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Old 02-05-2020, 11:28 AM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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Default At what point in the process do you anneal?

I like to anneal my .223 cases before each reloading and I use the very low tech hold the neck in a propane torch flame till the bottom gets too hot to hold with bare fingers then drop them into a pan of water method. I'm trying to decide exactly which step in the reloading process would be best for this.

What I've been doing is annealing them right after tumbling but it's hard to be sure all the water is completely out of them later if I'm charging them the same day and I worry about damp powder.

Because the spent primer is still in the cases the water doesn't simply run out, the case has to be shaken a bit to get it out. I've drilled holes through the bottom of a couple case blocks and I stand the cases upside down in them but they still don't drain completely. When I then size/decap, which I do as one step, some water usually comes out at that point, so there's still some dampness.

If I size/decap before I anneal having an opening in each end of the case should help the water drain but would the residual lube in the case mouth interfere with proper heat transfer?

Maybe the best bet would be to get a separate decapping die and do that before annealing then size them afterwards?

So I'm curious about how others do it. I know some of you have equipment that doesn't require water but I can't be the only one using a cheap low tech method can I?

I'm still pretty new at this so I'd appreciate your thoughts.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:16 PM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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I pretty much never anneal.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:30 PM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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During case manufacture, case neck annealing is done by passing the case neck/shoulders under burning gas jets. I have seen that done at all the big factories (Rem, Win, Federal, Lake City). They are not cooled with water afterward, just cool naturally. Therefore I assume it is not necessary to do anything else. I usually anneal only if I am forming cases, i.e., changing from one size to another (making 8x57 cases from .30-'06, etc.). After forming I just use a propane torch on the necks, no water dip.

I know some anneal case necks by dipping the necks in molten lead. I guess that would work also, but I have never done it.

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Old 02-05-2020, 12:49 PM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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For my rifle cases I use a universal decap die so I don't scratch my "good" size/decap die. After wet tumbling I put the cases on a cookie sheet (when the wife is not home) and bake them at 175 for an hour to dry them out.

For a more precise method of annealing, consider Templac to see just how long you need to hold the case in the flame.
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Old 02-05-2020, 01:38 PM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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Anneal after resizing for another caliber and after about every 3 or 4 firings. A water dump is not necessary and only adds time and effort getting the water out and drying. Templac will let you know how long to keep neck in the flame. After figuring out the timing, you don’t need it anymore. I count to 5 and drop case in a pan. Not sure I would want to cook dinner in an oven that had previously dried brass with the residue inside as well as primers.
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Old 02-05-2020, 01:50 PM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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I only anneal brass for my precision bolt action rifles and then only after about 3-5 reloads. If your using a semi-auto for your .223 it's just not worth the trouble consider how inexpensive .223 brass is. At a buck apiece for my Lapua then it's worth it.

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Old 02-05-2020, 01:53 PM
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I never anneal. Too much trouble. If it neck splits, throw it away.
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:27 PM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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Annealing after every loading is unnecessary unless you're really chasing the smallest groups possible or shooting F Class or something.

That said, I am a metallurgist and I would recommend annealing post sizing as that will remove any work hardening and internal stress that is imparted on the brass by the sizing operation.
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:44 PM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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Yes, if one is going to anneal the necks, then it should be done after resizing. Sizing causes work hardening, and annealing simply re-softens (stress relieves) the brass so it is not so brittle and apt to crack on firing. At one time many years ago, annealing was not performed during brass case manufacture, and after aging for several years, split cases would often result from the first firing.
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:50 PM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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I throw the cases away after they "need" to be annealed.
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:32 PM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AManWearingAHat View Post
Annealing after every loading is unnecessary unless you're really chasing the smallest groups possible or shooting F Class or something.

