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Neck turning & annealing question

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Unread 03-11-2009, 06:26 PM
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Neck turning & annealing question

I have ordered an outside neck turning tool for my 7 wsm brass. I've seen from multiple sources that the uniformity of this brass can greatly benefit from neck turning.

Before I screw up any brass, I've got a few questions.

When is the best time to turn the necks - after FL resizing brand new brass, or after partial FL resizing once fired brass? I've got 100 pcs of brand new brass that needs to be prepped. I'm thinking, right after FL resizing, before any other prep work.

Also, is there any benefit to neck turning my previously fired brass I've been shooting (mulitple reloads), or is it too late for that now?

How close to the neck-shoulder interface should I turn the necks?

My normal process on fired 7 wsm brass is:

partial FL resize, no bump (simultaneously deprime)
wipe off case lube
measure oal and check proper chambering
trim all alike if required on any
if trimmed, ID/OD chamfer & steel wool polish mouth (Thanks Varmint Al)
primer pocket brush
neck brush
load powder, seat & check proper chambering

Along the same lines, - when in this process is the best time to anneal my previously fired brass? I'm thinking, right after tumbling, with a repeat tumbling after annealing. Please advise.

Thanks in advance!

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Unread 03-11-2009, 08:37 PM
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Re: Neck turning & annealing question

The best time to outside neck turn is before they are ever fired. The first concern is getting the right inside neck diameter for the neck turning mandrel. That will depend upon which turner you got. The K & M has an expander that will expand the necks to right diameter. For my Forster turner I use a Lee Collet Neck Sizer to get the necks right for the mandrel.

There is some info, I think it came with my Forster turner, that says that turning a slight bit into the shoulder will help prevent do-nut development. I do that as shown here on a 338RUM

Now I feel a little skeered about cutting away shoulder brass but it has never created a problem. I have not been able to verify the do-nut thing. I have only developed a do-nut on my 280AI (which I turn for also) and only with Nosler 280AI brass. However I haven't turned any of that particular brass and have started using the regular Nosler 280 rem brass for my 280AI and have not seen do-nuts there yet.

IMO, there is an advantage to turning previously fired brass, or any brass, because it make the neck brass consistant. Consistant neck brass can keep the thicker side of the brass from offering more resistance to the bullet being seated and thus canting the bullet. Can't prove that other than my turned brass has less runout (measured on the ogive) than unturned brass.

You will really need that steel wool on the inside of the necks after turning because the mandrel will scar up the inside neck surface.

For annealing, you're on your own.
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Unread 03-11-2009, 08:47 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 322
Re: Neck turning & annealing question

I have been prepping alot of 7mmWSM brass lately.I use an expander mandrel on virgin brass prior to turning the necks.I think it is important to use an expander mandrel,that way it will force all the imperfections to the outside,so they can be sraped off with the neck turner.I only clean up about 80% of the neck,I try not to remove any more material than necessary.I turn down until the cutter just starts to scratch the shoulder,that way I know I cut far enough down.
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Unread 03-12-2009, 07:09 AM
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Re: Neck turning & annealing question

Does anyone use lubricant on their turning mandrel?
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Unread 03-12-2009, 07:54 AM
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Re: Neck turning & annealing question

"...after FL resizing brand new brass, or after partial FL resizing once fired brass? "

I don't think it makes any difference when we turn. Necks that have been sized and expanded are pretty much the same. That's certainly so for factory rifles, it's just not terribly critical.

The neck mandrel should be a very snug, not tight, fit. Use case lube on the mandrel to ease turning and reduce heat expansion of the necks.

Like Woods, I'm quite happy with my Forster HOT-100 neck turner. Very good carbide cutter design, easy to set for thickness, low cost. Don't much like the plastic case holder but, fact is, it works fine.
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Unread 03-12-2009, 08:56 AM
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Re: Neck turning & annealing question

IMO unless you have a min SAAMI spec chamber OR your brass shows big variances in neck thickness (.002 variance), you have very little (if anything) to gain for a factory chamber for a lot of work.

What size is your fired case at the neck?

What size is your loaded round at the neck?

If you have over .004-.005 difference what do you think you are getting in neck turning?

After 3 firings, the neck work hardens (and at different rates) so any supposed uniformity of neck tension is gone unless you anneal.

You will have to go to a bushing die afterwards normally in order to maintain neck tension.

Plus you are just now putting an undersize neck (smaller) cartridge in an already oversize neck factory chamber. How is this increasing accuracy?

Yes, lube the mandrel turning.

Yes size the cases and then expand the necks before turning. After turning resize the case necks at least.

Hand held turning will often leave distinctive marks around the case. Look for a B&D power screwdriver with sinclair adapter to hold the cases and turn at 180 rpm. Leaves a super smooth cut.

Yes, cut slightly into the shoulder if you have a curved cutter like the K&M. That totally eliminates the donuts.

I anneal before tumbling and sizing. I use the Ken Light machine. Fast and uniform like nothing else.

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Unread 03-12-2009, 09:14 AM
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Re: Neck turning & annealing question

Turning the necks will harden them so you might as well anneal afterwards although if they are already hard it will be harder to turn them so you can anneal first and if annealing is really fun for you then you can do it before and after.

Turn the necks on your old brass first being as you will most likely ruin most of it.

Be prepared to buy new dies as was mentioned.

Be prepared to sell your neck turner at a great financial loss although selling it will prevent ruining even more brass. The market is glutted with neck turners being as everybody has tried it at least once in their life except for you.

Perhaps tomorrow I will put up a video of annealing necks being as I have to do it today or tomorrow.

Before you begin to turn necks by hand go and find a needle, some alcohol and a couple of bandaids.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
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