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  #41  
Old 12-13-2012, 07:26 PM
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I'd guess it's possible. The usual thing said about using the oxide color as an indicator is that if the oxide gets dull, it's been overheated, but I haven't always found it that simple to tell. A really dull satin finish is usually already way overheated. You likely want to aim the pencil at the corner of the neck and shoulder, as the mouth will heat faster. It's a good idea to have the case spinning while you do apply a flame that warm. Your best bet is still to get some Tempilaq or a Tempilstick crayon and use that.
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Last edited by unclenick; 12-16-2012 at 09:26 AM.
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  #42  
Old 12-16-2012, 09:19 AM
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I'm loading hunting cartridges, many of them belted magnums. I have found that I get better groups, especially at 300 yards when I anneal after every third firing.
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  #43  
Old 01-14-2013, 08:19 PM
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I am new to reloading, infact I am waiting on powder to arrive before I can reload my first bullet. I'm not sure what annealing is or what end of the brass you heat. I am trying to learn as much as possible before I start reloading so I would love for someone to enlighten me on the subject. Please excuse my ignorance. confused:
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  #44  
Old 01-15-2013, 02:03 AM
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Welcome Lcc. You will find lots of help here. Annealing is done at the mouth of the case only. The head region should never be heated. I discard brass when it begins to split at the neck. I do not shoot as much as some on this site so I rarely anneal my brass. Do a search and you will find several methods and different opinions. Others will be along shortly to give their 2 cent. Again, welcome, and get a good manual and read a lot before starting to handload.
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  #45  
Old 01-15-2013, 03:45 AM
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Annealing is something that is done to every bottle-necked case when it is first manufactured. It makes the mouth, neck and shoulder of the case softer and more ductile, which means it is "springy" and will grip the bullet properly, when it's seated. The good news for someone that is new to reloading is annealing is WAY down the list of things to learn. In fact, many folks reload for years without ever annealing a single case. It's one of those optional kind of things that some argue serves no real purpose. What most agree is that it "may" extend case life by softening and restoring ductility to work-hardened brass.

For now, don't sweat it. Learn the basics of reloading and enjoy your new hobby. It will be quite some time before any of your cases could benefit from annealing.
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  #46  
Old 01-16-2013, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by broom_jm View Post
For now, don't sweat it. Learn the basics of reloading and enjoy your new hobby. It will be quite some time before any of your cases could benefit from annealing.
Yep, don't make it complicated, there'll be a lot of time to work on more advanced things but keep it simple at this point.
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  #47  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:53 PM
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Lots of folks with lots of opinions here. Interesting to read.

Maybe some of you might be interested in something regarding annealing. This can be found in A-Square's Any Shot You Want reloading manual on pages 68-70. This is one of the most technically advanced manuals you will ever read, with a ton of imput by mathmaticians and PHd's in the ballistics field.

They use both the finger hold method, and the pan of water part way up the case method. For both they say to heat the case at the neck/shoulder area until a dull red then tip over into water to stop the process from further softening the neck, or advancing down towards the head area. They also included some test data they developed for annealed and non annealed cases. They measured velocity and pressures of both over the course of 5 loadings for each type using the exact same load throughout the test. The cases that had been annealed were very consistant in both pressure and velocity. Those that weren't annealed showed a steady gain in velocity and pressure, with the load gaining 100 fps over the 5 rounds as well as 10,000 PSI, and the non annealed loads had much higher SD's because the hardened necks were holding onto the bullet harder/tighter and couldn't realese the bullet as uniformly which gave the much higher SD's.
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  #48  
Old 02-18-2013, 10:56 AM
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The metallurgist on The Firing Line forum has pretty well confirmed that dull red is too warm (unless you are working in blackout conditions). The excess heat actually weakens the brass more than stress relief alone will do. But information on the firing tests is interesting. I would expect how much change in pressure occurs will vary with the chambering, charge level, and powder and bullet choice, so it would be good to know what the round and load they tested was. The information seems to support Giraud's claim for the need for their annealing machine or something like it.
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  #49  
Old 02-18-2013, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by unclenick View Post
The metallurgist on The Firing Line forum has pretty well confirmed that dull red is too warm (unless you are working in blackout conditions). The excess heat actually weakens the brass more than stress relief alone will do. But information on the firing tests is interesting. I would expect how much change in pressure occurs will vary with the chambering, charge level, and powder and bullet choice, so it would be good to know what the round and load they tested was. The information seems to support Giraud's claim for the need for their annealing machine or something like it.
I know you know your stuff, and I enjoy all the great info you post here, so I say this with the utmost respect for you-

I will take the word of the guys who wrote that manual over anyone on any forum. One of the main guys who did a lot of the development and technical work is a guy named Dr. Gary Minton. His credentials are mind boggling when you read through them all. Here is just a short list of them-

After earning a chemistry scholarship to college, he graduated with his Bachelors degree from Cumberland College in Williamsburg, KY., Magna Cum Laude with a Major in Chemistry and a Minor in Mathematics and Physics. He then went on to the graduate program at the University of Kentucky, where he earned his Master's in Physics. He then earned a Phd in Materials Science and Engineering. Next, he was inducted into the National Physics Honor Society followed by an induction into the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Honor Society. The list just keeps on going like the Energizer bunny.

