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Old March 17, 2014, 10:33 AM   #1
madmo44mag
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Annealing OLD Pistol Brass.

I have some 44mag brass I have been shooting 20 years +
A couple of years ago I had to trim it to square the case mouths up so they would crimp evenly.

This weekend I started reloading some of this old brass and noticed just how work hardened it had become compared to some newer brass I was reloading.
Like most; I shoot straight wall pistol brass until it fails / splits.
.
This stuff takes a lot of effort to re-size.
I use carbide dies and even used case lube and still takes a lot of effort.
I don’t want to go through the effort of annealing if it is not going to be effective.
I have like 2,000 rounds of this stuff.

My question is has anyone ever annealed pistol brass to reduce the harness and make it more loader friendly when re-sizing?
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Old March 17, 2014, 10:44 AM   #2
243winxb
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I would never try it. If the head got to soft, it would come apart under pressure.
Quote:
Cartridge Brass-
Material is 70 copper/30 zinc with trace amounts of lead & iron , called C26000. Material starts to yield at 15,000 PSI when soft (annealed), and 63,000 PSI when hard.
Material yields, but continues to get stronger up to 47,000 PSI when soft, and 76,000 PSI
when work hardened.
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Old March 17, 2014, 11:38 AM   #3
tangolima
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I anneal M1 carbine brass regularly. Its characteristic is very similar to .44 magnum. I didn't do it for ease of resizing, but rather for brass life. They cost me 30 cents a piece.

-TL
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Old March 17, 2014, 04:14 PM   #4
madmo44mag
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I hear you on the 30 carb brass.
I got lucky a few years back and scored 3000 rounds of new 30 carb brass for 0.15 cent a round.

I was thinking of using a drill with a quick chuck and a torch.
This is how I do my rifle brass.
I would keep the flame angled from the bottom towards the top.

I have a buddy that has a kiln and offered to put it in there but like 243winxb said I was worried that the case head would get to soft.

This old brass gets loaded to the lower limits of 44mag levels.
19.0 gn of 2400 under a 240gn PRN bullet.

I may try it and see how it comes out.
It gets shot from a Ruger RH so I'm not all that worried about a case failure as long as no one is beside me.
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Old March 17, 2014, 11:44 PM   #5
tangolima
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Not in a kiln. I don't even want to hold the brass with anything but my fingers. For sure I won't inadvertently anneal the head if I am holding it with my very own fingers.

-TL
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Old March 18, 2014, 06:48 AM   #6
trapper9260
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When I heat treat my brass i put it on a steel plate. Then I use a torch and just heat it till it just start to change color and then drop in in water.Like was stated it prolong the life of the case.If they start to crack or split is when I do it.
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Old March 18, 2014, 08:50 AM   #7
reloader28
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I've annealed allotta pistol brass and it works fine.

BUT, you dont go until they change color like rifle brass. Pistol brass is different than rifle brass and if they color change is usually too far. Just hold your torch on them for about 5 seconds and see what happens.

If you go too far they will be hard to extract for a loading or 2 until they harden up a little again. Dont ask how I know that.
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Old March 19, 2014, 10:56 AM   #8
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Thanks reloader28.
I feel better already!
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Old March 19, 2014, 11:38 AM   #9
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base down in a shallow pan, with water about half way up the case. This lets you anneal the neck, but provided a heat sink so you will not (accidently) soften the case heads.
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Old March 28, 2014, 10:04 AM   #10
madmo44mag
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Well I annealed some of the brass and it made a lot of difference in the amount of force needed to resize.

I placed them is a shallow dish of water and lightly annealed them.

Went out and shot a few and no problems what so ever.

I need to do the rest of it now.
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Old March 30, 2014, 11:40 AM   #11
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This is what I do ,

I use my cordless drill with a socket adapter with a socket the brass fits in .
lite my torch spin it in the flame the appropriate amount ,tilt it down & let it fall out into the h2o.

Ya can do a bunch in short order !!

This is the result:

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Old April 1, 2014, 11:28 PM   #12
SWThomas
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I have found that the primer pockets will give out long before the brass is bad. No need to anneal.
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Old April 2, 2014, 07:32 AM   #13
Salmoneye
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Quote:
base down in a shallow pan, with water about half way up the case. This lets you anneal the neck, but provided a heat sink so you will not (accidently) soften the case heads.
And once it turns color, simply jiggle the pan tipping the case into the water...
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Old April 2, 2014, 08:15 AM   #14
Unclenick
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You can tip them over, but there's usually no need. The water puts a pretty hard stop on head temperature because it removes a lot of heat if it gets warm enough to start vaporizing. That will happen at the boiling point, which is well below what it takes to begin stress-relieving brass (that starts at 480°F).

Unlike steel with some carbon in it, quenching doesn't do anything to maintain hardness of the brass. About the only thing it will do is stop heat from continuing to spread toward the head, which the water is already preventing. I've speculated it might stop grain growth, but board member Mete, who is a metallurgist, suggested that grain growth takes more time to occur than the time frames we are talking about. From the charts where the brass is allowed an hour for grain growth, it also only happens between about 660°F and 1170°F, so even guys heating to 750°F aren't much above the start point for grain growth, and then the brass doesn't stay warm long enough for it to happen to a significant degree.
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