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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 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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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 9:57am
The annealing isn't really about accuracy, but more about extending case life.
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 11:00am
 I will say that and annealed cartridge with a round nose bullet looks very appealing to me. Like something you would have seen many years ago in Africa. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 17 2020 at 12:23pm
HT. Five 215grn Woodleighs in once fired Herters brass that i annealed. 
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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 1:45pm
Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:

The annealing isn't really about accuracy, but more about extending case life.

Yes, although some will claim it’s essential for best accuracy (uniform neck tension).  

I have only annealed some of my .303 cases one time.  I generally will neck size 10 to 15 times, then do a partial FL size then neck size another 10 to 15 times and so on.  Perhaps up to 50 reload cycles.  I’ve rarely experienced cracked necks, invariably I get case head cracking first.   These are all Canadian military cases, 1943, 1944 and 1956 headstamps. I have one batch of PPU with approx 20 reloads; so far, no signs of neck or case head cracks and these have not been annealed (except when they were made).

I’m tracking the exact number of reload cycles on another batch of 50 PPU cases.  So far at 11 neck resize cycles and bolt closes with light finger pressure.  I will likely do a partial length resize in the next few reloads.  

I do believe the Lee collet die minimizes neck work hardening as the die squeezes the neck to the final diameter of the mandrel whereas a FL die will first squeeze it down smaller then expand it out to final size.  


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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 2:28pm
Goosic! That's the look I'm talkin' about!
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