Re: Re-annealing brass

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Squirrel_Slayer, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    Can anyone here tell me what they think of annealing their own brass with a pencil torch after it has been reloaded several times? I have read an article in regards to brass hardening when you work it cold, and that you can get more accuracy and lifespan if you re-anneal the case necks with a torch and cold water. Any opinions or anyone ever done it?
     
  2. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    That is a great question!


    I dunno.
     

  3. Millwright

    Millwright Member

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    Not hard to do, but unless you've "worked" that brass a lot, why ?

    Over the years I've noticed brass hardness varies from various mfgs/brands to lots from the same mfg/brand. If you're seeing something, (like split necks, say) early on in the reloading cycle, you might benefit from annealing. Just put the cases in a shallow sheet pan of DI water, heat the necks/shoulders to a light cherry red with a propane torch and immediately tip. The DI water so stray chlorides/flourides or minerals/saltys from your tap water don't get into the brass, undoing what you're doing....

    FWIW I only reload rifle ammo now and never bother to anneal. I'm getting 6-8 reload cycles on Remington brass for my .22/250, but. I don't load them 'hot'. And I just work the cases enough to neck size and "bump" the shoulder. Your results may vary.....

    >MW
     
  4. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Annealing is heating brass so that it returns to the original state. That is the nice thing about brass when it is heated it doesn't harden it returns to its original metallic state.

    I do mine after about 4 reloading's. Even if you neck size annealing will lengthen your case life.

    I started annealing because I was always having really sooty necks on my loads. I thought I was not loading hot enough to fully expand the case neck. So I tried hotter loads. Still I was getting sooty necks. So I started annealing them and what do you know no more sooty necks. Accuracy improved a little bit as well.

    Annealing allows the brass to place a more uniform pressure on the bullet. The more uniform things are the better and more accurate things are going to be.

    The best most informative article out there on annealing is found over at 6mmbr.com

    If I ever do get to build my custom 6ppc ground hog rifle I am going to invest not only in nightforce of S&B glass I am going to invest in an annealing machine.
     
  5. patret

    patret New Member

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    I think annealing is good after you change a 30-06 to a 8mm or a 35 whelling and after you fire several rounds of your favorite calliber.

    patert
     
  6. Switchbarrel

    Switchbarrel New Member

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  7. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Anytime you change caliber on a cartridge you should anneal. Going from 30-06 to 270 or 25-06 anneal 30-06 to 338-06 anneal.

    If you want to start learning annealing just get some range pick up brass and start messing with it.

    You want it to look like factory laupa brass (ifn you ever seen it) or military loaded ammo.
     
  8. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    I was messing around with a few pieces of brass last night, heated one up with a pencil torch till it was glowing light red, dumped it into some tap water (didn't know I should be using DI water), and then dried it off. The case neck came out kind of scorched looking. Was that because I was using the tap water?
     
  9. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I use plane old tap water myself never seen any problems with it.

    They should come out looking like the ones here.
    Lapua: Cases
     
  10. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    Thanks for the info, maybe I just got them a little bit too hot and scorched em. I will goof around with some more scrap brass that I have tonight after work and see if I can get it down.
     
  11. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I anneal all bottleneck rifle cases except .223/5.56. I stand the cases in a pie pan filled with tap water. Heat the necks til cherry red and tip them over in the water. Air dry and re-polish to remove most of the discoloration. I have heard of people simply holding the case in their bare hands and rotating it in the flame until too hot to hold, then dropping into water. If you do not get the neck glowing red, you have not anealed it and have wasted your time. I seriously doubt you can get the necks hot enough w/o burning your fingers. If you aneal the base, you will give yourself further problems.

    I have necked .243 up to .308, .25-06 up to .30-06 and .270 up to 8mm after anealing with this method. I have had only a couple of split necks. I aneal every time to insure all are properly done.
     
  12. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    Do you ddo this with multiple cases all at once? What do you use to heat the case necks?
     
  13. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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  14. Switchbarrel

    Switchbarrel New Member

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    From the link I provided earlier in the thread:


    There are several methods of determining when you have reached proper annealing temps: applying temperature-sensitive liquid (Tempilaq is recomended and available from McMaster-Carr or welding supply stores), or digital air-temp gauges, or watching for a specific color-change in the brass. Properly annealed brass necks and shoulders will be shiny light-blue or blue-grey. If you lose the shine, you got too hot. Do not let the case glow or get red-hot, that is too hot and you will be over-annealed.



    I just bought an annealing machine and am in the same boat...learning.
     
  15. Highpower

    Highpower New Member

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    Cool! Which one?
     
  16. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    There are a lot of differinig opinions out there. I have never heard of "over anealing", just anealing too far down. I stand 20-30 across a crescent in a pie pan. I do not get perfect, 360 degree uniform heating, but they glow pretty uniformly. I have had no problems in sizing or firing so I must not be too far off the proper way.
     
  17. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    OK, I'm going to give that a try. I have a new experiment going on right now. I am going to compare my run of the mill handloads which I have been shooting for several months now, and compare them to the accuracy of some Lake City brass, swaged and scrubbed primer pockets, chamfered flash hole, trimmed to exacting specs, anneal them, chamfered inside and out case necks, scrub the outer edge of the case neck on sos pad, get em in the tumbler a second time, then load em up with Wolf primers, 25.4 gr. of Varget, and my 69gr. Matchkings.

    I am just curious to see if there is enough of a difference between the accuracy of fifty rounds that I can load in an hour, and fifty rounds that will take me a couple of nights after work to load.
     
  18. Highpower

    Highpower New Member

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    If your going to go, might as well go all the way and check for neck thickness variation as well. I use a lot of Lake City brass "as is" for the short range, but my long range ammo gets the full treatment - uniforming, neck turning, etc.
    Besides - what else do you have to do with your life? LOL.
     
  19. Squirrel_Slayer

    Squirrel_Slayer New Member

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    how do I go about checking neck thickness variation?
     
  20. Highpower

    Highpower New Member

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    There are several different tools available to do the job with a wide price range.
    Insize Digital Thickness Gage -

    I use a simple aluminum block that holds an arbor and a standard dial indicator to measure with. Just spin the case on the arbor and watch the needle on the indicator. Easy peesy.

    Of course when you find a case neck that's not concentric, you're going to need neck turning tools as well. Or just cull out those cases and use the "good" ones only. :)