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Pacific DL 105 Hand Shell Reloader W/RCBS Precisioneered Reloading Scale
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W*thoutWarning said: Hi all; I have a quick question here with regards to anealing your brass(rifle). For those of you who do, or anyone that has a story or something to say about it, does it really extend the life of the brass and carry the benifits that I've heard it does ? I have a whack of .308 Rem brass that I would like to run thru this procedure if I can be convinced of it. I know that is not top end quality brass by any means, but if I can atchieve twice the number of reloads from the same brass I don't mind spending the time doing it. What steps seem to be common practice for this operation ? Thx.
s*nray said: You really only need to anneal when you start getting cracked necks or case mouths. It does extend case life though. Pitch any cases that are cracked and anneal the rest. Deprime and trim, if required, then put the cases in a pan of water up to just below the shoulder. With a regular propane torch(Crappy Tire sells the kits for under $20. The cylinders run about $3.50. Make sure you get propane though. They sell other gases in the same style of can.), heat the neck and shoulder until the brass changes colour and tip 'em over. There's no need to heat the brass red hot. To speed up drying, put the cases on a cookie sheet then into your oven set on 'warm' or the lowest setting for 15 minutes or so. Let the cases cool before you do anything with them. "...is not top end quality brass..." There's nothing wrong with Remington brass. It is good brass. How many loads you get out of it depends on how hot your loads are.
B*ttleRife said: I have found that if I do not anneal, the necks of bottleneck rifle cases will begin to crack on the 4th or 5th firing. I full length resize for all calibers I reload. Annealing seems to virtually eliminate cracking of the neck as a failure mode, but I confess that I have done a lot less shooting in the last few years, so my data sample is not as large as I would like. But assuming neck cracking really is cured, it should help case life immensely, as I have never had one of my cases fail by any other mode. To anneal, the only thing that is necessary is to get the neck and shoulder over the recystallization temperature of brass (see this link (http://www2.bakersfieldcollege.edu/mrozell/documents/Engr%20B45/brass%20hardness.pdf) for a good graph of brass hardness on page 2), whilst keeping the head and web cool enough to avoid softening. Long cases (.30-06) can be annealed by holding the head in your fingers and twirling it in a strong gas flame. The neck will heat quickly and be done before any heat can conduct far enough to soften the head or burn your fingers. I did some medium length cases yesterday by chucking them in the lock stud of a Lee trimmer and drill, spinning them in the flame of a butane torch and dropping them quickly onto a damp towel. Shorter cases will require being stood in water deep enough to protect the web. Most of the old sources on annealing advise people to tip over the case when they are done, there is no reason for this except to hasten handling of the case. The cooling cycle has no effect on the annealing, this is strictly a function of TIME at TEMPERATURE. As to temperature, Sunray is correct when he says you don't want the cases to start glowing. A lot of the how-to's over the years have said to heat the case until it is dull red, which is about 600-630 degrees C. In contrast, Hornady, sells a kit that comes with a temperature indicator that activates at 250C. This is a much better choice, though it strikes me as a bit cold. I have done the heat-til-red thing, and the brass will still work, but it is soft as butter until it has been resized at least once, and I now only heat until the whole area has a translucent green/straw colour. The best thing to do is to try a couple, then compare the case after cooling to the colour spectrum on a factory military-loaded round. You want to get the same effect.