I had some Federal nickel 45 acp's that had over 20 loads on them. yes some of them were splitting. I have some Starline nickel 45 acp's and these have over 10 loads on them without one being lost to spiltting but just plain lost. nickel cases hide real well in the grass. personally I think they feed just a little better but my favorite factory loads don't come in nickel,
As noted by others, nickel plated brass seems to develop splits more quickly than standard fare brass. It is, however, more resistant to tarnishing or corrosion, so it makes good cases for hunting and defense ammo.
I bought them once but never again..... They are easer to find in the grass and clean... The drawbacks are you wont get nearly as many loads out of them, as nickel seems to be more brittle.. The ones I had were loaded moderatly and the case's started to split after 2 or 3 loadings... After the 2nd loading I was really scared to load any full power rounds with them....Just because the split cases where happining so often!!!!
My advice is to stick with regular brass. Only use Nickel if its free and load it lightly... Keep a sharp eye out for cracks.. Last thing you want is an explosion because of crap brass...
SPlits that occur the normal 50-60% of the case length will not cause any sort of explosion, as the chamber contains the pressure. Just toss them once you discover the split.
The brass splitting during the feed cycle, however, causes setbacks and associated stoppages that will cost you a match! (I had two apparently older cases split, one each in back to back mags during a single stage...not fun)
They are pretty and easy to find in sunlight on grave/dirt, but 3-4 times more likely to split early with fewer reloadings; quite a few have reported nickel cases splittng on the first firing, hardly conducive to the budgetary csnstraints of the true 'CRB' (Cheap Reloading Bas----) lifestyle!
I have not found problems, but they do not last as long as brass. I also have a lot of Speer cases that are silver color, but evidently not nickel plated. They last forever. Not sure what the coating is.