Question: Case Annealing with the 338 Lapua

Greyfox

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Jan 21, 2008
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I have been reading that many shooters are annealing their cases at various levels of frequency. I am curious if anyone has established quantitatively the impact on group size, and or ES. When testing loads for accuracy would you see a material change in your groups at 200 yards. If so, how much. I just bought an annealer and I'm thinking about frequency. I have yet to feel any difference in seating pressure, ES, or accuracy yet at 4 resizings. Thanks.
 

Broz

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Feb 3, 2007
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Townsend, Montana.
Here is what I saw with my 338 LM and Lapua brass. After firing #4 I noticed loss of neck tension. Now, this was with Redding bushind dies and using .002" of neck tension. With dies that over size a lot more the difference would probably go unnoticed. But after 4 I had to go down one step in bushing size to hold the bullet. Also at this time I noticed black soot on the necks and shoulders of fired cases that was not there after previous firings. So at this time I got an annealer. I annealed the cases and went back to the origional bushing and the soot went away. I now, just for ease of remembering anneal every time. Althought I feel every 2 or 3 firings would be sufficient, I like the thought of all my cases being the same all the time. My brass life was outstanding with 15 firings on some of the cases when I sold the rifle and these cases were still going strong.

Jeff
 

Greyfox

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Jan 21, 2008
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5,588
Location
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Here is what I saw with my 338 LM and Lapua brass. After firing #4 I noticed loss of neck tension. Now, this was with Redding bushind dies and using .002" of neck tension. With dies that over size a lot more the difference would probably go unnoticed. But after 4 I had to go down one step in bushing size to hold the bullet. Also at this time I noticed black soot on the necks and shoulders of fired cases that was not there after previous firings. So at this time I got an annealer. I annealed the cases and went back to the origional bushing and the soot went away. I now, just for ease of remembering anneal every time. Althought I feel every 2 or 3 firings would be sufficient, I like the thought of all my cases being the same all the time. My brass life was outstanding with 15 firings on some of the cases when I sold the rifle and these cases were still going strong.

Jeff
Thanks Jeff, I have noticed the increased carbon on the necks after 3-4 firings. With the price of the brass I think I will adopt your approach. Art
 

dkhunt14

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Dec 14, 2008
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selinsgrove pa.
If you don't have an arbor press and wilson dies you probably won't feel the difference in seating bullets and if you do the brass is way to hard. The black stuff you see on your necks and shoulders is carbon and means the case is not sealing up. Accuracy starts to suffer at this point because of different chamber pressures. First i shoot 1000 yard benchrest and when you anneal the vertical gets way smaller. This is with the same loads and nothing changed but annealing. Annealing helps seal the chamber so velocities remain more consistent. It also helps control neck tension. It also makes a case bump more when you size. I anneal after every firing but i am looking for accuracy with 10 shots at 1000 yards. When i load for hunting i only anneal after 2 to 3 firings. One year I shot the first 5 matches without annealing and the last 5 with and it made a big difference in scoring. The next year i annealed evey time and broke 3 World records in score. I guarantee my targets told me it was way better. This is with 2 different guns in 300 WSM. One is 17 pound light gun and the other is heavy gun. I never shot a hundred score in competition or won a score agg till i started annealing. Now i have lots of 100 scores and records, including 10 shots in 2.815 inches at 1000 yards since i started annealing. Matt
 

bbutturff

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Feb 18, 2011
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95
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MN
I don't shoot the 338 or compete but I still anneal every firing. If your goal is to have consistent neck tension then it makes sense to me to anneal every time. I've simply made it a regular part of my reloading process. It's inexpensive (I don't have a machine), doesn't take much time and it really extends the life of my brass.

Bruce
 

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