Easy case annealing

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by JLA, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    Josh, thanks for posting this thread and Alpo, thanks for the answer on why!!
  2. gun-nut

    gun-nut Member

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    Ok my question. I have heard that with annealing the brass that its only best to do this if you only neck size. is this true? this is to get them... say 20 reloads out of them
  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I necksize most of my bolt rifle brass with 1 exception.. 7.62X54R. Those get a partial FL resize and annealed just the same.

    I am currently seeing just how many reloads one can expect from quality brass that is necksized only and trimmed/annealed every cycle. I am up to 4 loadings and it still looks new. No visible signs of wear aside from the ejector mark on the casehead..
  4. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Nah, annealing is helpful if you full length resize too.
    No matter what type of resizing you do, you're swaging the neck and running the expander ball through it. That process work hardens the metal twice as much as the actual firing process does.
    Every firing cycle the neck gets "worked" three times...firing, sizing, and expanding. Pistol brass even more so since you're usually belling the case mouth and crimping the bullet.


    I neck anneal like JLA shows in his original post. I usually anneal every 4th firing cycle for me...which is usually when it's time to trim to (depending on the particular rifle).
    And I always water quench...I don't want the heat to creep back into the case body for the reasons that Alpo mentioned.
    I don't use the Lee case holder, but that is a neat idea. I just use a good pair of leather gloves.
  5. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I use the case holder so I can spin the case at high RPM and heat the neck absolutley evenly. Plus I already have it chucked up for trimming. So it makes and easy 2 step fluent process. Then after im done I chamfer them as I toss them into the tumbler.

    Gun-nut, Bindernut is spot on with annealing helping necksized and FL sized. Properly done, rifle cases should last at least twice as long. Provided you arent hotrodding the load and stressing the brass from overpressure.. I am expecting at least 15 cycles from my .308s.
  6. gun-nut

    gun-nut Member

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    well i guess i will have to try this out. I do like the lee trimmers, i started out with them and have kept them for that just in case thing. No i do not load hot loads i see no point and the 223 likes the 21 gr. of IMR 4198. If i go under or over it will shoot like crap. guns are like people some like this and some like that. The 223 sees more reloading than anything else i have ( other that the 38 spl) Most 223 casses have 6-8 reloads on them and still going strong. the 38spl i lost count at about 10-12 but most of them have split out before that at 6-8 reloads. and most of the rest is about to hit the scrap can. :D
  7. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    I heard somewhere about annealing brass in your lead pot. Anybody here ever use this technique? It would provide even heat, controlled heat and no over-heating of the brass. The only issue I could see would be possible lead attaching to the brass.
  8. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Hot lead won't stick to cold copper. That's why soldering is such a pain, when you are first learning. You have to bring your wire up to heat. If you just put melted solder on cold wire, when the solder cools it will slide right off.

    Brass is copper and zinc, so I'm sure the same thing applies.
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Never thot of that, btu i dont see why it wouldnt work.. Except youd have to hold it in there for quite some time to get the neck properly annealed..
  10. myfriendis410

    myfriendis410 Member

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    I was told it takes about ten seconds to equalize the temperature. I've never tried it; I've always used the "torch and tip" method.
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I started out trying the torch and tip in a pan of water method. I couldnt ever seem to get the neck heated evenly and usually ended up burning one side or the other. That was when I went lookin for an alternate method and stumbled across this one on youtube, then added my own quirks to improve the process for me and my brass.
  12. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Bump for highboy.. ;)
  13. daboone

    daboone New Member

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    Check out thid thread over on Cast Boolits http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=153620

    Towards the bottom of the first page BattleRifle has photos of his set up using potassium nitrate instead of lead.
  14. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

  15. 76Highboy

    76Highboy Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks JLA.
  16. MaxACL

    MaxACL Member

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    JLA...

    I just processed 800 .223 cases (Trimmed, primer pocket etc.) and now have the bug to anneal. Is it OK to anneal as the last step?
  17. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Annealing is trickier than falling off a log.

    You must be carful or the brass case will be damaged. That damage will reduce its strength and its ability to hold 60,000 psi gas pressures. The annealing MUST be limited to only the shoulder and neck of the case and NO WHERE ELSE. Screw up the hardness of the head of the case and it may fail under the high pressures. Be sure you know exactly how to do it and not mess up the hardness of any other part of the case. Once ruined by over annealing, the cases is scrap. If you use the damaged case you may get a face full of 60,000 psi gas and a trip to the hospital.

    Just a warning. I choose not to anneal anything. When neck splits start in a lot of brass it all goes into the scrap bin and I buy new cases. There are expensive tools for doing annealing right and I choose not to invest in them or anneal anything. Others may choose to do whatever they want to do.

    LDBennett
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