Case annealing

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by SidecarFlip, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    Probably been discussed before but I never considered the need to anneal my .223 cases because Mil once fired brass is plentiful but the .338 cases are both expensive and not plentiful.

    Any suggestions on annealing or machines? I could anneal .223's as well. Being frugal it's an option.

    Plus I have pistol straight walled cases that would lend themselves to the process....

    Suggestions welcome...
     
  2. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    Bench Source Machine. I have owned a Ken Light before but the Bench Source will anneal all case sizes with out the need for different plates. The durration adjustment while the case sits rotating in the flames is highly adjustable and allows perfect results. Plus I dont miss the water mess of the KL.

    New Case Neck Annealing Machine

    Jeff
     

  3. Aldon

    Aldon Well-Known Member

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    Giraud just came out with a slick unit.

    This is my Christmas gift to myself this year. I always get the most thoughtful gifts from myself. LOL

    New Page 1
     
  4. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    I looked at the KL machine on his website and thought to myself it looks well built but cumbersome and the idea of changing the complete turntable for different cases seems a bit, well, underdesigned.

    I see the Bench Source machine rotates the cases without using the turntable itself to rotate the case, a good idea.

    That Giraud machine is entirely different in approach and alos interesting. All of them appear to have strong points and weak points. It's is just a hard decision as to which.

    It's not predicated on price at all. It's predicated on ease of use, especially setup and execution. I'm fully aware of what over annealing a brass case does, I'm in the metal trades, and I could build my own but why do that and suffer the trials and tribulations of design and executiuon when there are already good machines out there.

    I keep reading posts on here about splt necks on .338 cases and in my opinion (may be FOS), split necks are a result of the brass becoming brittle in the bottleneck area and loosing the ability to expand and spring back after the charge pressure subsides.

    I've never had the need to anneal before becaue I shoot primarily .223 Remington in small caliber. That's my go to cartridge for 100 yard match target and once fired cases are readily available in quantity so I buy a couple thousand once fired, bust out the crimped primers, prep the pockets on a CNC lathe and continue through the loading process. I have enough loaded .223's on hand that I don't think I could fire them all more than twice in the time I have left on earth...I have that many loaded in various recipes and bullets...

    However, I do run quite a few 300 Weatherby Magnums and now .338 Lapua and both are expensive factory loaded and still expensive handloaded, especially the brass so I want to get as much mileage as possible. I know the Rockwell increases with every discharge so in the interests of maximum case life, I see annealing as a viable alternative, especially when .338 Lapua Brass is over 200 bucks for 100 cases and 300 isn't far behind.

    Plus I want to play with straight walled cases in 45 auto (in a Kimber full size 45-1911) and 44 magnum (in a Model 27 Smith double action long barrel revolver). I shoot both calibers indoors, 50 foot with lead bullets. I realize a straight wall is a different animal than a bottlenceck.

    I need to make an educated purchase based on ther's experience as I have no experience with any of the 3 machines available.

    Forums are great. 30 years ago, a decision like this was 'wing it' and hope for the best.:)
     
  5. Hairtrigger

    Hairtrigger Well-Known Member

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    I use a Ken Light machine. Caliber changes are $65, of course one wheel does many calibers. No tools needed to change calibers.
    Cost effective way to uniformly anneal cases
     
  6. Derek M.

    Derek M. Well-Known Member

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    Then buy the Hornady kit and use a power drill. That's what I do. Works for me and I can do a couple of hundred in very little time.
     
  7. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    candidly, I was not aware that Hornady offered anything in the way of case annealing equipment. I'll go and look (on their site).....
     
  8. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

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    SidecarFlip, I wish you were closer to me. We would have a little annealing get together and you would then know if the Bench Source machine was for you or not.. I had 3 wheels with my Ken Light and changing them was not bad if it were not for they are filled with water and you have to figure out how to drain that gracefully,,, good luck with that. But the real difference in preformance between the KL and the Bench Source is where the case actually stops on a seperate little table in the flames and spins for an adjustable length of time. This ensures that the case gets even heat all the way around. I would never go back. Plus the torch adjustments are far superior in the Bench Source in my opinion. I also do .338 LM and 300 Win. both in Lapua brass. The 300 win Lapua brass in no longer made and I cherish it. So we anneal every firing or at least ever 2 firings. My .338 LM brass is getting readdy for it's 14th loading, all firings have been with 300 gr bullets.


    I did some 338-378 brass for a friend a while back and took pics drring the process. Thought you might enjoy them. I drop hot cases on a damp towel to cool. Take a good look at the finished results and the consistant heat transfer line. Pics often speak louder than words.

    Jeff

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. SidecarFlip

    SidecarFlip Well-Known Member

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    They look good...fantastic actually color wise, just like new, never loaded cases.

    I went to Midway's site and looked at the Hornady stuff. They do sell the Templac seperately but I also have access to temperature sensitive crayons for one off heat treating so I can use them.

    The Hornady offering is a one at a time kit and not bad for a handfull of brass but I believe I'll probably run once fired Mil brass before I reload it too.... I believe I'll order your machine. Santa didn't bring me what I asked for, I must have been a bad kid...lol Santa always brings me socks, chocolate bars and garlic stuffed olives, all things I need but not what I want....

    We may have an annealing party in the future. I'm heading your way next year to hunt.

    I got an invitation to hunt Cape Buffalo in Africa. I despise long plane rides but that too sounds interesting.

    Looking forward to getting into annealing cases. Like I said earlier on, the 300 Weatherby Magnum and the .338 Lapua seem to be sensitive as far as case mouths splitting and the price of admission on brass in those calibers makes annealing very appealing.

    Thanks to everyone for the input. I appreciate it.