In order to participate in the GunBroker Member forums, you must be logged in with your account. Click the sign-in button at the top right of the forums page to get connected.

Necks splitting

I am reloading .243, some cases have six reloads on them, some five. I started necksizing a batch and the first three split. I was using Talc on the necks as a lube. I switched to FL dies using Imperial sizing wax but more split. The brass casings are old but don't have that many reloads on them. I double checked the necks before sizing and they were not cracked. I also cleaned the necks well with a blitz cloth before sizing. Should I have de-burred the necks before resizing, never have but maybe I was wrong.

Any thoughts? Thanks!


  • Options
    navc130navc130 Member Posts: 1,210 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    Not all brass is the same. Brass is work-hardened as it is reloaded and the more brittle brass will tend to split as it is flexed during the reloading process or upon firing. You can try annealing the necks to soften them.

    Annealing brass is a heating and quick cooling process with a propane torch. Suggest you look it up in a reloading manual or a Youtube instruction video.

  • Options
    love2shootlove2shoot Member Posts: 553 ✭✭✭

    Forgot to say, some were WW and some R-P

    How do I anneal them?


  • Options
    Butchdog2Butchdog2 Member Posts: 3,834 ✭✭✭✭

    Need to be annealed as has been said, repetive firing and sizing hardens the brass, thus the splits.

    There are devices mad to do the process properly, local gunsmith has one.

    Youtube the process and then Google search the item to see how expensive they are.

    I am pretty sure you can conjure up a home made verson for a few coins.

    With 6 plus firing each, the cheapest route could be new brass.

  • Options
    love2shootlove2shoot Member Posts: 553 ✭✭✭

    Youtube offered some ideas. One quenched the brass in water after annealing, I think it would be better to cool slowly to keep the brass soft.

  • Options
    62fuelie62fuelie Member Posts: 1,069 ✭✭✭

    I started annealing my own brass way before there were high-tech ways to do it "properly". A couple of the old guns at the range I shot at taught me to clean the brass in my tumbler then inspect it for damage. I was taught to hold the case with a pair of pliers (brass transfers heat fast) by the rim and rotate the case mouth in the blue point of a propane torch and watch for the brass to change color. When the color reached the base of the neck it would drop in into a bucket of water. I kept my brass separated by brand and annealing cycles. I would anneal after 4 firings. Works just fine on .222 Rem, 5.56, .243, 25-06, 300 Win Mag, .300 Whby and .340 Whby. I don't anneal straight walls, maybe I should, but never felt the need.

    FWIW my $.02

  • Options
    OkieOkie Member Posts: 991 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2021

    # links at bottom about how to anneal easily and how to analyze brass.

    I was needing to reload and test a new to me unknown customized 22-250 Mauser 98 rifle, I had no 22-250 shells or brass and only needed about 10 rounds to check the gun and it's feeding from the magazine and did not want to spend (waste) any money on a unknow gun. The headspace on the gun checked A-ok. Brass is priced out of sight now days I had some 243 brass and re-sized it to 22-250 and I tried the annealing process discussed by GunnyK in this link and it worked good. I used a Propane torch, slow speed battery operated drill and a deep socket of a size and depth that just let the neck and part of the shoulder stick up out of the socket with a adapter that fit into the drill chuck. I just dumped the hulls into a metal catch pan, no quenching needed.

    I stopped heating as soon as the brass changed color at the neck and part of the shoulder. (22-250 case is shorter so I had to anneal part of the shoulder for re-forming) You can see the color change better is the brass is somewhat shiny before starting but not really necessary. I used a flared spreader flame tip instead of a pencil tip on the small propane torch.

    I played with some old raggedy brass at first that had been reloaded several times before using my desirable brass.

    Worked out great.

    You might think about using a dial caliper and checking the OD of your fired brass to get an idea if the chambers neck is little large causing excessive slight stretching of your brass.

    I've been reloading for several years and keep a really good log of how many times my brass has been reloaded and especially how many times it's been TRIMMED (due to stretching)

    3 times through the trimmer is my limit for reloading brass for rifles for High Velocity loads. After 3 trimmings I save the brass for LV low recoil reloads. NOTE that I said 3 trimming, NOT 3 RELOAD TIMES. Brass that has been stretched from it's min to max trim to limit 3 times is usually getting thin at the web. (primer end of the hull) I've reloaded some 30;06 brass by as many as 10 times or more and no signs of brass splitting if the rifle has a good chamber and the headspace is correct and not using a high velocity max load of powder. If a rifles headspace and or chamber is at the max limits the brass reload life will be shortened. A hint that brass is not going to live through very many reloads is by checking the stretch length of the brass each time it's been fired in the gun. If the brass stretches close to the max each firing it's not going to last very long before case failure, usually at the web.

    Some NEW brass will stretch to the MAX limit on first firing and do not assume that new brass is at the correct trim to limit when new. I usually trim new brass .010 below the min limit before first firing because it's going to stretch sometimes to the max limit when first fired even with a minimum amount of powder. If the brass stretches to the max or close to such with each firing annealing is not the answer. The gun has a headspace and/or chamber issue and this is compounded if you are firing a HV max load. Annealing is not the answer because the brass is being stretched too thin and will probably start cracking at the case web. (but sometimes you can run into just bad brass cases if others things mentioned are normal)

    After my reloaded brass has been trimmed 3 times I do not give it a toss. I use it for LV, low recoil reloads at 30-30 velocities in the 223 up through the magnum calibers. The brass will last almost forever when used as LV reloads for use for recoil sensitive people such as women, kids, as practice ammo in bolt action rifles. (I do not reload for lever actions and auto's) I use 5744 powder and have some grandkids that hunt Deer with the big Magnum calibers shooting at 30/30 velocities to 150 yards or so with good accuracy and they can use this one big caliber gun for the rest of their life if desired as they grow into the caliber. (not have to change guns or calibers as they become older)

    I avoid military brass as much as possible and I especially do not mix military brass with non-military brass if I'm looking for accuracy consistency when reloading.

    Here is some links about annealing, etc.

    The Breaking Point of Brass Cases | Gun Digest

  • Options
    yonsonyonson Member Posts: 907 ✭✭✭

    Annealing brass is just the opposite of annealing steel - steel must be cooled slowly while brass must be cooled quickly. Seems counterintuitive but that's just the way it is.

  • Options
    PA ShootistPA Shootist Member Posts: 690 ✭✭✭

    I believe brass age-hardens as well as work-hardens, so old cases as well as oft-fired cases are more likely to split. An old-timer many years ago showed me his annealing process: stand brass cases in water in a tray, deep enough to protect the case head and body, apply heat with propane torch until neck and shoulder colors a bit, then tap the case with torch to knock it over into water, quenching and annealing at once. Seemed to work well.

  • Options
    yonsonyonson Member Posts: 907 ✭✭✭

    BTW, if you are experiencing neck splitting, Season Cracking from exposure to ammonia, or substances containing it, can contribute to splitting issues in brass that is prone to it. Brasso and Flitz both contain ammonia.

Sign In or Register to comment.