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Old July 9, 2010, 11:29 PM   #1
midnightrider
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Annealing Cases

I just recieved around fifty .243 winchester cases that are over 20 yrs old. I would like to anneal the necks. I have watched and read alot about it and have tried before.

what ive learned from the net is you want just the case neck to get 650 deg F. I read a article on the net that says to used a welding crayon and mark the shoulder with the 650 deg and when it changes color it turns to a different color indicating that the neck has reached 650 deg. Sounds great, but these markers cost 20$ thats more than I paid for the cases.

I would like to know different techniques, like how many seconds should I hold the torch on it.

if anybody could help with this that would be great!
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Old July 10, 2010, 05:31 AM   #2
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Too Many variables to say , you do this & that cut& dried !!!!can`t say!!!!

I anneal in low lite , put the low flame on the shoulder while turnin in a cordless drill .

Next I look for a very slight glow of the shoulder neck area then quench in cold water.

I suggest not gettin em to glow at first just do a 123 count at first .
I also feel it`s very important to get the temp the same all the way around the case , hence the cordless drill .

I would suggest tryin 5 cases then perpare em & load & shoot em a couple of times & see if they react to annealling & affect accuracy in a positive way !!


It`s kinda like handloading & casting bullets , ya gotta start somewhere !

I hope this helps even if a little
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Old July 10, 2010, 06:50 AM   #3
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GPMan is right. When I anneal my cases I also do it in very low light conditions. I looks for the case JUST beginiing to glow. I am talking a super-faint glow. No need to get them red hot. Like GPMan said, consistency is the name of the game here. Good luck!

Oh, and as you probably already know, stay away from the case head!
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Old July 10, 2010, 07:33 AM   #4
dlb435
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Ditto on the advice above. Just do it.
Are you sure you need to aneal the cases? Brass does not harden with age. It hardens as the brass is worked. If you have new or once fired brass, you just need to make sure they will pass a case gauge and reload them.
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Old July 10, 2010, 07:59 AM   #5
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ammosmith.com has a video on how to anneal cases.
http://ammosmith.com/rifle-reloading...ling-brass.php
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Old July 10, 2010, 09:02 AM   #6
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I am of the opinion that there is no safe and effective way to anneal cases without some positive indication of temperature. Most of the experts agree that annealing in a dark room until there is a faint glow results in too much annealing. Brass does not even BEGIN to glow until around 950F. This is MUCH too hot.

Hornady and a few other companies sell kits that include a temperature indicating compound.

Those temperature markers that you mention, made mostly by Tempil and Nissen, can be had for about $13 each, and a lot less if you watch eBay. That's pretty cheap. I'm sure you can anneal hundreds of case with each marker.
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Old July 10, 2010, 04:17 PM   #7
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I hold the case in my fingers, torch flame on the neck and shoulder. When it starts to turn reddish, or the fingers get too hot, which ever occurs first, drop the case in a bucket to water.

It's not a critical procedure so long as the brass doesn't get glowing red.

Experiment a little for what's best for you. This has worked for me for over 40 years
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Old July 10, 2010, 05:21 PM   #8
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Unless you are willing/prepared to do it right, I would not play with annealing cases. If you are willing, then measure the depth of that willingness by getting the necessary temp/indicator wax/liquid that permits you to determine case critical body temperature whereupon you quit heating the neck shoulder.

I use "tempilaq", which appears a lot like white typing correction fluid and goes on with a small self-contained brush from the bottle (just like correction fluid).

It goes about 1/4" below the neck and dries white.



As it spins (using a hand drill) in the flame (deliberately directed at an angle to concentrate on the shoulder/neck), the white splash mark goes transparent when the case body at that point reaches (in my case) 475F.



At that point the neck is "done" and the case is dumped.

As you can see, the cases are precisely annealed neck/shoulder, with the end of annealing about 1/8" below the shoulder. It can go lower (to a 1/4") but there it's gotta stop.



Unless you are out after <1/2 MOA, and/or getting split necks, and/or the neck expander "screeches" (brittle brass) as you pull the case from the sizing die, I wouln't mess with it.
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Old July 11, 2010, 11:57 AM   #9
F. Guffey
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Roy Dunlap said annealing takes skill, Roy Dunls[ a master gunsmith did not anneal his brass, that was before the Internet.



Holding brass in the hand until it gets too hot to hole 'got the too hot for annealing.



Annealing is about controlling heat and it's travel, so I would think it better not to encourage heat travel to the head of the case by attaching an aluminum spinner, heat travels to cold, heating the shoulder/neck allows the heat to travel to the head of the case, I have read where reloaders have use a candle, too clow, consider time, heat it fast and control heat travel.



