To Anneal my brass or not?

giannid

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So I consider myself a fairly new reloader. I've been reloading now about 5 years and have updated just about everything I started with. Go a pretty good setup now and consider myself a decent reloader. I've also developed and produced some pretty good loads for most of my rifles that shoot considerably better than any loaded ammo I've purchased. I'll say the bulk of the ammo i've loaded has been 308 and 223 for the semi auto rifles I shoot the most. Most of this has been loaded from once fired military surplus brass that I've purchased in large quantities when it was cheap. I still have once fired brass in this military surplus that I haven't loaded or fired yet. At this point I believe I've loaded in excess of five thousand rounds.

I also have some bolt action rifles like a 6.5 creedmoor, 300 wsm and 338 that I load for. I just put together a new 6.5 creedmoor Tikka with a proof barrel. I'm in the process of developing a load for this rifle and am using hornady 6.5 creedmoor brass from two other rifles that have came and gone. Problem is I have no ideal how many firings the brass has. It's been mixed and matched between the bolt and semi auto gun I had in 6.5 creedmoor. The good new is is the rifle is shooting great. With my first range session with the rifle, I shot just over a half inch group at 200 yards with one of the three bullet/load combinations I loaded.

So I'm looking at all this mixed brass I have that's all Hornady and wondering if I should consider Annealing it. I never really thought about it much as most of the stuff I loaded has been military brass that I have a boat load of. With this bolt action, I obviously don't have as much. Not to mention it's slim pickings finding new brass. I'm the kind of person that wants to do things right and just starting to look into this annealing process. I'm just wondering if it's just better to fire the brass four or five times and thrash it, or get into annealing. I'm not even sure it's going to extend the life of the brass much. I've got the 6.5 shooting pretty well so far with the hornady brass, I'm not sure I'm not going to squeeze out much more accuracy out of it. I've also never done any neck turning of my brass. One thing I have done that's improved the repeatability of my loads is removed all the expander balls of my full length dies and using a mandrel after putting the brass through the FL die.

So should I jump on the annealing bandwagon or not? Looks like a decent annealing rig will by me a lot of brass. I'm just not sure how much I'm going to gain from it. I do have a 500 yard range and hoping to go try and bang steel at 1000 plus yards someday soon.
 
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giannid

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From my understanding is annealing just makes your brass last longer, not shoot better
I'm not sure that's true. Seems like it's pushing the accuracy envelope a little more. The truth is I'm kind it to the point when I'm not sure when to throw the brass out. Especially with this Hornady brass as it's mixed and have no ideal how many times it's been fired. I really wish I've kept better track of it. At this point, none of the necks are split and the primer pockets are still tight. n Most importantly, the gun is shooting accurately. I even got some single digit SD numbers with the first shooting of the rifle with brass that wasn't fire formed in it.
 

spife7980

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From my understanding is annealing just makes your brass last longer, not shoot better
As long as you do a visual inspection and there is no signs of deformation, fatigue, etc. Your good

BTW annealing definitely makes your brass last Longer
Yes, but resetting to a baseline hardness for each sizing and as a result uniform sizing and bullet grip does yield an increase in consistency. Whether you use that to your advantage for better accuracy is on you.
 
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918v

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Brass lasts more like 10-12 reloads before the neck splits, not 4-5. You can extend it even more by sizing the neck minimally using specific sizing dies.

Second, if you have a bunch of Hornady brass it’s probably a mixture of different lots having different thicknesses and you will fuck it up trying to anneal it because you don’t know how to do it correctly.

So leave it alone and be happy.
 

giannid

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Brass lasts more like 10-12 reloads before the neck splits, not 4-5. You can extend it even more by sizing the neck minimally using specific sizing dies.

Second, if you have a bunch of Hornady brass it’s probably a mixture of different lots having different thicknesses and you will fuck it up trying to anneal it because you don’t know how to do it correctly.

So leave it alone and be happy.
I'm more concerned about my long term reloading operation than this 6.5 creedmoor brass. Just wondering if it's worth adding an annealing machine to my setup and how much it will benefit me.

