Anneal before or after sizing?(added-Over annealing how hot's too hot?)

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by necchi, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. necchi

    necchi Site $$ Contributor

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    I'm going to anneal my cases, my 1st attempt. I have a Tempilstick rated at 650 and plan to use Varment Al's described technique. I've read the info here and several other forums so I'm ready to jump in.
    I'm sure that after I have used the temp stick and have a few hundred under my belt, I'll know the proper color and begin annealing on a regular basis. Perhaps every 2-3 loadings.
    Anyway's,,what would be the best bet, size first then anneal or vice versa,,current cases have 3 loadings, some 4.
    Thanks in advance ;)
     
  2. RonAKA

    RonAKA

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    For only 3-4 firings on the cases, I would size first and then anneal.
     
  3. kitsap

    kitsap

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    For consistency you want to anneal first then re-size. You are going to re-size after subsequent firings and you want the cases to have the same size, shape, and material qualities for each firing including the one right after you anneal. This is the reason you are annealing in the first place.

    DougF
     
  4. alf

    alf Site $$ Contributor

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    My match ammo, I anneal every time. I don't need another lot to segregate by the number of firings between annealings.

    I tumble first, then anneal, then full length size.

    Just a heads up. You'll have to back off your full length die if it's set for brass that's been shot a few times, otherwise on freshly annealed brass, you'll push the shoulder waaaay back.
     
  5. Cheechako

    Cheechako

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    Is there something in the Kool Aid that has affected a lot of shooters, giving them an insatiable urge to anneal case necks? It is reminiscent of the Moly craze of the 1990s.

    Go to any of the "shooting" forums and you find one or more current threads on how, why, when, and where to anneal. Entreprerneurs are making big bucks selling annealing gizmos.

    I've been shooting for 64 years, 56 in competition of one type or another. I have never annealed a case neck. Have I missed something important? Could I have won more trophies by taking that one additional step in case prep?

    I am too old to start? ???

    Ray
     
  6. RonAKA

    RonAKA

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    I have never annealed any of my hunting cases either. Get about 20 loads before the neck cracks in a longitudinal direction. That was with a significant full resize in a generous factory chamber, so the brass was being worked quite a bit.

    That said, I think there is some value in annealing if you want even longer case life. And, if you do not carefully match cases with the same number of reloads then neck tension can vary depending on how long it has been since the last anneal. How significant is this to accuracy?? Not sure...

    When a metal is mechanically worked, the tensile strength increases. So it becomes more "springy" and will give you more springback on sizing. Also with time, and cycles it starts to suffer from low cycle fatigue. Micro cracks develop along the grain boundaries of the metal, and eventually they link up to form a crack that you can see. You can avoid this by annealing before the grain boundary cracks develop.

    My personal opinion is that every 2-3 loads is excessive though. With a tight chamber where the brass is not going through major changes in dimension with each fire, you should be able to go well beyond that before annealing is necessary. Or, you can just let them go until they crack, or the neck thickness becomes too thin, and just replace the brass.

    For sure if I was fire forming a wildcat cartridge, I would anneal after the forming. That is a major hit to the metal and you want to relieve all the stresses and avoid premature failure due to fatigue.
     
  7. Cheechako

    Cheechako

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    Ron

    Maybe I've been lucky. All of my long range benchrest rifles have been one sort of improved cartridge or another. I typically make 150 to 200 cases and they last until the barrel is no longer competitive. Depending on the cartridge, that's 5 to 10 firings for each case.

    I once went an entire season shooting a 6PPC in point blank Benchrest with one set of cases - just to see what would happen. I started with 25 cases and finished with 19. I put 1500 rounds down that barrel. I only threw the cases away because a friend shamed me into it. Who knows how long they may have lasted.

    Ray
     
  8. necchi

    necchi Site $$ Contributor

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    ;D
    OK, thanks guy's that's;
    2) for anneal then size
    2) for size then anneal
    1) for don't bother

    It's actually for big chamber hunting guns that do need a shoulder bump, and my idea is to maintain some form of consistant neck tension. I am measuring and turning, which has led to a gain, but with these guns moa or just under is quite satisfactory as they get under 500 rounds per year, closer to 2-300.
    So even the simple stuff in case prep has done wonders,, ;) :D
     
  9. RonAKA

    RonAKA

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    My thinking on size then anneal, was that you really don't have many firings/sizings on the case, so just one more size done before annealing. The point that was made about the dimensions potentially changing some after annealing is valid, but I wonder if it would be significant for a hunting load.

    Annealing can't hurt if you are very careful with the temperature and only anneal the neck area. I would stretch the loads to 5-6 between annealings though. Should look something like this when done.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. CPorter

    CPorter Site $$ Contributor

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    I've done it both ways and anneal then sizing seems to make the most sense. Annealing strips some of the residue off the necks that lubricates the necks so some kind of lubricant inside and out is needed. I also wait through 4-5 firings. I don't have a really tight neck and that's about the limit before brass necks start to split.

    Cheecako, you have probably been using tight neck chambers that minimally work the brass. By annealing my brass I have been able to use some Remington brass since 1980 and through a few barrels. I'm sure you heard all the reasons for doing it
     
  11. 65fan

    65fan

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    size them anneal them then size them again.I anneal every2 firings.if you shoot 1k it makes a difference. ;D
     
  12. GSP7

    GSP7

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    I anneal after I size , because its deprimed and cases dry faster after I drop them in the water, also saves a step wipeing lube out of the neck from sizeing.




