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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you guys think? Just asking about your experiences with both.. Thanks in advance:hmmmm:
 

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For me it's brass.

Nickel is too brittle for long life, hard to anneal if necessary, too expensive just for looks. Don't mind if there is a few pieces in a bucket of mixed head stamps, but I don't go looking for them.

Your mileage may vary, of course.
 

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Experience might vary according to the caliber. I've no experience with nickel bottle neck cases.

I've not noticed much of a difference. It seems to me that perhaps the nickel cases work harden and split a few reloads earlier than the brass, but I haven't kept track of the total number of reloads, so then again, maybe not. This with 38 special.

Some claim tha the nickel plate flakes off. Again, I've not seen this as a problem. I've reloaded 38 spec nickel cases where the nickel was nearly gone through wear, but it didn't flake off.

I've got some 45 70 nickel cases that are on their 5th reload. No wear or flaking yet.
 

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Plus 2 with DrMike.
 

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I've shot both. Plated splits much sooner.

Every so often when it splits you won't notice it. If you load it again it is possible to embed a piece of that plating in your chamber. When they split they can scar the chamber very easy on extraction.

Plating is harder than the chamber they go into.

I've shot a lot of them. When given to me or pick up at the range I used to load it once and pitch it. I no longer use any at all. I'm happy that way.

If I was into it, I would load some dummy rounds to show off in a belt loop with a fancy setup. The plated ones won't rot in leather like brass does. Caveat the copper jacketed bullets and unplated primers will.
 

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I shoot both in 357, primarily to differentiate between low velocity and high velocity loads "at a glance", particularly when I've used the same projectiles in both.

Been doing this for about 7 years, averaging around 3000 rounds a year for nickle plated and 1000-1500 for brass (I use the nickle plated on standard/lower velocity loads and brass for the higher velocity/magnum level stuff). I see about a 1/2% failure rate (1 out of 200ish) for splits (mid-case) with the nickle plated and about 1 to 2% failure rate for the brass (1-2 out of 100). Which likely is due to the type of load used for each. I've yet to experience any flaking, only longitudinal splits mid-case. I will say though that a lot of my Federal headstamped nickle cases are starting to present areas of brass showing through the nickle from use/cleaning/wear... Still no flaking though.

I've also recently obtained some nickle plated that I use for lower velocity 30-30 loads, but I've only gone thru 2-3 loading cycles with those. Probably too soon to tell, but I've yet to develop a split or any other failure with any of those.

My .02,

- Tim
 

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I use all Nickel plated for my Sharps, and regular brass for for my Marlins, this way there is absolutely NO WAY of mixing them up. I've only used nickel in straight wall cartridges and have had zero issues with them even after dozens of reloads. The nickel is wearing off some of my 357mag brass, but nothing is "flaking". I think it's a personal prefrence honestly.
 

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Majority of my reloading is for cowboy shooting (pistol calib. stuff)---my experiences is more split cases in plated brasses------split case in rifle causes ya a lot o time to clear chamber and if ya can't safely clear it----misses for the rounds left in rifle----a big ole P.I.A.-----try my best to only use plated in revolvers---splits yes but don't cause problem & get em out at unloading table!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the info... Think i'll stick with just brass..:tee:
 

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According to tech support at Lee Reloading they are hard on dies. Personally I don't care for them.
 
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