Annealing extends your neck and shoulder life. I recommend annealing my 277 Allen Magnum and 7mm Allen Magnum after fireforming and then after the 5 firing. The 300 Allen Xpress I recommend annealing after the 5th firing.
The 338 Allen Xpress does not need annealing as the Lapua brass comes with a very soft anneal. THe 375 Allen Xpress should be annealed after 5 firings.
Remember however you can only anneal your case neck, shoulder and perhaps 3/4" below the shoulder. You should not anneal much below 3/4" under the case neck. While this will return the elasticity of your case necks and shoulders preventing cracks it will do nothing for the body of the case.
I have done alot of testing with body taper on my wildcats. Most of them have had 2 or 3 test reamers made and fully tested with varying degrees of body taper to offer max performance and also good long brass life. My design is not nearly as aggressive as a true Ackley Improved case design as far as body taper. There is a fine line you have to follow with body taper. The lower the body taper, the more case capacity you get, BUT, with the larger chamberings, the very low body taper results in sticky extraction as pressures climb.
I used this in my favor early on with my 7mm Allen Magnum. Many wanted Rem 700s to be converted to this chambering so as a safety feature I used very little body taper on the early 7mm Allen Magnums. As a result, the cases would have sticky extraction long before the handloader could get into pressure levels that would be dangerous for the Rem 700 receivers.
At the beginning of 2010, I made a business decision to stop working on the Rem 700 for the most part with my wildcats. This was because that my backlog had grown to the point I had to start working on only complete custom projects to help speed up turn around times. Because of this, I decided to change the design of my 7mm Allen Magnum to a new body taper which was significantly more then the old design which greatly improved the extaction performance of this design but it also allowed the use of noticably higher chamber pressures for higher performance but it did limit the safety margins offered by the Rem 700 which was the reason for stopping its use for the most part.
The 7mm AM easily picked up 100 fps with this new design with good extraction characteristics but it was more pressure then I wanted the Rem 700 to be exposed to. This was more from a liability stand point more then anything.
Anyone with the old 7mm AM chamber specs will be informed of the change in the event that they get an older rifle rebarreled as it will have the new chamber and they will be warned to stay to recommended loads and do not push things harder.
Most of the old 7mm AM owners have already had their barrels replaced and are running the new. There is not a major change in appearance in the two designs but cases fired in the old design will not fit in the new chamber.
As case baring surface increases, body taper needs to increase as well so its not a one rule for all type of thing.
And, annealing will not help, 6-8 firings are plenty. Realize that if you get 100 cases that means you will get 800 firings through the rifle, thats alot for a big game rifle. 200 rounds of brass will likely last the life of the barrel and in most cases, the carreer of most big game hunters, even serious big game hunters.
One nice thing about my wildcats is that you can take a bit of pressure off and still outperform pretty much every other chambering in their caliber families and then extend case life even more.
Most of the high performance wildcaters that design wildcats for the public are happy with 4-5 firings per case. Some I have talked to are happy with 2-3 firings per case. This is NOT acceptable for me, especially on a case that has to be formed.
That is one reason why I started offering formed cases for my wildcats and also developed loads that offer legit long case life. Many of my customers get more performance out of my wildcats then I load them to. I do not recommend that but at the points I load them to, there is quite a bit left in performance if someone is happy with 4-5 firings per case. Me personally, I just would rather have the longer brass life.
With the full custom rifles
such as my Raptor receiver based rifles, there is nothing wrong at all pushing the throttle a bit harder, it will just cost you in a bit of brass life for very little down range improvement but there certainly is some to be had. The ultra strong Raptor will easily support anything the Lapua parent case can support but that is not a free pass to go crazy, I still have recommended loads for a reason, its much better to be safe and give up 50-75 fps as you will never notice that down range compared to the standard high performance loads I recommend.
While my chamberings have NOT been pressure tested, I suspect I have done more load development and testing them most that have released wildcats to the public and even some of the semi custom rifle
shops that offer loaded ammo. Yes they may have pressure tested their ammo but even then I have run into some serious problems with some of their rifles, cases and performance recommendations.
Simply put, most people that offer loaded ammo will tell you a FPS level you will get out of your rifle, sadly that rifle and their ammo rarely live up to their advertisments. With an APS rifle, you WILL get what I say you will get because your rifle is tested before it leaves the shop with custom handloads to get you what I tell you it will get. IF you want to go from there, that is the customers call, if not, 80% of my customers use the loads I recommend.