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Old October 2, 2012, 01:17 AM   #1
fastline
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Reloading trend, what annealer do you use?

First I was curious, if it is just me finally getting on board, or if the price of materials is finally making it smarter for reloaders? I almost feel ashamed of leaving any brass behind at the current prices...


Also, I was curious what annealing machine you guys use and how many reloads you go before annealing? I am very familiar with metalurgy so I understand why but not sure how often people do it. In theory, it seems that with decent brass and annealing properly, brass should last 100 or more reloads but I hear a lot of people saying some only get 10 or so reloads. ??
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Old October 2, 2012, 03:21 AM   #2
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I use the Home Depot annealing machine, an aluminum cake pan half full of water and a couple propane torches.

The water level is adjusted up or down to have the proper amount of case above the water level, when the case neck and shoulder get up to temp I just tip the case over into the water for the quench.

I anneal every 3-4 reloads. I can get 15-20 reloads out of rifle brass if I neck size only and anneal regularly. Maybe 10 reloads total if I FL resize, I don't necessarily load to the max, but I certainly don't load plinkers.

For me the key is checking the inside of the case down where the wall meets the base, when it starts getting thin there, a case seperation will be soon to follow. I made a little "scraper" for the inside of the case that can feel this area.
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Old October 2, 2012, 06:09 AM   #3
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What he said above. I FLS always so my cut off is 9 reloads out of 308.
They could be fired more???. But with how cheap 308 brass is why chance it.
I anneal every 4 rounds
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Old October 2, 2012, 08:40 AM   #4
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When I reasearched them they were quite expensive and no one made one that was fully automatic, so I built my own.



Quite a simple build if you can live without the case feed and I had a bunch of extra "blades" laser cut when I built mine.
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Old October 2, 2012, 09:26 AM   #5
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i use a small pointed prestilate tourch, after dark i put a bucket of water on floor and turn off light and put flame on the neck of case, as i roll it in my finger it turns red on neck and i drop it in water. been diong it a lot of years. cjs
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Old October 2, 2012, 10:48 AM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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I'm not sure how people manage to get so few reloads out of their brass, unless they just think it's got to fail so they set an arbitrary number to stop using it.

I saw a small experiment posted here some time ago wherein the author tested several brands of brass using no annealing and full-length resizing to see how long he could go before brass failure. Even the worst brands lasted longer than many people here speak of getting with neck-sizing AND annealing. I don't understand it.

That guy got 30 (yes, three-zero) reloads out of Norma brass with full-length sizing and no annealing.

I bought a bag of Winchester brass for my 270WSM and was amazed by how poor it was compared to the Norma brass I've always used. It would all have to be sized, trimmed for uniformity, chamfered and deburred and then sorted by weight to get where the Norma brass is right out of the box. Add that to that life test experiment and I laugh, positively laugh, when people talk about how expensive Norma brass is.

I use Norma brass in .204Ruger, 7mm-08, 22-250 and 243. I've got cases with 5,6,7,8 loads on them, no annealing, and I've never lost a one to failure. They all appear as nearly new. I use a Lee collet neck die in all calibers and never full-size unless absolutely required. When sizing is required, I use Redding body/shoulder dies in all cases.

I've got a few .204 cases that are getting up to around 8 or 10 reloads and they're starting to feel a bit different when I size the necks. I can tell annealing would help. I'll try doing it soon with some Tempilaq.

So, I guess in the long run I can't help you much with the "Annealing Machine" or method but I just wanted to point out that cases can last a lot longer than people seem to think and maybe the premium brands aren't quite so costly as they seem.

I also want to point out that annealing CAN be a dangerous thing to do and many of the methods that people swear by, such as dark rooms and red brass, are pretty universally discouraged by experts.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; October 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM. Reason: aren't, not are
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Old October 2, 2012, 12:06 PM   #7
jmorris
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Quote:
I've got cases with 5,6,7,8 loads on them, no annealing, and I've never lost a one to failure
If you have never had a case fail you should consider yourself blessed, really.

