so long nickle plated brass

257ackleyhunter

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Sep 28, 2014
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recently I went shooting some loads I had worked up and upon further examination of them one was cracked at the neck and i can see the stress from being reloaded multiple times. This brass was brass that was used and loaded for my great grand fathers 257 roberts. I took them and fire formed them to fit my 257 roberts ackley improved. despite that fact i really like nickle plated brass for hunting because it doesn't tarnish like normal brass and if anyone happens to have some nickle plated brass for sale or don't want them let me know I'll gladly take them off your hands.
 

sourdough44

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Mar 2, 2009
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Very old brass and that which has been reloaded a handful of times is likely getting played out and possibly brittle. This all increases the potential for splits and failures.

I would start sorting that brass for maybe some range loads then the scrap bucket. No, it's not nice to sell it either to an unsuspecting reloader.
 

barefooter56

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Nov 10, 2014
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257ackleyhunter,
Even though some do . Redding and other die makers discourage reloading the nickle plated brass due to nickle plating possibly scratching the inside of the die. Also because of the plating these cartridge cases are hard to full length size because of the brittle nickel plating. Nickle plated cartridges are great to use in wet or other "corrosive" conditions because they wont react as fast as regular brass cartridges will and extract very easily when fired. That is why much of the production "off the shelf" hunting ammunition comes with the nickle plated cases. This really applies mainly to Rifle cartridges. Pistol cartridges not so much. Hope this helps.
 

257ackleyhunter

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Sep 28, 2014
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After fireforming i have only ever neck sized my brass due to having to fireform all my cases since no one makes 257 ai brass. So i bought nosler +p brass and thats what i use now
 

barefooter56

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Nov 10, 2014
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257ackleyhunter,
Neck sizing only is common with nickle plated cases. But sooner or later ( depending on the condition of the brass) you do have to full length size. That is where the big problem is with that type of cartridge case. So in many cases it is only good for 1-2 reloadings before it splits or wont chamber. Some shooters can get more depending on the load and chamber dimensions. The Nosler +P is a good choice.
 

MNbogboy

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Jul 14, 2009
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Northern MN
It is very true that nickel-plated brass is harder and it can be tough to size.

One reason for some to use nickel-plated brass is for quick identification...Two of my grandsons are using Savages that I put together for them one is a .243 and the other is a .260...I chose nickel plated for the .243....There is no way to chamber a 260 in a 243 but we don't want 243 bullets rattling down the 260 tube either!....And how would you like to get to your deer stand and find out you brought the wrong ammo...

Also I have a 6.5-06 in the safe alongside a couple of 25-06s...Again I fashion the 6.5-06 stuff from 25-06 brass so the logical thing for me to do was use nickel brass for the 6.5-06....

There are also two 257 Bob AIs in there as well along side one of my favorites, a 6.5-257 Bob AI...I usually use .257 Roberts +P brass for the .257s and the head stamp is close....But I have used 7x57, 25-06, .270, and 30-06 brass to form them so I never count on a head stamp.

The 6.5-257 Bob AIs are extruded from .270, 25-06 or 30-06 brass because I can end up with full neck length after fireforming....But nickel is really tough to squeeze and I ended up wrecking more than I could use so I stick with all brass when forming them....

I color code the heads with a sharpie but even then a mistake is possible at the bench
( a .257 bullet in a 6.5 barrel will really wreck your SD on a string - DON'T ASK WHY I KNOW THAT)...I don't bring that combination of rifles to the bench anymore.

If I could find some nickel plated +P brass for the 257 Bob AIs I would try it just for the identification aspect...If the OP or someone finds a good source clue me in too please.

That's my take on nickel brass.

Good Luck,
Randy
 

EddieHarren

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Nov 27, 2005
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Location
Maryland
Barefoot56, if the nickel plating will scratch a reloading die, wouldn't it also scratch a barrel? Most barrels are significantly softer than reloading dies. I've read this "old tale" for years. Ever known anyone who scratched a die or, a chamber with nickel brass?
 

257ackleyhunter

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Sep 28, 2014
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my rifle is all stainless and its a thompson center encore so every round is manually inserted into the chamber so that has never been an issue. I also use redding carbide dies which should be harder than anything i might reload.
 

257ackleyhunter

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Sep 28, 2014
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Yeah i bought them 11 years ago though prices have gone up since then i have the full set of deluxe with full length sizeing neck sizeing and the bullet seating die. They were 90 then i dunno what they are now
 

EddieHarren

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Nov 27, 2005
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You had better check with Redding to make sure they are carbide. A full length carbide rifle die is normally around $1200.00. There would be no use for a carbide seater or, neck sizing die. Carbide pistol sizing dies are not solid carbide. They have a ring of carbide at the mouth of the die.
 

257ackleyhunter

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Sep 28, 2014
Messages
65
i double checked your right theyre not carbide. im not sure why i thought they were. i also have had them for so long now and its only been in the last 6 months ive been able to use them again. they were with my dad the 7 years i was in the air force and didnt get used till now
 

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