nickel vs. brass?

nickel vs. brass?

This is a discussion on nickel vs. brass? within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; whats the difference? why spend the extra $$ for nickel?...

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Thread: nickel vs. brass?

  1. #1
    Member Array nick060200's Avatar
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    nickel vs. brass?

    whats the difference? why spend the extra $$ for nickel?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    Nickel-plated is pretty and tends to be a little "slicker" than brass (a little easier to resize). On the other hand, it it more brittle and will crack at the case mouth much quicker than brass. I would never purchase nickel-plated over brass (even if it was the same price), but do use it when I scrounge some up at the range or from my fired factory SD ammo.
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  3. #3
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    Nickel plated cases usually feed in a semi-auto a bit smoother since there is less friction with top round in the magazine riding over the cartridge beneath it and sharp magazine feed lips will not cut into Nickel plating as easily as into brass cases.
    Friction is the enemy of all semi-automatic handguns so I do everything that I can to keep it to an absolute minimum.
    Not sure how much of an important issue that would be as long as your pistol feeds bare brass easily.

    All of my daily defensive carry ammo always has bright Nickel plated brass. But, I only carry factory produced ammunition.
    If I were reloading "en bulk" practice/range ammo I would opt for the less expensive bare brass.

  4. #4
    Member Array jwarren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Nickel plated cases usually feed in a semi-auto a bit smoother since there is less friction with top round in the magazine riding over the cartridge beneath it and sharp magazine feed lips will not cut into Nickel plating as easily as into brass cases.
    Friction is the enemy of all semi-automatic handguns so I do everything that I can to keep it to an absolute minimum.
    Not sure how much of an important issue that would be as long as your pistol feeds bare brass easily.

    All of my daily defensive carry ammo always has bright Nickel plated brass. But, I only carry factory produced ammunition.
    If I were reloading "en bulk" practice/range ammo I would opt for the less expensive bare brass.
    I concur, the nickel is slicker and that is all that I carry in my defensive autos, but the brass is more durable for reloading.

  5. #5
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    Straight-walled nickel cases "give it up" faster than brass cases after many reloading cycles. Both will last quite a while thought unless the handloader is running everything at max pressures.
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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    From my experience nickel plated brass splits out at the mouth quicker than brass. I avoid it. If I had a picky auto that I loved, nickel plated brass would be one of the first things I would try.
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    The only reason I would reload Nickel cases is if I intended for the loaded ammo to have a loooong shelf life and didn't want to be concerned about the cases developing "green spots." Otherwise, it's all brass for me.
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Cool

    I am not a reloader so my only comment will be on personal feelings about nickle vs. brass for SD ammo and you must remember than I am anal. Except for the Federal 9 BP in my P-35 all my SD ammo has nickle cases. I like nickle cases cause their pretty. I like them also because their slick. I also like them in speedloaders. In semi autos I like them because I believe they feed better because of the hardness of the nickle. I also wipe down all my ammo with a silicone cloth before loading it in my magazines, speedloaders or cylinders of my revolvers as it protects againsts moister from my body and the South Florida humidity. My .223 SD round is a Hornady TAP 75 grain with nickle cases and yes they also get a wipe down with the silicone rag. Shootgun rounds, same routine.My range ammo is usually all brass case and no they do not a get a wipe down. See I told you I was anal and if nothing else it makes be believe I have done whatever I can to get that extra edge in my equipment.
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  9. #9
    Member Array showmebob's Avatar
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    I hear a lot about nickel splitting at the case mouth quicker than brass cases. I have some nickel cases that have been through the tumbler so many times most of the nickel is worn off and they look more like brass cases. I save the nickel cases for defensive use or full power loads. It's an easy way to identify loads.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old School View Post
    I am not a reloader so my only comment will be on personal feelings about nickle vs. brass for SD ammo and you must remember than I am anal. Except for the Federal 9 BP in my P-35 all my SD ammo has nickle cases. I like nickle cases cause their pretty. I like them also because their slick. I also like them in speedloaders. In semi autos I like them because I believe they feed better because of the hardness of the nickle. I also wipe down all my ammo with a silicone cloth before loading it in my magazines, speedloaders or cylinders of my revolvers as it protects againsts moister from my body and the South Florida humidity. My .223 SD round is a Hornady TAP 75 grain with nickle cases and yes they also get a wipe down with the silicone rag. Shootgun rounds, same routine.My range ammo is usually all brass case and no they do not a get a wipe down. See I told you I was anal and if nothing else it makes be believe I have done whatever I can to get that extra edge in my equipment.
    I too like purty nickel brass. But because I am one of those guys who run everything full throttle, I reload using brass.
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    The reason we have a chioce is that brass will corrode pretty quickly when left in a LEATHER belt ammo loop. If you are not into leather loops to carry your extra ammo you dont need nickel cases.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array RevolvingMag's Avatar
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    All my SD rounds are nickel. My range rounds (Georgia Arms reloads) are 90% brass, with the occasional nickel that somehow slipped in. But, it doesn't happen often. The only rounds I have fired through my .45 have been brass, an have had no feed issues (other than limp-wristers who won't push a mag home properly).
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  13. #13
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    Nickle cases are a bit harder than brass. Previous replies have been informative on the NP³ vs brass cases. I personally use mostly nickle plated cases for my 22-250. Since I only re-size the neck for my rifle cartridges, I get plenty of reloads out of them. Sometimes 3-4 reloads before trimming is necessary. For the pistol reloaders, and the difference in cost for the cases, you may likely get twice the reloads out of brass cases or more. The lubricity of the nickle plated cases might be a plus in certain circumstances as previously mentioned. They're also shiny and impressive looking especially with a ballistic tip on top.

  14. #14
    Member Array frank's Avatar
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    I reload them both and most are range pick ups.
    I do find more split cases in nickel but even those are pretty rare.

    I like to use nickel cases in my revolvers I shoot in competition because they do go in and come out a little slicker, especially after the chambers get a little dirty.

  15. #15
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    If the Lone Ranger used nickel cases and silver bullets, it's good enough for me. They sure look flashy in leather belt loops. I seal the case mouth and primers with a little clear fingernail polish or laquer, and they'll keep nicely in spite of the weather on extended wilderness treks. For most of my shooting, I reload brass. Keep the air away from range brass after it's dry by storing in Ziplocs. Fingerprints, oil, and leather are brass unfriendly, so I keep range ammo in MTM plastic snap lid boxes. All case mouths crack sooner or later, depending on how hard you work them and how heavy you reload them. Inspection is the key.
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