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To anneal or not to anneal that is the question
I split case necks on my third reloading of .223. However, you cannot prevent case head separation by annealing the neck/shoulder. Some case designs will prevent you from getting more than 4-5 loads on a case...some will let you get 20+ if you anneal.

Regarding extreme accuracy and velocities; annealing allows for more consistent neck tension.

The 6.5 Manbun usually benefits from annealing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I split case necks on my third reloading of .223. However, you cannot prevent case head separation by annealing the neck/shoulder. Some case designs will prevent you from getting more than 4-5 loads on a case...some will let you get 20+ if you anneal.

Regarding extreme accuracy and velocities; annealing allows for more consistent neck tension.

The 6.5 Manbun usually benefits from annealing.
I’m aware it won’t stop case separation that one is the only one I have ever had i was just wondering how many do or not
 

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I do not and never have.
Not for any technical reasons, but because I have such a surplus of brass that it’s probably rare that I’ll shoot the same case more than once or twice.
When getting on a reloading bender, I’ll make up a thousand rounds give or take, and shoot them for a long time, pistol or rifle.
Being a gun owner that doesn’t sell my firearms weekly and acquire new ones like some, the loads built are proven and tested over time. Nothing against that practice, just not for me.
Label each box as an accurate load or a plinking load, as well as what is used for that load.
We have three swinging steel on the 100 yd bay at our range. Sometimes it’s fun to do a 30 round mag dump on them to see how many can be hit rapid fire without a miss. Plinking rounds do that just fine.
 

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The reason I’m asking about annealing is I never have been a paper puncher just reload for hunting but I have been having conversations with diggler1833 and he has sent me down a rabbit hole so to speak lol all I can think about now is how to get that group a little tighter so I been watching videos on annealing and was just wondering what my friends on OKH thought about it or their process I already know Diggler’s I own several rifles and pistols of different caliber’s that I will never get rid of 243’s 22-250’s 270 300wm 300wsm several shotguns and I keep a few around for the sole purpose of trading just to see what I can come up with and the 6.5 manbun which I have never killed a deer with but plan to I have 2 in that caliber one Remington 700 bdl that’s from back in the 70’s working on loads for it now also so it looks like I might try the annealing just to see how or if it works I try everything else might as well try it
 

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One can spend themselves into the "poor house" rather quickly chasing Itty bitty groups.

I take pride that virtually every modern rifle I own will shoot MOA or better with $500 total invested in reloading equipment (dies etc... excluded).

Every time I watch YouTube, I see videos on this $1,500 press, that $1,200 powder measure and scale, a $600 priner seater, or the next $1,500 annealer. I'm thinking that somebody ought to show how you can do this for cheap. Maybe it might catch on.
 

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I’ve had case necks split on pistol cartridges but never a rifle, and the only case separation I’ve had was a Norma 9.3x74r brass. I’m still using and loading the same Norma 9.3x62 brass that I got when I bought my first Blaser barrel in that caliber in about 2005, and I’m sure they’ve been loaded at least 15-20 times. I‘m also still using the Remington 270 Win brass I started with, and they’ve been loaded a bunch too.
I’m sure it would be a good practice to anneal, but unless I start having issues, I doubt I’ll ever do it.
 

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Annealing. When I form cases annealing is part of the process.

I have formed several thousand .219 Donald Wasp Cases from range pick up brass, it takes 4 passes to push that shoulder back and reduce the neck and body down to hold a .223 bullet. You must anneal as the last step before form firing the first time,

.218 Mashburn Bee from .218 Bee and 7 TCU from .223 all benefit from annealing before firing a form load. Although with those cartridges I have been known to fire factory loaded parent rounds and use the survivors. Factory 30-06 ammo fired in a.338-06 AI chamber usually works fine. .375 fired in the .404 Express will give you the correct OAL chamber length and best measurements to learn this gun is really one Fred Barnes .416 Barnes-Jones express, that was the predcessor of the .416 Chatfield Taylor. No annealing required for forming, but do anneal before first reload in all these cartridges..

I like Dennis, have a large quantity of back up brass cases, mostly pistol cases and have annealed some over the years, but usually don't bother. If they split, they go in the scrap bucket.

