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Request: A Tutorial on How to Anneal Rifle Brass

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professrh
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Request: A Tutorial on How to Anneal Rifle Brass

#1 Post by professrh » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:13 pm

How about it, gents? Something simple enough for (say) an English professor to follow? From a source we all know and can trust?

I've read a lot on the internet about annealing brass, over the past few years. Yikes, what a tangled web!

I don't imagine I'm the only SRF reloader who'd benefit from a set of clear, simple, and reliable instructions to use as a jumping-off point. . . .

Thanks.

--Prof

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Re: Request: A Tutorial on How to Anneal Rifle Brass

#2 Post by Rapidrob » Sat Jun 10, 2017 1:11 pm

Your right about the internet and the many contradicting articles about this topic.
I have been using a technique for over 50 years that works for me and I have never had a case fail due to this.
Use a Propane hand torch,a metal ice cube tray or pie tin. Placed enough water in the container to cover the base of the case up to the web. This must be done. Annealing the whole case is never to be done and is extremely dangerous. Line up enough cases to leave room to knock them over and not heat more than one case at a time.
Heat the neck and shoulder of your case to you just see a change of color, just before it turns red hot. ( if you do this in a darkened room you'll see the brass has just turned blue/yellowish) Keep the flame moving at all times. As soon as you see the color change,knock the case over with the tip of the torch into the water.
You will not be able to dupe the color of Lake City Brass, but you will see a change in color of the annealed brass.
From start to finish for one case only takes about three to five seconds with the torch. It is very easy to "burn" the brass. Watch the neck of the brass for the color change and add no more heat after that. burned brass will have a rough surface,be almost black with streaks and not ever polish off of the brass.
There are machines that you can buy for lots of money,and they work, but there really is no need for one of these unless you are doing tens of thousands of cases.
The torch/water method will allow you to do several hundred cases in a very short time.
Once you get the hang of it you will get very good results and your cases will last a very long time with moderate loads.
I find I have to anneal my rifle cases after five reloads and many have been annealed three or more times and are still going strong.
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Re: Request: A Tutorial on How to Anneal Rifle Brass

#3 Post by professrh » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:05 pm

Thanks, RapidRob. This is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for.

--Prof

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Re: Request: A Tutorial on How to Anneal Rifle Brass

#4 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:20 pm

The darkened room is the key. You will see the brass turn color far quicker so you don't over do it. I go for a nice dull red.

I use a power drill with a shaft that has a socket welded unto it. I spin the case in the socket to equally apply the heat. I use a commercial "Bernz-O-Matic" torch to heat the tip on the case up. Once it starts turning red (NOT ORANGE, YOU HAVE GONE TOO FAR) I dump the case into a bucket of water. I have done this with 24GA shotgun brass in order to make 45/577 Martini-Henry cases. I annealed a good inch or so down from the lip. I recently made some tooling out of aluminum for doing this more efficiently, or for my own enjoyment as I could possibly ignite the aluminum while annealing the brass. There is only one way to find out as they say in my trade..... Wish me luck next time I give it a go.

Best Regards,

Mark

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Re: Request: A Tutorial on How to Anneal Rifle Brass

#5 Post by nrobertb » Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:59 pm

Everyone advocates putting the hot cases into water. Wouldn't the brass stay softer if it was allowed to air cool?

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Re: Request: A Tutorial on How to Anneal Rifle Brass

#6 Post by jbrower » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:37 pm

I have an old record player that I use. I take a shallow tupperware dish and fill it with water, enough so that when you place a case upright in it the water comes up to about the halfway mark. Place it in the middle of the turntable. Set it to 33.3 RPM (if you have one that can spin at 16rpm that might be better). Fire up a blowtorch and heat the neck until it just about turns red, then tip it into the water. Drop the next case in and repeat.

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Re: Request: A Tutorial on How to Anneal Rifle Brass

#7 Post by Rapidrob » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:50 am

No, nonferrous metal,if heated to yellowish red hot and quenched in water will get softer rather than harder like ferrous metals do. It has to do with how the molecules of the brass alloy line up when rapidly cooled.
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Re: Request: A Tutorial on How to Anneal Rifle Brass

#8 Post by Kevinofborg » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:28 pm

For those of you who might not know where the web is:
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