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I am prepping brass for my first large run of reloading .223 and have a few questions on annealing. Most of my brass is my own once-fired 5.56 and .223, but I do have a few range pick-ups. I plan to swage and anneal all of them before the first reload. My questions are:

How often do need to anneal .223 brass? After every firing? After every 3rd? Once and you're done?

What method do you use to anneal? The Annealeez looks like a nifty gadget, but I will probably start with just a small torch. I may get the Annealeez if hand-annealing takes too long or if I have to do this frequently.

What about other calibers? None of my factory 30-06 cases appear to be annealed. Can anybody help me understand why 30-06 should or should not be annealed?

Any other pearls of annealing wisdom are appreciated.
 

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I am prepping brass for my first large run of reloading .223 and have a few questions on annealing.… I plan to swage and anneal all of them before the first reload.
If I had any questions about a process or processes, I would never learn on a large batch or “all” of my resources, just in case (no pun intended) one or a combination of them ruined them.

I imagine more cases have been harmed by hand annealing (and other methods done incorrectly) than helped over the years. All of the heat to some shade of orange or red and submerge in water so the head is not also annealed, etc. They would have been better off reloading and shooting them, without annealing, until the neck split. If you do a small batch and test them against cases you didn’t alter, you will be able to see if you made them better or worse. You can’t to that if you alter all of them before you load any.

That said, I use a machine I built to anneal brass. It doesn’t require any extra parts to anneal cases as small as 17 Hornet up to 50 BMG, just adjustment.

Keep the flame blue, no “glow” of the case at all of any shade. Using propane, the flame will change from blue to orange before the case starts to glow.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ciy6dwb290A


The reason your 30-06 doesn’t look like it’s annealed (and it has been a number of times in the process of becoming a case) is because the evidence has been polished off before being boxed up.

Unlike consumers, the military doesn’t care about “pretty” as much as making sure all process have been completed. This is why they don’t allow the evidence of the final annealing to be removed and want it to remain clearly visible.

6BC469F6-A106-4B6A-9DE2-555D8C4378EC.jpeg


FWIW the small primary batch goes for swaging too (any other new or changed process as well). Would suck to swage “all” your brass then go to load them and find the pockets won’t hold primers any longer.
 

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When I cut the pan, I put the Dremel metal cutting disk in the drill press. Put the table at the right height and rotated the pan. The hard part is trying to find the center of the not completely round pan. Also when drilling the hole for the motor in the box. First just drill a hole big enough for the motor shaft to fit then mark the 3 motor mounting brackets on the box then drill the larger hole. For the motor shaft. Easier than trying to center a ¼ inch shaft in a ¾ inch hole.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the advice.

@jmorris My plan is to practice on some reject cases until I have a reasonably good process, then scale up. I will probably anneal 10-20, then check everything is working.

Thanks, everybody for the plans. I may try building a machine myself. I have not watched the videos yet, so they may provide an answer to my next question.

How often do you anneal plinking ammo?
 

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Personally, I don't anneal 223 brass. It's loaded until split. Since freebies are readily abundant, cost isn't a factor.

It is possible that you're asking more out of your ammo than I am for mine. Mine is almost all AR blasting fodder. Folks who are really serious about tiny groups do anneal. Some, every load.
 

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How often do you anneal plinking ammo?
My plinking ammo does not get annealed. The annealing that comes from the factory is plenty. By the time it could benefit from annealing, I have already lost it or the primer pocket is trash.

And by plinking I am talking about trying to hit coffee cups/cans at 100 yards to basket balls at 400 yards. If the targets are smaller (<2-3 MOA) than that and it becomes match ammo that is a completely different animal when it comes to reloading.
 

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I have never annealed any of my brass.
I will admit to having lots of brass that never gets annealed too.

Some might even be surprised that my most accurate benchrest rifle brass doesn’t get annealed either. So I can say for sure it’s not needed for tiny single hole groups at 100-200 yards. That said, if the chamber is cut for a .262 neck, so you have to turn your brass down so they will fit into the chamber after a bullet is placed into them.

Those are not going to be worked the same as one could “range pick up” fired from who knows what and being resized under, then stretched back out by an expander, maybe even crimped, then blown back out in a possibly generous chamber and repeat.

As an example it is possible to load and fire one of my benchrest cases 3 times without even running it into the custom size die made for the particular chamber.
 

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My 6PPC is a .262 Neck and although I can reload the case without resizing as you pointed out, I still anneal and resize. Makes me feel good about the consistency.
 

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I will admit to having lots of brass that never gets annealed too.

Some might even be surprised that my most accurate benchrest rifle brass doesn’t get annealed either. So I can say for sure it’s not needed for tiny single hole groups at 100-200 yards. That said, if the chamber is cut for a .262 neck, so you have to turn your brass down so they will fit into the chamber after a bullet is placed into them.

Those are not going to be worked the same as one could “range pick up” fired from who knows what and being resized under, then stretched back out by an expander, maybe even crimped, then blown back out in a possibly generous chamber and repeat.

As an example it is possible to load and fire one of my benchrest cases 3 times without even running it into the custom size die made for the particular chamber.
I am an instructor at the local police range. I have access to a lot of free brass. Any that looks questionable I just toss. I usually still get 4-5 loadings or more out of my semi-auto rifle brass.
 

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As an accuracy nut with rifle (talking sub .300 MOA)
I anneal every firing
but only every 3-4 is necessary
I can anneal 100 rounds in 10" with AMP Annealer with which I have annealed thousands and thousands of cases

it is so easy to use, but not cheap

https://www.ampannealing.com/
 
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