View Full Version : What about Federal nickle plated brass

02-21-2009, 10:21 PM
I want to start loading 338 RUM and that's the only brass I have to start with. Thought I heard that Federal brass was softer then others? Is that a problem?

Butch Lambert
02-22-2009, 08:05 AM
Nickel brass is not top quality and scratches easily. It is good enough for a 338 RUM.

John S
02-22-2009, 09:51 AM
I don't think you will get great results with plated brass.

Wait until you try and trim it and then debur it.

02-22-2009, 10:53 AM
Purpose was to prevent corroding when in contact with leather wasn't it? Or is that pistol brass?

John S
02-22-2009, 03:25 PM
Don't make any difference pistol or rifle brass and leather together makes green crud.

What ever it is they use to tan the leather.

Larry Elliott
02-22-2009, 04:42 PM
Federal brass does tend to be softer than other brass. This may not be a problem if loading manual loads are used, but if you tend to tip up the powder cannister a tad more the primer pockets will likely open up sooner than with other brass.

02-23-2009, 08:38 AM
Purpose was to prevent corroding when in contact with leather wasn't it? Or is that pistol brass?

Yes, the original purpose was to prevent corrosion. Leather tends to attract moisture, pistol round carried in a leather holster would corrode, and become unsightly in a duty belt, not to mention that once corrosion starts on brass it is pretty much ruined for a firearm. Rifle brass that is nickle plated is more or less designed for harsh enviroments, such as Alaska, Africa, or other places where the ammunition may sit for awhile, or be carried for a couple of weeks in harsh conditions. Take piece of brass, let it get water on it, a couple of drops will do, then let it sit for a few days, corrosion will show up quickly.
Also nickle tends to be slicker than brass, so that feeding and extraction in these environs is much easier.

On the whole, both work well, but I have noticed as have others that nickle is extremely hard to work with at the bench, it plays hell on trimmer cuttters, and dies if the plating is nicked. Although I have not noticed much case stretch with nickle.
I have both nickle and standard brass for my hunting rifles, and have gotten to where I only use the nickle when the weather is going to be very nasty.

Just my 2 cents


P Corncob Bob
02-23-2009, 05:29 PM
My experience with nickle plated cases started and ended about 15 years ago.

Good quality cases like Lapua and Norma were not readily available for 6mm BR Remington. Only Remington cases were available in non-plated or nickle plated, so I thought I would try some that were nickle plated.

My 6mm BR Remington was a .060" short version and had a .262" neck, thus case trimming and case neck turning was required. Turning case necks made cases look kinda cool but nothing else.

Trimming cases as others have mentioned and also in my experience is hard on case trimming and neck turning tools, and is either makes cases impossible to anneal or very difficult at best.

Full length resizing nickle plated cases seemed to put more load on press then I felt comfortable with, and nickle plating cases in my opinion hardens the brass.

Case neck outside diameters on nickle plated cases after resizing were also inconsistent.

Hope this helps!


02-24-2009, 09:23 AM
I have used Ni plated brass for years.....but only in hunting rifles where I only reload them 3x max.....and the only work done to cases, other than FLS is to trim and de-burr.
I have not had a single issue with them.....not even the plating flaking off as some have experienced.