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Annealing necks

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Old 03-11-2007, 07:28 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 308
Annealing necks

So I'm on load number 9 and I started thinking about having to reform some new brass for my 243 AI and read an article about annealing cases.

Check it out...

I liked the last part of the article. After reading this I decided to give it a try. I chucked up the shell holder I have for my k&m neck turner and grabbed a torch I had laying aroud. I turned the drill on and spun the neck right at the tip of the blue flame that is about an inch past the end of the torch. I held it there for about 5-7 seconds. Basically right when or right after the flame changes to orange and the neck almost appears to start on fire. I then push the neck into water and the case head is only warm due to conduction. I think I'm doing it correctly and the necks seem to be noticably softer.

Anybody that has experience annealing necks have any comments or suggestions?
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Old 03-12-2007, 06:23 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North New York State.
Posts: 10
Re: Annealing necks

I have a 10" baking pan I fill with water till I can cover the shoulder of the case.In the room with the lights out I heat the necks till I see them turn red,then I tip them over the the water.Necks will last longer BUT check the case heads for cracks as the case ages from repeated firing.
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:03 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Northamptonshire England
Posts: 676
Re: Annealing necks

I can never understand why instructions on case neck annealing tell you to tip the case over in the water after heating it to dull red, doing so you are effectively quenching the case.
To anneal any copper based alloy correctly it should be allowed to cool at room temperature after heating.
The water in the tin is primarily there as a heat barrier, preventing the conduction of heat to the case body.

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Old 03-12-2007, 10:06 AM
Posts: n/a
Re: Annealing necks

Hornaday sels a set of "pot chucks" that protect the lower half of the case, these are made of aluminum to conduct heat away from the base of the case.The way you are doing cases presents a danger of overheating the base of the case.
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Old 03-12-2007, 11:15 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: York, Pa.
Posts: 588
Re: Annealing necks

I also use the baking pan method. fill the pan with enough water to cover about 2/3 of the case. I heat the neck with a 'custom' made 1/4" tubing with tiny holes around the inside connected to hand propane bottle till red, then kick it over in the water. This 'custom tube' made tube took some trial and error to get it togther. Before that I just used a standard torch and ran around in circle till I fell over..
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Old 03-12-2007, 02:50 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 811
Re: Annealing necks

There are many ways to anneal cases, one fact for sure, it has to be cooled fast. Cases should be put in some sort of cool water to keep the convection of heat percipitating into the case head area. Some use a lead pot and dip the cases into the molten lead and then quench. I use the pan of water method as described in an earlier post. Factory annealing machines do the same thing, the cases move through an assmbly line of flames to get the necks dull red in color, they then drop off the line and into a running water bath to quench cool.

Brass or most non ferous metal are the opposite of Steel, annealing steel you heat and let cool very slowly. The more you work brass, ie, sizing, Neck forming, fire forming, results in work hardened brass that will crack or split. A lot will depend on the factory brass you are working with. When fire forming almost any AI type, annealing the brass first will increase case life.

Here is a link to a annealing machine.
Annealing brass cases

I am doing a lot of neckdowns of the large 408C-T cases, bringing them down to 338 cal is a lot of neck movment, i pre anneal the cases to soften the brass, we dont want it too soft. After the neck forming is done i anneal one more time, this time a little farther down the case shoulder. Then fire form the cases. When your working with 2.00 brass everylittle bit helps in extending the life of the cases.


"Let the good times roll"
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Old 03-12-2007, 04:01 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Northamptonshire England
Posts: 676
Re: Annealing necks

When i was learning how to hammer form copper plate i was taught to heat the plate to dull red, allow to cool and then drop it into a vat of copper sulphate solution.
I therefore supposed that was the way to anneal all copper based alloys and is how i have done it since.

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