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Old May 11, 2006, 11:57 AM   #1
Join Date: February 10, 2005
Location: mid michigan
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When and why?
Haven't found any info in my books.
Whats the best way to do it?
As always thanks in advance

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Old May 11, 2006, 12:06 PM   #2
Smokey Joe
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Annealing--how appealing?

As you resize the brass, reloading it over and over, the brass "work-hardens" as they call it, which means it gets brittle and eventually splits.

Only neck-sizing the brass avoids most of the work-hardening.

IMX, by the time rifle brass has begun to split, indicating that annealing might be a good idea, it is old enough to be suspect for that reason and rather than going to the trouble of annealing it I recycle that whole lot of cases, and buy new brass.

An article years ago in the American Rifleman (sorry, can't cite number nor year) said that when brass gets to voting age it's time for new brass. That was back when voting age was 21.

With target pistol brass it's different: I just keep reloading each case until that case splits or gets lost.
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--Smokey Joe
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Old May 11, 2006, 12:43 PM   #3
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The last batch of cases I annealed was some cheap Winchester .223 brass that had started to get the split-neck syndrome after three or so firings. (I haven't annealed in quite a while; the brass I use is too cheap to bother) I have always used the same method, although there are others. The thing to remember about annealing cases is that you only want to resoften the neck, not the whole case. I took a metal baking pan and put about an inch of water in it. I stood the deprimed cases up in the water. I would then heat the necks of the brass with a propane torch just until the necks turned cherry red. I then knocked the case I was heating over into the water with a screwdriver. You must quench the brass in some fashion (cool rapidly) to get the annealing to work. The necks will acquire a bluish finish, sort of looks like case-hardening, but that's only cosmetic. This has always worked for me.
The previous advice given here is also good. Be sure your primer pockets aren't getting loose, and/or that you're not facing incipient case head separation (which can be likely in such situations as .308 fired through a semiauto after 3 or 4 firings). If those things are happening, discard the cases and get new.
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Old May 11, 2006, 04:22 PM   #4
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There are several times when it is appropriate to anneal. Before fireforming to a wildcat is one. After a major neck expansion, such as .30-06 to .35 Whelen is another. I've annealed new cases to use with cast bullets when the necks were too hard to seal the chamber at cast bullet pressures. One might also neck anneal to extend the life of irreplaceable cases.

My method is to hold the case head in my fingers while holding the case neck in a torch flame over a bucket of water. In a semidarkened room, I watch for the color change to spread over the shoulder while rotating the case. I then release the case into a bucket of water. The case head will take a lot more heat than my fingers will.

The rotation is important. If you apply hear only to one side, you get uneven annealing.
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Old May 11, 2006, 06:46 PM   #5
Join Date: February 10, 2005
Location: mid michigan
Posts: 30

Kinda what I thought, just wasn't sure.
I'm neck sizing .308 for a bolt rifle.
Didn't know if this was something that
should be done after 3-4 reloads.
Most likely not.
I usually don't wait till I see cracks
to cull and replace.
Thanks again you have answered my
As always go to the ones that know.

Thanks Jim
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