The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 20, 2018, 09:19 PM   #1
Prof Young
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 21, 2007
Posts: 1,538
What does it mean to "anneal" the brass?

What does it mean to "anneal" the brass.

Life is good.
Prof Young
Prof Young is offline  
Old September 20, 2018, 10:07 PM   #2
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 11,292
Repetitive "working" of any metal (bending or stretching) tends to work harden it, making it more brittle. This is what leads to cracked mouths and necks in brass. Annealing is heating it up enough to soften it and relieve the work hardening.
Aguila Blanca is online now  
Old September 20, 2018, 10:15 PM   #3
74A95
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 26, 2016
Posts: 463
Here are several descriptions of it:

https://www.sinclairintl.com/guntech....htm?lid=16032

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annealing_(metallurgy)

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anneal
74A95 is offline  
Old September 20, 2018, 10:43 PM   #4
Metal god
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2012
Location: San Diego CA
Posts: 4,375
Quote:
What does it mean to "anneal" the brass.
That's a loaded question in a reloading forum . Not sure I want to answer . I think AB said it best

Quote:
Annealing is heating it up enough to soften it and relieve the work hardening.
That's the answer IMO that best describes what it "means" to anneal a cartridge case . I will stop there as well because there is so much more to "annealing" then just that but in a nut shell that is what annealing "means" in this context .
__________________
If Jesus had a gun , he'd probably still be alive !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troop362
I've seen Metal God shoot...….I seen him shoot groups so tight you would swear only one round was fired. He once lit a wooden match at 15 feet for a birthday cake.
Metal god is offline  
Old September 20, 2018, 10:48 PM   #5
mete
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 6,558
No we don't have RNA and DNA in metals As a metallurgist I would have to define annealing as the heating metal to put the atoms into a more orderly , unstreesed state.
__________________
And Watson , bring your revolver !
mete is offline  
Old September 20, 2018, 11:58 PM   #6
Bill DeShivs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 7, 2006
Posts: 9,695
I would say that annealing is putting a metal into it's softest state.
It seems that the reloaders here only partially anneal, or "temper" their brass.
__________________
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
www.billdeshivs.com
Bill DeShivs is offline  
Old September 21, 2018, 11:05 AM   #7
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 2,690
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/anneal?s=t Brass is a metal that "work hardens" and annealing relieves the stress. Cases are "softer" (just the mouths/necks are annealed), lengthening usable case life. Cracks and splits in the case mouth are eliminated...
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
I've learned how to stand on my own two knees...
mikld is offline  
Old September 21, 2018, 12:23 PM   #8
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 10,467
"Annealing is heating it up enough to soften it and relieve the work hardening." This says it all. It's also not something you need to do every time. It's only done on an 'as required' basis. Have one bottle necked case mouth(usually) or neck crack, you pitch that one and anneal the rest.
Read this and go buy a propane torch kit and a foil roasting pan.
https://bisonballistics.com/articles...rass-annealing
__________________
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old September 21, 2018, 12:59 PM   #9
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,255
I would put it this way:

For shooting purposes, annealing is the ATTEMPT TO RESTORING the case neck and shoulder to its original tempered condition.

As a center fired case has a range of treatment, we are only interested in the end that fails (neck mostly) through the work hardening process of reloading.

Annealing itself is the art (or science) of heat treatment of metals to get specific characteristics via the use heat.

In our case we are interested in return to a desired condition of a very specif part of the shell case.
__________________
Science and Facts are True whether you believe it or not
RC20 is offline  
Old September 21, 2018, 05:11 PM   #10
hammered54
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2010
Location: Pinckney,Michigan
Posts: 114
I miss those days in metal shop.....
hammered54 is offline  
Old September 21, 2018, 07:21 PM   #11
rodfac
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 2,800
Ah....an annealing thread....let me get some popcorn....bet you'll see some methods and equipment that'l approach nuclear physics! Rod
__________________
Cherish our flag, honor it, defend what it stands for or get the hell out. Our Freedoms are not free, they've been paid for many times over by heros in uniform. Far better men than I, died that we could be FREE.

USAF FAC, 5th Spl Forces, An Loc, lll Corps, RVN, 69-70, Vietnam Vet '69-'73
rodfac is offline  
Old September 21, 2018, 08:11 PM   #12
gw44
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2015
Location: Michigan
Posts: 269
I just reload brass 5 times, and then out it go's !!
gw44 is offline  
Old September 22, 2018, 09:55 AM   #13
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 15,354
Gw44,

That's not annealing, so it's a little OT, but it's good advice for hard brass fired in semi-autos or any other chambers that stretch the head a lot at each firing, so the pressure ring gets very thin. Tossing it lets you avoid head separations. But annealing is concerned with neck splits and shoulder working, so it's a different part of the case. Most brass will reload about a dozen times without neck splits, IME, but if you have a loose chamber neck, it can happen sooner.

At the other extreme, board member Hummer70, a two-time National Palma Match champion, has one .308 Winchester case he's succeeded in loading and firing 150 times. So much more life is possible with careful minimal resizing and periodic neck and shoulder annealing.


