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Split necks in 6.5 TCU

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by PaulB47, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    I had some new .223 brass that I made into 6.5 TCU. Never had any problem with it. I then used another 20 of that same batch, making exactly that same load, but never shot it for quite a while so it was not fireformed yet. I finally got around to shooting it and on fireforming about 3/4 of the cases got a neck split. I'm scratching my head...

    Are new cases annealed, or do they need to be annealed? If so, I'd like to hear your procedure for annealing...
     
  2. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Thinned the necks too much during the expansion process probably.

    I ran short on some .308 and used a couple .243 cases. One shot is all I dared to go. The brass was really thin after going from .243->.308

    Some good videos on YT for annealing involving a torch, drill and a socket.... (Ghetto style)
     
  3. taroman

    taroman Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Expanding work hardened the brass.
    I used to make 7 TCU. That REALLY did the deal.
    Time to read up on annealing.
     
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  4. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    I found this article and comments on fireforming TCU cases, so now it looks like I'm set. The best results seem to be to use new cases, neck up in steps, and anneal after the last step. The guys even said to save your neck-split brass to make .300 Blackout! :)
    http://specialtypistols.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/7936077864/m/26010486?r=514104001

    I think I should be using a slightly reduced load to fireform with bullets. I didn't this time so that's why the splits (along with not annealing and not going up in steps).
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
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  5. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    OK I made a new batch. Got a .24 caliber button for my die (the Hornady tapered type) so I could expand in 2 steps, used Imperial sizing die wax and annealed both before and after sizing. It turned out easy to anneal, just held the case in my fingers and rolled it a bit and dropped it in the water when it got hot.

    Anyway I want to try the cream of wheat thing. I have Bullseye, Tite Group and Blue Dot. The recipes I have seen vary a lot. I suppose starting out with 3 gr of Bullseye and a nice soft Rem pistol primer? Keep going up on the same case until it looks good? Or do I risk setting the shoulder back, doing it on one case?
     
  6. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Annealing will definitely solve your problem.... annealing is a pretty standard science when it comes to dealing with brass.

    I highly highly recommend using Tempilaq or something similar, honestly, tempilaq is the best stuff to use, I've tried using the markers and some of the other, but it's much more difficult to use.

    At present, for production use, I'm using an induction annealer, frankly, it's the best way to go, but it's expensive. For most a torch is the best way to go. I would guesstimate you want to get to about 700F for about 5 seconds or so max. (look at a hardness chart) Here's a decent primer on strength vs temp:

    http://bisonballistics.com/articles/the-science-of-cartridge-brass-annealing

    Since you probably don't have a hardness gauge, you're going to need to use some trial and error. I usually try to get the finished hardness of the case neck to about 100DPM.
     
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  7. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    The cream of wheat method with ~3 gr of Bullseye will probably work well enough to recognize the chambering, and you can always go up on the charge.
    I have used 11gr of Bullseye on my 57mm Mauser Ackley (with CoW on top) and it works great.
    The problem with the CoW method is it never seems to result in the nice sharp shoulder the case will have after a full load behind a bullet.
    But it's far cheaper than wasting a bullet to fireform, and the headspace and accuracy is there when you do move over to bullets.
    And if you're approaching max load in the Ackley'd case, you'll be able to get all the powder in there too.
     
  8. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    Well I was looking for those soft Federal or Remington pistol primers so as not to set the case forward as much, but the best I could find was Winchester. I guess the component shortage is still on. Anyway the Win worked. I didn't see any evidence of stretching, no ring or anything. I started with 3 gr Bullseye and went up to 5.5 gr but as you say the shoulders never looked that great, but I will now just put my full load in them and see. The Cream of Wheat step was surprisingly tedious even though I didn't bother separating the powder from Cream of Wheat or putting a plug in it either - I was doing it on an 1885 with easy chamber access, just step out the door with each one and blooie.

    With all this farting around with cases I sure hope I get better results than with the simple mindless way I was doing it earlier. :rolleyes: