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  #21  
Old 06-04-2011, 07:35 AM
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Yep. Dull red is already too soft. In the July 1996 Precision Shooting, Fred Barker points out the irony is that when you get it that hot it weakens the brass so much that necks will start to split in as few a three reloadings. A properly annealed neck can sometimes go 20 reloads. The red heat folks often mention they re-anneal every 3 or 4 loadings, and it's because they see splitting if they don't, not realizing a little more judicious heat control will let them coast a bit longer.

Barker opined that without using Tempilaq or another temperature indicator, there were only two safe methods of controlling temperature. One was turning a neck back and forth in a candle flame by hand, followed by slapping the case down on a wet towel when the head got too hot to keep holding onto. The other was to dip the mouth and neck in graphite powder (to prevent soldering) and then into molten lead in the 725-750 range, again held by hand and again slapping it onto a wet towel when it got too hot to hold. The wet towel was his way of avoiding drying time, but dropping into water would also work it you have time to dry them.

If you use a temperature indicator, as Ken Howell describes here, then the propane torch is OK. He uses a lower indicator temperature than the lead bath, as do I, and it's because the torch overshoots the indicator temperature by the time you see it turn clear. If you tumble and polish the cases first, after watching a temperature indicator for awhile, you can learn to read the color of the brass as the heat turns it blue, but you always want to do that in the same light. I think it was Howell who points out that if the smooth surface also starts to look dull (much less, red) you've overheated it.
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Last edited by unclenick; 06-04-2011 at 07:39 AM.
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  #22  
Old 07-02-2011, 06:01 AM
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Annealing when necking cases up/down

I thought about posting this in a separate thread but it would be nice to make it an addendum to this sticky.

When you are necking a case up or down, do you anneal before or after that process? I have a couple hundred 30-'06 cases that I want to neck down to 25-'06. Do I anneal the case necks before, after, or both? I'm thinking that annealing after necking the cases down would be sufficient, but figured I should ask the pros.

Thanks for helping me figure out the best way to go about this.
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  #23  
Old 07-02-2011, 10:48 AM
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If they are unfired or once-fired cases, I'd try to do it as you describe, but would anneal first if it had been multiply loaded and fired. I'd figure on needing one more trip through the resizing die after the annealing to be sure the brass has its final shape before I did any reaming.
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  #24  
Old 01-19-2012, 02:36 PM
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I've been handloading for several cartridges for several decades and I guess
I've been doing it wrong, I usually throw my brass away when the primer won't
stay in the pocket. I have yet to see any need to anneal cases. I'm familiar
with annealing and it's fine as long as the heat is applied exactly the same on every
case, the cooling is precisely the same, but, whats all this for??
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  #25  
Old 01-19-2012, 05:04 PM
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For lower-pressure cartridges that do not lose primer pocket tension, or for specific situations where necking a case up or down is indicated, annealing is a worthwhile activity. The point of this thread is to determine the sequence of annealing when necking a case up or down.
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  #26  
Old 01-19-2012, 05:33 PM
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Yes. In cases that never shoot the primer pockets loose, annealing prevents neck splits, which are a common end-of-case-life mode. I think board member Humpy says he's got one .308 case that has survived 156 reloadings. That's exceptional, but for neck sized benchrest, 50 isn't that uncommon. Primer pockets shooting loose happens more in the heavy magnums. If it happens in fewer than 5 reloadings, it's considered a high pressure sign for the brass you are using.
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  #27  
Old 01-20-2012, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclenick View Post
Yes. In cases that never shoot the primer pockets loose, annealing prevents neck splits, which are a common end-of-case-life mode. I think board member Humpy says he's got one .308 case that has survived 156 reloadings. That's exceptional, but for neck sized benchrest, 50 isn't that uncommon. Primer pockets shooting loose happens more in the heavy magnums. If it happens in fewer than 5 reloadings, it's considered a high pressure sign for the brass you are using.
Or, in the case of certain lots of Federal 308 brass, an indication that it's not suitable for reloading in the first place...which DOES mitigate the need for annealing.

I also have a question concerning something roza745 mentioned about cooling the brass down precisely the same with every case. I have learned that quenching them is not necessary and that the preferred cooling method is to simply catch them in a damp towel. Is this meant to achieve a uniform cooling process, or is that simply not a consideration in the annealing process?
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  #28  
Old 01-20-2012, 11:22 AM
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Jason,

That Federal brass is why I said the loosening pockets were an overpressure indicator for the brass you were using. The same load may be fine in another brand of case. Unfortunately, in the case of Federal, often it's the original factory load it came with that is already over pressure for the brass by that criterion. I've heard a number of reports of Federal factory ammo ejecting with the primers falling out. If that hasn't happened, it's still great for your firelapping loads.

Regarding quenching brass, the idea is that cooling the brass fast stops further grain growth (which weakens the brass). But a metallurgist on another forum argued that grain growth takes time and cases are so thin that even in room temperature air they will cool below the grain growth threshold temperature (about 660F)) too quickly to require quenching, provided you didn't get it way too hot in the first place.