    .
     
  13. necchi

    necchi Site $$ Contributor

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    I just did some last night, I anneal'd first, then I'll size,,

    But as I was doing it, the thought came, that I'll have to wash'm again after sizing, ::)

    I don't think there is really a right or wrong to the steps,,next Batch I'll size first then anneal. That'll be the only way for me to see IF there is a differance.
    The proof will be on paper, but I'm guessing there will be darn little actual change. ;)
     
  14. wapiti25

    wapiti25 Site $$ Contributor

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    "match chambers" do not need annealing as much as factory. They do not work the brass any where as much. The dies used in resizing has huge impact on the brass. Think about the old standard dies, RCBS, Lyman, Ect with the expander, one size fit's all. Next think about the REM, Ruger, Winchester factory chamber, they have huge necks compared to your speced reamers with .002-.004 dia clearence on match brass or turned necks. Annealing is a neccesity when making a wildcat if you want your brass to last more than 2 firings. I started annealing when making 7mm BR out of .308 and 6.5-06 out of once fired 30-06. If I did not anneal the necks they would not last more than a couple of firings. The 6.5-06 had a neck that was larger than I would use today but less than a std 30-06. I found that at ranges longer than 400yds I could get better accuracy if I annealed at about after three firings, this was using the old style expander dies. I have a 6mm BR that I have never annealed the brass and some have been fired 10 or more times. The 6mm BR has a chamber with about .002" clearence depending on which batch of brass I'm using. Do what works for you. That's my 2 cents
     
  15. wapiti25

    wapiti25 Site $$ Contributor

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    I appolgize to the rest of you, but I would like to address this to "Cheechako". You ask if you are too old to try somthing new. Think back about what you do now as opposed to what you were doing 20-25yrs ago. I have only been reloading about 40 yrs. You ask if you could have won more trophys if you had annealed, I may have won the gold medal at a state match instead of the silver if I had used annealed cases as I got beat by 1 X out of 100 shots who knows.
     
  16. Rust

    Rust

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    Size after annealing.

    One reason I anneal is for low single digit ES/SD numbers, which minimizes vertical spread at 1,000. I only do it for my 1,000 yard rifles.
     
  17. Klong

    Klong Site $$ Contributor

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    Anneal then size. I sized once and then annealed and the cases would not chamber reliably.
     
  18. RonAKA

    RonAKA

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    I annealed 20 cartridges today. Out of curiosity I resized, measured the neck OD, then annealed, and measured the neck OD again. Following are the results:

    Measure - After Sizing - After annealing
    Average OD - 0.28855" - 0.28856"
    Standard Deviation - 0.00024 - 0.00024

    I would suggest within the limit of my micrometer accuracy -- no change.

    I also just reread you initial post and you talk about using a 650F Tempilstik. I annealed my cases to 800F. I know this article suggests 650F, but I don't think it is correct.

    http://www.gun-tests.com/performance/jun96cases.html

    This one says 800F:

    http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html

    Plus you can find many technical spec pages like this saying the annealing temperature starts at 800F:

    http://www.substech.com/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=wrought_copper_alloy_c26000_cartridge_brass
     
  19. Kenny474

    Kenny474

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    To anneal at 650 degrees you must heat the brass for a long period of time, something like 15 minutes. When you raise the temperature to 750-800, it is done in 8-10 seconds. I use 750 degree tempilaq, as I feel 800 only gives you a split second to remove the heat source before you will go too far and junk the case. Kind of gives me a buffer zone. I also let mine air cool, as I hate waiting for it to dry.

    I had my father (fringe benefit of having a machinist for a dad) do some, I believe, rockwell hardness testing on 8x fired brass before and after annealing and also on a new Lapua case from the same lot. I can't remember specifics, but he told me that it was working quite well and my annealed brass was comparable to the new piece.
    That's not to say I was perfect in my methods, as I have more than I will admit to that I junked by over annealing.
     
  20. necchi

    necchi Site $$ Contributor

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    Re: Anneal before or after sizing?

    Actually the 650 templistick was a wash. The small application melted and burnt before the FULL neck was a dull red. I simply held a bit longer while spinning untill the entire neck was the dull red color, they actually came out looking really good, with a proper color change just below the shoulder, like new laupa.
    I guess my queary was about, working the neck after sizing. I mean the idea is to anneal because of work hardening. This batch of 40 I did was sized after, the next batch I'll size before and see if there is a differance in preformance. From the responses I've recieved I think I'll be looking hard too find something.
    I only tossed 4 of the 40,,there's got to be a learning curve :D And I'll probably lose more.

    I did earn a lesson this week unrelated too annealing but I'll share;

    I usually prep cases right out of the tumbler,, sizing, trim, wash an load within a few hours. I had preped some 223 brass a few weeks ago, and just set them aside for loading later, these have been neck turned and have low runout. I guess I didn't really feel a differance when seating the bullets, yet bullet runout from this batch was terrible! Neck runout still +/-.001>,,but some bullet runout was .003!
    I'm guessing the necks relaxed to a tighter tension in those two weeks,, I'll have to schedual my time better, and get to loading within at least a 24hrs
     

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