I agree with you about the tinning of the tip/iron jacket (or core). If you constantly need to re-tin the tip it will degrade pretty quickly as if there is an acid eating into the tip.
The iron doesn't need to be PLATED ONTO a solid copper core.....You can build it another way.... An iron cap (jacket) shaped like the copper core you wish to use can be plated inside and out with a thin layer of copper. Then slip the iron cap over your copper core and plate the two together with copper /nickle/chrome.
for the iron cap ... think WWII Japanese bullets made with soft iron cartridge instead of brass cartridges
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