Anneal After Fire-forming AI or Wildcat?

Tiny Tim

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Jan 26, 2015
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399
This is my first experience with fire-forming. 243AI with virgin Nosler brass. Wondering if the generally accepted practice is to just reload and shoot or anneal after the initial fire-forming. It seems to me that in this case and indeed, many wildcats, there is a significant amount of stretching and hardening during this process. What do you fellows suggest. Leaning toward annealing myself, but seeking advice just the same. Thanks in advance.
 

J E Custom

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Jul 29, 2004
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If you use quality brass that you know has been annealed. (You can see the heat ring) you will probably be Ok. Many brands are not final annealed to save money and increase profits and these will often split if wildcatted. so I would recommended annealing if you are not sure. If you fire cases in a Sammi chamber, you will probably get away with it and not have problems.

If you are planing on annealing, go ahead and do it before you fire it for best results. The cases will always fire form better and more accurate if you do all the prep including annealing before firing the first time. start with good cases and you will get many firings out of them.

J E CUSTOM
 

kiwikid

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Oct 21, 2012
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Norma factory cases and ammo certainly don't look like they have been annealed but in the Norma reloading manual they list the 12 processes used to produce a case. Number 10 is "Shoulder and neck is annealed" which is followed by No 11 "Washing and pickling" which removes the annealing look.
As J E says annealing before fire forming won't hurt and AMP recommend annealing after every firing and before resizing.
 

Bob Wright

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Jan 23, 2018
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Litchfield Park, Az.
Norma factory cases and ammo certainly don't look like they have been annealed but in the Norma reloading manual they list the 12 processes used to produce a case. Number 10 is "Shoulder and neck is annealed" which is followed by No 11 "Washing and pickling" which removes the annealing look.
As J E says annealing before fire forming won't hurt and AMP recommend annealing after every firing and before resizing.
Yep, agree. Your brass may or may not have that final anneal, but you cannot tell. Fire form 1st then anneal again. I have mag brass that needed annealing 3 times before fully reaching full headspace.
 

dok7mm

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Apr 13, 2015
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west texas
I always anneal after fireforming. One reason to do this, if using AMP Aztec with new previously annealed brass, you will get a different code number when you anneal prior to firing vs the code for once fired/formed brass.

I suppose, if you feel like you need to anneal pre-forming, sacrifice a case to get code and sacrifice another to get the once fired code.

I did have 5 cases with split necks out of 125 RWS 270 cases by expanding to .284" and then sizing down to .262 with a false shoulder for my 6.5 Sherman. This seems to be a situation where annealing prior to forming may have saved those 5 cases.
 

Tiny Tim

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Jan 26, 2015
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399
Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience gentlemen. You have confirmed what I believed and I appreciate your advice.
 

P7id10t

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Jan 5, 2016
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Orygun
Just fire formed ~100, 1-2x fired, 6.5x55 Swede into 6.5x55 SBJAI. Did not anneal prior to FF. Lost two to case head cracking (R-P & PPU).
This was done to see if I like the wildcat. Love it. Will FF 200 virgin Norma cases
Definitely annealed each one afterward.
 

redneckdan

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Aug 2, 2007
Messages
194
Location
MN Iron Range
I always anneal after fireforming. One reason to do this, if using AMP Aztec with new previously annealed brass, you will get a different code number when you anneal prior to firing vs the code for once fired/formed brass.

I suppose, if you feel like you need to anneal pre-forming, sacrifice a case to get code and sacrifice another to get the once fired code.

I did have 5 cases with split necks out of 125 RWS 270 cases by expanding to .284" and then sizing down to .262 with a false shoulder for my 6.5 Sherman. This seems to be a situation where annealing prior to forming may have saved those 5 cases.

I use the generic number provided by AMP for the pre fireforming annealing.

When brass has reached its service life, I like to run the aztek analysis mode on 5 pieces to see how they compare to the initial aztek reading on a single piece.
 

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