A lesson in needing to anneal

Rick H

Well-Known Member
Watching RockyDoc's video it looks like that fellow is getting his cases too hot. (Not just the burned ones) I use the "Anneal-Rite" set up and Tempilaq to gauge temperatures. I heat to 750 degrees F and the instructions for my rig cautions that turning the cases red means they are way too hot.
I like the induction method of heating better than my "two propane/butane pencil torch" method. He needs a better way of locating the cases, and cut back some on the heat he uses.
 

fiver

Well-Known Member

I think Waco uses the same machine
 

Hawk

North Central Texas
I've always wanted a Bench Source machine.
Just can't justify the cost.
Not saying it's not worth it. Just saying I'm frugal (cheap?)
 

Hawk

North Central Texas
Not to hijack the thread, but I've got some nickel plated cases that need annealing.
Do u do that just like regular brass cases?
 
Last edited:

CWLONGSHOT

Residing in New England
I agree nickle dosent seem to Matter BUT... Get your cadiance and timing down cause you wont (I cannot) see a color change.
CW
 

fiver

Well-Known Member
that's what the tempilaq is for.
brass and the nickel plating have a different expansion/contraction rates so you'll most likely eventually flake off some of the plating after a few runs through the die set anyway.
 

MikeN

Member
I've read about John Barsness's candle method by holding the neck area in a candle flame until the base is too hot to hold onto, but I think that I want a little more automation. That Bench Source annealer looks real tempting. I've been saving up wife points for a new Ponsness Warren Metal Matic P-200, but it might have to wait a bit. PWs lead time is 7 months or more anyways. Thanks to all for the help.

 

L Ross

Well-Known Member
I am amazed that traditionally frugal reloaders resist the Burnz-O-Matic and fingers in a dimly lit room. I use a low to medium flame, and hold the neck in the inner blue cone. Just hold the brass between the thumb, index, and middle finger of one hand like a three jaw chuck. Rotate the case back and forth so the flame makes full rotational contact with all of the neck and a bit of the shoulder. I try to emulate Mil-Surp .30-06 brass as far as the finished look. Over the years I have found that 9 smooth, quick rotations, of less than a second each usually achieves the results I am looking for. The little thin necks of .25-20 took more like 7. I do not want to see a red glow except at the most extreme edge of the chamfered case mouth. No glow beneath that. The cases just start to get uncomfortably hot as I drop them and there is a little spit sizzle sound when they hit the water. The annealing colors on the brass are beautiful and when I pinch the case mouth between my thumb nail and index finger later as a test I want to see it flex yet spring back.

I do this in the down stairs bathroom, with only ambient light from the adjacent room, and drop the heated brass into 3" of water in the sink. The water bath does not create the annealing, it stops it and allows me to simply drop the hot to the touch case. When I'm done I drain the water, shake the brass in a plastic collander, and dump it on the old dehydrator I use to dry brass after they are SS pin wet tumbled.

Grab a few Berdan primed junk cases out of your scrap pail and practice the technique until you are comfortable with good brass. I have done brass as long as .40-70 Sharps Straights to as short as .25-20 w.c.f. with perfect satisfaction. I find it a must to protect vintage, irreplaceable brass, and for reforming from one caliber to another. Annealing extends the life of ordinary brass used with cast loads into the realm of nearly indefinite, especially when one learns not to over work the brass also. This is one of the Arts we talk about, but an easily learned one.

Oh, one more thing. As I once read in a BPCR article, never attempt to anneal loaded rounds.;)
 

Jeff H

NW Ohio
My contribution is not meant to enlighten others or proclaim any particular truth, rather to offer to the collective conscience my perceptions of what I've observed over time - right or wrong:

I use a propane torch in dim light, with a cordless drill/deep-well socket, dump into water to stop the heat, count seconds in my head;

I tend toward milder cartridges to begin with; 30-30, 222, 7x57, 6.5x55, 257 Roberts,.....

I tend toward working my brass as little as possible;

I've never annealed straight-wall pistol brass;

I've annealed brass at the 3x-fired mark, or thereabouts, except that I often forget and just anneal when I can't remember when I last did or when I find a split neck;

I usually anneal just before or right after fire-forming when necking up or down, or like making 300 BLK brass before commercial was available.

What has stood out among many other less notable annealing sessions:

In the early to mid nineties, I came across relatively new, factory Winchester ammo (garage/estate sales, bargain bins at guns shops) on which every single neck split upon the first firing. Point: your methods/you are not always the source of the problem. I don't hold a grudge, but I have not bought Winchester brass since. Right or wrong, I might add.