Prof Young,

To combine a couple of the previous answers, annealing brass is a reordering of the atomic structure of the metal to remove stresses and, with still more heat, thereafter to go on to lower its tensile strength and hardness.

Fully annealed brass is so soft you can bend it easily with your thumbnail and the necks can be easily bent off-axis when a round goes up the feed ramp. Full softness in the neck and shoulder is just too soft for shooting and is not desirable. What shooters do to anneal case necks is what is called "partial annealing" or "stress relieving" in the copper alloy industry references I've found. It is heating just enough to relieve stress, but no further, as stress relief (reversing work-hardening) is all that is required for the case to continue to withstand reloading operations.

Below is a graph of what happens to the brass at different temperatures over a one-hour soak. Shooters use higher temperatures so it happens faster. As near as I can tell from reading, the rate doubling every 10°C like a chemical reaction applies to stress-relief, and the second image follows that rule to show how much faster stress-relief occurs at higher temperatures. Mind you, this assumes the listed temperatures are reached in the neck and shoulder brass through-and-through.



__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member and Golden Eagle
Unclenick is offline  
Old September 22, 2018, 01:09 PM   #14
Grey_Lion
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 15, 2018
Location: DFW area - north Texas
Posts: 138
I swage 9mm junk brass into .40 JHP with a lead core. To soften the brass before I put it into the nose forming die, I take a butane torch and, having placed the 9mm junk brass on nails, will heat the brass until it glows red - then let it air cool.

This removes work hardening and eases up the crystalline structure of the metal and also removes some of the carbon locked in the metal lattice. If you made the brass cherry red and then quenched it quickly in water, locking in carbon, this would harden the brass.

People who do precision rifle round reloading will often anneal the neck of their brass to soften it, thus putting less wear on their case trimmer cutter blade and to make the brass more flexible for bullet seating as well as keeping it flexible so it chambers smoother in their weapon's bore. The softer brass neck is less likely to split as it is flared to accept the bullet and is easier on the crimping die as well.
Grey_Lion is offline  
Old September 22, 2018, 04:13 PM   #15
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,255
Well that an interesting take.

Someone who knows will have to weigh in on what hardness pistol brass has at the base. It would be a killer to do that with rifle brass at the base.

There is not any carbon involved with brass, that is a steel process.

Ergo, cherry red and a quench does one thing, permanently softens the brass below its correct condition , ie ruins it.

So does just letting it cool down slowly. No difference as carbon plays no role in this metal.

You anneal rifle brass to return it to its optimal condition for chamber seal and to stop it from cracking the neck after firing.

I will agree that as the cracking starts so does the force needed to seat a bullet so more uniform ala easier bullet seating does result. I have never had one crack inserting a bullet.

Brass splits from firing and work hardening not flaring (which is not oft used other than for lead bullets) - an internal trim removes the need for a flare with flat base bullets and the boat tail takes care of the rest.

On the other hand I have never had a pistol case split, despite the fact I do flare those a bit (mostly use flat base bullets)

I don't do anything for the trim part, I trim when needed, not just after anneal, ergo a trimmer does not care.
__________________
Science and Facts are True whether you believe it or not
RC20 is offline  
Old September 22, 2018, 05:30 PM   #16
gwpercle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Posts: 824
I've seen some mistakenly think it's a normal step that must be performed every time a case is reloaded....that's not correct .
Only anneal when it's needed.
gwpercle is offline  
Old September 22, 2018, 06:33 PM   #17
BBarn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 22, 2015
Posts: 596
Never heard of using heat or quench to harden cartridge brass. Everything I've read says cartridge brass is only hardened by "working" the material. Cartridge cases start out as a soft pellet of brass, and by the time the case is fully formed, the head is adequately hard and the neck and shoulder are too hard. So the neck and shoulder of the case is annealed before it's sold or used to load ammo.

Last edited by BBarn; September 22, 2018 at 06:44 PM.
BBarn is offline  
Old September 23, 2018, 12:46 PM   #18
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 15,354
Grey Lion is wrong about quenching brass. That works with carbon steel and with aluminum that is at just the right temperature but does nothing to harden brass. Indeed many folks anneal in a tray with enough water to keep the heat from the heads and then knock the annealed cases over into the water to cool them for rapid handling, but it doesn't harden them any.

The main thing is the heating red makes brass too soft for neck annealing purposes. That is just in need of partial annealing. If you heat the brass red, you start growing the grains which makes it weaker overall. Case necks annealed that far have to be re-annealed more often than properly annealed cases do, or they start splitting. Figure a good annealing job can last ten reloadings or more, but an overheated case neck can start splitting in just four reloadings or so.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member and Golden Eagle
Unclenick is offline  
Old September 23, 2018, 01:02 PM   #19
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,255
The funny thing is that tipping cases over to cool them faster is not why they do it (or so I think) they think it adds to the process, the infamous quench thing applied all wrong.

The case is going to cool off so fast sitting upright anyway. quite amazing the lack of technical understanding. Seems to be getting worse.

