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Old September 6, 2011, 05:06 PM   #1
Caboclo
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To Anneal Or Not To Anneal?

My Lyman manual, 49th edition, states:
"Some sources suggest that case life can be lengthened by annealing the neck portion of the brass. By the time a case needs annealing at the neck, other factors will have brought about the end of the case's useful reloading life. It is almost impossible for the reloader to control and maintain the precise temperature required for proper annealing. Therefore, Lyman cautions against attempts to anneal case necks."

By comparison, Hornady sells annealing equipment, and a quick search on this forum seems to indicate that most people consider annealing to be standard practice. Does anyone here agree with Lyman?
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Old September 6, 2011, 05:52 PM   #2
mehavey
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Lyman Manual Quote:
Quote:
"By the time a case needs annealing at the neck, other factors will have brought about the end of the case's useful reloading life. It is almost impossible for the reloader to control and maintain the precise temperature required for proper annealing."
I disagree w/ Lyman.

I first found annealing to be absolutely req'd after ~5 firings of my 300WinMag. The neck had become so work-hardened that getting the expander ball out of the case after resizing became a real challenge... and neck splits began to occur.

While many of the past "homebrew" methods of annealing may have been haphazard if not downright hazardous, Hornady's introduction of the hand-drill "spin holder" and Tempilaq(uer) heat indicator fluid has made this a fast/convenient and very controllable process.

I'm now on my 15th firing of those 300WinMag cases (re-annealing after ~ every five firings) and have expanded the use of annealing to my Model-70/30-06 and Ruger M77/243 when the expander "squeaks."

Annealing is best used on bolt actions where the handloader can control resizing to barest minimum and get many, many (many) case re-uses. (I pitch gas-gun cases much (much) sooner.)

Last edited by mehavey; September 6, 2011 at 06:13 PM.
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Old September 6, 2011, 06:11 PM   #3
wncchester
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Annealing PROPERLY is a somewhat tricky process, most of us err on the side of too much heat which leaves the necks too soft at first but that's not dangerous and the cases can still be used for a long time.

I started annealing about 40 years ago and seem to have it about right now. Way I figgered it at first was I was losing cases to split necks so what did I have to lose, I could scrap 'em or poorly anneal and then scrap 'em; that was not a hard choice for me to make!
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Old September 6, 2011, 09:36 PM   #4
William T. Watts
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Annealing

For ever handloader who anneals the neck of his cases there are probably hundreds who do not, I never quite developed a feel for annealing and gave up. I can do a lot of things but annealing isn't one of them.. William
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Old September 6, 2011, 10:23 PM   #5
jmorris
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More often than not, your better off not trying. If you have a good machine, you can't hurt them annealing every time.
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Old September 6, 2011, 11:24 PM   #6
mehavey
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Annealing properly is what the case-spinner/Tempilaq system is all about.
It's relatively cheap, simple, and very consistent.

So easy, caveman can do it.

See here:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...34&postcount=8
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Old September 6, 2011, 11:48 PM   #7
reloader28
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I agree with it being easy.
I do it every 4 or 5 reloads and have had good luck doing so.
With the torch, Lee case spinner, and dim lights, I go till it just BARELY starts to glow. Some guys will say thats to much, but it works for me and I dont have to buy extra stuff temp. for it. It does add life to your cases.

I've heard of guys getting 50+ reloads from their brass from proper annealing. I'm not saying my way is proper, but it defanatly adds to the life of it.
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Old September 7, 2011, 12:40 AM   #8
deepcore
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Haven't pulled the trigger on an annealing machine yet....largely because one could buy another gun with the cost of the various brands and models ($400 to $500).

Meanwhile I've "made do" with a home made rig to hold the torch and cordless drill and a deep socket (wrench) chucked in the drill to hold the case.
Count the revolutions..watch the color..and done.
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Old September 7, 2011, 07:44 AM   #9
Ike666
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+1 for mehavey - so easy a caveman can do it.

I use a variation of the method demonstrated by ammosmith:

annealing

I protect the head by placing the .308 cartridges in a deep well socket on my drill. Heats the neck quickly and leaves the head cool.

I think it helps extend the life of my case necks.
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Old September 7, 2011, 08:22 AM   #10
JimPage
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I first learned about annealing when I got a .308 Norma Magnum about 45 yrs ago. An article in the American Rifleman with pictures was my model. Propane torch and bucket of water. Hold the case in your fingers by the base. Heat the neck on the propane torch while holding over the bucket of water. Drop the case when the base gets too hot. It's simple and it works. Not to mention that the price is right.

It is almost a must procedure when making 308NM cases from 7mmMag cases.

I was amased how much brass I saved.
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Old September 7, 2011, 08:24 AM   #11
Magnum Wheel Man
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I do it caveman style, ( Lee case holder, cordless drill, torch, low lights & a case head water bath afterwards ) but only on a few cases, where I see extra work hardening... agree that semi auto cases aren't on my list, as they are exposed to more damage than work hardening the case necks
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Old September 7, 2011, 10:13 AM   #12
jmorris
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I also thought $400-500 was too expensive so I built my own machine.



Here is is in action. You just can't get the consistancy by hand.



With two torches, the heat is applied so quickly only the neck is heated enough to anneal. There is not enough time for the heat to migrate to the head where it can be damaged. This allows you to reload right after, any water bath method forces you to add the extra drying step.

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Old September 7, 2011, 10:28 AM   #13
deepcore
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Jmorris,

Where did you get the saw blade(?) with the holes in it?
Did you have to cut the holes yourself?
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Old September 8, 2011, 08:47 AM   #14
jmorris
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I had a bunch of them cut out of 1/8" plate with a CNC laser at the time. The cost for just one was to high, I sold the rest for $60 shipped, with scale drawings of the top plate, torch arms and drive wheel. I have few folks that want one but not quite enough to have another batch cut yet.


This is a video of one built from a "blade" and the drawings.




Step by step photos are in this album
http://m121.photobucket.com/albums/j...etal/annealer/
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