Well, according to Jeff, they had sent some powertones to the plater. When the chrome was stripped, there was stainless steel, not brass. He had the stainless ones polished. If he had stripped chrome off of a cob it would be brass underneath, correct?
The guy that runs the Rogers fanatic facebook page took a few powertones that he assumed were brass to a plater. They told him the later ones (Dayton / Fullerton) were not brass, but stainless steel. This was a very recent revelation. Check out Jeff Burke's posts on the Facebook Rogers page.
In the '20s it seems like metal snare (nickel over brass) were as or more popular as wood snare.
Can't think of anyone that made steel snares in the '60s...though it turns out that many of the late '60s and early '70s metal powertones we thought were brass were actually stainless steel.
yes, the helicoil is a much better solution. I bought a kit and did it myself, but it wasn't so easy as the inside isn't open ended and I had trouble breaking off the end piece (if you have a helicoil kit, you'll know what I mean). If you're handy or can have a pro do it, it makes them better...