- Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:37 am
Annealing or softening your cases after the first firing the old fashion way which is quick and easy and will add at least 6 or more reloadings. Maybe more if you anneal again after the fourth or fifth firing. It is easy for those of you that may not know how. Just get a metal pan, such as a cake pan, the larger the pan means the more cases at a time that you can do. Follow the instructions below.
You will need a cake pan ( larger is better ), a 6 - 10 inch wood dowel ( 1/4" to 3/8" diameter works well) and a propane or map torch.
1. Set the firing cases (before sizing and decaping) in the pan, case mouth up. Space them out so that you have about 2 to 3 inches all the way around each case. You will find what spacing works for you from experience.
2. Without knocking any of the cases over, slowly poor in cold (starting out with cold helps to keep it cool longer) water up to a level so that it is about 1/4" below the bottom of the case shoulder. The water level is important because you don't want to anneal much lower than the case shoulder.
3. Once you have the water in the pan, take the lit torch and heat the case necks until they turn "cherry red" in color. It only about 30 seconds or less, depending on how hot your torch burns, how cool the water is and the room or air temp.
4. As soon as the case neck is red, quickly tip it over with the dowel by just tapping it.
5. Just move on to the next one.
Just keep in mind that all you are trying to do is anneal or "soften" the case neck. You do not under any circumstance want to anneal any lower than 1/4" below the should on a case the size of the .22 TCM. Doing so my cause case failure. But done properly the cartridge case neck will remain softer than the rest of the case and allow it to expand during firing instead of splitting. I have had to anneal many cases in my years of reloading and never suffer any ill consequences. However one thing you may want to check for after the first firing (after annealing) is case length. Because the case is a little softer it may stretch a little more than normal and require trimming to length, but it may take several firings in my experience before this is needed, if at all. Remember to that on each subsequent firing the case neck will become harder due to the heat and pressure it is subjected to, hence you may need to anneal again. The myth that you can work harden a case by multiple anneals is just that, firing it again and again is "work hardening" the case and causing it to split, proper annealing only helps to delay the damage. Also you can not get the case to hot with the torch, it will just stay red. Quenching in water cools it quickly and to the proper annealed hardness. The temperature of the water is not that critical, but change it when you put in a new load of brass. Last, annealed cases are easier to size and expand because of the soft brass.
I think I've covered it all, but please help me out if I have missed anything.NRA LIFE MEMBER
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