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Nickel Plating Works

2013 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  loader
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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Hi, loader:
Nickel flakes off the brass with repeated firing and resizing. I wrecked my pre-carbide RCBS .45 ACP resizing die with nickel cases. It got so bad I couldn't polish the scratches out any more, so I retired the cases and the die. Now it's all brass cases and Hornady TiN dies for pistol.

I've heard of nickel cracking during fireforming of rifle cases. Now this is pretty rough treatment, but I wonder if the factories do the nickel plating after case forming is complete?

Some rifles shoot best with the bullet way off the lands. It's another case of Shoot It And See.

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