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Winchester Nickle-Plated Brass

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/22/2011 at 20:52
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Anyone have any experience reloading Winchester's nickle plated brass?  Any problems with it I should keep an eye out for?  My plan is get started with rolling my own and I've got a pile of once-fired brass I was hoping I could use, most of it being nickle plated.

Thanks.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/22/2011 at 20:58
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I've no problems with the 200 or so I have for my sons .308

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/22/2011 at 21:50
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Never had an issue with my 300wsm either.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/22/2011 at 21:56
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Thanks guys...that's what I wanted to hear.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/22/2011 at 23:45
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Have not had any problems and I have loaded several hundred.... Have fun!Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2011 at 07:16
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They say nickle plated brass is "harder" on dies, not sure what that means but I've never had issues with mine that I use for 308 either.  In fact all my sub loads for the 308 are in nickle brass so i can tell them apart from standard loads
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2011 at 16:28
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Nickel case are hard on your dies, they are hard on your chamfer tool and your trim tool.
 
Here is what new Winchester nickel cases did to one of my Lee Collet Neck sizing mandrels when I used it to open up the neck and take the dents out
 
 
I suspect that many who use full length dies are wearing their dies up inside where the case mouths hit the forcing cone, and they can't see it and don't know about it
 
Don't believe me?  Here is what Varmint Al says about it
 
 

FORGET NICKEL-PLATED BRASS.... I liked the looks and feel of nickel-plated cases, but I don't load them anymore and here is why. The cases are strong and it is easy enough to outside neck turn them. That is not the problem. The nickel-plating on the case neck ID is like sandpaper. The only way you might be able to remove this grit is with a case neck ID reamer if you have a "tight neck" chamber and enough neck wall thickness to work with. If you have a loaded nickel-plated round laying around and don't believe me, just pull the bullet. It will look like you pulled it out of a tube of 180 grit wet/dry sandpaper. If you pull the bullet out of a brass case mouth that has been carefully chamfered and polished with the steel wool process above, it will be essentially like out of the bullet box. Want copper in the barrel? Start by sanding the surface of those nice polished precision bullets. Try it with a Moly Coated bullet and it is even worse; the nickel-plated cases scrape off the Moly. The nickel-plated case neck IDs don't get any better after you reload them a few times. They are still like sandpaper. Think about a few of those nickel pieces of grit imbedding into the copper of the bullet and what they do to your rifle barrel! I have heard that the nickel is hard enough to score some reloading dies and also wear down the expander ball. Any metal that hard, should be kept away from your precision barrel. I have heard that some people have had success in removing the nickel plate from the neck IDs with a stainless steel brush and a drill motor. I haven't tried it.

MORE ABOUT NICKEL PLATING.... This is interesting about the mechanical properties of the nickel plating:
Electrolysis nickel plating is a process for chemically applying nickel-alloy deposits onto metallic substrates using an auto catalytic immersion process without the use of electrical current.   ...snip....
Hardness and Wear Resistance
One of the most important properties for many applications is hardness. As deposited, the micro-hardness of electrolysis nickel coatings is about 500 to 700 HK100. That is approximately equal to 45 to 58 HRC and equivalent to many hardened alloy steels. Heat treatment causes these alloys to precipitation harden and can produce hardness values as high as 1100 HK100, equal to most commercial hard chromium coatings. ...snip...

Note that if you anneal your nickel plated necks, you are hardening the nickel plating. It can be harder than many alloyed steels before you anneal and can increase is hardness as much as 2 fold by precipitation hardening. I sure wouldn't want those tiny little hard pieces inside the neck getting embedded in the bullet's copper surface and then fire lapping my nice shiny barrel.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2011 at 18:48
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Originally posted by sakomato sakomato wrote:

Nickel case are hard on your dies, they are hard on your chamfer tool and your trim tool.
 
Here is what new Winchester nickel cases did to one of my Lee Collet Neck sizing mandrels when I used it to open up the neck and take the dents out
 
 
I suspect that many who use full length dies are wearing their dies up inside where the case mouths hit the forcing cone, and they can't see it and don't know about it
 
Don't believe me?  Here is what Varmint Al says about it
 
 

FORGET NICKEL-PLATED BRASS.... I liked the looks and feel of nickel-plated cases, but I don't load them anymore and here is why. The cases are strong and it is easy enough to outside neck turn them. That is not the problem. The nickel-plating on the case neck ID is like sandpaper. The only way you might be able to remove this grit is with a case neck ID reamer if you have a "tight neck" chamber and enough neck wall thickness to work with. If you have a loaded nickel-plated round laying around and don't believe me, just pull the bullet. It will look like you pulled it out of a tube of 180 grit wet/dry sandpaper. If you pull the bullet out of a brass case mouth that has been carefully chamfered and polished with the steel wool process above, it will be essentially like out of the bullet box. Want copper in the barrel? Start by sanding the surface of those nice polished precision bullets. Try it with a Moly Coated bullet and it is even worse; the nickel-plated cases scrape off the Moly. The nickel-plated case neck IDs don't get any better after you reload them a few times. They are still like sandpaper. Think about a few of those nickel pieces of grit imbedding into the copper of the bullet and what they do to your rifle barrel! I have heard that the nickel is hard enough to score some reloading dies and also wear down the expander ball. Any metal that hard, should be kept away from your precision barrel. I have heard that some people have had success in removing the nickel plate from the neck IDs with a stainless steel brush and a drill motor. I haven't tried it.

