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Annealing aftermath

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britrifles View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 17 2020 at 7:39am
I have found that excessive force on closing the collet can cause it to stick closed.  It should only take about 25 lbs force to close the collet.

Brass composition may be playing a role here.  It’s possible to burn the zinc out of the brass which would make it very soft if you over heat it.  

Doesn’t sound like we understand what the cause of the problem is.

I’m not convinced that annealing is essential.  I’ve reloaded cases many times without annealing the cases.  I also have not seen an improvement in accuracy from annealing in the LE or other military service rifle.   Perhaps with a match rifle shot off a bench with scope improvement might be measurable. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 17 2020 at 7:28am
I anneal every 3rd reload.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 17 2020 at 5:35am
For it to crack at that corner must have been some serious force and mechanical advantage! I have annealed before with no issues. As Pukka says, just the slightest colour change, kind of a darker brass colour seems to be about right for me. How often would you anneal? Every time? Every second? I ask as I have this summers shooting worth of brass I'm thinking about prepping. Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pukka Bundook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 17 2020 at 5:02am
I still think the main problem is over-annealing, Phil.
No, this won't fix your broken press, but if the brass is over-annealed, it will collapse when sizing.
If it looked bright red/yellow, it was too hot and will be very soft.
Just a slight change in colour is hot enough.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote philtno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 17 2020 at 2:54am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote philtno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 17 2020 at 2:36am
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

Perhaps you are not pushing down on the press handle hard enough to full close the collet on the case neck.  
Also measure the diameter of the mandrel on your collet die.  
Something not right, I’ve never had this problem, even after neck sizing 20 times.  
 
Breaking News: I just broke the hand press by pushing too hard with the Collet die....No joke!! So I'm sure I'm pushing down enough.

The mandrel of the collet die is .3085
I only have the problem with the HXP (1969-1976), not with any of the PPU, S&B, Win.  I guess all brass are not outlining the same characteristics...
I have TWO problems actually.  SOME of the HXP brass loose neck tension after more than 20 reloads.... no matter if I neck size or FL size.  NOT ALL the HXP brass......just some of them, apparently.
The second issue is that, those same brass, once annealed, become very very soft to the point that the neck is collapsing in the shoulder when i try to neck size them...This problem DOES NOT occur when I FL size them....but by FL resizing them, I start having significant percentage of Case Head separation.

What's happening is this, I reckon: those HXP brass that I have, after being worked a certain amount of times become so "stiff" that they don't resize properly....just like they would come back to the "fired" level (.314-.315) when removed from the resizing die.....that's for my first issue.
For my second issue, I think it's because of the interior shape of the Collet Die which does not support the sides of the case.  When the case is pushed against the mandrel, the shoulder and the top of the case have enough space for the neck to collapse.  If you compare the drawing of the collet die and the FL die on the LEE website, it clearly shows that.  This also make me assume that the HXP don't really handle being annealed and become much softer than other brands....or maybe "less old" brass.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2020 at 1:46pm
Oh well, it was just a wild idea! Lamp
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2020 at 10:47am
I don’t think so Shamu, the collet is closed by the action of the she!! holder pushing up bottom of the die.

Now, if the die is not screwed in far enough, the collet may not be fully closing on the mandrel.  And that well could be the reason.  To make sure this never happens, I screw the die in at least a full turn past what the instructions say.  I push down on the press handle until I feel the collet closed on the mandrel. It takes at least 25 lbs pressure on a Lee classic press. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2020 at 7:47am
One odd thought.
Bear in mind I've never used collet resizing dies so I may be way off base.
Could the die body be somehow too low in the press?
If it was would this cause the collet to collapse the shoulder as he describes?
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Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2020 at 4:59am
Originally posted by Stumpkiller Stumpkiller wrote:

Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:


I once grabbed the box of 168 gr .308 SMK bullets to load in the .303 cases and had that issue...


?

.308" should slide in easily without collapsing the shoulder vs .311" bullets.

Stumpkiller, I believe the necks are collapsing when he tries to neck size them in the collet die, not when he’s seating the bullet.  

I should have mentioned that I use a -0.001 mandrel on my collet die.  I felt that the standard mandrel does give fairly light neck tension on the bullet, but not so light that the bullet drops into the case, or can be pushed in by hand.  I like to have about .003 inch interference with the bullet.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2020 at 4:50am
Perhaps you are not pushing down on the press handle hard enough to full close the collet on the case neck.  As the necks age harden, it takes a bit more force to fully close the collet. 

But that doesn’t explain why the FL die doesn’t size the neck sufficient to grip the bullet.  Take the recapping rod out and measure the diameter of the expander.  Run a case up into the FL die without the recapping rod and measure the neck ID after sizing.  Also measure the diameter of the mandrel on your collet die.  Something not right, I’ve never had this problem, even after neck sizing 20 times.  

Lee will sell you custom mandrel and decamping rod/expanders.  You may have to go to -.001 or -.002.  






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote philtno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2020 at 3:04am
I don't know what's not right....I do everything the way I've seen/learned it from many different source of info.
All I know is that some type of brass, the HXP which I'm really happy with and have reloaded them many times, seems to loose all neck tension no matter how I resize/full length size them after something like 10-15 reloads.
After annealing them, the neck sizing with the neck sizing die makes their neck collapse while the full length sizing seems to work (no collapsing). 
Is it possible that, after 40 years and so many reloadings, those HXP brass are just not going any further and are just at the end of their life....???
So why not just full length size them every time after annealing.....well, just over last weekend, I got six case head separations from that batch that I had to full length resize after annealing.....sounds like a catch-22 hey???
By the way, the projectiles are .312....so they just clearly rub their belly when pushed in the resized case.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stumpkiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2020 at 7:15pm
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:


I once grabbed the box of 168 gr .308 SMK bullets to load in the .303 cases and had that issue...


?

.308" should slide in easily without collapsing the shoulder vs .311" bullets.
Charlie P.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2020 at 5:15pm
That is an awesome rig!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2020 at 3:51pm
Agreed theres something not right.

Firing the brass "works" it, making it harder & more Brittle.
Reshaping it "works" it, making it harder & more Brittle.

That's why we anneal, because annealing changes the structure to remove the work hardening.
If you ever were in the middle east & watched the brass workers they hammer the brass till it gets too stiff, then reheat to soften & beat on it some more. We're doing the same thing!
So what can go wrong?

Well its possible to over do the annealing heating. That's why I use "tempilaq" or "tempilsticks" (You can find them at the local welding & gas supply places) so I KNOW the exact temperature. I use 450℉ (brown) for the shoulder, or 600℉ (red) for the neck.
Some prefer the lacquer (liquid) others the Crayon (solid).

Its also possible to UNDER heat it, so nothing happens!
If its way overheated the zinc actually exits the brass leaving it permanently weakened.
I've annealed HXP this way several times & had no problem.
I use the lowest flame I can get, just a 1/2~3/4" pencil flame with a nice "electric blue" cone. The actual brass is about 1/2" away from the tip of the blue flame. Usually 5~7 seconds with continuous rotation via an electric screwdriver it really close.
I also hide most of the case in a deep well socket just in case I mess up. I also dump into cold water, but this isn't really necessary unless you're doing a lot all at once & they're going to heat each other up randomly in the dump bin.



Hopefully this will give you some clue as to wast isn't right?

Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 14 2020 at 2:43pm
Something not right that we are missing.  The whole reason to anneal is to remove the work hardening of the brass.  Do they size correctly in a FL die? 

I once grabbed the box of 168 gr .308 SMK bullets to load in the .303 cases and had that issue...


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