AMMONIA is NOT GOOD for BRASS! DO NOT put Brasso in your tumbling media! My dad and I shared everything back when we couild shoot together regularly. His brass was my brass, my bullets wee his bullets, boxes and bags got passed back and forte and no one remembered what belonged to which one of us. Didn't matter. Didn't matter until I found out he was using Brasso in his tumbler! I and STILL finding ammonia-fouled brass thirty years later. Until I figured this one out, I thought it was a lack of annealing issue.

I agree with whoever said "time" has an affect on brass. Can't explain it, but I have had cases split just sitting, waiting to be used. OK, some of the cases are thirty and forty years old. SOME not ten years old, and with green stuff growing out of the crack and on the basses of bullets.

Going through my dad's stuff recently, I found a bunch of loaded 6.5-284 loads from 1994. Second firing, no annealing (Winchester 284 brass, necked down to .264") and over half the necks were split neatly as could be from mouth to shoulder. This brass was fired ONCE after necking down, neck sized after and loaded. Necks were .261" ID with Nosler .264" bullets loaded. I am absolutely positive that these were not tumbled in Brass-infected media. Should they have been annealed? I've fire-formed 7x57 AIs, necked 243s up to .257" with no issue and no annealing. Maybe just a less tolerant batch of brass?

What these other neck split issues have to do with annealing is that they all called into question the need for annealing, but may not even have been related. I don't know for certain that I've personally ever HAD to anneal, but I see it so rt of like changing your oil - you don't necessarily SEE the benefit as you do it, but it SHOULD have benefit over time.

Annealing makes me feel good about my brass and I do SO love the "look," as dumb as that may sound.
 

popper

Well-Known Member
Interesting article I found on brass, chart show the temp for 'annealing' to be ~500-600F. Kinda different from the 750F we think is best.
brassphase_diagram.jpg
 
Last edited:

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
The part I can't see is "Time". How long does it have to be how hot? 750* is good in three seconds.
 

CWLONGSHOT

Residing in New England
I am amazed that traditionally frugal reloaders resist the Burnz-O-Matic and fingers in a dimly lit room. I use a low to medium flame, and hold the neck in the inner blue cone. Just hold the brass between the thumb, index, and middle finger of one hand like a three jaw chuck. Rotate the case back and forth so the flame makes full rotational contact with all of the neck and a bit of the shoulder. I try to emulate Mil-Surp .30-06 brass as far as the finished look. Over the years I have found that 9 smooth, quick rotations, of less than a second each usually achieves the results I am looking for. The little thin necks of .25-20 took more like 7. I do not want to see a red glow except at the most extreme edge of the chamfered case mouth. No glow beneath that. The cases just start to get uncomfortably hot as I drop them and there is a little spit sizzle sound when they hit the water. The annealing colors on the brass are beautiful and when I pinch the case mouth between my thumb nail and index finger later as a test I want to see it flex yet spring back.

I do this in the down stairs bathroom, with only ambient light from the adjacent room, and drop the heated brass into 3" of water in the sink. The water bath does not create the annealing, it stops it and allows me to simply drop the hot to the touch case. When I'm done I drain the water, shake the brass in a plastic collander, and dump it on the old dehydrator I use to dry brass after they are SS pin wet tumbled.

Grab a few Berdan primed junk cases out of your scrap pail and practice the technique until you are comfortable with good brass. I have done brass as long as .40-70 Sharps Straights to as short as .25-20 w.c.f. with perfect satisfaction. I find it a must to protect vintage, irreplaceable brass, and for reforming from one caliber to another. Annealing extends the life of ordinary brass used with cast loads into the realm of nearly indefinite, especially when one learns not to over work the brass also. This is one of the Arts we talk about, but an easily learned one.

Oh, one more thing. As I once read in a BPCR article, never attempt to anneal loaded rounds.;)
This has been my method for as long as I learned what annealing does for the brass life. Works for me.
A good friend bought a Anealeze He offerd its use. So with a box of freshly formed BO brass I headed across town. The drum he had was too tall to allow use with short BO brass. So how well it works is unknown to me. My method only requires a touch (flame) and water. ;)
CW
 

popper

Well-Known Member
How long does it have to be how hot? 750* is good in three seconds.
Has to do with conductivity, thickness of sample and heat lost to air. Chart above is from brass manufacture. Appears time is not a variable for a sample - but not they way we do stuff. I've heard annealing causes re-crystallization but chart says different. IMHO the stress relieve we do changes the 'blob' size but not the structure. I use the torch and fingers method.