MORE ABOUT NICKEL PLATING.... This is interesting about the mechanical properties of the nickel plating:
Electrolysis nickel plating is a process for chemically applying nickel-alloy deposits onto metallic substrates using an auto catalytic immersion process without the use of electrical current.   ...snip....
Hardness and Wear Resistance
One of the most important properties for many applications is hardness. As deposited, the micro-hardness of electrolysis nickel coatings is about 500 to 700 HK100. That is approximately equal to 45 to 58 HRC and equivalent to many hardened alloy steels. Heat treatment causes these alloys to precipitation harden and can produce hardness values as high as 1100 HK100, equal to most commercial hard chromium coatings. ...snip...

Note that if you anneal your nickel plated necks, you are hardening the nickel plating. It can be harder than many alloyed steels before you anneal and can increase is hardness as much as 2 fold by precipitation hardening. I sure wouldn't want those tiny little hard pieces inside the neck getting embedded in the bullet's copper surface and then fire lapping my nice shiny barrel.


Wow...that's interesting.  It kinda makes me rethink using all of the casings I have left over.  My dilemma is I've got about 250 once-fired for my 25-06 & 100 for my 280, so I'm not sure what I'm gonna do.  If I decided to just buy new brass, what brand would you guys suggest.  I've heard Winchester is good brass, but all they make for a 280 is the nickle plated stuff...I've heard Lupua is good stuff too.  


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2011 at 19:50
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I don't think Lapua makes brass for 280 rem or 25-06

Nosler makes good brass for both and it is ready to load right out of the box, weight sorted, chamfered, deburred, trimmed and ready to load

Norma makes good brass too for the 280 rem but not for the 25-06.  Ready to load and typically holds a little more powder than the Noser (thinner brass)

After that you will have to get Remington or Winchester.  Of those 2 I prefer the Remington since they always have thicker necks than Winchester and I outside neck turn most cases.  Less culls in a box than Winchester also

Or you could get a Lee Collet Neck Sizer and Redding Body Die for your calbers.  The nickel brass boogered up my mandrel because it was expanding the necks.  If you are using them on fired brass then they should not do any damage to the mandrel if you are sizing the collets onto the mandrel.  And the Redding Body Die does not have a forcing cone up inside it to hit the nickel case mouths

The Lee Collet Neck Sizer and Redding Body Die will cost about as much as one new box of brass so you could use the nickel ones and be way ahead.  Those dies are what you should be using anyway  (IMO)


Edited by sakomato - December/23/2011 at 19:52
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2011 at 20:28
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Originally posted by sakomato sakomato wrote:

I don't think Lapua makes brass for 280 rem or 25-06

Nosler makes good brass for both and it is ready to load right out of the box, weight sorted, chamfered, deburred, trimmed and ready to load

Norma makes good brass too for the 280 rem but not for the 25-06.  Ready to load and typically holds a little more powder than the Noser (thinner brass)

After that you will have to get Remington or Winchester.  Of those 2 I prefer the Remington since they always have thicker necks than Winchester and I outside neck turn most cases.  Less culls in a box than Winchester also

Or you could get a Lee Collet Neck Sizer and Redding Body Die for your calbers.  The nickel brass boogered up my mandrel because it was expanding the necks.  If you are using them on fired brass then they should not do any damage to the mandrel if you are sizing the collets onto the mandrel.  And the Redding Body Die does not have a forcing cone up inside it to hit the nickel case mouths

The Lee Collet Neck Sizer and Redding Body Die will cost about as much as one new box of brass so you could use the nickel ones and be way ahead.  Those dies are what you should be using anyway  (IMO)

So if I'm reading this right...if I'm using my once-fired nickle plated brass, I should be in good shape? I'm new to reloading and I don't want to screw up a bunch of equipment right off the bat.


Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2011 at 21:16
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You can reload your nickel brass.  If you are using a Full Length die then you will be wearing out the inside forcing cone, expander ball, trimmers and chamfer tools.  It will take awhile before you will have any problems.  I don't know how long since I don't use the nickel brass.
 
What I was saying is that if you used a Lee Collet Neck Sizer and Redding Body Die combination for resizing then the nickel will not wear them out because they size the case differently than a full length die.
 
You need to be careful with the flakes and shavings that come off the cases when you prep the cases.  Make sure to shake or brush the flakes off the cases and chip off any flakes on the case mouth from chamfering.  You don't want those in your action or barrel.
 
I would also use some dry lube to ease the seating of the bullets.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: December/23/2011 at 21:23
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Ok...I understand.  I'm getting most of my equipment from a family member so I can afford to spend a little more on dies if I have too.

Thanks for the help.

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