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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
anybody here anneal their cases?

I'm getting a lot of hairline cracked necks on my 5.56 reloads. Most cases are probably on their third reloading so far, but I'd like them to last longer than that. I've never annealed before, but was wondering if anyone here has done it and is it worth it?
 

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I have never done it ... talked with a few folks that do it a lot .. they shoot some of the expensive brass ... seems most just sit theirs cases (primer down) in a pan, fill with cold water up to the place on the case they do not want to anneal (usually just before the shoulder of the case), take a propane torch, heat the case really well and knock it over in the pan of water ...

Got enough .223/5.56 to just toss them after a couple / three loads. What manufacture brass you having the problem with? Winchester seems to be the worse for me ...
 

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It can be done. Put a bunch of cases in a pan, fill with water about 1/2 of the case height. Heat the necks until cherry red and dump them over into the water. I would do this process if the brass were rare but with .223 brass, I would buy some new brass and throw the old brass away.

Doug
 

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I've done it with 7.62x54r. It works but is a bit of a pain. Just do like Doug said but be careful not to overheat the case neck.
 

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The dumping over in the water I don't understand.........

With STEEL you heat and dump in water/oil to harden the steel. Now the steel is harder, but more brittle. You now reheat the steel, but let it cool slowly to "anneal" it. (still harder, but less brittle).

I have seen videos of ammo brass annealing machines and the machines use a large diameter horizontal wheel that carries the cases to 1 or 2 burners (same position) that heats the necks for a few seconds (red hot). Then the cases slowly cool as they ride farther around the wheel before dropping off.

I don't claim to be an annealing expert... But I might stay in a Holiday Inn one night............. :)

.
 

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Annealing is a process wherein heat is applied to a metal in order to change it's internal structure in such a way that the metal will become softer.

Most of us think of "heat treating" when we think of applying heat to a metal in order to change it's internal structural properties. The word "heat treating" is most commonly associated with steel. However, the term heat treating is not annealing, except in a general and journalistic sense of the word. Heat treating refers to a process wherein the metal is made harder. Annealing always means to make the metal softer.

In order to make steel harder, it is heated to some temperature, and then cooled fairly rapidly, although this is not always the case. Brass, on the other hand, cannot be made harder by heating it -- ever -- brass is always made softer by heating.

The only way brass can be made harder is to "work" it. That is, the brass must be bent, hammered, shaped or otherwise formed. Once it has been made hard, it can be returned to it's "soft" state by annealing.
 
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Do you anneal brass cases BEFORE or AFTER resizing?

Resizing is working the brass..... And shooting is working the brass.

I would guess anneal BEFORE resizing. Resizing is the critical step to set the case dimensions for reloading. Annealing after resizing could slightly change those dimensions....

Thus, two "brass workings" (resizing and shooting) before annealing again.

Hey, I am learning A LOT here...............

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Before sizing -- softens brass making it easier to work (size) without being brittle thus helping to prevent it from spliting or cracking ..

SubGunFan: As I stated earlier, I do not do it ... way too much trouble for the calibers I shoot .... brass is a lot easier to get .. one splits, I toss it without worry; however, like you - I might stay in a Holiday Inn one night!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
captain-03 said:
What manufacture brass you having the problem with? Winchester seems to be the worse for me ...
Seems to be happening with random cases. I reload mostly once fired military LC to a tidbit under mil spec velocities (for my blasting/plinking ammo). Its got me wondering if it could be my rifle headspace though. Need to get my hands on some go-no go gauges for the 556. My barrel has probably 1k rounds through it. Very rarely get a craked neck with the 762.
 

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1K through it shouldn't present a headspace problem IMHO. Just brittle brass maybe ... LC is somewhat thicker than some of the commercial stuff - maybe a tad more brittle due to the thickness especially when working it over several times by sizing and seating - just a thought. I usually shoot once fired commercial (RP and Win). Do have in excess of 10K LC sitting around; just have not loaded much of it.
 

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The last two times I tried annealing the groups went to crap. I let them cool slowly but didn't let the necks get red. I don't know if I'll try it again.
 

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The best way is to have an Annealing machine that dumps into water. It can be done with a propane torch in a dark room. Using a cordless drill and one of these http://www.sinclairintl.com/product/11188/Neck-Turning-Accessories
You will need a 5 gal. bucket with enough water to submerge the case and case holder/driver in. In the dark, put the case into the flame w/ the apex of the light blue flame touching the neck/shoulder junction while the case is spinning quickly. As soon as you see the neck begin to turn light pink, dunk it in the water. About 7- 10 seconds is all it will take. 750 to 800 degrees on THE NECK ONLY is what you are looking for. If it gets cherry red it is trash and the necks will be to soft. Never ever let the case head get hot.
 

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I brought the brass into the ACE store and found some sockets that the brass would fit into. I ran a 8"threaded bold through the socket and fixed it into the the cordless drill. It spins like a champ. Just got a bucket of water.
 

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This thread needs updating. I've been reading a little on this. I know Suber said he anneals. Who else? What method do you use? I need details, man!
 

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I will anneal my .257 weathersby because the brass is so dam expensive, but wouldn't do .223. I always heard and read the water and pan method.
 
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