Do you guys who annel do it every time you reload? Different lot numbers require a different amount of annealing. I can't see myself spending the money on an AMP machine but can justify one of the cheaper ones like the Annie or torch annelers.
 

spife7980

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I use my Annie before every sizing. I want consistent results and you can’t get that if you aren’t consistent in your actions.
 
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Steel head

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    I'm more concerned about my long term reloading operation than this 6.5 creedmoor brass. Just wondering if it's worth adding an annealing machine to my setup and how much it will benefit me.

    Do you guys who annel do it every time you reload? Different lot numbers require a different amount of annealing. I can't see myself spending the money on an AMP machine but can justify one of the cheaper ones like the Annie or torch annelers.
    I anneal every third loading.
    I just use a torch, drill and socket.
     

    giannid

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    I use my Annie before every sizing. I want consistent results and you can’t get that if you aren’t consistent in your actions.
    You like that Annie? Looks like a pretty nifty device. I can stomach the price on one of those. Just doesn't seem like they're available. I tried contacting the company with no response.
     

    spife7980

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    I do like it and have written plenty about it before, and I agree on the company contact but a few years ago they were slow even then and it worked out alright for me. Just took 6 weeks or so to get here.
    Haven’t had to contact them since so I can’t offer too much on that.
     

    Threadcutter308

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    I'm a big Annie fan. I've had mine for a little over a year. It's brain dead simple, reliable and works like a champ. The owner (Garrett C.) is a great guy, but they are incredibly busy. I had a minor problem with the coolant pump when I first got the setup. Garrett was all over it and got me taken care of immediately. Couldn't be happier.
     

    spife7980

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    3 weeks quoted ship time on their website is half of what it used to be. Other than that I just have to wish you happy hunting lol
     

    Lynn313

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    So I consider myself a fairly new reloader. I've been reloading now about 5 years and have updated just about everything I started with. Go a pretty good setup now and consider myself a decent reloader. I've also developed and produced some pretty good loads for most of my rifles that shoot considerably better than any loaded ammo I've purchased. I'll say the bulk of the ammo i've loaded has been 308 and 223 for the semi auto rifles I shoot the most. Most of this has been loaded from once fired military surplus brass that I've purchased in large quantities when it was cheap. I still have once fired brass in this military surplus that I haven't loaded or fired yet. At this point I believe I've loaded in excess of five thousand rounds.

    I also have some bolt action rifles like a 6.5 creedmoor, 300 wsm and 338 that I load for. I just put together a new 6.5 creedmoor Tikka with a proof barrel. I'm in the process of developing a load for this rifle and am using hornady 6.5 creedmoor brass from two other rifles that have came and gone. Problem is I have no ideal how many firings the brass has. It's been mixed and matched between the bolt and semi auto gun I had in 6.5 creedmoor. The good new is is the rifle is shooting great. With my first range session with the rifle, I shot just over a half inch group at 200 yards with one of the three bullet/load combinations I loaded.

    So I'm looking at all this mixed brass I have that's all Hornady and wondering if I should consider Annealing it. I never really thought about it much as most of the stuff I loaded has been military brass that I have a boat load of. With this bolt action, I obviously don't have as much. Not to mention it's slim pickings finding new brass. I'm the kind of person that wants to do things right and just starting to look into this annealing process. I'm just wondering if it's just better to fire the brass four or five times and thrash it, or get into annealing. I'm not even sure it's going to extend the life of the brass much. I've got the 6.5 shooting pretty well so far with the hornady brass, I'm not sure I'm not going to squeeze out much more accuracy out of it. I've also never done any neck turning of my brass. One thing I have done that's improved the repeatability of my loads is removed all the expander balls of my full length dies and using a mandrel after putting the brass through the FL die.

    So should I jump on the annealing bandwagon or not? Looks like a decent annealing rig will by me a lot of brass. I'm just not sure how much I'm going to gain from it. I do have a 500 yard range and hoping to go try and bang steel at 1000 plus yards someday soon.

    I have some mixed brass that I don’t know how many firings, etc. My plan on them is to use them for practice until they are showing signs of not being good anymore and just trash them after that. With your 308 & 556 I believe Starline is now producing them. Unless you have primers stock piled that’s the only shortage I see you having.

    on annealing I’m in the same place you are in wondering if it’s worth it or not. I’ve been studying and the only one I will consider is the amp. Induction annealing just seems that it can be measured more accurately & consistently. Nobody get mad......this is just an opinion.

