Annealing Wildcat Case Necks and Shoulders
The neck and shoulder must sometimes be annealed. Some reworked brass for wildcat cases will split unless they are annealed.
Here is how I do it, about 100 cases in an hour. I set up a Benzomatic propane torch on piece of plywood on two saw horses in a dark corner of my garage, flame facing the operator. The case is between the operator and the flame, so the color change of the brass can be observed.
Then I set up a drill press vise on a box for the B&D electric cordless screwdriver to lay in. With the K&M shell holder chuck, the case is held in place about 2-3" away from the torch tip. The edge of screwdriver is even with the front of the vise. The flame is aimed at the case upper shoulder/neck or the shoulder junction.
The flame is adjusted short and thin and not too hot.
Apply Heat to the count of eight or so while turning the case with the electric screwdriver. When a very skimpyalmost not visible dark red color appears at the neck and shoulder, the chuck with the case is then tipped in a pail of cold water. The wet cold chuck keeps the case head cold during neck heating. Adjust the flame to a spot so that the neck and shoulder gets the same color at the same time.
The operation is fast and the heat is even. Not very scientific but it works well. Do not get the case yellow red-hot. 572F-662F is the best heat. The color change is visible but very hard to describe. Test a case and fire form it, if it forms well remember that color, so you wont overdo the heat. You do not want to over heat the necks otherwise they get too soft and are then ruined. Count at the same speed that way all the cases get the same heat treatment.
Reloaders using conventional dies with expander buttons that will work harden the necks may just want to anneal the necks only. This procedure would take a lot less heating time. Proper neck hardness will much enhance neck concentricity.
I do not subscribe to the idea of tipping case necks in molten lead. Because molten lead and water is very explosive mixture. One drop of water will explode the lead pot. Besides lead fumes are very toxic and hazardous to your health. Although molten lead is the best temperature at 621F. Be careful.
Fred the Reloader