Anyone reload nickel plated rifle brass?

supercorndogs

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I just bought some brass, and didn't ask many questions. It wasn't mentioned most of it is nickel plated. I have reloaded nickel plated pistol brass. I have always thrown nickel plated rifle brass in the trash. I have read the flaking nickel can stick to the dies, and the plated brass also has pretty inconsistent capacity. Some people say it will destroy your expander ball. Or that its needs lots of lube to size. I imagine that also means it would need a different die setting than brass for shoulder bump. I see others say they have loaded it for 30 years, no problemo. Of course that isn't a number of reloads. That could be one. What is the hide's take on this?
 

Kevins750

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I have always heard the "don't use nickle brass" also. I have reloaded about 20 rounds of 7 mag with barnes TTSX
And RL25 with some Winchester super X nickle brass. It seemed to size and trim like regular brass, I have no intention
Of reloading it again though. I Used the nickle for hunts where retrieving cases won't be priority/feasible.
 

MtnCreek

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The nickel tends to come off the neck after a few loadings, at least when using a typ sizing die.

Unless I'm mistaken, the coating isn't on the inside, so shouldn't have any affect on the expander ball.
 

supercorndogs

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I have always heard the "don't use nickle brass" also. I have reloaded about 20 rounds of 7 mag with barnes TTSX
And RL25 with some Winchester super X nickle brass. It seemed to size and trim like regular brass, I have no intention
Of reloading it again though. I Used the nickle for hunts where retrieving cases won't be priority/feasible.

Hunting ammo is something I thought of doing. I guess I could load up a pressure test, get some velocity numbers, pick a charge weight and take it out to 600 and see if its acceptable.

IF the nickel flakes off the necks, I imagine it gets fouled into the barrel. Do you clean any differently?

How do your nickel case loads shoot? Have you ever tested ES on them?
 

supercorndogs

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The nickel tends to come off the neck after a few loadings, at least when using a typ sizing die.

Unless I'm mistaken, the coating isn't on the inside, so shouldn't have any affect on the expander ball.

What is a typ sizing die? Should that be type S?
 

MtnCreek

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Sorry, standard full length with expander ball. Aka, way oversizing.

This was 308 loaded with nos bt for hunting. Dialed in a MOBeerCan and called it good. The brass neck is really thin. I would expect tension to be inconstant, but no info to back that up.
 

TheOfficeT-Rex

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    I've loaded some winchester nickel 6,5CM cases, but only twice. I've seen no nickel flaking yet, or any damage to dies or anything of that nature. Seems to load just like brass for me.
     

    clcustom1911

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    I've used Speer nickel plated 223 brass without issue with Lee dies. I have thousands of pieces though. I deliberately full-length sized and loaded 10 pieces 3-4 times with either 55gr or 62gr and either BLC2 or H335 to just under 5.56 velocities from a 16" and have zero issues with that lot of 10. I use 99% iso alcohol/lanolin for lube without issue. I'll probably toss them after the 4th or 5th loading for safety purposes, or might just keep going until I see loose primer pockets, or signs of case head separation using the paperclip method.
     

    Anb618

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    I've used Speer nickel plated 223 brass without issue with Lee dies. I have thousands of pieces though. I deliberately full-length sized and loaded 10 pieces 3-4 times with either 55gr or 62gr and either BLC2 or H335 to just under 5.56 velocities from a 16" and have zero issues with that lot of 10. I use 99% iso alcohol/lanolin for lube without issue. I'll probably toss them after the 4th or 5th loading for safety purposes, or might just keep going until I see loose primer pockets, or signs of case head separation using the paperclip method.
    Glad to see this, I was starting to get concerned. I JUST started 50gr VMax load workup after finally wearing out my old .223 Coyote hunting Black Hills brass, and I switched to some of my dept’s once fired Speer Gold Dot nickel brass. If it’ll make it through even just 2 loadings without the above issues, I may never run out. I have probably 800 pieces, and I’m not that successful at coyote hunting. 😂
     
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    clcustom1911

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    Glad to see this, I was starting to get concerned. I JUST started 50gr VMax load workup after finally wearing out my old .223 Coyote hunting Black Hills brass, and I switched to some of my dept’s once fired Speer Gold Dot nickel brass. If it’ll make it through even just 2 loadings without the above issues, I may never run out. I have probably 800 pieces, and I’m not that successful at coyote hunting. 😂
    The Speer Gold Dot brass is what I have as well.

    I've found it to be very consistent with weight and internal volume. Even without giving a shit about precision powder dropping, I still have between 15-20 SD over different 20-30 shot strings with my Magnetospeed. Not too shabby for plinking ammo.
     
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    I Spot 4U - "Eagle Eyes"

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    No issues: The Nickel plated cases flaked a littIe on the rim of the case mouth when I first trimmed to a uniform length after that no other flaking issues that I've noticed. I use a dry mica powder case lube from Franklin Armory for my Nickel Plated Brass.