    I started loading for accuracy about 45 years ago. Got my best accuracy by doing things that are frowned upon today. After glass bedding the stock of a retail rifle and honing the trigger for reloading I smoked the bullets for seating depth ( don’t know if a Stoney point pal gauge existed then). Neck sized only, and shot compressed loads. I could shoots groups smaller than any would believe with that setup. Now I’m shooting custom built rifles by GAP, a lot better reloading equipment, fl resizing bumping shoulder ~ 2 thou & can’t replicate what I did then.

    Good luck & sounds like you are doing awesome with reloading.
     
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    Western Living

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    Annealing only makes brass last longer if the brass has been cold worked/hardened enough that stress-relieving will help prevent cracks. If brass-working is minimized, the benefit of stress-relieving is also minimized.

    I posit that annealing does not and cannot practically improve accuracy -- but I admit that there is a serious effort being undertaken to research this further. I respect that work and hope something comes of it, but have seen nothing so far. My assertion is based on people who are working the hardest at annealing (AMP) not being able to demonstrate meaningful improvements, and people that work hard at shooting well like Erik Cortina (who also shared his work on annealing in recent video demos) demonstrating that he doesn't really have a clue what he's doing with respect to annealing.

    The bottom line is people do it out of tradition or a thus-far vain hope of achieving something -- or they do it simply to make the brass last longer because they're working it hard. People who work their brass less may experience wearing out primer pockets before their necks crack, so it is by no means necessary to anneal subsequently to the factory annealing that follows the initial case forming in order to maximize brass life.

    It should be pointed out that whatever process someone uses, they should be consistent. No doubt people that anneal successfully do so in a way that the resulting necks are all very similar. There is no question that annealing processes affect bullet seating and pull friction. If you annealed some and not others the result would be very inconsistent necks. Thus some people anneal every reload so their necks are similar every reload. If a person did not anneal every single reload, they would probably want to keep brass sorted so brass resized 10 times does not mix with once-fired brass or new brass that was just annealed. Also, if you anneal only every 4th reload, keep them sorted if you expect competitive accuracy.
     
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    Sniperwannabee

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    Annealing only makes brass last longer if the brass has been cold worked/hardened enough that stress-relieving will help prevent cracks. If brass-working is minimized, the benefit of stress-relieving is also minimized.

    I posit that annealing does not and cannot practically improve accuracy -- but I admit that there is a serious effort being undertaken to research this further. I respect that work and hope something comes of it, but have seen nothing so far. My assertion is based on people who are working the hardest at annealing (AMP) not being able to demonstrate meaningful improvements, and people that work hard at shooting well like Erik Cortina (who also shared his work on annealing in recent video demos) demonstrating that he doesn't really have a clue what he's doing with respect to annealing.

    The bottom line is people do it out of tradition or a thus-far vain hope of achieving something -- or they do it simply to make the brass last longer because they're working it hard. People who work their brass less may experience wearing out primer pockets before their necks crack, so it is by no means necessary to anneal subsequently to the factory annealing that follows the initial case forming in order to maximize brass life.

    It should be pointed out that whatever process someone uses, they should be consistent. No doubt people that anneal successfully do so in a way that the resulting necks are all very similar. There is no question that annealing processes affect bullet seating and pull friction. If you annealed some and not others the result would be very inconsistent necks. Thus some people anneal every reload so their necks are similar every reload. If a person did not anneal every single reload, they would probably want to keep brass sorted so brass resized 10 times does not mix with once-fired brass or new brass that was just annealed. Also, if you anneal only every 4th reload, keep them sorted if you expect competitive accuracy.

    So I guess the question is , if just normal resizing is considered working you brass hard or not
     

    918v

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    I'm more concerned about my long term reloading operation than this 6.5 creedmoor brass. Just wondering if it's worth adding an annealing machine to my setup and how much it will benefit me.

    Do you guys who annel do it every time you reload? Different lot numbers require a different amount of annealing. I can't see myself spending the money on an AMP machine but can justify one of the cheaper ones like the Annie or torch annelers.

    I have gotten best accuracy from once fired brass. So it’s a little harder than factory, but softer than multiple fired brass.

    I have 2 AMP machines. My goal in using them is to restore my brass hardness to what I had at 1x.

    The difference in accuracy between 1x and 5x is small, not enough to worry about. BTW, I shoot from mag length. My accuracy is consistently under .5 moa, even with 5x fired brass.

    The more important factor is case head separation. With brass like Hornady, the case head thins out with every firing. Remember, if you’re trimming, your case head is thinning. The hotter your load, the more brass flows, the quicker it thins at the case head.

    You can easily find yourself in a situation where by the time you anneal the case is already at the end of its life due to either loose primer pockets and/or case head separation, even if you only bump .002”.

    If you use Lapua brass, and run sane pressures, then maybe you can benefit from annealing. But with Hornady brass you would have to run mild pressures to make case life long enough to benefit from annealing.

    Then you have to overcome the increased friction in the neck due to the oxide that forms in the neck. Some people use case lube in the neck. I use imperial graphite because case lube is way too slick.
     

    918v

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    So I guess the question is , if just normal resizing is considered working you brass hard or not

    What do you mean by that? Working your brass hard?

    A resizing cycle hardens the brass. How many resizing cycles it takes to crack a neck depends on how hard the neck was to begin with.

    If you heat a neck till it glows, you’ll never crack it. The case head or primer pocket will go first.

    Factory necks are semi-hard and will last 10-12 resizing cycles using standard FL dies.
     
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    Sniperwannabee

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    What do you mean by that? Working your brass hard?

    A resizing cycle hardens the brass. How many resizing cycles it takes to crack a neck depends on how hard the neck was to begin with.

    If you heat a neck till it glows, you’ll never crack it. The case head or primer pocket will go first.

    Factory necks are semi-hard and will last 10-12 resizing cycles using standard FL dies.

    I was referring to @Western Living statement

    Annealing only makes brass last longer if the brass has been cold worked/hardened enough that stress-relieving will help prevent cracks. If brass-working is minimized, the benefit of stress-relieving is also minimized.
     
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    giannid

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    What do you mean by that? Working your brass hard?

    A resizing cycle hardens the brass. How many resizing cycles it takes to crack a neck depends on how hard the neck was to begin with.

    If you heat a neck till it glows, you’ll never crack it. The case head or primer pocket will go first.

    Factory necks are semi-hard and will last 10-12 resizing cycles using standard FL dies.
    Your saying you can get 10 to 12 resizing/firings without annealing? Shit, if that's the case, I'm not sure it's worth my time. I shoot a lot but by that time the primer pockets have to be loose.
     

    918v

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    Your saying you can get 10 to 12 resizing/firings without annealing? Shit, if that's the case, I'm not sure it's worth my time. I shoot a lot but by that time the primer pockets have to be loose.

    I’m not the only one.
     
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    EM92wx

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    I read that Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics stated in a recent publication that annealing vs not annealing had no significant effect on the brass before other factors, such as loose pockets happened.
     
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    Lynn313

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    Annealing only makes brass last longer if the brass has been cold worked/hardened enough that stress-relieving will help prevent cracks. If brass-working is minimized, the benefit of stress-relieving is also minimized.

    I posit that annealing does not and cannot practically improve accuracy -- but I admit that there is a serious effort being undertaken to research this further. I respect that work and hope something comes of it, but have seen nothing so far. My assertion is based on people who are working the hardest at annealing (AMP) not being able to demonstrate meaningful improvements, and people that work hard at shooting well like Erik Cortina (who also shared his work on annealing in recent video demos) demonstrating that he doesn't really have a clue what he's doing with respect to annealing.

    The bottom line is people do it out of tradition or a thus-far vain hope of achieving something -- or they do it simply to make the brass last longer because they're working it hard. People who work their brass less may experience wearing out primer pockets before their necks crack, so it is by no means necessary to anneal subsequently to the factory annealing that follows the initial case forming in order to maximize brass life.

    It should be pointed out that whatever process someone uses, they should be consistent. No doubt people that anneal successfully do so in a way that the resulting necks are all very similar. There is no question that annealing processes affect bullet seating and pull friction. If you annealed some and not others the result would be very inconsistent necks. Thus some people anneal every reload so their necks are similar every reload. If a person did not anneal every single reload, they would probably want to keep brass sorted so brass resized 10 times does not mix with once-fired brass or new brass that was just annealed. Also, if you anneal only every 4th reload, keep them sorted if you expect competitive accuracy.

