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When is annealing needed?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by gamestalker, Sep 27, 2011.

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  1. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Sep 10, 2008
    SW Arizona
    I understand the reason why some anneal but what I am not clear about is what causes necks to become weak to the point they split, or neck tension issues?

    Based on what I reload, and how I've been doing it for many moons, I've never experienced any problems that annealing would address. Examples with .270 win., 30-06, 7mm RM cases. My common load is with large or maximum charges of slow burning powders. These high pressure loads never created case failure any where near the neck. 99.99% of case failures have been just above the case head, where it will begin to separate, but not until after at least 12-15 reloadings for belted magnums, and even more with the non belted cases. I neck, bump shoulder's when necessary, and keep all brass at precisely the same length. Nothing special or different than what most do.

    So are .223 cases more prone to neck failure than larger bottle neck cartridges, thus the primary need for annealing? I had one case for .270 win. that separated in the middle of the shoulder a long time ago, but I found the cause was from accidentally groving it when I was using the Wilson ream and chamfer tool. That is the only time I can ever remember a case that didn't expire just above the head, and it was my error during case preparation that caused it.

    I tried annealing back in the early days, but since it didn't change anything, I discontinued it.
  2. Funshooter45

    Funshooter45 Member

    Dec 9, 2010
    Similar to you, I have not had any significant issues with case necks splitting. I have had 4 case necks split out of 300 270 WSM cases the second time I loaded them, but none at all since then. None at all in my 243, 7 mm mag, 308, 22-250, or 325 WSM.

    About the only bad thing that happens is some of my Federal brass in 270 WSM have had the primer pocket expand to a point where CCI primers are too loose. So then I substitute Wolf LRM primers and shoot them a couple more times. No other brands do that and no other cartriges do that on me.
  3. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

    Oct 19, 2010
    East TN
    As the case expands under firing, then contracts under resizing, the brass is worked and becomes brittle over time. Once it reaches a certain point, it will fail.

    Generally, I do not have case split issues with most of my rifle cartridges. I get a few here and there but the cases are usually discarded for other reasons before I get splitting issues. This includes 223 Remington, 30-06, and 308 Winchester.

    I have a rifle chambered in an obsolete cartridge, 6.5x54 Kurz Mauser, that I have to re-form cases for. I do have some case splitting issues with it from the reforming process particularly if I use fired cases or have to do excessive reforming. I have lots of option for a base case. some work better than others.

    I have never had much success annealing cases but I tended to do it on the cheap. So, I don't bother any more. There are some good processes out there but most required some home made equipment that to me is more effort to build than is worth while. Hornady has recently come out with an annealing kit that is mostly, I think, a temperature sensitive paste to tell you when the case is hot enough.

    Some folks do alot of annealing of their cases with good success.
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