Nickle vs Brass

Nickle vs Brass

Nickle Plated Brass vs Regular Brass…Which one is better.

This debate has been going on longer than who’s hotter…Ginger or Mary Ann??

Nickle Brass has several advantages over Regular Brass. Its corrosion resistant, feeds smoother and looks nice. Its disadvantages are its more expensive, harder and may flake.

The corrosian restance of nickle in the best reasons to use it for long term storage and hunting. I’ve been on several hunting trips were rain and cold weather induced condensation were common on both ammunition and rifle. After a week in the woods the brass ammunation needed a bath in the tumbler with a little polish. I admit at the end of each day I could of gave each round a daily wipedown with a silicon cloth but had better things to do around the camp fire. On other hunting trips the nickle plated ammunition looked like new.

For auto loading rifles and pistols smooth operation is key. The smoothness of the nickle makes loading and extraction much easier. Especially in an other than indoor-range enviroment. One story that I heard from a fellow hunter was they were hunting deer with AR15s chambered in 300 Blackout. This is an excellent combination due to its low recoil for youth and ladies and the terminal performance of the 30cal is devistating inside 100 yards. The hunt went well with the group taking two deer in a three day period. All guns were unloaded and cased for the drive home. What went unnoticed was one round was stuck in the chamber. The AR15 Bolt was unable to extract this perfect but slightly corroded round from a dirty chamber. The round was removed with a screw driver using next to no effort. I doubt this would have happened with nickle plated brass and daily cleaning. Two important things to note are clean rifles and brass are extreemly important and always assume any gun is always loaded. Always check the chamber after unloading any weapon. This should be common practice and is mandentory after each drill during my LEO Requall. Stuff happens to thoes who are ill trained, prepared and/or excercise poor habits. Good thing this was caught.

Smooth feeding is paramount in auto loading rifles. I personally prefer to use only nickle plated brass in my Match AR10. Neck sizing allows for a tight fit and improved accuracy. No matter how much I clean regular brass I cannot be assured of reliable extraction or feeding with once fired necksized regular brass. Once fired nickle brass is another story. I have yet to witness a feeding or extraction problem using neck sized nickle brass with my rifle. Both shoot sub MOA and I cannot measure any accuracy difference. Generally one must full length size brass especially in the AR15. By only neck sizing nickle brass, my AR10 can shoot better than 3/4 MOA with M852 Match she is only less than 1MOA. The only thing keeping her from 1/2MOA is overall bullet length and maggazine size. Will have to prove this with a follow up write up with Pics.

Now that the advantages have been mentioned the biggest disadvantage is brittleness. Its been my personal experence that 308 nickle plated rifle brass does not last as long as regular. Especially when compared to Lapula 308 Brass. Cracks in the neck are not frequent but not uncommon after three or four sizings. Pistol brass is another story. I use nickle and regular in both my 44 Desert Eagle and Glock 20. My experience is the life expectancy is the same. I honesty cannot count how may times I’ve reloaded this brass but its at least 8 and both preform equally well. Given similar price I would opt for nickle in pistol brass any time.

There have been claims that the nickle may flake off and dammage the rifle or reloading dies. I have not experienced this in the thousands of  pistol rounds loaded. I would caution to use quality dies. Quality dies are very hard. Much harder than Nickle and if this was an issue it would be moot with any die thats hardned.



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