Brass or Plated Brass?

hermiemhermiem Member Posts: 261 ✭✭✭
I've been reloading for quite some time now. I just need some opinions on the best type of pistol brass to reload .357 and .44 magnum cartridges from a cost basis. I've been using R.P. plated brass in both cartridges. They obviously cost a bit more but I do prefer them. However, I've only been getting between 4-5 times that they can be reload before they crack. Any suggestions or ideas?


  • dcs shootersdcs shooters Member Posts: 10,969
    edited November -1
    That's the problem with plated cases.
    I load both and watch the plated ones close.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Plated brass works great in leather gun belts but it too will corrode over time. It also splits way sooner than just brass, I have had some rifles that functioned way better with nickled cases due to rougher chamber or weak extractor design but when I buy brass I buy brass.
  • GONESHOOTINGGONESHOOTING Member Posts: 2,450 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have always used brass cases, the nickel case split was too soon for me.
    I have noticed it mostly on the 38 special and 357 mags cases.
  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 10,891 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I've experienced one other bad aspect of nickel-plated cases. The nickel can flake off - especially at the case mouth - and those extremely hard flakes can embed themselves in your sizing die. You can't get them out and they scratch every case you size afterwards. Cut them might be a better description, because many of them will crack right at the deep scratch on the next firing. You have no choice but to replace the sizing die.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • Wolf.Wolf. Member Posts: 2,223 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I can only agree with what has been said about nickel plated brass cases splitting after only comparativley few reloads versus the number of reloads with unplated brass cases.

    I shoot cowboy action (CAS) and we usually shoot light loads. My comparison refers to reloading straight-sided brass rather than bottleneck calibers. I find I can get three times as many reloads from the unplated brass versus nickel plated brass cases.
  • 5mmgunguy5mmgunguy Member Posts: 3,853
    edited November -1
    Unplated is better.
  • JustCJustC Member, Moderator Posts: 16,036 ******
    edited November -1
    plated is for humid environments, so it can be used over the years. However, the nickel is NOT conducive to repeated loadings as it is far harder than brass. if you want to reload, use brass casings only, and you will get much better brass life.
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