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Old December 20, 1999, 11:51 PM   #1
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I notice that 3006 m2 LC cases are annealed while commercial cases are not what are the advantages of annealing?,and if a case is fired does it have to be reannealed? If I decided to anneal cases what would be the process TIA Stuka762
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Old December 21, 1999, 09:41 AM   #2
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Annealing refers to heating the case neck and quickly cooling it in water. This decreases brittleness (from work-hardening--sizing, expanding, etc.). The only time I have found this necessary is when I was forming bottle-necked rifle cases from ones of a different caliber (necking up or down). You don't need to anneal for regular reloading. It is not necessary at all on straight-walled cases, just bottle-necked ones.
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Old December 21, 1999, 03:41 PM   #3
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I just got a .40S&W and have been looking into reloading for it. One of the things that I keep reading about is the issue of unsupported chambers causing higher than normal stresses on this particular cartridge. It seems like this particular caliber's brass might also benefit from an anneal. What do you guys think? And where can some info on the annealing process be found. While I'm asking ... Does anyone know if there is any problem associated with annealing the entire case? Thanks,
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Old December 21, 1999, 03:49 PM   #4
Big Bunny
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Aus 223 and 7.62 Mil are neck annealed too. I tried it once with a blow-torch with the little 222 cases stood up in a water tub, heated to cherry red and then knocked over with a hiss into the cold water.

It was not successful(probably my fault as the cases were well past their useful life for competition) -I would not want to do it again !

Annealing the whole case (I feel) would not be advisable - as uniformity and primer retention may be a safety issue ?
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Old December 21, 1999, 04:34 PM   #5
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With respect to the .40S&W, I was thinking of a more controlled annealing process (using a programmable furnace, etc) ... my main concern is that the cold work that goes into the brass during manufacture is actually required for the additional strength that it adds to the case. Does anyone know what the actual process of making a case is? Does it include an anneal at the end? I wrote Starline a quick e-mail, but they didn't respond. Maybe I'll call and see if I can get the e-mail address of someone technical.
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Old December 22, 1999, 11:22 AM   #6
Paul B.
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Stuka. Factory brass is annealed. They polish the coloring out so it is more beautiful to the eye.
If you anneal your brass, and heat it cherry red, you have gone too far. Also, you do not, I repeat, DO NOT anneal the whole casing. Just the neck and shoulder. Any more and you will have unsafe brass, good only for the scrap heap. it'll be too soft to hold the pressures generated in firing.
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Old December 22, 1999, 08:51 PM   #7
Futo Inu
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Can someone please tell me, when annealing cases in order to neck down to form one cartridge from another, exactly what is the process and what is the best way to do this to cases at home? Please give a step by step with specific instructions regarding temperatures, times, methods, materials, etc., or provide a link to same if possible. Thanks!
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Old December 23, 1999, 10:25 AM   #8
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Methinks it was an article in Handloader maybe 10 years ago, where I read a metals guy's discussion of rifle case neck annealing. Even in a pitch-black darkened room, the blowtorch method reaches temperatures far too high by the time you see the first hint of a glow in the metal.

The guy recommended either using a temperature crayon for the blowtorch method, or just dunking about 1/2-inch of the case neck into molten lead until the case body became uncomfortably hot. The delay in heat transfer, and the fixed max temp of about 750°F, combined to make this method just as reliable.

Unfortunately, I don't remember what temperature threshold he recommended for the temperature crayon. This is a wax-like stick you use to draw a line on the case shoulder. At a calibrated temperature, the stuff melts and gives you your go/no-go reading of how hot the stock has become.

To all: even in centerfire pistol rounds [byond the blackpowder era, at least], the case design depends on the impact exrusion and work hardening of "bumping" in the primer pocket. This adds strength to the part of the case which MUST contain the 30,000+ PSI pressures. Even a "fully supported" pistol chamber leaves the extractor groove completely unsupported--that extractor hits the rim and is built to spring outward anyway. From the extractor groove to the powder chamber is usually a shorter distance on the diagonal line, than from the groove to the primer pocket. Guess which area will blow out first if you have really soft brass?

Don't anneal case heads. Ever.
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Old December 23, 1999, 11:28 AM   #9
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If you can find a copy of PISTOLS: A MODERN ENCYCLOPEDIA by Henry Stebbins (1959), it describes in detail why annealing was used and how to do it properly and dafely. Good book to have on a vaiety of pre-1960 handguns
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Old December 23, 1999, 11:33 AM   #10
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Sounds like maybe the process of making a casing contains an anneal, but NOT as the final step. Just for curiosity, has anyone seen a reference that talks about the process? I don't know of any manufacturers to tour here in northern CA.
Thanks for the info,
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Old December 23, 1999, 03:00 PM   #11
Art Eatman
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Annealing by dipping into molten lead was a new idea to me, until somebody posted it here early this year (as I recall).

Not having lead nor pot, I have (rarely) used the old way of setting a box or so of rifle cases in a pan and adding water to just below the shoulder.

I've done a lot of gas welding, and am comfortable with an acetylene "wrench". But, for this, I'd rather use a propane torch.

Heat the above-water brass to where you can barely see it get toward a dull red. (You definitely don't want it into the red.) Then, shake the pan. All done.

I only neck-resize for my .243 & '06, my most-used cartridges. As near as I can tell, I will get a case-mouth crack after maybe ten reloads (?). Annealing doesn't seem to be worth the trouble, given how cheap once-fired brass is.

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Old December 25, 1999, 12:48 AM   #12
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I shot in competition, 30-06 and 7.62mmNATO for years, using almost exclusively, reloads. In bolt rifles, brass lasted forever.

Neck anealing might be worth considering, if one were going through major case reforming operations, otherwise, why bother, especially since, if improperly done, it will create a potentially dangerous condition, soft case heads, which can blow out, making one hell of a mess in the process.
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