Shooters Forum banner

121 - 140 of 175 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Annealing

Just want to add one thought. Cooling the brass in water can be a real issue. Anytime you get moisture inside a case you need to do some other steps to prevent corrosion inside the case. I suggest removing the primers before starting the annealing process. Then you can blow the moisture out with an air compressor. Or just air cool the brass and save yourself some grief. Removing the primers first can also eliminate a cook off if you might have inadvertently heated a case with an unfired primer in it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,164 Posts
Pretty much you want the primers out and the brass polished so you can see the color change and don't get flame flare or other mis-indications from grime on them anyway. Getting moisture into a spent primer gets you wet primer residue sludge that can take a long time to dry and, if it doesn't, it gets wet residue on your press and in your die.

Fortunately, it's unnecessary to use the water method on a long case if your timing is right. The main concern is not letting heat work its way down to the head. If you think there's a reason that it might, then the water makes sense. Very short cases are an example of where it is especially prudent to use water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Neck annealing option

One other option for neck annealing is outlined in Mic Macpherson's excellent book "Metallic Cartridge Reloading". ( I consider this a "must-have" book for serious reloaders) If you cast bullets, your lead pot is the ideal (700-750) temp for annealing case necks. Basically, you hold the bottom of a (deprimed) dry case between your thumb and first two fingers, and dip the neck and a bit of the shoulder into the pot until you feel the heat make your fingers uncomfortable - a few seconds- then quench in water to make sure the heat doesn't get to the case head. It probably wouldn't anyway, but this assures it.
It's simple and produces uniform results. If you're a bullet caster already, it's easier than having to mess with a torch and you don't have to worry about heating the neck to a certain color. The only precaution is to make sure the water never gets anywhere near the lead pot
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
774 Posts
I haven't read all the posts in this thread, so excuse me if this has been covered. Looking for tips on annealing nickel plated cases, in this case the 1980s run of Duke 32-40 nickel ammo. I have a large supply of these and want to anneal. Any problems associated with annealing nickel?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
Go to the local welding store and buy a temp stick. Rub a bit on. It melts at the right temperature. No more guessing as to when you are hot enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Perhaps I am missing something. I have been hand loading bottle necked cases since the 1960s. I never did get into annealing cases. I keep batches of cases together and when any sort of cracking appears in the throat, I put the entire batch of those cases into the brass recycle bin.
Given the time involved in the practice of annealing, what is the benefit? Does any benefit outweigh the annealing time involved?
Maybe I simply always had enough once fired brass, waiting in cans for the time to be used to hand load, that the need for annealing in order to get a couple more loadings never became an issue.
I fire at least a thousand rounds a year, on average. This from a number of rifles and calibers.
I also have not encountered any problems from not inside trimming the necks!
While I have always enjoyed hand loading, I believe that if one wants to read all the "must do" issues, one can get bogged down in too many esoteric practices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,045 Posts
Internal case temps

I've annealed primarily for the "improved consistency" of neck tensions and the chance of improved accuracy. In the 20 or so years I never annealed, I only had maybe a dozen split cases. Regardless of whether it works & to what extent, what would the temp inside a case neck reach when the round is fired? Does it reach the needed 700-750 degrees & if so, wouldn't that anneal the brass then?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,844 Posts
Just want to add one thought. Cooling the brass in water can be a real issue. Anytime you get moisture inside a case you need to do some other steps to prevent corrosion inside the case. I suggest removing the primers before starting the annealing process. Then you can blow the moisture out with an air compressor. Or just air cool the brass and save yourself some grief. Removing the primers first can also eliminate a cook off if you might have inadvertently heated a case with an unfired primer in it.
When I anneal cases, after they are cooled in water, I then drain out water and set them out on a paper towel to dry. Then the next day I clean them out using Q-tips to further dry & clean the inside of the case + primer pocket. I then tumble cases in my tumbler for final cleaning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,897 Posts
Good question

I've annealed primarily for the "improved consistency" of neck tensions and the chance of improved accuracy. In the 20 or so years I never annealed, I only had maybe a dozen split cases. Regardless of whether it works & to what extent, what would the temp inside a case neck reach when the round is fired? Does it reach the needed 700-750 degrees & if so, wouldn't that anneal the brass then?
NC, the almost 5,000 degrees F temperature of the exploding gas is applied for too short a time to affect the metallurgic structure of the brass. That 8-10 seconds of the annealing gas flame (which by the way is virtually at the same 5,000 degrees) aimed at the exact area (the neck to slightly below the shoulder) to be softened after the work hardening of resizing is necessary for that area to reach the ideal 630 degrees F.

The whole case must never be heated of course as the web area needs to be at least twice as hard as the shoulder and neck - which is why dumping in water is immediately necessary after reaching the local temperature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,045 Posts
Best time to anneal

The hot brass down the shirt polka ( more so when it happens to well endowed woman) is certainly entertaining, and sure feels too hot to the touch for me, too bad it isn't annealed then. So to the question of best time to anneal, when brass is new? Wait for it to become work hardened, & how to tell, some where in between? Is it a one & done type of deal, or needs repeating if brass is reloaded that many times. Currently with the loss of feelings in my hands & the neuropathy shakes, the biggest variable to accuracy is the nut behind the trigger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,897 Posts
¨So to the question of best time to anneal, when brass is new? Wait for it to become work hardened, & how to tell, some where in between? Is it a one & done type of deal, or needs repeating if brass is reloaded that many times.¨