Annealing also makes for more consistent neck tension as well.
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Old October 2, 2012, 12:12 PM   #8
Brian Pfleuger
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When you say "fail", what are you referencing? Split neck, head separation, what?

My .204 cases have never even been trimmed, I don't even own a trimmer for them. Never had one get closer than .005 of max.
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Old October 2, 2012, 12:21 PM   #9
roberto mervicini
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I reload since over 30 yrs, many calibers, from .243 up to 45/70 and many caliber in between and never, never annealing any brass
The majority of my reloads are near or max. load, now I resize the first time F.L. after only Neck size.

.243 up to 10 reloads to date and still fine
6.5x55 after 30 reloads I dispose of the brass
.270 win up to 7 reloads to date and still fine
7x57 and 7x64* after 25 reloads dispose of the brass
7mmRem Mag after 20 reloads dispose of the brass
.308, 30-06 and 8x57 after 25 reloads dispose of the brass
8x64* after 20 reloads dispose of the brass
30/30 and 32 spl. up to 10 reloads to date and still fine
.300 win mag after 20 reloads I dispose of the brass
.300WSM 20 reloads dispose of the brass
7.7 jap * 5 reloads and still fine
.303 Brith 5 reloads to date and fine
.8mmx338 Win** after 20 reloads dispose of the brass
.338Win Mag up to 16 reloads to date and fine
9.3x62 up to 8 reloads and fine
.375 HH at12 reloads...sold the rifle & cartridges
.45/70 4 reloads and perfect!

* fire form from 06 brass

** fire form from 7mmRem Mag or 338Win mag

When started reloading I only resize FL but I experience couple head separation around 12 or 14 reloads with 6.5x55, 06, .300 win mag and 7mmRem Mag, I change to neck size never happen again.

The limit of 20 or 25 reloads before disposing of the brass is due to the fact that after if I continue using them I notice that particulary on the Mag. the primer pockets are begining to enlarge and primer sit in loose, also over that limit I start noticing some neck hair cracks.

Probably with annealing I could get few more reloads but I do not feel that is worthed the time since have plenty of once fired brass.
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Old October 2, 2012, 01:15 PM   #10
jmorris
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Quote:
When you say "fail", what are you referencing? Split neck, head separation, what?
I quoted your comment of "never lost one to failure".

Just saying that's not just lucky but being blessed by the reloading gods.
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Old October 2, 2012, 02:06 PM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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Well, that's why I wanted to clarify the definitions that we might be using for "failure".

I've ruined a few but I've never had a usage related failure and I've always been surprised that so many people do.

I don't think I do anything special and while I certainly don't have decades of experience and 10s of thousands of rounds loaded, I would think that some of these failures that appear so common would show up in my nearly 3 years and into the several hundreds of rounds loaded for each of several different cartridges.
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Old October 2, 2012, 03:34 PM   #12
mehavey
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After 35 years of reloading, I looked into/began annealing when my 300 WinMag's brass began to give me loud screeching noises during very difficult withdawal of the expander ball through the neck. As a result I picked up the Hornady case spinner kit/medium-temp Tempilaq technique and never looked back.

Of late I've had to anneal every single piece of 45-70, 45-90, and 45-3ΒΌ brass that I use w/ Black powder, or the case simply will not seal on ignition (which w/ black powder is hard to ignore). That again involved the spinner technique and again (high-temp) Tempilaq -- and I never looked back.

I spin to get uniform heat application. Pan-of-water just doesn't cut it.
I use Tempilaq to get a specific/repeatable temperature. "Color" and or time alone doesn't cut it either.

Both are simple/non-messy. (Proof: my wife even lets me do it in the kitchen)
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Old October 2, 2012, 05:03 PM   #13
jepp2
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Quote:
Also, I was curious what annealing machine you guys use and how many reloads you go before annealing?
While I would really like to have an annealing machine, there is no way I can justify the expense. I also wouldn't like to have to adjust for various cases. The process I use is covered very well here. I "previously" used the water pan method, but it lacks a positive temperature indicator and the heat isn't uniformly applied. Both are issues.

