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Old June 7, 2017, 09:41 PM   #101
JeepHammer
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MG does a great job with a torch, can actually have the lower end of the paint stripe intact while the upper half melted completely, that takes skill I don't posess.
As good a job as he does,
I bet he can't repeat it 10,000 times a work day like an annealing machine can....

The point was, and still is, even though people have talked all the way around it several times...

There isn't any reliable time/temp graph or scale out there simply because every brass manufacturer is different, and brass manufacturers change their formulas regularly to ENGINEER the brass for specific applications.

What I've been trying to get across all along, with little success, is there isn't just ONE test for 'Optimum' since there isn't a base line 'Optimum' that works across all applications (calibers).

There IS an acceptable range...
The problem is most people don't have a clue what the brass is doing, so they have no idea what that range is or how to acheave it.

The most simple explanation I can come up with, not using $5 words...

When the middle ground is reached, you have an accepticable chrystaline SIZE
Not too big and brittle, not too small & broken with free molicules between grains.

Big chrystals fracture easily, making the brass seem 'Soft' or over annealed/over heated.
The ONLY way (other than smelting and reforming) an over heated brass is to 'Work' the brass to break up the grains, like firing & sizing 10 times in a row,
Which is not only impractical & expensive, but the chrystaline structure is going to form cracks and the case is going to fail.

Really small, broken grains with lots of free molicules will also make the brass seem 'Hard'.
The brass isn't actually hard, it's like shooting a sandbag, the sand simply dissapates energy better.

Silica sand as sand will absorb an impact with little or no damage, while the same sand formed into glass will shatter on impact.

The 'Acceptable Range' should be a chrystaline structure some where in the middle...
Brass has a quite unique property (because of the copper content) to reform smaller chrystals into less, but larger chrystals,
We break them firing & cold working the brass, but at an appropriate temperature we can reconstitute the chrystals optimum to what we do with the brass.

Now, for the technical end without the $50 words,
When brass is cold worked, the chrystals fracture, 'Chips' (free molicules) get between chrystals and pack everything tightly together, we call that 'Work Hardening'.
The brass isn't actually 'Harder' it simply deflects and distrubites pressure in ways we don't want it to,
The brass does RESPOND the way we want when we are trying to move it, doesn't stay where we put it.

When brass is OVER annealed, those large chrystals shift quite easily, offer little resistance, and don't seek to return to the previous position (Snap Back),
When we shift them, they stay shifted, we see that as 'Too Soft'.

We squeeze brass UNDERSIZE in a die, and we EXPECT that brass to 'Spring Back' out a METERED & PREDICTABLE AMOUNT.
Then we stick it in a chamber under high pressure, and repeat the sizing/firing cycle over & over again...
All the while the brass is changing, yet we EXPECT it to act exactly the same every time.

Same goes for crunching the neck way UNDERSIZE, then dragging an OVERSIZE ball through it...
And expecting 'Snap Back' to happen PRECISELY the same way every time.
Simply NOT going to happen without restoring the stray molicules to the chrystals, and restoring the chrystals to correct size, and orienting the chrystals into proper grain structures.

Rockwell testing is simply plunging a specifically sized hard object, point or ball, into the test material, at a specific pressure,
And seeing what the material does, how deep the divot is, how much material deflected and didn't return to it's previous location.
Since the Rockwell tester applied a specific pressure, and or to a specific depth, you can determine the material's resistance, deflection, displacement, and extrapolate 'Hardness'.

That's why I say 'Hardness' isn't the last word, but a useful indicator of how the chrystals/grain structure is behaving.

What's actually happened with Non-ferrous materials is resistance to deformation, the material deforms with penetration, but absorbs some of the energy,
AND, recovers to some degree.
When the material can no longer absorb or recover, you see a divot, and usually material displaced around the contact site, a raised ridge around the divot.

This gives you an 'IDEA' of what the brass chrystaline & grain structure is doing, but it's not the entire story by a long shot!

When the brass acts 'Other' than 'Optimum', it's usually time to take samples, mount, polish, chemical treat to show up chrystaline & grain structure, and put it under magnification to actually SEE what's going on...

Now, for the 'Internet Expert's, this is old news, bet you have done it 1,000 times or more,
For those NOT an expert on everything,
Polish down to about 1,200 grit (WET polish), finish off with a polishing cloth, treat with bleach & hydrogen peroxide to slightly corrode elements in the brass (every chrystal is slightly different composition, so the corrode and turn colors at different rates),
And use a 30X or higher magnification (Jewelers loupe, harbor freight sells cheap ones),
And you can directly SEE the chrystaline structure, voids, scratches from polishing, impurities, ect.

