September 23, 2012, 05:15 PM
Newbie questions here. I know what annealing is from looking up some other threads, but when should it be done and how do you do it? Is this just for rifle brass or should you do it for pistol brass?

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tightgroup tiger
September 23, 2012, 07:16 PM
typically when the necks start splitting or they get hard to resize. I never re-annealed pistol cases, I've had some split but my .357mag cases are pushing 20 years old and some have been reloaded probably 15 times.

Straight cased shells usually don't cause to much of a problem, I've never heard of anyone re-annealing them, but I wouldn't be surprised if some people do.

There are you-tube vidios of different methods from different people but if you don't do it correctly the outcome can ruin your day.

September 23, 2012, 08:19 PM
I anneal my bottle necked brass after 5 reloads. this has all but eliminated split necks on my brass. I hang onto the base and dip the top 1/3 of them into my lead pot till the heat is felt on my fingers and then drop them into a 5 gallon bucket 1/2 full of ice/water. This works really well for me. I never do it to straight walled brass. YMMV

September 23, 2012, 08:32 PM
Awesome, thanks for the link.

September 26, 2012, 03:48 PM
Annealing rifle brass is done only to that part of the case above the shoulder. The idea is to soften the neck to the shoulder junction without softening the case body below the shoulder, which would weaken the case, which would be a VERY bad thing. Due to the short length of handgun brass it is almost impossible to anneal it without softening the whole case, therefore handgun brass is almost never annealed. Annealing also causes a reduction in the available tension needed to hold the bullet in the case properly, so annealing must be done with no little amount of finesse. You might want to use the search function and read up on the various ways others anneal their cases.

September 26, 2012, 03:59 PM
I’m very new at it. I’ve been using a Lee trimmer case holder in a cordless drill with a camp type fuel bottle and torch head. Heat is applied where the shoulder meets the neck. After heating, I dip the upper of the case into a bucket of water. That’s enough to reduce the heat where I can easily remove it from the case holder w/o getting my fingers hot. So far, I haven’t seen any accuracy issues, so I guess I can say that at least I’m doing no harm…

September 26, 2012, 10:39 PM
I have never annealed or trimmed non bottle neck brass. Pistols like XP-100 and contender that shoot rifle rounds get annealed but thats about it.

A quick search or just click on the next page or two should come up with a thread on how to do it consistantly.

September 26, 2012, 10:50 PM
i just took a video from my iphone showing how to do it

Andrew Leigh
September 27, 2012, 12:55 AM

that is one sexy annealer. You make it or is it commerically available?


September 27, 2012, 08:12 AM
Giraud. Same guy who makes the trimmer

September 27, 2012, 11:48 AM
Less than 1% of reloaders anneal their brass.


Seems to be most popular (and worthwhile) in shooters who are fire-forming wildcat cartridges, and doing lots of very tiny-detail-oriented operations on case necks.

The basic AR15 shooter never needs to do it.

September 27, 2012, 12:25 PM
well, yes and no

brass is annealed from the factory. so people doing "lots of very tiny-detail-oriented operations" would be doing so on generally unfired, freshly annealed cases. it is not necessary for the shooter to re-anneal their brass prior to initial case prep.

similarly, fire-forming happens on freshly annealed from the factory cases so the hand loader need not anneal the brass prior to fire forming.

after many firings, the case necks will get hard. you can tell a difference in feel. you may not be able to achieve same neck tension you previously got. instead of discarding the brass, you can anneal it and restore it to about the same hardness it had when it left the factory.

in my experience, ackley improved cartridges rarely need trimming and so last long, annealing is beneficial.
i would anneal my lapua 223rem brass that i use in NRA HP/CMP because i collect and reuse every case. however, for my regular blasting ammo used in classes and in the field, i wind up losing the cases within 3-4 firings so they don't ever get to the point where they would require annealing.

September 27, 2012, 12:26 PM
I think that depends on a couple factors.

If brass in your rifle dies from split necks, then it would be a worthwhile thing to do. If it dies from loose primer pockets or from being lost in the grass, then maybe not.

The other potential benefit is consistent neck tension. I say 'potential' because I'm very new at it and I may be getting less consistent neck tension than if I were to just leave it as-is.

September 27, 2012, 02:40 PM
Size after annealing for better neck tension. Requires counting the # of reloads before annealing, so you keep track of batches of cases. That is where the work comes in to play.

September 27, 2012, 05:49 PM
Requires counting the # of reloads before annealing, so you keep track of batches of cases. That is where the work comes in to play. I don't count. I just dump them in the case feeder set the dwell time and come back every now and then to add cases to the hopper. The machine does the extra work.

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