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I would like to understand:

1. why anneal/benefits
2. how to anneal correctly
3. when to anneal

I load several pistol calibers, but am specifically interested in .223 and
.300 WinMag. Thanks
 

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Annealing can be a good idea for rifle brass you intend for both long life and best consistency over time. I anneal my brass specifically to provide more even bullet neck tension because work-hardened brass tends to spring back when compressed or stretched. Over time you can lose track of the amount of "spring-back" one will get on different brass so this is a way to regularize that value.

I used the old-fashioned technique of heating with a propane torch 'til just short of showing color, then tipping into water. You can YouTube the process and there will be plenty of videos out there. The main concern is to not overheat the brass as you can boil the zinc out of it and ruin it.

I usually don't anneal until I am up to my fifth reload. That's me. You may want to do it differently. I used to have a problem with split necks in my .243 but annealing the brass stopped that from happening. My .300 win mag brass is all Nosler custom so I'm particular about getting all I can from them. I have yet to lose a case to either a split neck or failed web. Annealing my 45-70 brass was the final ticket in developing a truly accurate cast bullet load.
 

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If you use the search tool there is a wealth of info regarding annealing
on this forum..
 

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There's an excellent article here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annealing_(metallurgy)

Generally speaking, though, working metals tends to harden them, causing them to become brittle. Work hardening is a result of the metal crystalline structure being broken and strains building up. The annealing process allows the strain to be released and the grain structure to be rebuilt. In steels, this is done by heating to a critical temperature, then allowing it to cool slowly to permit large crystal growth. In brass and other non-ferrous metals, the opposite technique applies - heat to annealing temperature, then cool quickly by dunking in water.

The true annealing temperature of brass is around 900 F, but the brass used for ammo can be annealed satisfactorily at about 750 F. That's easy to do with propane - my barbeque hits 750 if I light all of the burners!

I found a reference to a Hornady annealing kit online, but it seems to have been discontinued. Check around, though... You'll probably find something similar.:)
 

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The true annealing temperature of brass is around 900 F, but the brass used for ammo can be annealed satisfactorily at about 750 F. That's easy to do with propane - my barbeque hits 750 if I light all of the burners!
Just figured I'd clarify that when you're annealing cartridge casings, you only want to anneal the neck and not the whole case.

By reading your post, it kinda sounds like you might be wanting to put the a whole pan of cases on the grill and do a quick quench when they reach temp. If that's not the case, I apologize for the misunderstanding but it's safer to question and not have someone trolling the net for info and get the idea that "hey I can just throw em in the oven or light the grill and bake em." :)

Otherwise yup, I use a regular propane torch and a bucket of water.
I chuck the cases into my Lee trimmer shellholder and turn them with the drill as I hold the neck under the flame so I get even heat all the way around. A quick twist and it releases the case so I can drop it in the water.
410 pretty much describes my process too. I like to anneal after every 4th loading, but that's just how I learned it. 4 or 5 seems to be about right.
 

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I do it the same way with the Lee trimmer stud too. Cept I just let them air cool. And I trim and anneal each cycle for my precision rifle loads.
 

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Otherwise yup, I use a regular propane torch and a bucket of water.
I chuck the cases into my Lee trimmer shellholder and turn them with the drill as I hold the neck under the flame so I get even heat all the way around.
Brilliant! That will definitely keep the heat even; an excellent technique! I've been setting them on a plate and roasting the necks with a torch, then dumping them, but your method is far better.

I'm curious, though, why I don't see anyone annealing the entire case when I search on this.This shouldn't affect the safety of the cartridge, and would help to prevent belted cases from splitting at the belt. Just because they're restrained by the chamber walls from moving doesn't mean that they don't experience work hardening in this region. As far as I can find in my reading, all brass ships annealed - fully. How can re-annealing the whole shebang cause any harm? Do you know of any links I can follow to learn more about this?
 

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I Learned Something Tonight

This http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html
article provides the technical details about why we shouldn't anneal the entire case, and offers a few alternative methods for doing the job properly. A good find, and worth bookmarking, I think...:)
 

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there is a kit called anneal-rite, you can contact them at this address, enterprise services, llc po box-180994, fort smith ark 72918 phone #479-629-5566 with the kit you most use a liquid called templaq which lets you know when its hot enough. i found this info in my varmint hunters magazine. it seems like a very simple way to anneal your cases. i plan on getting a kit as soon as my money is right, you know most retirees are on tight budgets these days, "keep your powder dry the wind in your face shoot straight apologize to no one",
 

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Brilliant! That will definitely keep the heat even; an excellent technique! I've been setting them on a plate and roasting the necks with a torch, then dumping them, but your method is far better.

I'm curious, though, why I don't see anyone annealing the entire case when I search on this.This shouldn't affect the safety of the cartridge, and would help to prevent belted cases from splitting at the belt. Just because they're restrained by the chamber walls from moving doesn't mean that they don't experience work hardening in this region. As far as I can find in my reading, all brass ships annealed - fully. How can re-annealing the whole shebang cause any harm? Do you know of any links I can follow to learn more about this?
You don't want to anneal the case head because that will cause the head and case web area of the case to become too soft. This can allow for excessive case head expansion. After a few firings the head can grow too large to fit the chamber of the rifle...remember that even a full-length or small-base die can't resize around the head area of the case. There's always about 1/8" or so that the die can't reach because it's in the shellholder. Case head expansion is one of the indicators I use for watching pressure.
Also, if the case head is too soft the primer pocket will stretch out and become loose faster. Makes for shorter case life.

I can't think of any links right off hand except for the 6mmbr site that rawright posted. They cover it very well.

I think Josh (JLA) is the one that gave me the idea to use that Lee shellholder a few years ago. Before I always just held and turned em by hand as I heated them. Leather gloves are a must even when using the Lee shellholder and drill trick though too. :)
 

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Several years back I purchased a tool specifically for case annealing. It is a piece of copper tubing bent/formed into a circle with about ten holes drilled into the inside diameter of the circle. It clamps on the end of a propane torch nozzle. The instructions that came with it were to stand the cases in a pan of water to about half the length of the case. This is to assure the case head does not get any of the annealing(softening) done to it. Light the torch, bring the flame to the neck/shoulder junction and apply the heat until the case starts to turn a dull reddish brown above the water line. Remove the heat and knock the case over into the water to fully quench it. It works very well for a cheap/inexpensive little gadget. I got this through the Woodchuck Den, Todd Kindlers business. It's located in Baltic, Ohio.
 

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I've tested using a drill, a 1/4" socket adapter and a deep socket. A 12mm socket holds a 270 win case perfect.

Insert the case into the socket, heat the neck with a propane torch, then tip the drill to drop the case into a bucket of water.

That setup seems to work great. Also, i have have the parts in my tool box and don't need to spend $$ on a speciality tool. I usually enjoy getting new tools, but in this case, i didn't want to wait for delivery
 

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