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Old July 11, 2010, 12:57 PM   #10
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I have thought about trying the process almost exactly as Mehavey describes above. It seems to be the only truly safe way of getting it done without spending wads of money. On the other hand, I've seen commercial services advertised that will do it for as little as $20. Considering that I've only got about 150 cases that I would be concerned about, that seems like a reasonable way to keep them going. I'm sure I could do it myself for less though, over time.
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Old July 11, 2010, 01:07 PM   #11
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I am not sure exactly HOW precise you have to be when annealing cases. Call me a liar, but the process I described above has been working just fine for me. If it didn't, then I wouldn't be doing it. As long as you don't get it glowing and anneal the correct portion of the brass case, I would think you are OK, IME. I may be wrong...for the first time... . I am just too cheap to go buy the temp indicator paste...
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Old July 11, 2010, 05:41 PM   #12
mehavey
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Quote:
better not to encourage heat travel to the head of the case by attaching an aluminum spinner
Agreed. Which is why the Tempilaq temperature fluid is so important. That said, the hollow spinner setup is a loose fit (little solid contact/heat transfer) and allows you to "dump" the case the instant the shoulder reaches set temp. Works well, very precise/repeatable, and no less important -- it's fast (half dozen cases/minute).

Recommend highly IF you decide to get into annealing at all. This is a cover-charge/price-of-entry, after which it's almost nothing for every case you think requires annealing from that point on.

http://www.sinclairintl.com/.aspx/pi...nealing_System

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Old July 11, 2010, 07:09 PM   #13
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Norma says to put cases in a tray and add water up to the shoulder. With a propane torch heat the neck till it's red then tip the case into the water. As a company that makes and reloads brass they ought to know something.
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Old July 11, 2010, 07:25 PM   #14
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That's the way it's been done for years.
I guess it's not high-tech enough!
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Old July 11, 2010, 07:45 PM   #15
mehavey
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Take a look....

http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html
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Old July 11, 2010, 08:46 PM   #16
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mete
Norma says to put cases in a tray and add water up to the shoulder. With a propane torch heat the neck till it's red then tip the case into the water. As a company that makes and reloads brass they ought to know something.
I'm not doubting you, but where do they say that?
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Old July 12, 2010, 06:31 AM   #17
F. Guffey
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Water in the pan, how much? How deep? Water acts as a heat dam, not a problem but water boils at 212 degree F at sea level, still not a big problem but as pressure is reduced on water the amount of heat is reduced to boil it. When annealing it is only necessary to anneal the neck and shoulder or when forming a case by moving the shoulder back? anneal the case to a point below the location of the new shoulder to be formed, then the water and heat, when I hear someone say they anneal the case with the water in the pan method they never mention the spheroid condition created when the heat travels down the case to the water, when the temperature gets to 212 (at sea level) the water that is in contact with the case boils, or put another way the water separates from the case because case is too hot to allow contact.

In the old days of trains and steam pressure was used to increase the boiling point, something like 3 degree for every pound of pressure increase, An increase of 15 pounds of pressure will increase the boiling point of water to 257 degree + or -, use care when removing a radiator cap, check for pressure first.

Back to fast heat, when annealing, annealing is not a good time to stare at the case, heat it quick, do not allow the heat time to travel by using a heat sink/dam, again water is a good heat dam, I would not agree with setting a case in water up to the shoulder of the case, there have been situations created that contributed to neck separation after annealing, I have no problem with placing the case in water half way up the case, then apply heat (fast) and then tip the case over, then there are other methods.

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Old July 12, 2010, 09:58 AM   #18
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I do it like most everyone else.
I use the Lee trim collets in a drill till it barely glows in low light. Works great for me and never had a problem. Great accuracy and long life, why does it have to be so scientific?
I guess it would matter for all out competition, but not really anything else.

I think if you non believers tried it, you would like it.


On a side note tho, after watching one guy, I did torch one 30-06 until it was bright red, hot as I could get it.
Dont do that. I pinched the mouth of it closed with my finger tips. WAY too soft.
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Old July 12, 2010, 10:05 AM   #19
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F. Guffey
Water in the pan, how much? How deep? Water acts as a heat dam, not a problem but water boils at 212 degree F at sea level, still not a big problem but as pressure is reduced on water the amount of heat is reduced to boil it....

You are way over thinking this. There is no way that you'd produce that much heat with a propane torch. The "other" water surrounding the water that is in direct contact with the case would EASILY prevent boiling. Second, even if the water in direct contact with the case DID boil, there's no way that the case is going to reach temperatures in the 485+ degree range, which is the temperature that would be required for any sort of annealing to take place in ANY reasonable amount of time.

