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Thread: Who anneals their brass?

  1. #1
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Default Who anneals their brass?

    It seems like their are a million different recommendations on the net. Sometime, we can overthink a process.
    This method http://35cal.com/loading.html#annealing seems to follow the KISS principle.
    So who bothers to anneal? My .350 RM brass is hard to find, and annealing will let me keep it longer. I can go pick up some of the temp indications crayons at my local welding supply, but the above discussion linked method seems pretty easy.
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    That's the method I've used for 50 years, except when reorganizing heck out of case shape when forming new cases.

    I'm kind of a nazi about brass life too, the biggest reason I despise semi-auto rifles and handguns as well as steady diets of max and higher loads. About the only cases I don't anneal are 38 Specials, because when competing I used to buy them in large lots by the pound and still have about 40# left over all these years later.

    With regular annealing and case trimming, careful sizing die adjustment and loads respecting the recommendation in reloading manuals, I'm getting case life others can't imagine in their wildest dreams. For example, I just checked my logs and the batch of 200 7mm RemMag cases I'm currently using is on reload #18.

    I kinda giggle every time I hear guys whining about the high cost of brass in one breath, then talking about how many shots they get before primer pockets stretch out in the next. I learned to reload from guys who survived the Depression when waste of anything was pure foolishness. And the lessons stuck. Not possible without annealing, and the method you linked has worked just fine for me for the last 50 years.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
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    Member Yukoner's Avatar
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    Good to hear from someone who has use this method. Thanks for that.
    Cheers
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

  4. #4

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    Like I said, the only time I move away from it is when doing some serious case reforming. In that case I put enough water in a pan to reach well above the web of the case, then stand the cases up in the water for a more precise and hotter anneal. Once the case is heated where I want it, I just knock it over for full immersion on the water. Purtty darned slick, but more work than needed and more time consuming when you're working over a big bunch of brass that's been fired a few times and the neck/shoulder is starting to stiffen up.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    I always wanted to try it,, BUT it doesn't seem to be very exacting. (Too hot to Hold??)

    That would be different for different folks.

    Then, we have folks saying,,, til it changes color to,,, different descriptions.

    And, how would I know if the case was properly Annealed?

    I'm probably too timid to be a case annealer.

    SOTN
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    And, how would I know if the case was properly Annealed?
    It's obvious in the sizing/shaping that results. "Proper" or not, it sure as heck extends my case life. I don't hold mine till they're too hot to hold, as a matter of fact- just till they start feeling noticeably warm at the base. Theorists might say I'm blowing it, but I'll match my loading logs with anyone's, any day.

    For me the "finger" method has quite a safety margin to avoid overdoing it, yet still gets the case hot enough to make a heck of a difference in loading and case life.

    Back in the late 1960's my mentor in the process was loading R2Lovell ammo, which had been a popular varmint/target round for many decades back before the 222 Remington. It's the looong 25-20 Single Shot case necked down, and turning out 3,000 fps with 22 cal pills, quite the scorcher in its day.

    Trouble was, by the late 1960's no one had made 25-20 Single Shot cases for something like 30 years. My mentor had a batch of 100 Griffin and Howe cases he'd bought new before heading off for the Pacific Island campaign as a young marine in WWII. Still loading that same batch of cases all those years later, and I clearly recall he had 97 remaining. He said he'd lost the 3 in the bushes, rather than due to case failure. He shot it a lot all those years, annealing with the hand-hold method every 3 or 4 loads, and the cases just kept on ticking. Good enough for him, and good enough for me!
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
    Merle Haggard

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    Member JoeJ's Avatar
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    For those holding the case while you "anneal" - I don't think much of that method, but if it works for you, just keep on. I always put the case in a pan of water to about mid-length of the case and put the heat to the base of the neck, as I turned the pan, - when the case neck starts to glow, tipped the case over into the water.

    Here's a real good machine to have and if you've got enough club members, you could pay for the machine by charging those who want their brass annealed or have several people go in on the machine. Also explains what & how to anneal.

    http://www.kenlightmfg.com/howtoanneal.html

  8. #8
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    Thanks BB:

    I'll give it another try.

    SOTN
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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