As I have just gotten into the more advanced reloading in the past year or so, I would like to gain information on this process.
When exactly is it most beneficial to do? Somone recently told me they anneal new cases and others have said only older brass.
What part of the case do you annel, just the neck or further down than that?
Any feedback would be helpful as this is one area I have not yet tried.
Just anneal the necks. You can use an electric drill or old phonograph with a shell holder attached (Lee w/ spud on drill) rotate case about 30 to 50 rpms. Place propane torch within 3/8" in center of neck, watch rust colored heat ring go to mouth of case then back down to shoulder junction, immediately remove (with gloved hand) case and dip in a 3 lb coffee can of water for 20 seconds, clean out inside walls of neck with swab, hang upside down to dry. This should be done before sizing neck on fired cases. You may need to use dark glasses to see rust colored heat ring. On a 300 Wby and a 308 Baer this procedure takes about 12 seconds on fired cases. I've never annealed new brass but I know people that do and shoot real good. It seems that annealing cases gives you more case life and more consistant neck tension and makes it easier to keep concentricity. The shell holders I use are made by Lee, they are threaded on a spud so the case will set still. Necks should be cleaned with 0000 steel wool before and after annealing. You can tape or wire Variable speed electric drill the proper rpms or use a phonograph at 33 rpms.
I decided to try my hand at annealing some cases this morning. But I didn't have anything to attach the case to a drill.
I tool a small screw and tightened it into the chuck, then formed a lump of modeling clay to about the size of a golf ball. I pushed one end down on the screw, and pressed the base of my brass into the other.
It took just a second or two with each piece of brass to set it up to spin straight.
If I can kill that coyote from here, Will you walk out to get him?
Here's a link, http://www.angelfire.com/ma/ZERMEL/PSLONG06f.html, He does basically the same thing I've done. I use the Lee drill adapter/case trimmer dealy too, worth the couple bucks for sure. If you've heated them red hot, you've overdone it and are likely too soft now. They make a temp stick you can use, but I've never used it. I dunk mine when the color begins to change. You can spin them in yor hand but it just works better using the drill adapter shell holder. If it gets too hot to hold, or even close to that....Your doing something wrong!! You'll need to heat the neck and dunk it quicker. Get your technique down on some bad cases before you try the good ones, it's pretty easy really.
I tried a totally unscientific approach awhile back as suggested by Barsness(I think). A candle or small oil lamp and a damp cloth. Hold and spin until getting 'warm' [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] in your fingers, wipe soot off with cloth. It seems to work well with small cases, haven't tried anything larger than .257 Rob. Only tip I can offer is that it doesn't hiss a bit when you wipe the case neck, it's not hot enough.
I haven't annealed in several years, but from what I remember followed up the annealing with mid-range loads and then full power loads thereafter. I don't know if that step contributed anything, its just what I did.
Accuracy for me did improve after teh annealing. At that time I reloaded for velocity and the hot loads would stiffen the neck so much that there was a noticeable difference between the older brass and the newer when I resized. The annealing relaxed that stiffness comsequently helping restore accuracy.