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neck tension

12 Oct 2010
@ 03:57 pm (GMT)


I have some questions relating to case neck tension and it’s effect on accuracy. For example if a string of shots has some cases that have been fired 5 times and some on their first firing I imagine this will effect group size.

I struggle to keep track of how many times each case has been fired and wonder if I can overcome this problem by annealing the neck?
How often should I anneal the neck?
Any tips on the best procedure?
Should I neck size before or after annealing?

Sorry I have so many questions


13 Oct 2010
@ 10:50 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

It depends on the cases, rifle chamber dimensions and reloading die dimensions. If for example, you have a rifle with a fairly tight necked chamber and a die that does not overwork the brass, there is very little work hardening and little need of annealing. My .308 is like this, I have 60 cases and the rifle has fired 1200 rounds through it. That's about 20 reloads so far- pretty impressive. I use Hornady Brass in the .308.

In my Swede, its a different story, the military chamber is wide at the neck, the RCBS die is tight, so the brass gets work hardened after a while and cases eventually split at the neck. I use the traditional annealing method, shallow pan of water and a blow torch, heat neck to a dull red but I don't tip the case over afterwards, I let it cool gradually. If you overdo it, the case shoulder collapses when seating bullets. My method is a bit rustic, there are good heat treatment gels on the market and plenty of info online, guys doing a much better job than my method described above.

As far as neck tension goes regarding accuracy. Yes, different tensions will effect accuracy to one degree or another. It is important to learn to feel for tension during bullet seating operations. I prefer to have my reloading dies produce a relatively tight neck but not so tight as to shave copper from the projectile during seating. You can feel when a neck is too tight, even if copper is not being shaved, the seating process feels like its under a lot of strain. When this happens, there are a few options, outside neck turning, graphite lube, new dies.

14 Oct 2010
@ 10:20 am (GMT)

Long Shot

Another tip brought to you by Uncle Longshot.

Google is your friend.

15 Oct 2010
@ 08:14 am (GMT)


Neck tension
Generally when I have a bitucj neck tension I get the missus to rub in a bit of antiflamme!


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