The main reason for annealing is case life. We neck resize 30-06, .22 Hornet, .303 Brit .308W and after some record keeping now anneal after every 5th firing. After annealing we do one full length resizing to restore basic neck tension. Before full length resizing we do a tumble clean, using steel balls in weak, but not too weak dishwashing liquid and an overnight dry-out in a 100 degree F oven.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,045 Posts
Record keeping

My record keeping has gotten lax. I have no idea how many times my 38 specials have been reloaded, but it's a lot. I also neck size for bolt action & single shot bottle necked cases ONLY, no (annealing or neck sizing) on levers/semi's/ handguns. The only split necks I've seen, & those are rare, were with the neck sized bottle necked brass ONLY. Any new loads get recorded in my high tech index card system, but old standby often used rounds not as much anymore. OLD WORN OUT brass seems to buckle/bulge, kinda like me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,897 Posts
NC, you are funny.. :)

I bet underneath this humble veneer lives a strong, resolute character. I always enjoy your posts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: nachogrande

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
When I anneal brass that I feel needs to be quenched in water, I just use a desk or swing arm lamp with a 60 watt bulb over the brass that night to dry the brass. It seems to work OK, and I don't worry about over heating the brass or fires. Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,190 Posts
My record keeping has gotten lax. I have no idea how many times my 38 specials have been reloaded, but it's a lot. I also neck size for bolt action & single shot bottle necked cases ONLY, no (annealing or neck sizing) on levers/semi's/ handguns. The only split necks I've seen, & those are rare, were with the neck sized bottle necked brass ONLY. Any new loads get recorded in my high tech index card system, but old standby often used rounds not as much anymore. OLD WORN OUT brass seems to buckle/bulge, kinda like me.
Try using this. It's meant for a color printer but works B&W. Meant to be cut into 6 prep lists and it's free.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,045 Posts
Thanks roj

"Those that ignore history are bound to repeat it". YUP, good record keeping just may be one of the most important & neglected/poorly done aspects of reloading. My system works well for me WHEN I USE IT. One of the few things I buy are those pre printed reloading labels that are put on ammo boxes & an index card & sorted by caliber/individual gun. Not just specs but notes from the field on accuracy/noise/dirt all help. It really stinks when you find a great load & can't remember what & how much powder you used.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,190 Posts
"Those that ignore history are bound to repeat it". YUP, good record keeping just may be one of the most important & neglected/poorly done aspectts of reloading. My system works well for me WHEN I USE IT. One of the few things I buy are those pre printed reloading labels that are put on ammo boxes & an index card & sorted by caliber/individual gun. Not just specs but notes from the field on accuracy/noise/dirt all help. It really stinks when you find a great load & can't remember what & how much powder you used.
Happy to help.I may revise it one more time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
John Barsness posted a method of annealing using a candle and I've used it and it works very well and is also quick and easy. I copied several posts of his from another forum of him talking about the method:



First, brass doesn't need to be quick-cooled after annealing, unlike other metals. You can just let it air-cool, and the result will be the same as when dunking in water. The only reason to cool it quickly (or stand cases up in water when using a torch) is to keep the head of the case from being annealed as well.

Annealing with the candle method doesn't risk the head being softened, but wiping the necks with a damp towel gets rid of the candle-soot before it hardens.

Most older methods of annealing got the neck too hot, making it too soft. The candle method was developed by Fred Barker, a retired metallurgist, and gets the necks just soft enough. So does the Hornady annealing kit, and for the same reason: Heat paint is used. (Fred used heat paint to develop the candle method.)

In typical handloading, the neck of a case is worked three times per firing: one when fired, once when necked down, and once when bumped over the expander ball (or belled when loading straight cases). This quickly work-hardens the neck, the reason necks often crack after about 5 loadings. If you just toss brass after that many loadings then no, annealing isn't necessary, but if you want to load them more, then it is.

Also, if necks aren't all about the same hardness (or softness, pick your term) then accuracy tends to suffer because neck tension on the bullet varies. Annealing a batch of brass makes them consistent.

It's a really simple method. All you do is hold the case halfway down the body, then hold the neck in the blue tip of the candle flame until the case is too hot to hold.

Obviously this takes a different amount of time with different cases--and unless the feeling in your fingertips differs vastly from average, it works. Fred worked it out with a variety of cases.

Brass will actually anneal at 600 degrees, but it takes an hour. 725-750 is a lot quicker. Generally it takes about 10 seconds or so in the tip of a candle flame.

But I have also never had a case-neck crack since I started using the method several years ago.
I have used the same method since I read John's article several years ago, and I like the simplicity, but after about 100 cases, mah fingers get burny!:eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,190 Posts
I have used the same method since I read John's article several years ago, and I like the simplicity, but after about 100 cases, mah fingers get burny!:eek:
Still do it the same way I have for years. I do hold the case by the head and it's dropped into a bucket of water when it gets warmed. I'll write it up again and pass it on. I know some people don't quench, some do (including me), but I know how my cases hold him and I'm happy with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
Annealing

The brass wont crack if you cool it to fast will it? I know steel will
Brass is none ferrous meaning it does not contain iron. Steel that contains .5 tenths of 1% carbon or more can be hardened by heat treating and quenching. This process usually makes the steel too hard for some applications so it needs to be annealed to some extent to make it tougher and less brittle. Brass can be quenched once the color returns to normal without becoming hardened. Me I just let them cool on their own.
 
121 - 140 of 175 Posts
Top