Annealing case necks in molten lead

Annealing Cartridge Cases


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Q: What is the best method of annealing cartridge case necks at home? I’d like a simple method that doesn’t require me to buy any special equipment.

Frank Gordon

 A: The accepted method of annealing cartridge case necks is to stand the cases in water up nearly to the shoulder and then use a fast heat source, such as blow torch or gas torch, heating the cases to a cherry red before tipping them over to cool quickly.

My own method is to dip the cases in red hot molten lead down to the shoulder section and then immediately dump them into water so the heat doesn’t anneal the cases up to the solid head. Avoid any method where you will anneal cases all the way to the base.


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Nick Harvey

Nick Harvey is one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He has been writing about firearms and hunting for more than 65 years, has published many books and uncounted articles, and has travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject is unmatched. He has been Sporting Shooter's Gun Editor for longer than anyone can remember. Nick lives in rural NSW, Australia.

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