    I use the mica powder dry case lube because it doesn't permit the reloader to over lubricate the case and doesn't gum up the dies or the expander ball. The finished cartridge comes out very clean. If there is any residue(mica dust) it's easily wiped off with a dry cloth.
     
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    Kevins750

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    Hunting ammo is something I thought of doing. I guess I could load up a pressure test, get some velocity numbers, pick a charge weight and take it out to 600 and see if its acceptable.

    IF the nickel flakes off the necks, I imagine it gets fouled into the barrel. Do you clean any differently?

    How do your nickel case loads shoot? Have you ever tested ES on them?
    I haven't seen any flaking on the once fired cases that I have. I used the same load as my Norma brass and put 2 rds at 400yds around 3" apart with a quick follow up shot. So I am satisfied with that load.
     
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    WT1

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    I've used Speer nickel plated 223 brass without issue with Lee dies. I have thousands of pieces though. I deliberately full-length sized and loaded 10 pieces 3-4 times with either 55gr or 62gr and either BLC2 or H335 to just under 5.56 velocities from a 16" and have zero issues with that lot of 10. I use 99% iso alcohol/lanolin for lube without issue. I'll probably toss them after the 4th or 5th loading for safety purposes, or might just keep going until I see loose primer pockets, or signs of case head separation using the paperclip method.
    I have Speer nickel plated in 308. May I ask, were the primer pockets crimped or is that some indentation from stamping? Mine were Gold Dot and appear to have a crimping ring on them but others have told me it is too uniform for a crimp.

    Also, how did you prep the primer pockets? A Winchester large rifle fits fine in mine fine using a Lee Priming arm after I run it over a Lyman reamer, uniformer, and cleaner.

    Thanks.
     

    supercorndogs

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    A picture is worth a thousand words. It should be pretty easy to tell by looking. Or by trying to seat a primer. You could de-cap them and feel where the crimp would be with a pick. There should be a chamfer at the opening of the primer pocket not a ledge that catches the pick.
     

    WT1

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    A picture is worth a thousand words. It should be pretty easy to tell by looking. Or by trying to seat a primer. You could de-cap them and feel where the crimp would be with a pick. There should be a chamfer at the opening of the primer pocket not a ledge that catches the pick.
    The nickel Speer brass appear to have a crimp and I contacted Speer to see what they say but haven't heard back, yet. The other pic is FGMM so what looks like a crimp can't be.
     

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    clcustom1911

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    I have Speer nickel plated in 308. May I ask, were the primer pockets crimped or is that some indentation from stamping? Mine were Gold Dot and appear to have a crimping ring on them but others have told me it is too uniform for a crimp.

    Also, how did you prep the primer pockets? A Winchester large rifle fits fine in mine fine using a Lee Priming arm after I run it over a Lyman reamer, uniformer, and cleaner.

    Thanks.
    Primer pockets were crimped on the 223 brass. To prep the pockets I use a Lyman small primer pocket reamer.
     
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    supercorndogs

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    The nickel Speer brass appear to have a crimp and I contacted Speer to see what they say but haven't heard back, yet. The other pic is FGMM so what looks like a crimp can't be.
    The FGMM and the Speer look crimped to me. You can see where material has been stamped where there would normally be bevel to guide the primer in.
     
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    Tchitcherine

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    No issues: The Nickel plated cases flaked a littIe on the rim of the case mouth when I first trimmed to a uniform length after that no other flaking issues that I've noticed. I use a dry mica powder case lube from Franklin Armory for my Nickel Plated Brass.

    I use the mica powder dry case lube because it doesn't permit the reloader to over lubricate the case and doesn't gum up the dies or the expander ball. The finished cartridge comes out very clean. If there is any residue(mica dust) it's easily wiped off with a dry cloth.
    Did you mean "Frankford Arsenal", not "Franklin Armory" ?
     

    WT1

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    The FGMM and the Speer look crimped to me. You can see where material has been stamped where there would normally be bevel to guide the primer in.
    No response yet from Speer on the nickel being crimped or not but response from state F-Class champ doesn't think so. Going to mic the pocket and compare.
     

    supercorndogs

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    I thought I posted this in this thread already. But here is the little experience I have had with this brass so far.

    I have some of my nickel brass 2x, and some 1x. I sized some of it with regular brass cases to see about feel, and couldn't tell the difference with my eyes closed. I was able to get loads with them that shoot great out to 600y. I can peck my 1/3 ISPC plate with it at 600y on demand anyway. Seating bullets was nice and smooth, I used graphite neck lube, since generally hunting ammo doesn't get shot up very fast. At least not big game ammo, anyway. I burn down the p-dog ammo. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO:
     
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    clcustom1911

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    The only thing I’ve ever heard negative was the plating flaking off and scratching dies. Anyone actually experienced that?
    Yes. I have permanent scratches in one of my 223 resizing dies because of that. Thos scratches transfer to every piece of brass.


    Edit to add: it doesn't affect accuracy or anything that actually matters on paper. Just superficial stuff.
     
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