How many loads? Too many variables to pick a single number. How hot are your loads? 222 Rem or 22-250 Rem are significantly different cartridges to load for and how often you anneal. Also I now use the Lee Collet die and when I need to bump the shoulder, I use the Redding body die with minimal shoulder movement (as mentioned by another poster). Brass handled this way rarely needs to be annealed. If you are using a traditional FL sizing die with 22-250 brass loaded near maximum where the die significantly undersizes the neck, then the expander has to open it up for bullet seating - you better anneal about every 3'rd loading. If you don't, you are going to start seeing some cases with split neck before the 5'th loading.
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Old October 2, 2012, 05:57 PM   #14
jmorris
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On the machine I built all adjustments can be made without tools, in seconds.


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Old October 2, 2012, 07:25 PM   #15
45YearsShooting
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>>The water level is adjusted up or down to have the proper amount of case above the water level, when the case neck and shoulder get up to temp I just tip the case over into the water for the quench.<<

Wouldn't quenching the hot case neck in water make the brass harder by tempering it, the opposite of what you are trying to achieve?
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Old October 2, 2012, 07:40 PM   #16
lonniemike
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If you are thinking steel then yes. But brass does not harden by quenching.Best
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Old October 2, 2012, 10:50 PM   #17
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I learned something new today. Thanks!
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Old October 3, 2012, 10:53 AM   #18
amamnn
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Induction Innovations Mini-ductor used mainly, but not exclusively, for annealing BR cartridges to reset the neck ductility. Frequency depends upon the cartridge. Usually from 5 firings to 10 firings. I anneal before forming certain cartridges from the parent cartridge case, and then after forming, but still before the first firing. then again after the 5th to 10th firing, again depending upon the cartridge. Some cartridges work the brass harder than some others. The 30BR is a very good example of a case that does not get worked too hard.


The mini-ductor allows such fine control of the heat application that it is possible to anneal the taller handgun brass like .357 and .44 mag. There is no surface effect to fool you into thinking the case is really annealed; the inductor cooks the inside and outside of the neck both.
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Old October 3, 2012, 11:31 AM   #19
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Induction Innovations Mini-ductor
I looked at that and similar devices. Man, I wish they weren't so expensive.
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:59 PM   #20
jmorris
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Quote:
There is no surface effect to fool you into thinking the case is really annealed; the inductor cooks the inside and outside of the neck both. ___
Would save setup time on thick 50 BMG brass but pretty much everything else is fine on the other machines.
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Old October 3, 2012, 07:03 PM   #21
Kevin Rohrer
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Giraud Annealer

I own one of these and did 1k of 7.62mm brass in only a few hours. Yes, it's pricey, but to the non-mechanically inclined like myself, worth the money. I had several split necks from brand-new .221 Rem Fireball brass that I fired.
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Old October 4, 2012, 07:23 AM   #22
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Never anneal anything I load for, including formed cases, still get lots of life from the brass, I chuck it if the neck splits, but I throw more away because the head stats thinning than anything else
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Old October 4, 2012, 08:31 AM   #23
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I anneal my brass as needed, if it's been worked heavily, like in load developement.
I ususally stand the cases up in a pan of water that is just deep enough to leave the neck ans a portion of the shoulder exposed, and I use a propane torch to render the neck "worm red" only and I haven't had a need to tip them over into the water as they cool very fast on their own.
Then I take them out of the water and set them on a shoptowel where I let them set for minute or two, then I take my air-chuck and blow the excess water out of them and set them on a clean papertowel on my desk overnight and that usually does a fine job.

Jmorris that's quite the mechanical engineer skills coming out cudo's man!!
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Old October 5, 2012, 02:12 AM   #24
1stmar
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Jmorris the simplicity in that (without the case feed)is remarkable. Not that its simple to fabricate.
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Old October 5, 2012, 08:30 AM   #25
jmorris
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Yes, it is a very simple design and easy to build. I have sold many "blades" to others that wanted a cheap but consistent way to anneal cases. As the CNC laser cut blade is the hard part even for a good DIY guy.


Click on this photo for video of one someone built with the blade and drawings.

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