Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Dungannon Gunner

38 Special Nickel Brass

Recommended Posts

Most of the Nickel brass I see is Federal. However I cannot find it on their website. Does anyone else make 38 Special in Nickel and do you have any pro and Con on their quality?

 

Thanks!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many manufactures, including Starline make nickel-plated, 38 Special brass.  I do not purchase it because it tends to split sooner than un-plated brass.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very few cowboy shooters will use nickel brass in the rifle,  a few will use in the pistols till it splits just to get rid of it.   Thanks Bullett 19707

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Use it for practice and  save the wear and tear on the brass.  Gw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to avoid it because it splits more quickly in every caliber I shoot and requires more effort in the stroke to reload. I don't use it for anything but hunting ammunition or some sort of delineation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:ph34r:  Use nickel with cannelure in rifle for monthly matches.  Use non-cannelured nickel for major matches.  Lee factory crimp die in final position on Dillon 650.

        Splits easily culled during reloading process, or certainly during inspection when boxing up for match.  Nice and slick, chambers easily.....  cheap, too :).

 

        Hmmm.......  agreed with Phantom :huh:....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grafs shows nickel plated 38 Starline in stock.

 

https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/product/productId/17878

 

I got 500 pieces of nickel plated 38 mixed range brass from a guy that runs an indoor range.  He was happy someone wanted it and gave me a good price.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with others about nickle brass splitting due to hydrogen enbrittlement in the plating process. However I have had much different success with Federal 38 and 357 Ni brass. I have several hundred Fed Ni rounds which have been reloaded as many as 35 times and no more splits than with any other quality case. Lots of them were reloaded with nosebleed loads repeatedly when I shot NRA silhouettes in the 1980s. I would buy more of both if they were available as new brass. No one I know of sells new Federal Ni brass except as loaded rounds.

my $.02

 

Imis 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used nickle plated cases when I was shooting revolver class in Steel Challenge and never had a problem.  I can't remember if they were Speer or RP.  I used that batch in the monthly matches at Quantico for about two years and I figure I got at least 25 reloads out of them before they started splitting at the case mouth.   

 

I also never had the problem of nickle flaking off that some people will talk about - the nickle slowly washed off in tumbling so that near the end of their life they actually looked more like regular brass unless the light was just right.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nickle - splits sooner, flakes off.

 

How many Cowpokes a posting ave PERSONALLY experiment with of these?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Matthew Duncan said:

Nickle - splits sooner, flakes off.

 

How many Cowpokes a posting ave PERSONALLY experiment with of these?

I've had a couple splits of nickel cases, that said I've had one that jammed up my rifle and I ate 7 rounds and it was BRASS!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used nickle brass exclusively for my 38 black powder (Holy Black) rounds for 7 years in both rifle and pistol and I have not seen anymore splitting of it than I have when I used regular brass. 

I load my smokeless in regular brass and my BP in nickle so I don't accidentally mix them up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Matthew Duncan said:

Nickle - splits sooner, flakes off.

 

How many Cowpokes a posting ave PERSONALLY experiment with of these?

I have a coffee can full of nickle-plated 38s on their third reload with 777.  At a recent match I got ten splits on six stages in my revolvers (I don't use them in a rifle.)  This is no big deal.  I just put the split cases in my scrap brass can and sell them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The wife and I shoot at least 3 matches a month.  I'm always reloading .38s.  Because of a higher rate of split cases, with nickel, I only use them in the revolvers.  I get an occasional split case with brass, but I average 6 split nickel cases per reloading session.

 

I will admit that I reload mix brand brass and I reload it until it splits.  In my experience, nickel cases do not last as long.  The new brass I have purchased in other calibers have been un-plated Starline. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Lazy Eeyour said:

I use nickel cases in my gun belt and for reloads on the clock, otherwise just brass.

 

I, also, just use it for reloads for the rifle..

The nickel plated reloads don't turn green in my cartridge loops..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I separated them off and sold them. It’s one less variable in my reloading process. I don’t miss ‘em, they added nothing to my cowboy experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did an experiment a few years ago. Ran light loaded ammo through the chronograph.

The day I did the experiment it was cold, 30 degrees f. Regular brass ran about 75 to 100 more feet per second than non-plated.  Nickle plated brass did not expand at the same rate as non-plated brass. I used the same gun with the same brand of brass. When I loaded the ammo with more powder the velocities evened out, that was around 800 fps. Here's my conclusion. Two unlike metals expand at a different rate, this is what causes premature cracking, peeling, and the pressure differential when shooting lighter loads in cold conditions. I don't use nickle plated brass in my rifle for competition, it's my preference. It works fine in pistols even with small cracks. I don't load ammo under 800 fps regardless of the temperature. Your mileage may vary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's interesting how so many of us have different experiences with them.  I wonder if it's the brand?  I can't remember if the ones I used were Speer or RP - in those days I bought my brass from BrassManBrass.com and those were the two brands he seemed to sell the most of, but now he doesn't have either brand in .38 Special.

 

Also, to this day I use nickle in 9mm because it sizes easier and it feeds better - the very reason most premium ammo is made with nickle cases.  I don't know or care how long they last because I don't scrounge brass at the matches because there's too many people shooting "9mm Major" (a non-existent caliber that far exceeds SAAMI standards) and I don't want any of that brass being run through my gun.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Howdy Gunner!

