Nickel plated brass-bolt closes hard ?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by jumpinfrog, May 1, 2012.

  1. jumpinfrog

    jumpinfrog Former Guest

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    I finally got around to shooting my Savage 22-250 varmint rifle..

    I have some Remington Nickel plated brass...I full length it and for
    some reason the bolt closes hard on it..The over-all length is what
    the book said for it to be..Honardy 55 grain VMax bullets...

    Is this normal or not normal...And then when I go to extract the case
    sometimes they don't want to extract..I mean like standard brass
    will extract with not problems..I would appreciate some advice..
    Thank you all....John
  2. BETH

    BETH Well-Known Member

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    i am by any means no expert but from listening to everyone on here each gun has there special ammo what works in one gun may not work in another. My marlin 60 i use nothing but fed automatch with no problems everyone here says try different ammo to see what it likes the best, i personally do not like remington at all.
  3. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Make sure the brass is spotlessly clean. Nickel does seem to be better about not picking up tarnish when used in the field, but the grit does seem to stick to it worse than polished brass. Nickel plating closes the pores in the brass so that the cases don't carry any residual oils very well so plated brass is "drier" than brass. this can cause sticky extraction too.

    Another thing to keep in mind is how many times they've been fired. Are they once-fired or have you loaded em a few times?
    All brass cases will work-harden with a few firing/resizing cycles. This is what causes neck splits.
    Nickel-plated brass is at a disadvantage to begin with because of a phenomenon called hydrogen-embrittlement caused by the plating process. They are a little more brittle to begin with...and thus a little springier when you run them through the sizing die too. It's the same process that causes chrome plated car/bike parts to fail faster than unplated...I guarantee that a lot more biker would be running blacked out Harleys if they knew what future metal fatigue is lurking under all that polished chrome! I'll NEVER run chrome-plate suspension parts because of hydrogen embrittlement...yet I shoot nickeled brass (Go figure! LOL)
    If you resize a nickeled case and a brass case with the same die adjustment, the nickeled one WILL mic out a little larger after resizing because the case will spring back a bit more than the unplated one will.

    If you're set on using nickeled brass then I would re-adjust the sizing die for your chamber when reloading those plated cases and readjust again when using unplated.
    It's a pain in the butt, but that should clear up the problem.
    This has been my experience when loading for .25-06 and .243 (the only rounds I've ran nickel through besides handgun brass).
    Personally, I leave my .25-06 die adjusted for nickeled brass since that's what I primarily use in that chambering. The unplated isn't enough undersize to cause any problems with this adjustment.
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  4. jumpinfrog

    jumpinfrog Former Guest

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    thanks for the info you guys..NO I DO NOT plan to keep using it..I t was all I had available.Git 100 new Win,brass ordered..I never really like Rem. brass...Thanks again...John:cool:
  5. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 New Member

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    I thought nickel cases were plated electroless. (Maybe determine that by sectioning--electroplate would be at least .001" and electroless about 1/10th that) That ought to reduce hydrogen embrittlement to some extent, especially if the brass is austenitized (sp?).

    I've come across some shellholders that have a taller dimension above the base, which would reduce the die's ability to set the shoulder back (with some dies). The nickel plated stuff would be a bit "springier" and could revert partially back like Bindernut suggested. You might measure a few fired cases for overall length in both nickel and brass, then resize and remeasure. If the nickel "grows" less than the brass, that might point to your problem. Just a thought.
  6. jumpinfrog

    jumpinfrog Former Guest

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    I believe the nickel cases do expand again after being sized...Anxious to get the new brass now..I haven't shot this rifle very much since I bought it...
  7. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Yup, Remington's nickeled brass is electroless nickel.
    The plating process isn't the culprit behind hydrogen embrittlement, it's the acid etch pretreat used before plating and also if the plating solution is a phosphite based mixture. All materials are etched before plating so even EN plated stuff may experience hydrogen embrittlement. There are lots of factors involved...a lot of which I don't fully understand myself since I'm just a hobbyist metalworker and not a materials engineer.

    I have better luck with Remington's plated brass than the Winchester plated stuff (which is pretty scarce anyway).
    Normally, I prefer to use regular brass for rifle cartridges, but in the case of my two .25-06s I keep those in nickel due to an ammo mixup that my dad and his .270 had a few years back shortly after I got my first .25-06.

    You will probably have better luck and longer case life with unplated brass so I'd just deal with this lot until they're worn out and then replace with unplated.
    Besides, if you do anneal your brass it's easier to see the color temp of the metal if it's not plated. Annealed nickel looks ugly too! :)
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
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