Anealing--when do you do it?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by jmden, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    I've heard some guys say not to do it at all. Others say just do it once before you fireform the cases. I've heard that some comp guys aneal every loading. What is the best thing to do, and why, for long range hunting with the larger cases like the 300RUM?

    jmden
     
  2. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    If its just a standard chambering, if your running hot, every 5-6 loading has been about right for me. With that said, I generally run my larger magnums hot enough that after 6 firings the cases are pretty much ready to be used as paper weights!!!

    If your wildcatting I generally recommend annealing after fireforming the case the first time and then every 5-6 firings after that if the cases are worth annealing.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     

  3. CrossHare

    CrossHare Active Member

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    Never, Just buy more brass.
     
  4. distantfoe

    distantfoe Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I'm mistaken, but won't neck turning do the same thing as anealing?
     
  5. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Fiftydriver,

    Why anneal after the first firing and not before the first firing?

    Thanks,

    jmden
     
  6. Hired Gun

    Hired Gun Well-Known Member

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    Neck turning or trimming has nothing to do with annealing. It's about elasticity. As you use the brass it work hardens and will fracture as it get flexed from sizing or firing. Annealing softens it back up so it will flex again. If I'm dead set on using used brass to wildcat I like to anneal before I blow the shoulders out. Otherwise I only do it when the necks start splitting. That tells me they are getting brittle. This is not a problem with my Lee Collet dies. They work the brass very little so now I only retire brass that won't hold a new primmer or the head gets to big to fit in the shellholder anymore. For me this doen't happen until I get up near 20 shots on it. I did get a batch of 500 super brittle 22-250 Remington brass that split 3 out of 5 necks on the first firing. I'm just jacking those on the ground now and will buy new once they are gone. I want to switch it over to Winchester brass anyway.
     
  7. keithcandler

    keithcandler Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with Fifty driver! Usually within 5-6 firings the necks have become brittle. What you will notice is that the bullets seat harder than they used to. If you try and pull the bullet, if will be very noticable that you have to destroy the bullet to pull it because the neck has such a death grip on it. This death grip leads to higher pressures and blown groups.

    Pay very close attention to how the bullet seat from case to case.

    Like fifty Drive said, most Magnums are red lined to get the accuracy node and their cases may not even last 5 firings, especially Norma brass that is soft to begin with.
     
  8. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Hired Gun,

    What you say about annealing before fireforming and blowing the shoulders out when making wildcats makes sense to me from my experience.

    I still can't figure out why Fiftydriver was talking about annealing after the first firing. What do you think about that. I'd like to learn why he does it that way.

    Thanks,

    jmden
     
  9. Fiftydriver

    Fiftydriver <strong>Official LRH Sponsor</strong>

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    There is one very simple reason why its best to fireform after the case has been fire formed. It is not a big deal and you can do it before or after with good results but I do it after for this reason.

    When you neck a case down, from say 338 to 7mm, the case neck will work harden but the shoulder will not. It retains its original factory annealing state, nice and soft.

    You could anneal after forming and then fireform with great results but if you do so, when the case shoulder is blown out during the fireforming process, it to gets work hardened. This means the brass gets more brittle because it is stretched and changed dimensionally.

    Since it does this no matter if the case has been annealed or not, the shoulder will always harden during fireforming.

    I anneal after fireforming so that once the case is fully formed, I can then anneal the neck and shoulder and from that point on, the neck and shoulder are both of the same degree of softness.

    I also like a bit more neck tension on my fireforming loads and if you anneal the neck before fireforming, the neck tension will be decreased significantly.

    Again, its basically a personal preference thing but this system has worked best for me.

    Kirby Allen(50)
     
  10. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Fifty. That makes sense.

    jmden
     
  11. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

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    I also follows 50's advice on annealing. I was taught to do it that way by Greg Tannel.