I feel better quenching them anyway. I never could find any independent information on how fast 70:30 brass grain growth occurs at 700-750F. I think, in the case of the candle method, the original damp towel was to both wipe the candle soot off, cool the thing enough to reload, and still not get the case wet on the inside. These factors let you reload right away. If you drop them in a bucket it is uniform and quick, but you sometimes have to shake the flash holes out and wait a couple days for them to dry, if you don't have a drying box constructed.
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  #29  
Old 01-20-2012, 02:00 PM
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Fred Barker wrote of the candle method in Precision Shooter and I found an article about it by Barsness I think that ran in Guns:

On the Softer Side: Cartridge Case Annealing

I enjoy the method, simple and easy and I also do it in front of the TV.
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  #30  
Old 03-08-2012, 07:12 PM
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i just recently ordered my first batchof new brass. does the new brass need to be annealed or is this already done to some of them?
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  #31  
Old 03-08-2012, 07:54 PM
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No Jack, it should be ready to go. I anneal my bottleneck rifle cases after 5 firings, but that's not a rule and I don;t even know if it's correct. It's just what I do.

The best thing for your new brass might be to just check the case mouths for roundness and any rough edges. I'll usually neck-size the brass to get any dings out or fix any oblong mouths. Then I'll very lightly chamfer the inside of the case mouth.
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  #32  
Old 04-18-2012, 05:58 AM
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Annealing-Misfire

Annealing is best left to the brass manufacturers , as it needs specialized equipment to do it correctly. A misfire can be caused by improper annealing. When the shoulder becomes to soft, the firing pin strike can set back the shoulder. If the round fires, the brass expands, leaving no evidence of set back. I was shooting 223 Federal brass on its 6th loading. Having cracked necks, i decided that annealing might get a few more firings out of the brass. Even tho 40 years ago, annealing did not work on some 243win brass, making the necks to soft. The 223 misfire would not fire on the 2nd strike from the firing pin. At home, measurements show the shoulder was set back .014" when measureing to the datum line. L.E. Wilson's case gage shows the brass head below the lowest step. All loaded rounds had been gaged before firing. More testing was needed. Took 3 annealed brass with used primers and chambered them. After 2 strikes with the firing pin, shoulder set back was between .010" & .012" The used primer already had the firing pin dent in them, so the blow from the pin was not as great as new primers. The primer involved in the misfire was placed in a different non-annealed piece of brass. It did fire on the 2nd firing pin strike. A total of 4 hits on the primer, till it fired. I feel the primer may have been damaged from the first 2 misfires. Savage Axis bolt action 223 less than a year old. 722 rounds fired. Loaded with IMR4198-20.5gr-CCI400-Win. 55gr FMJBT-Federal brass-RCBS Dies made in 2010. There are Hornady Annealing Kits available & Tempilstik & Tempilaq that may help. But when you overheat the brass, there is no way to fix it. [IMG][/IMG]
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  #33  
Old 04-18-2012, 06:09 AM
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If by "specialized equipment", you mean a candle and heat-sensitive finger tips, then I agree with your post completely!

There are too many folks doing this successfully for me to buy the whole, "leave it to the manufacturers" thing. I see a blowtorch in your picture file. Watch the video Denton posted earlier in this thread and I think you'll find this is not nearly as complicated or likely to cause a problem as you're suggesting. As they say... YMMV
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  #34  
Old 04-21-2012, 05:31 PM
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I agree....243, you must not have read what I posted regarding the candle method. I've used it and it works well...I was getting split necks on the 4th firing in some 270 brass. I used the candle method and went through those same brass for two more firings since and have yet to get another. When Fred Barker developed the method, he did use temperature sensitive paint/templstik and found you couldn't over heat it. Works great and give it a shot and see what you think.

Last edited by M1Garand; 04-21-2012 at 05:34 PM.
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  #35  
Old 04-22-2012, 07:08 AM
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ouch
Quote:
instead of a torch, fred used a simple paraffin candle. Believe it or not, the tip of a candle flame produces over 1,500 degrees f. By applying heat-paint that melts at 725 to 750 degrees to the neck of the case, fred eventually found holding a typical rifle case about halfway up the body, then turning the neck in the tip of the candle-flame until the case grew too hot to hold, produced the right amount of annealing.
:d
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  #36  
Old 04-22-2012, 10:22 AM
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The flame may get that hot, but there will be a gas boundary layer over the case surface that has a significant temperature gradient because of the speed with which the brass can draw heat away. In effect, the gas doesn't supply heat fast enough to get the brass temperature to match the flame temperature.
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  #37  
Old 12-08-2012, 07:35 PM
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should I anneal more than once in the life of a case?
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  #38  
Old 12-09-2012, 04:06 AM
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You can anneal when indicated or every 5th firing. Many guys will anneal just once before tossing brass, but it's possible to get many firings and annealing the neck/shoulder can help make your brass last a lot longer.
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  #39  
Old 12-11-2012, 04:07 AM
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Often folks anneal when they start to see neck splits, but that's actually a little late. Also, the hotter your loads the more frequent the need usually is. The more your dies work the neck metal the more frequent the need is.

I wish there was a single good number to give you, but there isn't. Jason's 5 load number should cover about anything, but many can go over 20 reloads before there's a need. It just depends on circumstances. Also, if you get neck splits in the first three to five reloads after annealing, it means you are getting the neck too hot during annealing.
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  #40  
Old 12-11-2012, 05:10 AM
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i used a pencil torch - i stopped heating when the color change moved 3 to 5 mm down the side of the case from the shoulder. Is that any indication of the temp reached? in other words do you think i may have overheated the cases?

Last edited by crspooner; 12-11-2012 at 05:12 AM.
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