Annealing takes time and temperature. There's no way you'd get enough of both with the case submerged in water up to the shoulder.
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Old July 12, 2010, 11:25 AM   #20
F. Guffey
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Peetzakilla, I did not expect anyone to put a pan of water on the stove, turn on the heat and watch the water separate from the bottom of the pan as heat is applied, I did not expect anyone to place a case in a pan of water and heat the neck of the case until the heat traveled down the case until it came in contact with the water, I did expect someone in the choir to disagree, not my method nor my intent to separating annealer's from those that claim they are.

I will type slower, heat travels to cold, annealing in my opinion requires 600 + degree, 600 degree F produces super heated steam, then there is the ability to have compound thoughts, lead melts at 600 plus degree, do not add lead to the melt if it is moist, doing so could empty the pot, water when heated to those tempretures does not boil it explodes.

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Old July 12, 2010, 11:35 AM   #21
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So you believe that heating a case with a propane torch when said case is submerged in water up to it's shoulder could cause a steam "explosion"? Even though there's no contained area to hold the pressure? Even though the whole process takes but a few seconds, 15 maybe 20? Even though the water being heated is surrounded by water NOT being heated.

Alrighty then.

If that's not what you're saying then I have no idea what you mean.

We're obviously not going to agree, and your thinly veiled insults are unnecessary. This is going nowhere, and I see no reason to continue.
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Old July 12, 2010, 11:53 AM   #22
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I might try this with the HXP 30-06 I bought from the CMP for my Garand. 5 reloadings so far but had a couple neck splits.
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Old July 12, 2010, 12:05 PM   #23
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Gee.... And I thought I was going to be the one in the dog house ! <big grin>

That said, I have suggested the drill-spin/Tempilaq method of annealing method only after many (many) years [decades] of trying all the others. In the end I found that the tip-them-over-in-the-water-pan method didn't turn me on as:

(A) It took time to lay out all the (sized/deprimed) cases upright on the waterpan;
(B) when [not if] a case accidentally tips over, it takes (more) time to fish it (and its neighbors) out
of the water (and now the neck's wet on the inside);
(C) Maneuvering the torch all around the necks to get fast/even heating was an absolute pain
(and read 'B' again for good measure);
(D) and once successfully set up, heated, and dunked... I had wet cases until I could get them dried inside and out again.

and (E) when I finally hit on the spin-drill/Templaq method. I could (and did) regularly anneal 50 cases at a whack on the kitchen sink from start to finish/cleanup in about 15 minutes ... and my wife quit complaining. My 300 Win and 220 Swift (notorious neck hardeners) were also happier.

Moreover, no matter how many books I read I could never get (or teach) consistent heating based upon 'color' as a measure of temperature. To that I offer the sad experience of the Springfield armory and their low-numbered `03 receivers

Quote:
It was determined that the workers responsible for heat treating the receivers had used an "eyeball" method that relied on the color of the heated metal to determine if the steel had been heated to the correct temperature. Unfortunately, according to General Hatcher, the officer in charge of the investigation, "... it was quickly found that the ‘right heat’ as judged by the skillful eye of the old timers was up to 300 degrees hotter on a bright sunny day than it was on a dark cloudy one" (See Hatcher, Julian Hatcher’s Notebook , Third Edition, Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1966, page 215).
I all I can do is suggest others not go down the same path -- unless like the MythBusters, they just "...wanna do it themselves."






post: This is not to say that I don't take over the kitchen for really important stuff -- like heat-treat/annealing the 600gr pure lead paper-patching Ballards for my Sharps on a pizza pan in my [wife's] oven. I'll never forget the next door neighbors coming over for Thanksgiving back in `89 when my wife told them to go ahead heat-up their contribution in the stove. The colonel came back and said there wasn't any room... that there were "...already bullets being baked in there...."

It's been a Thanksgiving joke ever since, ranking right up there with the newly shot [and still-feathered] pheasants falling out of the refrigerator back on Thanksgiving`71

Last edited by mehavey; July 12, 2010 at 12:33 PM.
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Old July 12, 2010, 02:08 PM   #24
F. Guffey
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Peetsakilla, No, I said heat travels to cold, it is not possible to heat the neck of a case without heat traveling, if the case is submerged up yo the shoulder the water will boil because there is not enough pressure on the water to prevent it from turning to steam THERE IS NOTHING FORCING THE WATER AGAINST THE CASE, THIS CONDITION IS CALLED SPHEROID.

And yes a torch gets hot, very hot, again annealing is about time, heat and travel

"the case is going to reach temperatures in the 485+ degree range" 475 degree amount to waving the case over the flame, I suggest you back away from the computer and do some research OR read the links on this forum..

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Old July 12, 2010, 03:30 PM   #25
mehavey
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midnightrider,

Give me an IM then send the cases up to me. I'll anneal the doggoned things and send`em back. My treat, including return postage in exchange for all the entertainment after you started this thread.

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