 

I won't even pick the stuff up off the unloading table when it occasionally gets mixed in with mine.  Just not worth the trouble to me. It definitely splits quicker than unplated brass.  When my brass get's even a small crack it gets thrown away.  I don't feel like taking the time to differentiate pistol from rifle loads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use thousands of nickel plated 38s from Starline and some from double tap. I loose more in the grass than to splitting and I always inspect my Brass before reloading. No ammo problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only use Starline nickle 38 special for Cowboy loads. All I have shot for the last 20+ years. No problems with split cases. I believe most split cases are caused by reloading procedures.  Over belling  the case and then over crimping.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmmmmm-----here I am sitting on top of 3  to 4 thousand mixed nickel plated .38 spec brass--(bought em from someone on wire years ago)-----like the lead monger I've lost far more in grass at matches than from splitting-----lazy brass pickers I suppose !!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One reason I like nickel brass is that I'm the only one on the posse using it.  Nobody takes it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I shoot both nickle and brass. It seems like I throw more of the nickle away than the brass away. I usually shoot them in the pistol because the brass is easier to find on the ground. It seems to me that the nickle doesn't fare as well as the brass with the constant expansion and compression.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have used nickle exclusively for several years.......have some splits about the same as when I was using non-nickled, but IMHO it cleans up much quicker and feeds a little better in the rifle.  Another plus is that your posse pardners will bring empties to you more...being about the only one shooting them..:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason nickel splits much faster is because they given it  a acid like bath before they are nickeled.  That is necessary

for the nickel to adhere to the brass.   This weakens the brass and they do not last as long.   Reading this thread reminds me of the value of

the information you an get on the internet.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a batch of nickeled brass with a DT headstamp that has been loaded so many times the nickel is almost warn away. Then again it might be the wet tumbler and stainless pins that removed the plaiting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Geronimo Jim SASS # 21775 said:

The reason nickel splits much faster is because they given it  a acid like bath before they are nickeled.  That is necessary

for the nickel to adhere to the brass.   This weakens the brass and they do not last as long.   Reading this thread reminds me of the value of

the information you an get on the internet.   

 

Thank God we finally got someone smart enough to figure it all out for us!  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have both nickel and brass for reloading .38 with Trail Boss. One daughter likes it, the other wants brass (with Scarlett's little red bullets, lol) It does seem to crack earlier than brass and I get a little chipping/flaking of the plating but as long as I inspect and throw out any problem children, it works ok. I run EVERY .38 through a cartridge checker... just to make sure. I do use nickel for .45s on my belt, for on the clock reloads. If ya like em and yer careful, then by all means, use em!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 7:03 AM, Rance - SASS # 54090 said:

 

I, also, just use it for reloads for the rifle..

The nickel plated reloads don't turn green in my cartridge loops..

Exactly!

 

It was my rifle ammo and pistol KD ammo for many years. Now, I just have two boxes of 50 each and reserve it for reloads. I refill my holster with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/28/2018 at 8:32 AM, Matthew Duncan said:

Nickle - splits sooner, flakes off.

 

How many Cowpokes a posting ave PERSONALLY experiment with of these?

 

Howdy

 

I would not say I have done extensive scientific testing, but I have observed that nickel plated 38 Special brass tends to split more often than plain old brass. For that reason, I don't load nickel plated 38 Special brass anymore. I will add that I do not shoot 38 Special in CAS, so it is not a problem for me. The cartridges that I do reload for CAS, 45 Colt, 45 Schofield, 44-40, 44 Russian, and 38-40, I only load brass, just to be on the safe side.

 

 

Hydrogen Embrittlement:

14 hours ago, Geronimo Jim SASS # 21775 said:

The reason nickel splits much faster is because they given it  a acid like bath before they are nickeled.  That is necessary

for the nickel to adhere to the brass.   This weakens the brass and they do not last as long.   Reading this thread reminds me of the value of

the information you an get on the internet.   

 

That is not the entire story.

 

Nickel plated brass is electroplated. The bath used is aqueous, (water based). That is how electroplating is done. Hydrogen atoms from the 'water' bath can tend to work their way into the surface of the base metal, being smaller than the molecules of the base metal. Under heating this can weaken the metal. Properly processed, Nickel plated brass should not split more often than regular brass. If the process is rushed, and the hydrogen atoms are not baked out, micro fractures can occur in the surface of the brass which can eventually propagate through the metal.

 

Notice these guys mention the industry standard way to prevent hydrogen embrittlement. Baking the Hydrogen out for a few hours. Obviously, adding a process and time to the final product, will raise the cost.

 

https://www.sharrettsplating.com/blog/hydrogen-embrittlement-electroplating-what-you-need-to-know/

 

 

For what it's worth, I have never bought a single piece of 38 Special brass. All of my 38 Special brass was collected over many years of shooting before I got into reloading. It includes every brand imaginable. Just one big bucket full of 38 Special brass of all brands. So I suspect some of the 'cheaper' stuff may have gotten mixed in with the 'good' stuff. Maybe it was only the 'cheap' stuff that was splitting.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.