Annealing Brass has been mentioned lately while case forming and of course is a good thing for brass
In retrospect it may have saved some of the Canadian made CIL Imperial/ Dominion cases that I have always thrown out instead of attempting to reload. They were poorly made and had other issues, but brittle brass was the worse attribute , with case neck splits being the standard expectation after a couple shots. I did start reloading in the 70’s with this stuff and a wonder I perservered
When Winchester brass became more common in Canada it , I used it almost exclusively and had great results with it.
Also in retrospect annealing would have been a good idea , when forming to make brass out of a different parent case as Kirk suggests
I got away without using it because Imperial die was is a very good lube when applied in perfect proportion that got me by
But my biggest claim to brass longevity is from minimal FLS re-sizing that work hardens brass
Initially when metallic cartridges were introduced there was big clearance to allow for black powder fowling. This clearance was also needed in war to allow for mud and other debris getting in the chamber and life or death need to close the action to continue firing , function preceded accuracy , and also no thought of reloading here.
When smokeless came about , still the clearance mentality continued for military cartridges and it also allowed for larger manufacturing tolerances in both chambering dimensions, and ammo fit
Factory ammo to this day is made smaller than the small end of chambering tolerances , and reloading dies having to cover the full range of chambers are made so that when screwed right down in your press for max re-size they make smaller cartridges than the smallest chamber specs in order to universally fit all. This makes these smallest and shortest cartridges sloppy in even mid tolerance size chambers, also increasing danger of case stretching and head separation , besides work hardening with needless oversizing in shoulder area (also reducing potential accuracy)
I always did back off Fls dies a bit , but really learned to fit cases precisely to chambers when shooting modern B/R where all conditions have to be perfect to be in contention , including snug cartridge location in the chamber for consistency. As a bonus for this the brass now lasted forever. I briefly tried neck sizing only , but after a couple firings ,High pressure 6 ppc cases began getting snugger , so I went back to FLS operation but with precise die adjustment for minimum body touching required to consistently chamber without tight bolt closing
Now not competing, going back to my first love Antique rifles, I still apply reloading technique learned and want my brass to last forever so all FLS dies are backed off to just allow function in my individual chambers. I cant give ammo to others as it may not fit their chamber , but main thing is it fits mine precisely and constricted limited brass movement reduces work-hardening
A long winded account how I have gotten away without annealing , and probably of interest to no one , however I felt like commenting ,(and free to post) while waiting for re-run Rifleman episodes to start. Now 6 am and starting
September 22, 2011
Interesting that you have had trouble with your C-I-L Imperial brass.I have used it with good results in the .30-30,32 Special and .30-06 loads that I have used.
Have never tried reforming any C-I-L Imperial brass.Mainly because there was nothing I had to make a case for with the ones I had.The brass I have used to reload never gave any problems.
Hi 28 ga
I had issues mostly with 50’s-60’s era where it was almost a monopoly in Ont ,especially bad 32-40 25-20 as I recall
I avoided it in the 70’s when Win White box became available here
some were a few years old at the time , and several calibers had neck splits already in factory loads especially 25-20
The brass I have been using would have come for the 1970’s up to and including some brass made after I-V-I took over production from C-I-L.
Cannot say that I have ever used .32-40 .The .25-20 I have loaded for ,but it so far has been using new Winchester brass.I do have a box of I believe Dominion,but could be C-I-L,not sure without looking, .25-20,but it is more just to have it ,rather than to shoot it.
I have old CIL brand .32-40 ammo that split about every neck upon firing. I pulled the bullets on the rest and tried annealing them to avoid loss of the brass. It still split but maybe a few did not. Still have a few boxes of old CIL .32-40 and will just have to replace it with Winchester brass when it is made, which is about once every two or three years.
My similar age CIL .38-55 has never been any problem. I am glad to have it on hand as it is loaded to higher velocity than the Winchester factory ammo currently available. Now, I have not chronographed the factory CIL load.
Brass quality for the .32-40’s was very poor in my humble opinion. But at the time, it was all that was available. I have had it since the early 1980’s and it was old stock at that time, likely from the 1960’s.
Tim thanks for posting valuable info . I have been wondering these past few days what would have happened had I annealed. I always put it down to bad brass composition and also had erratic dimensions especially in the rim area
Are any of yours in the box with split necks already ? . I had problems with most cals of this brand and was elated to try Winchester problem free product back in the day , and stuck with them ever since. Ive had middle of the road success with some Remington brass , but why bother gambling with it , unless you cant get WIN or Starline I am surprised that the CIL 38-55 ‘s are working and re-loadable . I recently shot some factory Dominion 32 spcl with about half the necks splitting and printing low on the target
I still have a few old CIL boxes and enjoy the nostalgia , but not the memories
Th John Wayne 32-40 nickel plated brass will last ok , but the nickel plate is tough and lube placement is crucial to avoid getting case stuck in FLS die and ripping the rim off
A few years ago I was lucky to get a large stash of recent run Win 32-40. I think a few of our stores may even still have some, but I dont think it can be shipped over the border now
June 11, 2014
I am still using 45-70 brass from the 1980’s that has been reloaded a lot of times. A few years ago, one or two developed a split/crack right at the mouth, so I annealed the whole lot of them. They are now back in service and have been reloaded several times. I do not full length resize these cases, so the only work hardening occurs right at the case mouth due to crimping.
NO, never saw any with the splits already in the box. It required firing for the neck splits to reveal themselves. As I mentioned, that is not the case with the .38-55 for some reason. I laid in a supply of new Winchester .32-40 brass some years ago, and no more than I shoot it will last me probably the rest of my active life. Now, I have an over abundance of .38-55, but shoot it a lot. Starline makes two lengths of brass, and my modern made Winchester 1885 seems to prefer the shorter brass length, so that is what I have from them. My levers seem to prefer the original, longer case length, which should be no surprise. For that I have Winchester brass.
The .32-40 brass by CIL (Dominion) is my sole experience trying to anneal cases. Generally I am happy to get 12 to 15 loadings from brass, and if they give up with a crack in the neck at that stage I count it as part of shooting. I load in batches, so when I have several crack that entire batch goes into the recycle can for used brass at our range and I start on a new batch. I may have to try proper annealing before case forming for the .33 Win, as I do have a fair number that wrinkle in the forming process, but then again I have a fair supply of .45-70 brass (Remington) that was given to me by a fellow who does not reload but shoots a fair amount. Never have considered the time involved to be worth it myself. The .32-40’s–yeah. I put the time in to try to keep them and it generally failed. I have not experienced issues with factory loadings like the .32-40 stuff with anything else, and some is rather old. When it is “old enough” I tend to display the boxed ammo and not shoot it. CIL in the US is not sexy enough to display with a Winchester rifle in my opinion. In Canada, yeah, it would fit right in! Good to see, I guess, that others have had the same issues. Misery loves company, I guess.
Good luck, good shooting, and have fun!