    This is something I can buy into. I keep looking at an AMP, but won’t pull the trigger on it. I’m in the process of firing neck sized brass ~ 3x and sending to Whidden for custom dies. After receiving them I will then continue to FL size a minimum, bumping shoulder back 1 to 2 thou. The chamber in my custom 6.5 PRC is only 6 thou over virgin brass. I hope to extend brass life by minimal working you mentioned. If I’ve read correctly bench rest shooters working through “tight” custom chambers get 50+ firings from their brass without ever annealing.
     
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    EM92wx

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    I will be starting on load development soon. This is the path I will take. Send in three fired Lapua brass cases for the same thing. I will wait to order an AMP until they go on sale agin. What I have heard, and read, is that if you don’t try to get them maximum velocity your brass will last longer. There will be more than one node.
     
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    giannid

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    Well gentleman, I have an Annie coming from a member here. I decided to add it to my reloading equipment. Not sure if I should anneal all of my Hornady 6.5 Creedmoor tha I'm currently doing load development with. Don't really have an ideal how many firings it has. I'd venture to say 3 to 4. Not sure if it'll hurt or help. Since I purchased the machine, I'm just going to anneal my brass every firing to keep things consistent.
     

    TxWelder35

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    I picked up the Annealeez. For the low cost I figured it’s worth the money if it extended my brass life and gives me lower SD/ES. Currently have 11 firings on my Peterson small primer 260 brass and still going strong. Haven’t lost a neck or primer pocket yet.

    Annealeez is super easy to set up and fast also. Adds hardly any extra effort to the reloading process so why not.
     
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    giannid

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    I picked up the Annealeez. For the low cost I figured it’s worth the money if it extended my brass life and gives me lower SD/ES. Currently have 11 firings on my Peterson small primer 260 brass and still going strong. Haven’t lost a neck or primer pocket yet.

    Annealeez is super easy to set up and fast also. Adds hardly any extra effort to the reloading process so why not.
    honestly, I thought the annaleez was a good option. I just hate the ideal of having to mess with gas and adjusting it everytime.
     

    hafejd30

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    I use a vertex bench source. Anneal every firing

    Testing my 308 I fired several times fired brass against annealed brass. At 300 yards my speed went from 37 ES to 19. My groups went from 3/4 to 1/2 MOA. That’s the only test I did. 5 rounds each

    The vertex anneals the neck in 3-4 seconds per piece of brass. So it doesn’t take much time and I consider it worth it

    I have Lapua brass with over 20 firings on them. I size with a lee collet die
     

    TxWelder35

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    honestly, I thought the annaleez was a good option. I just hate the ideal of having to mess with gas and adjusting it everytime.
    The gas is easy. Turn it on, set it to 100% and that’s it. Just write down your setting for the roller speed for the next time
     
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    30cal user

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    the answer to every reloading question ever is, test it yourself and find out......the internets just helps get there faster
     
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    upsdownsideways

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    I have gotten best accuracy from once fired brass. So it’s a little harder than factory, but softer than multiple fired brass.

    I have 2 AMP machines. My goal in using them is to restore my brass hardness to what I had at 1x.

    The difference in accuracy between 1x and 5x is small, not enough to worry about. BTW, I shoot from mag length. My accuracy is consistently under .5 moa, even with 5x fired brass.

    The more important factor is case head separation. With brass like Hornady, the case head thins out with every firing. Remember, if you’re trimming, your case head is thinning. The hotter your load, the more brass flows, the quicker it thins at the case head.

    You can easily find yourself in a situation where by the time you anneal the case is already at the end of its life due to either loose primer pockets and/or case head separation, even if you only bump .002”.

    If you use Lapua brass, and run sane pressures, then maybe you can benefit from annealing. But with Hornady brass you would have to run mild pressures to make case life long enough to benefit from annealing.

    Then you have to overcome the increased friction in the neck due to the oxide that forms in the neck. Some people use case lube in the neck. I use imperial graphite because case lube is way too slick.

    Running Lapua, at what reload number should one annual?