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How long is the body of the rivet? the length of the rivet itself has to be alittle longer but still fairly close to the thickness of the joint. It sounds to me like your rivet might be too short and there is no room for it to expand so the nail just pulls through.
 

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liveaxle said:
The rivet sticks out past the metal at least an 1/8". The nail isn't pulling through, the head is pulling off (sounds like a firecracker when it happens) and then I am just pulling the wire through the rivet. There ends up being nothing in the rivet, although the rivet is forming nicely.
If the rivet is forming nicely then there is probably no problem at all. Sounds like it is working the way it should.
 
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