Yeah, there's no way that it wasn't cool enough. Those cases were EXTREMELY over annealed.
There's no "just start turning orange" either, unless you're in a PITCH BLACK room and you shouldn't see only the SLIGHTEST indication.
I've come to a very simple method.... I hold a case in my fingers about 1/2" below the bottom of the shoulder, put the shoulder/neck junction in the "inner flame" of a propane torch and rotate it. When it's too hot too hold, I drop it in water. If I can still hold it, there's NO WAY it's hot enough to do damage.
A more precise way is to use Tempilaq or similar heat-sensitive, color-changing markers.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.