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Discussion Starter #1
I tried to search this topic but got nothing meaningful back...

I reload 50-90 now and will start 357 Magnum for my Rolling Block rifle for HUNTING.

Is there a big advantage using nickel over brass shells?

i do not have a tumbler nor do I wish to get into such cleaning.
 

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Nickel plating is mainly for corrosion resistance. It was started with revolver cartridges carried by police in leather belt loops in all kinds of weather. The nickel plating seems to have variable quality. Some of it sticks well and wears off the brass gradually. Some of it flakes off, though, leaving thinner brass exposed underneath. Sometimes the plating process seems to have embrittled the brass so you get neck splits prematurely.

If you get flaking nickel, the nickle flakes can sometimes embed in resizing dies so the scratch up every other case they size. I actually had this happen to a carbide sizing die. I never did figure out how. Perhaps it found a surface crack to stick into? I've never tried annealing a nickel plated rifle case, but wouldn't expect that to go well, either.

I once bought 500 Remington nickel plated .308 Win. cases, figuring to be able to distinguish my cases from other shooter's brass at the end of a match. Instead, it turned out the white metal reflects surrounding color with such fidelity the cases were almost perfectly camouflaged in the grass and I lost of lot of them. No wonder nobody else was using them. 15 years later, I still have 300 new ones I've never loaded. I suspect I'll work up a load for my Steyr Scout with them just for hunting so I will have extra weather resistance and figure it will take a long time to lose that 300 if I only expend them in the field.

Bottom line, unless corrosion resistance is your primary concern, nickel is, in every other way except maybe lubricity in stripping from a magazine, inferior for handloading, IMHO. I would own a separate die for sizing nickel cases to protect the die I use for sizing brass cases.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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All of what UncleNick says.

I've used nickel cases for some years now and really had no problems with them, other than a batch of 7x57mm's that had uneven lumps deposited on the necks. A case trimmer made short work of that problem. The nickel cases seem to last just as long as the standard brass ones. Matter of fact, I've got some 6.5x257 Roberts AI nickeled cases that are on their 22nd loading now. These are the 7x57 ones that had the lumpy necks and formed to the 6.5x 257 after the necks were trimmed down to the brass.
 

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I have long since given up on having nickle plated brass for my .357

Things I've encountered pre mature case life split necks on first and second firing, complete head seperation 2nd and third firing.

Plating flaking off into the dies and also adhering to a chamber wall when fired.

Bottom line I own non plated .357 brass and have nothing bad to report with it's use.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
THANK YOU GUYS! You just prevented me from learning the hard way... something I'm really good at, but boy does it make swimming in this stream extra difficult! hahahaha

You guys rock! I'll stay with brass.
 

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Ditto what the others have posted that is bad about nickelled cases. IME, they are not reloader friendly. Had 500 new, unprimed nickelled Remington cases which promptly tore up a new, steel RCBS sizer die when the plating started wearing off and flaking. Lucky at the time that I did not own a carbide die. For straight-walled handgun cases, I stick with brass cases and carbide sizer dies. BTW, even though carbide dies do not require lubed cases, your dies will really take to cases with just a little bit of lube.
 
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