Case Annealing
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:02 PM   #1
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Default Case Annealing

Does anyone here at the forum include this step in their reloading process? I've heard that some swear by it, others do not. I have experienced case failure but always at the case head after 8 to 10 reloads on the same brass. Never at the neck where the heating/annealing process takes place. I reload milsurp brass in 7.62 NATO (.308) and have noticed what looks like heat blueing at the case neck. I always internally check my brass with a "hooked" paper clip running it down the inside of the case to inspect the webbing area for a pressure ring burn at the base. If found I junk the brass. Mind you my loads are never run up to max. Usually loaded @ 5 to 8 % below maximum. Also on the subject of "range scrounged brass". Before resizing, wash the brass in a bucket of hot soapy water. I use Dawn dishwashing liquid. Cuts grease and makes my brass smell fresh and clean (nyuk nyuk). Seriously, dry the brass, then toss it into your tumbler. Kinda like doin' laundry 'eh? Just wondering, since I always full length resize, could this be why I sometimes experince case head failure? Seems that since the brass is being worked along its entire length the webbing area is being stressed.

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Old 10-31-2011, 09:22 PM   #2
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Always full length resizing allows the brass to flow forward, which leads to case head separation and brass that is to long. Neck only sizing will increase case life to some degree. I have annealed old (40+years) brass before loading to prevent split necks.

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Old 11-01-2011, 04:36 AM   #3
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Anealing is a step I use for all bottleneck rifle cases except .223. I full length size and would be pleased to get that many loadings out of the brass.

Anealing allows me to form .308 from .243 and 7mm-08, .30-06 from .270 and .280, I also neck up and trim off .270 and .280 to make 8mm Mauser cases.

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Old 11-05-2011, 09:28 PM   #4
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After firing a few times,a bottlenecked case will harden and not resize correctly.You will notice this when you seat your bullets,you can actually pull the bullets by hand.By annealing the necks after several firings,the necks will resize correctly.
There are several ways to anneal a case.You can buy an expensive annealing machine,or some guy's put the cases in a baking pan and fill the case to the neck with water and then heat them up with a torch.
I just use a cordless drill with a Lee shell holder and a propane torch.I then heat the necks while turning,until they glow red,and then quinch in water.You only want to heat the neck area,not the body of the case.

I always anneal the cases after 5 firings.

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Old 11-05-2011, 09:40 PM   #5
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for those who cast bullets - you can dip the case neck in the molten lead to anneal. Thats the way I often do it.

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Old 11-05-2011, 11:45 PM   #6
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I reloaded 20+ years and never annealed.
Last year some of my 222 brass was splitting necks... perhaps 40% of the lot.
I just purchased a Ken Light annealer and love it.

One thing that influenced my purchase was I now have several calibers that brass is pricey, like 22PPC and 22-454.

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