I bought an annealing machine for my f class rifle brass. I am going to anneal every firing or every other firing. If you do anneal make sure the necks are free of lube. If not, it will leave a grey film on the necks. I would definetly get some of the tempilaq temperature sensitive liguid. I use 650 F on the inside of the neck and 400 on the case body. The brass will need to be sized after annealing because the annealing will slightly stress relieve the brass. My annealing machine does not use a water quench.
Yes, I anneal. I never used to and learned very quickly that it was a mistake not doing it for all those years. I do not quench, it is not necessary, and it just adds extra time because they have to dry.
I started using an indicator but stopped after I timed the process in seconds. Now I just use a timer and watch the seconds. I now anneal after each shot as this is the most uniform way to do brass prep. I size prior to annealing. I don't honestly don't know how much effect the stress relieved brass has on accuracy as compared to sizing after annealing.
In either case, I'm guessing that the neck tension would be consistent so long as the process is as well. I can tell you that I have had no problems getting precision and accuracy that has exceeded my expectations with the process I use which is annealing as the last step before priming and powder charging.
All of the brass I use: Winchester, Federal, Lapua, Remington, and Norma all take from 6 to 7 seconds depending on the caliber. For example, it takes right at 7 seconds for the 7mm RUM cases (for my 270 AM), and 6 seconds for the Winchester 270 cases. I don't believe there'd be any damage to any of them, over or under annealing if I just stuck with a flat 7 seconds on all.
I use one torch and it is not MAPP. I think that torch gets too hot too quick. I think annealing should be a bit slower for more uniformity. Just a guess, though.
I tumble then anneal then resize. I anneal every 2nd or 3rd reload, just depends on whether I want to do it or not.
I use an appropriate sized socket in a cordless drill to hold the case as I spin it over a propane torch. I used to go by time alone (6 to 10 seconds depending on the brass), but now I prefer observing the color change in the case neck and shoulder area and take it out of the flame when the color change proceeds down the body about 1/8" or so past the shoulder body junction. When done, I dump the case onto a wet towel.
here's my method, and take it for whatever you think it's worth:
** I have a steel plate that has dowl pins pressed in it (about 20). These pins stick up about a half inch, and fit the neck I.D. fairly close (maybe .005" clearence). I take a 400 degree welder's temp stick, and draw a line on the case body about an inch long starting at the neck. I put the plate on a burner in the kitchen range, and let it get good and hot. Then simply stand the cases upside down over the pins waiting for the temp stick line to start to melt. Right beside the plate I have a bowl of ice and water. I put the cases on the plate in groups of five or six about three minutes apart, and remove them with a pair of pliers dumping the hot cases in the ice water. After awhile you learn to develope a system where you have a couple minutes between each group of five or six cases (or what ever number you comfortable with). Just don't let the line on the shoulders melt! all your after is the neck length
I also know three or four guys that go the same thing in a lead pot, but I don't trust it! The welder's temp stick is accurate, and 400 degrees is the prefered temp for anealing brass. You absolutley want as fast a quench as you can get, and that's why I use ice water.
I put them in a pan of water with the water level slightly below the shoulder, heat them with a propane torch. when they uniformly (around neck) change color I topple them into the water 1 at a time. I do this to brass that I have changed significantly, such as improved or parent case caliber changes. I have not personnaly seen any significant benefit in annealing cases that have not been modified from their origional dimensions. Case life has more to do with pressure and resizeing than annealing.
Maybe so, but since pressure, firing, resizing all work harden the brass, annealing resolves this in the neck/shoulder area and extends case life more often than not. I would imagine that brass life would last even longer with neck sizing only and annealing.