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Old 11-11-2010, 03:04 AM
Hummer Hummer is offline
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Default Why do case necks split/crack?



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Why do case necks crack on ammunition? There are several reasons, the most prevalent of which is case fatigue from excessive resizing. Brass as it is formed into cartridges work hardens during the case draws which is good in the rim and bottom of case area but if care is not taken the case necks will crack in storage from the built up tension if not stress relieved. This is why you rarely find WW1 dated ammo that has not cracked. The military ammo made for US forces was not stress relieved till around 1930.

On military cases we generally see a blue tint on the case neck and to varying depths below the shoulder and case wall intersection. This blue tint indicates the cases have been stress relieved to make them more resilient to the stresses introduced by seating the bullets.
Note: This same method is applied to commercial cases as can be seen on the History Channel in their segment on Winchester ammo in the East Alton plant and it shows the cases being prepared in almost identical fashion of what I am about to describe below.

Most of the information on this subject is wrong from a number of standpoints. First off the correct term is “annealing” and secondly the bad information indicates that water be used to protect the case base and is not done at the arsenals or manufacturers. If the neck turns red you have annealed the brass and taken it to dead soft and the grain structure of the metal is transformed by allowing it to get too hot. Others want to use a heat crayon to determine temp range. Arsenals do not do this either.

Thusly all you need do is to restore the resiliency to the case neck/shoulder area and the following will outline a easy way to do this to insure the brass is not ruined and the reloading life extended for a much longer period.
This method is basically identical to that used by the case manufacturer in production and this little tool is easily made on a metal lathe in just a few minutes.

For medium cases first obtain some round steel rod slightly over 9/16” diameter and about four inches long. 5/8” would be even better.

Next turn one end of the rod down to 3/8” about 1 inch long. Turn the rod around and on the other end drill a ” hole (or slightly smaller) into the end and make it deep enough so the case you are about to stress relieve will go base first into the hole and stop allowing ” to 3/8” of case body below the shoulder to stick out.


Place this in variable speed drill and only run it about 150 to 200 rpm.
Next use a propane torch with a fine flame and adjust the flame till the inner bright blue flame is about one inch long giving a sharp point. Using the sharp inner blue flame as a pointer place it so it just touches the case wall ” BELOW THE SHOULDER thusly heating the case body first and NOT THE NECK. This is only done for a few seconds and varies on thickness of brass. On 30.06 it is about six seconds and point the drill downward and the case falls out. I use a old towel. DO NOT DROP IT IN WATER.


The case shoulder/neck will turn blue after it is removed from the flame. If your light is good you will see a color change on the case appear around three to four seconds into the flame and pull the neck back through the flame is it is being removed for a total time of about six seconds for 30.06. Again you will not see the blue while in the flame.
Use a new unfired case as a color sample. If your bluish tint is darker than a new case you have left it in too long. If the blue tint is lighter, leave it in a little longer.

The idea is to duplicate the same tint that comes on the factory round. If the case is really dark blue you have got it too hot and annealed it when as above you only want to stress relieve it.

As a learning curve use some old cases that have split etc as a test run and within a few cases you will get your count cadence down correctly and will be turning out cases that look like new arsenal manufactured cases.
Once you get the hang of it you can stress relieve five to six cases a minute.

Oh yeah if you can get a drill that you can depress a button and have it remain running continuously at the speed you set it. I place the base of the drill on my stomach and hold it with both hands till I see the color change and just point it down and cases fall right out.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:46 AM
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Very well done. Good stuff.

Have you ever seen this? Note the rig ...

http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html

There are some really good videos on youtube.com too, that I learned from. The ammosmith guy is usually really good - he explains "work hardening" well in the first video:





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Old 11-11-2010, 09:55 PM
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Can't do the youtube thing on this dial up connection I have but it appears a demo of the old sit it in water and heat hell out of one side of the neck at a time. Millions of cases have been ruined like this and I did it to a bunch myself until I was instructed on the proper method by a ammo engineer from Frankford Arsenal I shot highpower matches with back in 80s.

The one where it rotates on a stick is close but the rotation cannot be maintained as evenly as it would be done in a drill and appears to be slower. The piece I tell about also came from 6MMbr.com. It was one of those things that is so simple it was brilliant.

The four cases on the bottom don't appear to be evenly done. The extreme right case is on the dark blue side and doesn't flow evenly up to neck.

Check out:

http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubb...ue#Post2085377

scroll down to a post by Suasponte where it shows the holders and a detailed instruction on how to use the holder chucked in a drill.
Old 11-11-2010, 10:18 PM
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Gallo Pazzesco Gallo Pazzesco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer View Post
Can't do the youtube thing on this dial up connection I have but it appears a demo of the old sit it in water and heat hell out of one side of the neck at a time. Millions of cases have been ruined like this and I did it to a bunch myself until I was instructed on the proper method by a ammo engineer from Frankford Arsenal I shot highpower matches with back in 80s.

The one where it rotates on a stick is close but the rotation cannot be maintained as evenly as it would be done in a drill and appears to be slower. The piece I tell about also came from 6MMbr.com. It was one of those things that is so simple it was brilliant.

The four cases on the bottom don't appear to be evenly done. The extreme right case is on the dark blue side and doesn't flow evenly up to neck.

Check out:

http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubb...ue#Post2085377

scroll down to a post by Suasponte where it shows the holders and a detailed instruction on how to use the holder chucked in a drill.
Yep, you need faster Internet brother.

None of those videos are about overheating, especially the one at the top, you'd have to watch to understand - and the one on the bottom is illustrating how not to do it on purpose, at least in that particular picture.

I've been a member over on Sniper's Hide since '05. We've had so many annealing discussions over there I forget them all. Annealing is really something that I started doing a long time ago, but it has just recently caught fire among the newfound reloading crowd.
Old 12-06-2010, 07:17 AM
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Gallo,
Yeah I hang out over there as well. Suasponte has some good stuff on stress relieving cases. Apparently there are not a lot of reloaders here and they are missing out. Another good site is the make ready forum

http://www.makereadyforum.com/index....8680e0d1a0f354


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Old 12-06-2010, 07:52 AM
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Gallo Pazzesco Gallo Pazzesco is offline
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You are a South Carolinian living in SC? I teach a reloading class(es) ... my advanced class deals with annealing. You could drop in for that part of the class for free if you want - I'm over near Lake Murray.
Old 12-07-2010, 09:19 AM
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Gallo,
I went to town yesterday and got on a WIFI hookup and watched the videos. Made me wanna puke haha. They got case necks too hot. Just tried to call you and left msg.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:30 AM
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I'm enjoying the conversation, we are speaking by phone, right now, as a matter of fact.

Check this video out ....

http://www.njcles.com/lawtube/FBIMiami.html

BTW, I intend to give your annealing method a try.
Old 12-07-2010, 07:56 PM
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Gotta wait till I get to town and get to a WIFI hot spot. No high speed out here in the boonies. I think it is because the phone company is run by legs.

If you do it by the torch method as Suasponte describes on the hide (he published a drawing of how to do it). I made up the drawing and sent it to him. You can absolutely duplicate LC Match tint. Look it up on the thread he responded to.

Got the puker shipped out today.
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