Nickel-Plated Brass Casings Explained

Nickel-plated brass casings for both pistol and rifle ammunition offer a unique spin on the standard brass or steel casings. Nickel-plated brass looks a little nicer than standard brass casings and it can be reloaded,making it a very good choice for someone looking for a nice looking and functional cartridge case. Remington, Federal and Hornady are noted for using nickel plated ammo in their premium ammo lines.

The two main things to keep in mind about nickel-plated brass ammo is that it’s corrosive resistant and feeds smoother than straight brass or steel. There are quite a few additional reasons you might be interested in this type of ammo also.

Corrosion ResistanceNickel Plated Brass

Law enforcement looks highly upon nickel-plated casings due to their corrosion resistance. These are created by taking the brass casing and electroplating it with a thin layer of nickel. You end up with ammo that’s highly resistant to the green spots that show up on old brass called verdigris. While mainly associated with cartridge loops on leather gun belts and cases, it can sometimes show up in other unexpected places where you store your ammo.

Smooth Feed

Nickel-plated casings feed smoother than your average brass casing. Nickel has naturally lower friction than brass and this leads to smooth feedings and extractions in semi-auto weapons. This improves the weapons overall performance and reduces the odds of getting a jam. Smoother feeds also leads to less overall wear and tear on your firearm so you’ll be replacing less parts over the years.

Reloading Options

This type of casing can be reloaded just like brass as long as it remains intact. It may split at the mouth a bit quicker than brass but you should still be able to get a lot of life out of these casings. Nickel-plated brass will also return to almost its original sizing so it’s easier to extract.


Many armed professionals and concealed firearms carriers find the nickel-plated cases easier to see when checking the chamber of their firearms to make sure they are loaded.  Nickel-plated brass casings with a nice looking bullet simply look phenomenal. You can use these as decorations if you have some old revolvers on the wall. A nice spread of this ammo around them can turn it into art of sorts. This is the ammo you can find used in different types of jewelry because it’s just so...shiny.

Should you buy nickel-plated brass over regular brass? I guess that comes down to what you’re going to do with it. Nickel-plated has a better anti-corrosion factor so it could be a good choice if you’re stockpiling or buying in bulk.  It all comes to personal preference with this particular casing. It shoots good and looks great, so there is really no way to go wrong with nickel-plated brass.