That said, I am a metallurgist and I would recommend annealing post sizing as that will remove any work hardening and internal stress that is imparted on the brass by the sizing operation.
Couldn't have said it better, I am a F class shooter and even that doesn't require annealing after ever reload.
Most F class shooter fire form and neck size the case which only minimally stretches the case.
I'm never happy with my loads unless all bullets holes are touching at 100 meters. At that point you can work on out with at least a good degree of confidence.
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Old 02-06-2020, 02:28 AM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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The folks who have done the most scientific work on annealing brass cases are Annealing Made Perfect (AMP). There should be no bias in their recommendation because when you anneal does not affect their potential sales. Their recommendation?

"Annealing should always be done before resizing. This eliminates spring back, and ensures repeatable and accurate shoulder bumping and neck sizing."

Annealing isn't just about case life. If your goal is consistent neck tension, it's pretty simple to conclude that annealing should be done after each firing.

Is it necessary? That depends on you, your goals, and your results.
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Old 02-06-2020, 02:57 AM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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Originally Posted by Twoboxer View Post
The folks who have done the most scientific work on annealing brass cases are Annealing Made Perfect (AMP). There should be no bias in their recommendation because when you anneal does not affect their potential sales. Their recommendation?

"Annealing should always be done before resizing. This eliminates spring back, and ensures repeatable and accurate shoulder bumping and neck sizing."

Annealing isn't just about case life. If your goal is consistent neck tension, it's pretty simple to conclude that annealing should be done after each firing.

Is it necessary? That depends on you, your goals, and your results.
This is correct if you want to impart the same amount of strain hardening into every case in what I guess would technically be the most repeatable way. I honestly doubt you would see much of a difference on paper, if any, annealing before vs after.
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:13 AM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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Thanks guys you've given me much food for thought. The only reason I anneal every time is because I can't adequately keep track of how many firings it's been since last done with the mixture of my own brass and occasional purchased used brass. I want to get maximum use out of my brass since it's a big part of the cost, and I have the time to do the extra step.

Interesting that there are differing opinions on whether it should be done before of after sizing, and what sounds like reasonable arguments for both ways.

I use the water dump because my crude method doesn't insure that I'm not getting the brass too hot and I've read that while the neck area needs to hit 700 degrees, the lower part of the case shouldn't get over 400 degrees. I'm afraid that without the water cooling immediately afterwards the lower part might get too hot as the neck heat migrates down.

I don't have to worry about the wife freaking out as she passed away last year so maybe drying the cases in the oven is a good option.

Just kicking it around in my head I'm thinking that if I anneal after sizing and use the water dump it would probably help remove the lube since I use the Lee water soluble lube. That would also mean the spent primer is removed and the water isn't trapped by only having one opening in the shell. I could then use the oven to insure they are completely dry.

Thanks everybody for their thoughts.
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:00 PM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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I've been reloading for ...a long time and can honestly say I've never annealed a case !

Military surplus 30-06 , 308 , 45 acp and 38 special are so common and cheap I just replace them .
To get maximum case life we were taught how to properly adjust dies and how to neck size cases. You can get a lot of case life with properly set up dies and paying attention to details .
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:17 PM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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I have never anneal. I primarily load (rifle) 22-250 or .222. I have enough brass that it may only get loaded every 2nd or 3rd year. Since I neck size after the initial loading, I don't see the value t anneal. As long as my Remington 700 groups within 1/4-1/2" at 100 yards I don't worry about it.
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:20 PM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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The first time I decided to anneal a case I mistakingly picked a case with a live primer. well that was exciting and the last time I did that
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:46 PM
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At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal? At what point in the process do you anneal?  
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I size and decap,anneal with the torch and dump the case in a 5gal half filled with water.The dumping in the water is done so as not ding the soft case mouth.When done,I put the cases on a thick cloth cases and let dry for a couple of days.
I haven't seen much difference as far as accuracy is concerned but the cases definitely last longer.
I don't do it for easy to get calibers but for brass that goes expensive,I think it is worth it,more so after putting all the time to trim an deburr
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