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Thread: Annealing

  1. #1
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    Default Annealing

    Who here does it and how. How many more reloads do you get out of your cases by doing it. I've heard that if brass sits for a long while it is a good idea to anneal them.

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    I anneal after my second trim. I only neck size and shoot moderate loads as my goal is accuracy. I get 14 loads out of lapua 6.5x55 brass, and 9 out of 308 Lapua brass. I could probably get more, but I am conservative and at the first sign of even a hint of primer pocket looseness or the need for a thrid trim I toss the whole lot.

    I am very careful in sizing so as to avoid neck stretching

  3. #3

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    Many years ago when I bought a .44 mag I would get a split in the crimp area. I used to put my cases in a pan of water and use a propane torch to get the case mouth red and tip over in the water to soften the brass, of course that is done prior to any splitting. The other option was to trim them to .44 special length. Now that brass is plentiful I don't bother. You must be careful not to soften the case base in any way. You have to get quick heat and quick dunk in cold water. Brass is sometimes called an upside down metal in that it will soften when quenched instead of harden. I never did that on any rifle case. Hope that helps

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    I've done a lot of annealing with a cake pan of water and that does work, tipping the case over when the mouth is light blue color not red. The best way is using temperature sensitive crayons. You want a crayon that changes color at 650-660 degrees F., available at welding metal working supply houses. Mark the case just about 1/8"below shoulder around the circumference. It is best to chuck the case in a battery powered screwdriver. I rigged up Lee case trimmer shell holder and chucked it in a powered screw driver. Keep it turning then hold in the flame at the junction of the neck and shoulder. When the temperature is reached knock the case off in a bucket of water. This technique is found in Ken Howells excellent book on custom cartridges.

    I only do this for cases that are being formed into some other caliber, generally when the shoulder must be moved forward such as for the Hawk series of wildcats. The case is then fire formed with out a bullet, using corn meal or your favorite hot breakfast cereal or just corn cob polishing media, sealed with a wax blob.

    This is an interesting subject and coincidental as well, I'm going out now to form some 375 Lott brass that I annealed last week end from Jamison 458 Lott. Hopefully that will go well.

    I have some basic cases which are cylindrical. These come as basic 30-06 or 375 H&H cases without headstamp and unnecked. If these come without being annealled, I usually anneal them before forming.

    Lapua and some Hornady cases come annealed soft and that is one of the reasons why Lapua cases last so long. I do not anneal a case once it is fire formed to fit my chamber. This generally only prevents case neck splits anyway and that is usually just from crimped loads. Annealing is a bit of trouble and I just toss cases when they throw fits or come apart in other ways. Also softer case tend to grow more and need more trimming. Firing cases work hardens the brass and if you need to form cases from fired brass you will ned to anneal them.
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    Here is a pic of the turntable I made for myself out of a cassette deck and power supply. Total cost was about $10.00. Put the case on the turntable, flick the toggle switch, hit it with the Bern-Z-omatic, pluck the case into the sink full of cold water. Done. When I am done with it, the power supply and switch all fit inside the little box.
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    That's pretty clever Nitro. I think turning is the key to annealing. Do you use crayons or go by color. A real nitro guy like you could tell by the smell, right. What caliber is that round? Looks like a big bore.
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    I also have used the crayon, but now Im a torch and tipper...the wife compalins about me using her cake pans

    I put the cases oin the cake pan filled with water up to the shoulder, then heat the case and tip it over when the colour is right. So far, so good, as unscientific as it may be.

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    375 Lott? Who da thunk it!

    Be sure and let us know how that turns out!

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    Murphy,

    Thanks, I was tired of frying my fingers. That case is a .500 A-Square, made from .460 Weatherby brass. I have to anneal the Weatherby prior to running it up over the .50 mandrel.

    I put the flame only on the neck, and when the blue is on the shoulder it goes into the water. Takes only 2-3 seconds with the torch, gotta be quick to not overheat, but never had any problems so far. I have yet to find any cracks in the brass, and am on 5 reloads with some of this brass, though not all have been full-on loads.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

    Better living through chemistry (I'm a chemist)

    You can piddle with the puppies, or run with the wolves...

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