Technically going to red is still annealing, its not the desired temper you want for the neck and shoulder.

Quote:
I've seen some mistakenly think it's a normal step that must be performed every time a case is reloaded....that's not correct . Only anneal when it's needed.
How do you determine when its needed?

Some do anneal each time (bench rest types) and while it may not be needed, it does not hurt either. Shaded to the safer side.

On the other hand, you have people like me that can't get a true quality control measure going (one that tells me exactly what temp I have hit) so I under anneal a bit and I anneal more often than a case split, but sooner than a hard to seat bullet.

Per what the experts have weighed in on, if you anneal to 75-80% and do it more often you keep it in the desired range (that is paraphrasing )

So rather than over shoot and wreck good cases, I undershoot a bit and do it more often.

Often there is more than one way to skin a cat (now why anyone would skin cats I don't know other than the local food inspectors did find 7 of them in a Chinese restaurant one time)
__________________
Science and Facts are True whether you believe it or not
RC20 is offline  
Old September 23, 2018, 01:24 PM   #20
LineStretcher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2018
Posts: 261
I have a Bench Source Vertex annealing machine. I use 650 degree Tempilac to find the correct amount of time to leave the case neck in the flame. It drops the case into a pan of water so they cool down and you can handle them.

When cases are made, they're annealed several times. The key is to not get them hotter than needed or you risk annealing the head.

You can tell if you need to anneal when you cant fully size the case or if after sizing the case checks ok but within 30 minutes or so it doesnt. Another clue is that you may shave bullets when your seating them.

My Magnum rifle brass seems to work harden after about 3 reloads but I rarely needed to do the non magnums. If a case needs trimming no mater what it is I usually put them aside and when I get enough I'll anneal them and then recheck them and trim.

The cost of my annealer doesnt support the process over just buying new brass but I was intrigued by the process so I bought it and I use it more than I probably need to.
LineStretcher is offline  
Old September 23, 2018, 02:25 PM   #21
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,255
I think you would want to change that you use the Tempilac to find the right temperature, 650 is low unless you leave them at that temp for X amount of time.

I do think the Anneal saves money over time, even once fired are 20 cents a case.

You can get clues on when to anneal but you would need to do what JeepHammer does and make test swatches (or just do it) Cost to be spot on is high.

As I used induction and can't get good reads (good clues yes) with the Temple stick (Tampliaig pain on is way off base) I use several methods to cross confirm I am not over doing it.

I make sure there is no glow at all (dark room, and inside the case)

I over cook a case (bad one) to confirm what too high is.

I use the 750 as my max. I then also watch the color change. While that is not a definitive indicator, as a gross one I have found you want to see a blush at most, but not a complete color change. Barely see it if at all (varies from case to case.

If its not over cooked, it will polish off in a few re-load cycles.

Without the anneal, bullets keep seating harder and brass neck cracks when fired.

I also trim any time I do the anneal, works out about every 5 cycles. Gets it all back to as equal as I can make it. I am setup to do it by hand quite quickly (both). I use the Annie anealer and gauges for height of the brass and shoulder trimmer clamped in a vice in a drill. Works as good as the motorized Geraurd
__________________
Science and Facts are True whether you believe it or not
RC20 is offline  
Old September 23, 2018, 02:57 PM   #22
Unclenick
Staff
 
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 15,354
Tempilaq is a phase change material, so it absorbs heat and stays at its melt temperature, more or less, until it is all melted. The idea behind the 650° material would be that while the melt is completing, the rest of the brass soaks up more heat.
__________________
Gunsite Orange Hat Family Member
CMP Certified GSM Master Instructor
NRA Certified Rifle Instructor
NRA Benefactor Member and Golden Eagle
Unclenick is offline  
Old September 23, 2018, 05:25 PM   #23
LineStretcher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2018
Posts: 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenick View Post
Tempilaq is a phase change material, so it absorbs heat and stays at its melt temperature, more or less, until it is all melted. The idea behind the 650° material would be that while the melt is completing, the rest of the brass soaks up more heat.
Obviously I did not touch on all the fine points. I was simply trying to answer the OP question. I use 650 because I know it's going to be around 750 when it turns black. As long as I only turn it black in the first 1/4" at the shoulder, I'm good to go. I only have to do one test case and I'm usually good to go.

I use to put 450 below the 650 but rarely did it ever turn so I quit.
LineStretcher is offline  
Old September 23, 2018, 11:27 PM   #24
Metal god
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2012
Location: San Diego CA
Posts: 4,375
oh no we've entered into the technical side of how to anneal . Get your popcorn ready , it's all going south from here .
__________________
If Jesus had a gun , he'd probably still be alive !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troop362
I've seen Metal God shoot...….I seen him shoot groups so tight you would swear only one round was fired. He once lit a wooden match at 15 feet for a birthday cake.
Metal god is offline  
Old September 24, 2018, 12:28 AM   #25
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 11,292
I suspect Prof Young is already sorry he asked.
Aguila Blanca is online now  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14394 seconds with 9 queries