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Thread: Resizing Nickle Cases

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Resizing Nickle Cases

    Using a carbide die for resizing nickle cases , necessary to lube cases or not ? Working on some 38 Special loads for self defense with the Lyman Devastator and have decided to go with nickle cases since I will be carrying the gun concealed.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master 358429's Avatar
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    I do not need lubricant to resize nickel 38 brass using my lee carbide dies.

    I would recommend expanding them before priming them, some of them will split when you expand the case mouth to accept the bullet.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I've never treated nickel cases differently than regular brass cases.

    DG

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    I never lube when sizing with a carbide die 9mm 38spec. 357 mag. 44 mag. and 500 S&W.



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  5. #5
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Always treated nickel plated the same as standard brass. Had some 220 Swift nickel plated I reloaded so many times, most of the plating had been polished off by the time I retired it.

    Rifle brass lubed the same, pistol through carbide dies, no lube.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I never treated them any different.
    It might be my imagination, but they do seem to split much sooner than plain brass ones.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thank you all for the quick response. It has been many years since I dealt with nickel cases, my old and feeble mind forgot. I was going to lube them just to be the safe side but i thought i remembered not having to with the carbide dies

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Doesn't hurt to lube an occasional case. Makes them easier to size, and if there are any chips or flakes on the case it can help extend the life of the case. Free advice, freely offered

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    One more thing make sure your fired case is free of harmful dirt that can scratch the case and ruin the die

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I tend to lube every 10th case with nickel plated. I have some 44WCF and 32 WCF nickel cases that I have reloaded 20 ish times with no signs of failure yet. I think that mild lube application has its merits in even the carbide dies. From what I gather, more than 10 in these cases is doing alright, so I think I'll stick with my methods.

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    It's easier on my arm to lube pistol cases, nickel or not, and the smoother action on my progressive press I think makes for greater consistency round to round.

  12. #12
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    I like to size cases in batches of a thousand, so I find that a light spritz of case lube makes sizing handgun cases much easier on my old arm and shoulder. Just be careful the first time you do it, since the case will go into the die like greased lightning and you'll be amazed at how easy it was.

    After sizing, I'll run them in the tumbler with some 20/40 grit corn cob for about 20 minutes to remove any traces of case lube. With the fine grit corn cob, nothing gets stuck in the flash holes.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Sparingly lube cases run through carbide dies.

    Avoid nickel cases generally. Had a bunch of .38 special nickel and traded it for straight brass.

    I had a box of 50 of .44 Mag (Elorado, told it was PMC) that was nickel. At about 2 nd or 3rd reload I started losing them to body splits. I was not hot ridding them at all.

    Between that and nickel flaking off, I do not need the drama. Make mine straight brass thank you!

    Three44s
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  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I too find nickel cases split crack faster than brass. I think the plating process makes it a little more brittle. I size and load the same as brass cases. while carbide dies dont require lube a light application does lower the force to size down, especially with a "generous" chamber.

    On fired brass a good inspection for cracks in the nickel chips and flaking at the mouth. Be sure and deburr and chamfer. On self defense ammo chamber every round in the firearm to ensure its good.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I, like several others, find that a little lube, tho not required, makes the job easier.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    My late father refused to size nickel cases with a Carbide die. I have no idea why, but he took it as an article of faith that they would somehow cause accelerated wear or some other form of damage. To this day, I tend to avoid nickel cases, primarily using individual examples when I make dummy cartridges to set my seating and crimping dies.

    Froggie
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  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    even carbide dies like LUBE... that hornady one shot seems mighty nice. Especially with nickel. Dont realy reload the nickel in 38 but in rifle cases it really helps

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Liberty1776's Avatar
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    We shoot a lot of .38 Special and .357 Mag in Cowboy Action competitions.

    It's well known that nickel plated cases split long before unplated brass cases split. No particular reason why; they just do.

    I tend to set the nickel cases to the side and not load them.

    I used to think the nickel cases would be better to store in the leather loops of a gunbelt, but they corrode and tend to stick when stored against the leather for long periods.

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub
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    I lube all pistol brass(lightly) even when using carbide dies ....makes sizing much easier ...I use a gallon Ziploc bag ...put a hundred brass in ...spray just a little lube in.... roll around in bag ...pour out into shallow box top .... Let them dry a few minutes ... only takes a few minutes extra ...

  20. #20
    Boolit Bub
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    Every die maker Iíve ever worked with ( except Lee donít use ) specifically notes that lube is not necessary sizing. Youíre paying a premium for carbide dies which are sold as lube free so why lube and crud up the die. Once you lube the die the surface is coated with your lube which pretty much cancels out the benefits of the carbide working surface. Plus you now are buying into regularly cleaning your dies of lube build up. Sorry this scenario doesnít make sense to me. If it improves or reduces the effort of your press Iím guessing that has more to do with the mechanics of your press than carbide. Iíve loaded 45 plus years and once I bought carbide my All Americans, Hollywoodís, RCís etc donít require any more force at all.

    Iíve read several old reports from years ago that nickel plated cases do in fact work harden and split sooner than brass as previous noted by other posters. For years Federal pretty much sold all their 38 and 357 brass nickel plated so lots of Bullseye shooters use it and have lots of split mouths. One last issue is that nickel cases cannot be annealed. The heat necessary for annealing hardens the nickel resulting in brittleness. On bottle neck rifle cases this is a deal killer.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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