Annealing brass ...
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:02 PM   #1
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Default Annealing brass ...

What is your best method for annealing brass? What do you look for - in order to know when you have achieved the desired results?

I try to anneal at least every fourth of fifth reloading. I should probably do it more often, but I am lazy at times.

It is an art, a dark science to many - so I was wondering, how do you do it?

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Old 07-31-2008, 04:38 PM   #2
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I take a shallow aluminum pie pan and put about a half inch of water in it. I stand the cases in pairs in the water. I use a Berzomatic torch and heat each pair fom one side then the other till the mouth glows red (about 10 seconds/side). This is not perfect but it apparently is sufficient as I neck .270 and .25-06 up to .312 to make 8 X 57 brass. I also make .243's and 7-08 into .308's. I experience about a 1% split case rate after annealing the brass in this manner.

I guess it would be "better" to use some sort of a lazy susan to turn the brass, but my way seems to work fine.

I do not anneal 5.56/.223 as it seems to be plentiful enough and I tend to lose them in the tall grass fairly regularly. Everything else from .308 - .45-70 gets annealed every third loading.

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Old 07-31-2008, 06:14 PM   #3
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I'd find out what the annealing temperature and time of yellow brass is then use the oven. Throw them in there on a baking sheet or something, turn the oven on to the required temp, leave it on for the required time, then turn it off and let the shells cool in the oven.

That's how you anneal steel. I've also annealed copper the same way and used the same process to re-heat treat aluminum after welding and machining.

I'd imagine that brass anneals somewhere in the 200º-250ºF range. That's where it happens for copper. As long as you take it to it's lowest critical temperature and hold it there for a little while, then let it cool slowly, you're annealing.

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Old 07-31-2008, 07:54 PM   #4
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I don't know the specific annealing temp for yellow brass but I am willing to bet it is significantly higher than 250 degrees F. You should protect the base from the heat, thus the water as a heat sink. The base should remain hard while annealing the neck/shoulder area.

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Old 07-31-2008, 09:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post
I don't know the specific annealing temp for yellow brass but I am willing to bet it is significantly higher than 250 degrees F. You should protect the base from the heat, thus the water as a heat sink. The base should remain hard while annealing the neck/shoulder area.
Gotcha. I didn't know that you just wanted the neck annealed.
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I'd find out what the annealing temperature and time of yellow brass is then use the oven. Throw them in there on a baking sheet or something, turn the oven on to the required temp, leave it on for the required time, then turn it off and let the shells cool in the oven.

That's how you anneal steel. I've also annealed copper the same way and used the same process to re-heat treat aluminum after welding and machining.

I'd imagine that brass anneals somewhere in the 200º-250ºF range. That's where it happens for copper. As long as you take it to it's lowest critical temperature and hold it there for a little while, then let it cool slowly, you're annealing.

OMG DO NOT I repete DO NOT DO THIS. You will blow your face off well you wil atleast get powder burns on yur face.

There are many ways. I just hold the base of the cartridge in my fingers and put it in the flame on my propane torch Place it right at the point where the inner flame comes to a point. If you burn your fingers then you got it to hot. I tried a drill as well works on smaller cases like the 223.

The pan method is the best way unless you want to spend money on a anneling machine. They can go for $300 or more.

http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:31 PM   #7
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Default Annealing?

Why all the annealing? To prevent split cases? In all my years of reloading, I have never resorted to annealing, never found a need to. Perhaps I just do not expect to re-use cases as many times as you fellers do, but then, in rifle calibers, case "stretch" becomes a critical issue for headspacing and proper bolt locking sooner than hardening of the cases presents itself to a high degree.

If I'm going in the wrong direction, please guide me; I've done things the wrong way many times in my life!

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Old 08-02-2008, 01:33 AM   #8
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Why all the annealing? To prevent split cases? In all my years of reloading, I have never resorted to annealing, never found a need to. Perhaps I just do not expect to re-use cases as many times as you fellers do, but then, in rifle calibers, case "stretch" becomes a critical issue for headspacing and proper bolt locking sooner than hardening of the cases presents itself to a high degree.

If I'm going in the wrong direction, please guide me; I've done things the wrong way many times in my life!
I started doing it on the last few batches of 223 reloads. I was having a really bad problem with sooty necks and shoulders. It was the 2nd or 3rd reload so I desided annel them. The sooty neck issue is now resolved.

Anneling can increase case life but after two or so reloads the necks become worked hardend. Then you annel them.
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:08 PM   #9
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Annealing will add life to your cases. Brass gets harder and more brittle as it gets expanded, resized, fired, resized (worked). It is commonly referred to as work hardening. The bases/rims are intended to be hard but the necks need to be softer. This allows the brass to expand properly to seal off the chamber and release the bullet properly upon firing.

I use it as I drastically change the dimensions of the case to use in a different caliber. .25-06 and .270 to 8mm Mauser. This puts much strain on hardened brass and will result in cracks if not properly annealed.

All new rifle ammunition has been annealed at the neck after the forming process and before the final loading. You will notice the discoloration on the necks/shoulders of military ammo (5.56mm and 7.62 NATO) as they do not give them a final polish before loading. Commercial brass is polished one last time before loading so you do not see the discoloration.

Annealing will prolong the life of the case. I anneal every other loading.

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Old 08-04-2008, 03:42 PM   #10
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I annealed some .44 Magnum cases years ago, but found that I did not extend case life by any amount. I do examine and trim as required, and use the following practice: I load full power magnum loads for the first ten loadings, after that, I reserve those cases for milder or moderate loads. Several boxes of my brass are approaching having been loaded fifty times.



This label is how I keep track of the number of times my brass has been reloaded.

Bob Wright

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