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Annealing Rifle Brass

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by McGriff, Aug 18, 2010.


  1. McGriff

    McGriff
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    So my .223 brass finally started to split after 5 loads. I did some research on annealing and went out and bought a pencil torch. I've been spinning the case with a drill/socket setup and then quenching in a bowl of water.

    My concern is over heating the brass to the point where it becomes too weak. How do you guys judge when to stop heating it? How dangerous is it to over anneal a case? I read it can be really bad.

    ETA: I know you want a blue color, and NOT for it to turn red hot. Beyond that I am lost.
     

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    #1 McGriff, Aug 18, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  2. sdelam

    sdelam
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    Are you asking for a way to test for over heating? I'd say load and crimp a bullet and see if you can cause bullet set back by hand pushing the nose of the bullet against the bench. If it pushes back into the case, you may have overdone it.

    As long as you turn the lights off and quench when just the mouth starts to turn red, you will be fine. At least thats how I do it and it works ok for me.

    You can also test to see if you have annealed enough buy pressing the side of the case mouth on the bench, it should deform fairly easy compared to brass that hasnt been done yet.
     

    #2 sdelam, Aug 18, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  3. unclebob

    unclebob
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  4. jmorris

    jmorris
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    I built a machine to anneal so the process is consistent. Temperature sensitive paint can be helpful just don’t let the case “glow” in any form and don’t apply heat so slowly that the base of the case gets too hot and you will be ok. You are looking for results like at the end of the short video below. Notice the flame color didn’t change, the base can be held with bare hands and the discolor is consistent all of the way around.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If the photo link won't work here is the direct link.
    http://s121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/annealer/?action=view&current=nottoohot.flv
     
    #4 jmorris, Aug 18, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  5. n2extrm

    n2extrm
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    This is a great article. I just had a discussion about this article with someone, and fred brought it up in a thread I had about a problem with Hornady brass.

    Hornady also has a kit to anneal brass, I am going to order one soon. Just trying to get a shoping list so I don't forget the 20 small items I keep forgeting every time I order! :rofl:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productnumber=360902
     
  6. GioaJack

    GioaJack
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    Conifer Jack

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    How come jMorris can build all this neat stuff and I can't open a child proof pill bottle? If flame doesn't involve a steak, pork chops or cigarettes I don't mess with it.


    Jack
     
  7. McGriff

    McGriff
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    Thanks. This is pretty much what I did. I noticed the case deformed much easier than the ones I hadn't done, and it worried me because I had just read the article below. It makes it seem like over heating just a little can be catastrophic.


    I had read this entirely and it was actually what made me question my work. Really good source of info though.


    That's an impressive setup. I've been trying to get the case to look exactly like that, but not very successful at it. I think my flame was way too small. I had it about 1" long, so it took me around 10-12 seconds to see any change. That video helps a lot actually.
     
  8. fredj338

    fredj338
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  9. jmorris

    jmorris
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  10. truckmsl

    truckmsl
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    I anneal my rifle brass by setting a propane torch on the bench, chucking a piece of brass in a lee shell holder with lock stud, and rotate slowly through the flame tip using a small cordless drill.

    It takes about 10-12 seconds until you can see a bluish color band move down over the shoulder about a quarter of an inch. I dip the brass in water and chuck up another one. I can do about 100 in 15 minutes.

    I've got 7.62x39 brass that I shoot through an AK that I've reloaded over 10 times and still going. I anneal after about 5 reloadings.