I'm having issues with neck tension, my cases have been loaded 6 times, annealed after the 5th firing, now I'm not an expert at annealing, but I've done it some so here's my question.
I was losing neck tension on the 5th firing so I annealed all my cases, was using the gas kitchen stove (just don't tell the mrs) annealing time was approx. 1 minute, not getting the picture perfect annealing ring like lapua brass has but I'm getting the blue/gray color in splashes around the shoulder's edge, but I can still push the bullet into the case by pressing the bullet against the loading bench.
I can't believe I'm over annealing but is it likely I'm under annealing them?
appreciate your thoughts and thanks for your time
but I can still push the bullet into the case by pressing the bullet against the loading bench. I'm assuming this is after resizing after you heating process....
If anything I would suggest that you may be under annealing. I've done the "over the stove" method over years. The learning curve included burned finger, burned fringes on wife's pot holders along with flames once in awhile.
When I finally got driven out of the kitchen I pretty much settled on a method similar to buffalobob's (there's a video around here some where.
Wait till evening, turn off the lights an go for an even red glow at least to the base of the neck and see if that helps.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
Here is the videos of the annealing the Buffalobob way. I tried it a while back and it's cheap, easy, and effective. CHECK IT OUT!!!
ACTIVE DUTY MARINE CORPS '96-'04
SERGEANT (MED RET)
COMBAT ENGINEER, MOUT INSTRUCTOR, RIFLE/PISTOL INSTRUCTOR
"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet."
"I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, tears in my eyes: If you f*ck with me, I'll kill you all." MarineGeneral Mattis
Custom built 7mm SAUM
If it takes a minute I'd be concerned about heating the case head too much. Softening the head of the cartridge case is extremely dangerous. I've got the cheapo Hornady kit and it takes about 7 seconds with a torch. That way the head of the case stays cool.
but I can still push the bullet into the case by pressing the bullet against the loading bench.
I doubt if any cartridge I load would pass that test although I don't know how hard you are pushing. However I really don't know because I don't ever try to do that. I check to see if, with the base of the cartridge on the table, I can push the bullet down with my fingers withhout standing up and getting leverage on it.
Annealing is the only way I know to get your neck tension back to within a suitable range using the supplied die. It was the 7AM cases that forced me to learn annealing and I just do it my way and that works OK for me. Perhaps the machines do a better and more uniform job but I am not the worlds greatest rifle shot so if my groups are in the 0.3 MOA range at 100 yards then that's just the limits of my skill with a rifle and there is not much use in acting stupid and believing differently.
Again, annealing reduces the stress that provides springback, and tension.
'Heat-treating' makes metal harder. This is not 'annealing', which always means to make metal softer(or stress relieved). Brass cannot be made harder by heating it--ever.
Brass is always made softer by heating, and the only way brass can be made harder is to 'work' it. With softer brass(freshly annealed) there is LESS springback, and LESS tension.
You typically know it's time to anneal when a few cases in a batch exhibit EXCESS tension, as seen with splitting necks or seating force variance.
Annealing is then performed to normalize springback in that batch of cases, and NOT to increase tension. Your sizing/firing takes care of that.
Given your annealing method described(totally wrong), and apparent lack of tension, the cause and affect is pretty clear. Cycle the brass a few times(Size/expand/fire) to regain normal springback, and stop annealing for a while.