How soft is too soft when annealing

The #1 community for Gun Owners of the Northeast

Member Benefits:

  • No ad networks!
  • Discuss all aspects of firearm ownership
  • Discuss anti-gun legislation
  • Buy, sell, and trade in the classified section
  • Chat with Local gun shops, ranges, trainers & other businesses
  • Discover free outdoor shooting areas
  • View up to date on firearm-related events
  • Share photos & video with other members
  • ...and so much more!
  • BFMIN

    Ultimate Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    2,719
    Eastern shore
    I recently annealed a batch of bottleneck R-P .303 British cases I'd been gifted with. They're listed as "once fired".
    As part of brass prep I annealed them using my normal tools techniques & times.
    The cases were in a deep well socket spun continuously by an electric screwdriver.
    I heated over a low propane flame for 7 seconds, & verified temps with a Templistick 450℉ . I do normally drop them into cold water in the S/S bowl, I know its not needed to anneal Brass, but I usually do large batches for consistency, & don't want random heat transfer occurring in the mound of constantly replenished hot @ one end & cold @ the other brass. This was a small batch (40 Pcs) so I didn't use water. This was my ONLY change.
    I've used this for years with never a problem.
    The chase necks/mouths are so soft the case chamfering / deburring cutter is deforming the case mouths!
    Am I over reacting or did I just wreck a batch of cases? I have never had this issue before!
     

    Attachments

    • DSCF0524.JPG
      DSCF0524.JPG
      184.5 KB · Views: 40
    • DSCF1951.JPG
      DSCF1951.JPG
      211.3 KB · Views: 36
    • odd brass batch 1.JPG
      odd brass batch 1.JPG
      392 KB · Views: 35

    K31

    "Part of that Ultra MAGA Crowd"
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 15, 2006
    35,547
    AA county
    .303 is very thin in my experience and compared to other centerfire rounds of the same type. For that reason I seldom got many firings out of a single case even using neck sizing only.

    My opinion is that I would not waste time annealing them.
     

    Doco Overboard

    Ultimate Member
    Full length resize them moving the brass in more than one increment.
    Work hardening them cold is what hardens them.
    When firing, heat is generated which is more towards annealing them becuase of the elastic properties of brass and its molecular structure which allows it to be formed cold.
    This very same subject, can be referenced in Whelen's ballistic study Vol 2 expanded under reloading/ forming cartridges. Wildcat cartridges.
    Or, maybe its the chapters for brass and steel cartridge case manufacture.
    If you can make it to the meeting, I can let you borrow the book if you like.
    But otherwise I agree with the JOhn from Md's post only with the exception that in order to harden then they will need to be resized for which hardening is part of the manufacturing and forming process.
     

    BFMIN

    Ultimate Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    2,719
    Eastern shore
    .303 is very thin in my experience and compared to other centerfire rounds of the same type. For that reason I seldom got many firings out of a single case even using neck sizing only.

    My opinion is that I would not waste time annealing them.
    Appreciated, but I'm on my 6th & 7th firing of many of my .303 cases. & I "partially full length resize" so its working for me.
    My main point was I've done exactly (minus the cold shower) this many times before with nary a problem.
    WTH is different this time? I can't see the quench as being that vital, it not steel, its brass!
     

    John from MD

    American Patriot
    MDS Supporter
    May 12, 2005
    22,509
    Socialist State of Maryland
    Appreciated, but I'm on my 6th & 7th firing of many of my .303 cases. & I "partially full length resize" so its working for me.
    My main point was I've done exactly (minus the cold shower) this many times before with nary a problem.
    WTH is different this time? I can't see the quench as being that vital, it not steel, its brass!
    The alloy of your brass may be different.
     

    JohnnyE

    Ultimate Member
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 18, 2013
    9,228
    MoCo
    The older I get, the less I like hearing about things that are soft.
     

    Melnic

    Ultimate Member
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 27, 2012
    15,210
    HoCo
    Remington brass sucks for 303 and PPU is better.
    With the loose headspace that many brit enfields have, as mentioned, not many firings.
    I guess they wanted them to work when dirty.
    I actually got split/stuck cases at the base with remington brass when full length sizing and switched to neck only.
    For this reason I always wondered if annealing the base above where its thick would be benificial or not.
     

    Doco Overboard

    Ultimate Member
    Remington brass sucks for 303 and PPU is better.
    With the loose headspace that many brit enfields have, as mentioned, not many firings.
    I guess they wanted them to work when dirty.
    I actually got split/stuck cases at the base with remington brass when full length sizing and switched to neck only.
    For this reason I always wondered if annealing the base above where its thick would be benificial or not.
    This is exactly why rimmed cartridge cases are generally considered superior.
    They're stronger due to the sidewall thickness at the web and have a rim just for the purpose of sealing the chamber end. Same thing for belted cases.
    Keeping in mind, rimmed cartridges headspace at the rim and not the shoulder.
    Its also important when fitting a bolt to LE action to not over head space the bolt head which will prevent the primary extraction from working in the event of a ruptured case head which can prevent the bolt from opening entirely.
    Just the same, case heads during manufacturing are intentionally left hard.
    Imprinting the head-stamp and crimping in a primer or stab crimping one increases the hardness. Firing a cartridge, even more which can be discovered in other relevant subject matter texts. This former idea has been discussed in the textbook of small arms which contains a complex explanation of development of metallurgical, mechanical and chemical formulations for the design of 303 cartridge.
    Annealing a case head, has never been mentioned in any text Ive reviewed for a 303 or any other rifle system that I'm aware of.
    Probably not a good idea just as a mortar and pestle are not a good idea for changing the physical characteristics of extruded powder or any powder for that matter.
    I think the 303 cartridge probably has more R&D involved spanning its history than any other cartridge that I'm aware of as well. The military establishments were never concerned with reloading them either as many other major arm and ordnance manufacturing organizations in advanced countries.
    Not only did the British want them to work dirty, they wanted to be able to calculate missing propeller blades too to keep up with the Germans which was a huge obstacle during aeronautical WWI warfare technological advancements.
     

    BFMIN

    Ultimate Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    2,719
    Eastern shore
    Me neither.
    These are OLD R-P before they went to crap. "High Velocity Core-Lokd with Kleanbre Priming"
    They used to be my preferred brand of brass.The newer stuff I agree is rubbish.
    As for whether I SHOULD anneal
    I've been annealing brass every third reload for decades, .303 brass.
    Its always worked.
    My concern isn't "should I do it"? That's asked and answered, I'm getting 7 & more lads out of the brass so I'm doing something right!
    The question was whats different THIS time.
     
    Last edited:

    Users who are viewing this thread

    Latest posts

    Forum statistics

    Threads
    274,310
    Messages
    7,231,584
    Members
    33,203
    Latest member
    gdztoyz

    Latest threads

    Top Bottom