known Member

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    Do any of you guys use nickel cases especially in the bigger cartridges? What are pro's and cons?

    Situation: Can't find any 338rum brass anywhere, every place is saying it will be 3rd week of March before they get any. Remington only makes seasonal run of this brass, what I've been told. I am expecting my new rifle by then or before. I can find Federal ammo( hate the idea of buying ammo to get brass, fricking expensive) but Federal ammo is nickel cases for the 338rum. Your thoughts on nickel cases?

    Thanks, Jeff
     
  2. nfhjr62

    nfhjr62 Well-Known Member

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    I need info also have 1K in Federal 308, have couple box's more to load then must make decision so does anybody have info
     

  3. geargrinder

    geargrinder Well-Known Member

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  4. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    I strongly prefer nickel plated brass as it doesn't corrode. I wish all brass came that way. The only negative is that it will show if you need to turn down case necks.
     
  5. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    I did a thread on this subject a while back and decided NOT to ever use them again. Some folks said they work just fine but what convinced me was that the nickel can flake off and being much harder than your stainless barrel, you can ruin your bore in a hurry....Rich
     
  6. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I was working on some loads, 325 wsm and I HAD SPLIT necks on some in2-3 times, I have got 10 on 340WM , NOT using when gone.
     
  7. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    The nickel plating is at most a few thousandths thick & the base metal is brass — just like in other cases. Necks can be annealed just as easily with nickel plating as they can without the plating. As such, I see no basis for your claim, unless you were not annealing these cases as you would unplated cases.

    I have often heard scientifically unfounded claims that plated cases cannot be annealed. That is crap. I don't know who started that belief floating around the internet, but it is not true. In fact, annealing plated cases may be easier than unplated cases since the copper in the cases is unlikely to burn as you heat the cases, which means you are less likely to over-weaken the case as you anneal it if it's plated. The annealing process is purely caused by changing the temperature and will not be hindered by the plating.

    I can refer anyone interested to a metal processing textbook from my manufacturing engineering days if they need to see this information in an established treatise.

    The negative of plated cases is 98% cost. The risk of plating flaking off is small enough for me to disregard. If the plating was applied correctly, it will not flake.
     
  8. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    Buano, I have been reloading for 36 yrs. and have never had split necks in anything else in 2-3 sizes, and it sizes hard also. Takes more grunt than my much larger 340. This is my only nickle and my only short mag? Cases are Win. dies RCBS rifle A bolt, I have shot a 1/2 group with it. Should I have to anneal that soon, I was going to buy some plain brass as a comparision. I mark my brass on boxfor times sized.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  9. 7 loader

    7 loader Well-Known Member

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    I only use nickel for my hunting rounds. Never had the problems found on the gosip sites. One split case and it was a federal case the rem cases that I use have 6 loads and no problems. The sizing issue is not as bad as most say. And as for flaking havn't seen it yet. Go for it get some and try them out. But get rem cases, they are better than federal any day. Sorry federal fans.
     
  10. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Jeff....Make your own decision but I am pretty sure that you may here from some gunsmiths on this forum that will tell you not to use nickel cases. Whatever it's worth....Rich
     
  11. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

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    I don't know why your case necks split this soon. I can say from a metallurgical standpoint, the plating should not have caused it.

    My thoughts go to the chamber dimensions on your rifle. If the throat is much larger than your cases there will be an inordinate amount of stretching & resizing, which would cause your cases to work-harden very quickly, & then cause you to need to anneal quite often. There is also a HUGE difference in hardness between brass from different vendors, and often between different lots of brass from the same vendor. If these cases have harder brass, they will require annealing much sooner & more often.

    Have you had the same experiences with unplated cases in that rifle? How much difference between the diameter of loaded case necks & just-fired empty case necks?

    If I still had access to a machine shop I would want to test the hardness of the brass in these plated cases & compare it to other cases. Perhaps someone on this list-serve will volunteer to test them for hardness.