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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a previous thread I asked about sticky brass cases in my NEF 223 survival rifle. I was pleased to receive a recommendation, complete with instructions, for polishing the chamber, but thought I would try nickel plated cases first.

These worked flawlessly, and it is easy and safe to generate 3333 fps with 55gr Hornady Moly coated bullets. The surprize is that I went all the way to 3802 fps with 40 gr molys, and had to stop because I had an absolutely full case of AA2230.

This load put 5 rounds in 0.35 inches at 100 yards. I never would have guessed this, as the bullet is too short and sharp to seat to the lands. The rifle has a 1 in 12" twist and a heavy 22 inch bbl, so I guess it all works with this combo.

I have gone to nickel plated brass in a few of my hand guns where sticky brass cases happened at low velocities and pressures. It is especially useful in titanium cylinders, which are very strong but a bit too flexible with fast powders - the brass is allowed to slightly over expand and the cylinder contracts on it while it is extended. The nickel cases do the same thing, but there is no adhesion created and they slide right out.

Has anyone else had a similar exerience? What is the down side of nickel plating? Isn't it a must for hot self defense loads in semi-auto pistols?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jack -

I knew there must be a down side...no free lunches in this business.

My plan is to use the new Lee collet die for reloads. Hopefully, this will keep the nickel intact longer. The stuff sure is hard - you can tell when you trim and camfer.

Haven't loaded 223 in many years. Things have changed quite a bit with the new powders and bullets. Its getting hard to justify my 22-250.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mike -

Thanks for the advice. I still plan to polish the chamber, because resized nickel cases will occasionally stick at max pressures. This is one reason I really like the Encore extractor over the NEF approach, even though the NEF will completely eject the case when it does not stick a bit.

I have experienced the mandrel problem reloading the 243 Win with nickel cases. You are correct, those necks are tough!

I am glad I revisited the 223 again, as it burns many powders efficiently and is as much fun to reload as to shoot. The NEF has a 1 in 12" twist, so now I'm looking a a new Savage 11F with 1 in 9". Happen to have a Timney trigger set, and use them a lot in Savages with excellent results. These include a 300 WSM, 300 Ultra Mag, and 708.
 
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