A cartridge I use and shoot a lot is the 577/450 Martini. I have both solid drawn cases and cases formed from 24 gauge brass shot gun shells. There is a lot history and mystery in this cartridge. The chamber was created at the dawn of the brass cartridge. It preceded the era of uniformity. The cartridge had a steel head and brass foil body, that crush fits in the chamber. The only critical measurement in the chamber if for the steel head. The body-neck lengths are not critical, nor uniform. The shoulder is is an ogee, two opposite radius, and those radius are not uniform from chamber to chamber.

The Martini bore tapers from the breech for 8 inches to cylinder section of the bore. In the throat area the bore has a major diameter of some where around .490. The cylinder section, that starts 8 inches from the breech is .464. The is no clearly identifiable length or location for the neck.

The Chambers were all made 1872 to 1895 or so. Standardization did not occur until 1904. Modern standardization by CIP did not occur until the 1970's, The rules for standardization only apply to those chamber made from the standardization date onwards, Chambers made before the date of standardization vary widely. Modern made reloading tools for loading this cartridge are made to modern standards. Modern sizing dies for this cartridge are made to size to hold a.464 diameter bullet. In reality the neck is large enough to hold a .468-.472 bullet and sometime even larger.

If you load for this cartridge, you must anneal often, even as much as before every reload. The Shotgun brass I have is thin and when fired it expands a lot. .490 OD for a .468 bullet, Resizing works the brass in an extreme. It work hardens fast.

Dr. Ken Howell, the former Editor of Handloader Magazine in his book "Designing and forming Customs Cartridges" has a great discussion on annealing and it is posted here: ANNEALING CASES – 24HOURCAMPFIRE

Here is my two set ups for annealing.

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First on the right is a standard shell holder with a short piece of 1/4" hex rod soldered in the bottom. Second is a standard socket big enough to hold the case. Either of these tools are held in your variable speed drill motor rotating case held in the flame of your propane torch sitting on the bench works well.

In my early days I would hold a case between my fingers and rotate it in the flame of a cigarette lighter until I felt the heat. That worked just fine for all those .223 to 7 TCU cases. I needed production for the Donaldson Wasp cases and that is when I talked to Dr. Howell and got his book. That book is dogeared. This is also when I learned about temperature control.

I have like others used my Mark I eyeball to monitor color change while annealing. Dr. Howell pointed out to me the lesson learned at Spring field Armory and the failures found in low numbered 03 Springfield rifles. The heat treaters work by eye in a room with large windows. During a bright summer day the colors they saw were different than what they saw in a dull dark over cast winter day. I believe General Hatcher also addresses this in his writing--do any of you guys know who Julian Hatcher was? Same thing occurs when you anneal in your shop, ambient light varies.

Another factor Dr. Howell pointed out that has more meaning to me now than it did when Dr. Howell and talked in '97, is our eyes. Things look duller and less clear at 75 versus when I was 50. Dr. Howell recommended using the Tempilaq. You are never going to get a uniform anneal using your eyeball.

I have used Tempilaq off and on over the years. After burning some $5 each Martini Henry cases I have come to make it a habit, I use the liquid that I get from Brownell's. I tried the crayon and it would not stick to the cases.

To use it. Paint case at the bottom of the shoulder on the body. Put the case in the shellholder and turn the case in the flame and watch for the tempilaq to start to turn color-usually brownish black. , When you see the color change drop the case in water to quench. Do not skip quench, If you drop in a can or bucket The hot case will flow heat and anneal parts of the case you want to avoid annealing-like the head-very bad especially when you drop twenty $5 cases in a coffee can. Even dropping them loose on the bench is bad, The heat will still flow and soften part of the case you don't want soft.

I have seen benchrest shooters using the same case over and over. They annealed that case before every reload.

I am surprised I don't recall neck tension being a factor to in the discussion of annealing. That just means, I don't recall it. It make sense.

Precision reloading is about consistent and uniform process. Rotating cases and Tempilaq would sure seem to meet that premise.

One other practice for me involving annealing . If I have cases I have fired, cases that I have not used in years and decide to shoot them, I anneal them before reloading to shoot again. It is not unusual for find neck split case in fired and reloaded ammo that has ben sitting in storage for years. Age hardening is not unusual especially, in cases I have formed-the splitting occurring in the section of the case that was reformed-shoulder and neck.

Sorry for rambling on. I am old and sitting here waiting for the wife to wake up so she can assign me my daily chores, You guys get to suffer my idleness..
 
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