I have to believe they knew what they were talking about when they wrote that manual.


BTW-

The cartridge they used was the 30/06. The load was as follows-

Remington cases

180 gr Nosler Ballistic Tips

CCI 200 primers

51 grains of Reloader 15 (they even give the lot numbers for both the powder and primers)

The COAL is not shown, but going by what they do in the manual for load data, I'd hazard to guess that they seated the bullets to SAAMI COAL specs.

Edited to add:
In the acknowledgements there is a long list of folks from most of the major bullet, powder and primer manufacturer's. Anyone who like handloading should try to find a copy of this manual. It covers so many things no other manual does. The section on bullets, their designs, and how they transfer energy is fascinating to say the least.

Last edited by American Made; 02-18-2013 at 11:58 AM.
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  #50  
Old 02-19-2013, 09:35 AM
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Thanks for posting the load information. That gives an idea what realm they were working in.

As to the metallurgy, while I respect the knowledge and training of those you mentioned, I know from personal experience that even people who are at the top of their game can miss things or do them out of habit without examining them too closely. Heating case brass to dull red for stress-relief annealing has been around as long as I can remember, so it certainly seems like a candidate for being something continued out of habit, unless the book authors specifically explored stress relieving cases at different temperatures and compared the results. The NRA book, Handloading, even has that method described on one side of a page and William Dresser’s 1969 article warning not to do it printed on the other (NRA Books, 1981, p.p. 77 and 78). So this is not a new discussion. Anyway, you could write the authors to ask how far they looked into it if the book doesn't make that clear.

Page 2 of this document from the copper and brass industry under Annealing is a useful background read.

The father of a friend of mine used to say, “There's no point in arguing about a fact. Just look it up.” If you look at the plots of brass properties vs. temperature in the graph below, you will see that stress relief is complete before grain growth begins. Since stress relief is the object of the exercise, if the instructions you have are saying to knock the brass over into the water to stop grain growth, that tells you the brass is hotter than necessary.

Is that bad? Well, yes and no. The board's late and much missed moderator, Bob Faucett, used to heat case necks and shoulders to dull red for stress-relief annealing and felt he was getting satisfactory results. So the brass withstands shooting, despite being weaker. But it also then won't hang onto the bullet as firmly.

So what? Well, here’s the thing: if the brass is weakened enough to reduce bullet pull, then the starting pressure is lowered which results in lower peak pressure. During resizing the brass work hardens, raising bullet pull and resulting in increased peak pressure, as your book reports. But if annealed only far enough to stress-relieve the brass, the difference between a case’s annealed bullet pull and work-hardened bullet pull can be significantly reduced (see the tensile strength plot in the graph), reducing the difference in peak pressure from one load cycle to the next and improving consistency.<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <woNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <wontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:EnableOpenTypeKerning/> 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<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> An additional issue is the difficulty in judging temperature from color (how red a heated object is) under different lighting conditions. It was this that caused the weakening of some low serial number Springfield receivers. The judgment of quenching and annealing temperatures was originally done by eye rather than by pyrometer. When measurements were later taken in coincidence with eyeball judgment, it was found that even the most skilled and experienced worker could miss by several hundred degrees if the daylight was wrong. This is described in Hatcher’s Notebook, and the same will apply to using neck color to control annealing temperature for cases. Unless the ambient light's color temperature and foot-candles of intensity are matched to those used by the book authors, the chances of you actually hitting the same temperatures they did are not great.

This all seems like a good topic for an experiment or two. I have .30-06 rifles and pressure test gear, but I don't trust readings taken in cold weather, so it seems like it's something to do when the weather warms up a little.
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File Type: pdf Brass Annealing Plot.pdf (53.6 KB, 615 views)
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Last edited by unclenick; 02-19-2013 at 11:19 AM.
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  #51  
Old 02-19-2013, 09:51 AM
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Since you are into this stuff much more than the average guy, I suggest you find a copy of Any Shot You Want and read it. A man like you would be in hog heaven. I bought mine simply because it contained load data for some of the large African calibers I shoot, that no one else had back then. The techno stuff was just a bonus to me.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclenick View Post


<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> An additional issue is the difficulty in judging temperature from color (how red a heated object is) under different lighting conditions. It was this that caused the weakening of some low serial number Springfield receivers. The judgment of quenching and annealing temperatures was originally done by eye rather than by pyrometer. When measurements were later taken in coincidence with eyeball judgment, it was found that even the most skilled and experienced worker could miss by several hundred degrees if the daylight was wrong. This is described in Hatcher’s Notebook, and the same will apply to using neck color to control annealing temperature for cases. Unless the ambient light's color temperature and foot-candles of intensity are matched to those used by the book authors, the chances of you actually hitting the same temperatures they did are not great.

This all seems like a good topic for an experiment or two. I have .30-06 rifles and pressure test gear, but I don't trust readings taken in cold weather, so it seems like it's something to do when the weather warms up a little.
My concern would be the temperatures listed on your graph are valid when holding brass there for an hour. I am sure we can agree that, by that amount of time, the whole case, including the head, would be annealed and therefore ruined.

From the reading I have done you generally want the neck to hit ~750° to 800°. This temperature range allows the neck to be annealed in a time frame which will also allow the head to retain its strength. 950° was the point discussed at which the brass turns the "dull red" color and is too soft to be of use.
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:35 PM
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Sorry. I must have edited out a part I wrote about higher temperatures accelerating those effects and shifting the curves to the right. But relative to one another the hardness and strength seem to track up to the point grain growth begins. One metallurgist on another forum suggested that grain growth would not track as easily because it requires time to occur.

In general, the non-overheating school aims at about 700°F as a peak temperature not held more than about a second. That seems to accomplish the stress relief without excessive softening.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:39 AM
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Annealing

I anneal mine with a tool I made. It's a 17mm socket for magnum cases welded to a shortened 3/8-drive extension. You'd use a 14mm socket for .473" cases. The socket was chucked up in a lathe, and the extension turned to remove any wobble. The socket and extension now run on a common axis, and the cases don't "walk up and out" as the tool rotates in a cordless drill. I heat from the mouth to the shoulder until I am sure I see a dull red under indirect lighting from another room. The bright blue pencil flame from a Bernz-o-matic torch is around 3600 degrees. Takes maybe 15-20 seconds at that temperature. I'm not sure because I don't time them. Once I'm satisfied with the level of dull red I'm seeing, they get flipped into a sink of cold water and on comes the next one. Easy and takes very little time to do 25-30 cases. The cases are all sized and trimmed before annealing. I anneal, then dry them in a 250° oven for about 20 minutes. Ready to reload...

My special tool:

Last edited by nvshooter; 07-02-2013 at 12:37 PM. Reason: Add the picture...
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:56 PM
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With the exception of a special socket, that is essentially what I do too. Heat shoulder until it looks right, then drop in a bucket of water. More often that not, I hold the case just below the head with my fangers.
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StretchNM View Post
I hold the case just below the head with my fangers.
I'm sure that works, Stretch. Lots of folks do it that way. I made the tool so that I could get even heating all around, like how those fancy machines costing hundreds of dollars do it.

The original plan was to set two torches in just the right place, spin the case where the two flames converged and blast them with 7200 degrees of blue propane fury. But they heat up so fast with just one, that the second is not necessary.

I actually enjoy annealing in that my goal is to attain the same level of dull red in every case. If I was to time the heating, then it's assured I'd get the same level of annealing. But it's much easier just to eyeball it. Some annealing is better than none, eh?
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:46 AM
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Everyone I've seen comment on this who's a metallurgist says dull red in any condition other than near darkness is too hot and weakens the brass so that you have to anneal more often to prevent splitting. If you are working in anything resembling normal light, invest in some 700° Templaq or a Tempilstik for the same temperature and use that at least until you learn what oxide color is synchronized with hitting the right temperature. Note that you have to clean the cases before annealing for that color to be consistent.

I've been playing with this a little more of late and found a second issue with eyeballing without an indicator or an IR thermometer or some such item being involved to get you to the exact same temperature every time. I have an instrument that measures the force required to seat the bullet. If I eyeball annealing in anything warmer than the slow candle flame or by the molten lead method, I find several pounds more spread in seating force, associated with a corresponding increase in muzzle velocity variation. I'll put up some numbers when I get enough data organized to make it clear to the naked eyeball, but the statistical T-test says it's real. I suspect the expensive machines will likewise tend to be more consistent, even if you set them to get the brass too warm, just because of the consistency of the timing.
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  #58  
Old 07-04-2013, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclenick View Post
If you are working in anything resembling normal light...
We're not. My jackleg annealing takes place in an unused bathroom. The door is open and there is an indirect light source multiple feet away, outside the doorway and down the hall just a bit. I anneal at night, so there is no daytime sunlight making where this is done overly bright. If the indirect lighting was not there the room would be pitch black, save for the light from the torch. I tried it once without the light being on in the hallway, and it was just too dark to execute the operation...
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:11 PM
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I had to search through my magazine collection before I commented on this topic.
But I found it in Handloader Magazine, April 2010. Issue # 265.
I'm not a good enough typist to relate the whole article, but it may be available on line.
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  #60  
Old 12-23-2013, 12:42 PM
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I don"t see the big deal. Stand the shells in enough water to cover the base and heat. Black or red, makes no difference. Reason for the water is to NOT anneal the base.
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