One thing we talked about is CLEANING the brass,
Watch for impurities (Occulusions) in a sample of new brass,
Anneal the rest DIRTY, taking samples along the way...
Watch for yourself as impurities stack up, getting cooked into the brass as the chrystaline structures open up with annealing heat, sucking the crud right along with the brass when it recombines...

It's fun stuff, fairly easy to do, but REAL time consuming, Rockwell testing is fast & simple.
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Old June 7, 2017, 10:14 PM   #102
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RC20,
There is some of that dogma going on here right now...

Rotary (not carousel) tooling & processing platforms have been used since Roman times.
Pictures of Winchester Ammunition plant circa 1870s shows a circular production platform about 7 or 8 feet in diameter.
Just because some guy adapted it small scale doesn't mean he 'Invented' it...

A gas pressure regulator would go a LONG way towards keeping that plumbers torch at a constant BTU output meaning more consistency.
You can bet no factory anneals without a regulator, not even in China...

The big factories use rows of torch nozzles to keep temperature consistent and the case neck surrounded, not just a one or two nozzles with questionable pressure/temperature, leaving gaps in the heating.

ATK/Federal, ATK Lake City, Remington all use induction annealing, don't know about Winchester, haven't been there in the last 10 years.
They switched for consistency & energy savings.

No one has any idea if the brass shot in championship matches was brand new, once fired, or fired 50 times, annealed or not annealed, or how often it was annealed.

The only one what would know was the guy that loaded the ammo... And if he's going to get an endorsement deal from an annealer maker, he's going to say it was all annealed...
I deal with that stuff every day in the race car endorsement deals at work.

I do believe some guys are doing annealing correctly, more by chance than by science or research simply because there is so much BS about annealing in print, and so few actual scientifically accurate articles written...
There are about two on this form that have posted pictures of their work, they used temp indicator, heated the case evenly, and the work speaks for itself...

I don't know where the $500 minimum came in, I just got two more small scale induction units for $30 each, power supplies are going to run about $30, digital timer is $5,
Takes about 30 minutes to put together,
Single case induction annealing doesn't have to cost half a grand...
The ONLY reason induction annealers are $500 to $2,500 is because people don't know how easy they are to put together.

The single biggest reason for electrical induction annealing is consistency.
No flame is ever going to get 1/10 second accurate, while induction is commonly 1/100 second.
Some temp indication paint, a few tries at timing, room temperature brass to start with and you are off to the races!

Some guys will always 'Need' a bigger gun & fire ������...
Personally, I save the fire for STEAK! (And ice for beer!)

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Old June 7, 2017, 10:40 PM   #103
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I continue to learn a lot, (huge) so a couple of questions.

These are based I would rather err on the safer than sorry as I am somewhat stuck (as are others) with my current process (inside cases dirty)

1. If I get to 80% on the first anneal (*slightly under annealed) and then do the batch again before firing at the same temp (brass all cooled) does that increase the grain structure to better (88, 90 % or just stay the same 80%?


2. If I do the same but fire once in between, does an anneal each time at 80% of right, just hold its own or does it slowly get me closer to perfection?
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Old June 7, 2017, 11:49 PM   #104
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HD . Those 1000yd champs have .001 of bullet hold with very soft necks in tight chambers and load one at a time . I would not in a second load up 5 rounds in my mag of those bench rest loads and go track some dear .

If the case glows you are to soft for general loading , sure there are all kinds of specialty ways to load a cartridge but that just makes it best for you . What most of us are saying ( and I don't mean to speak for anyone else ) is these ways we describe are how you anneal for consistency and use in any caliber and firearm .

You're just not going to want a super soft neck with very little bullet hold in a heavy magnum rifle when feeding from the mag .

I've tested annealing the neck a tad to much and even using a neck bushing .004 smaller . I was able to easily push the bullet in by just pushing the tip into my bench . That IMHO is to soft a neck unless you are loading one cartridge at a time in your rifle .

I also don't think anyone said you "can't" anneal that way . Just it's likely over the generally excepted temp and harder to be consistent if you're just using how the case looks while annealing .
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Old June 8, 2017, 12:02 AM   #105
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Under cooked is a relative term, relative to time.
Lower temps for longer periods will get you 90% the way to perfection.

Lower temps, I mean like 600F instead of 700F, longer time for full annealing, but we are talking a second or two not hours, gets you 90% all the same.


100% takes sampling, Rockwell (or equalivent,) testing, ect.

The trick with a plumbers torch is HOLDING temp without overheating,
That's where the 750F - 800F paint comes in, 750F melts, you are 99% there regardless of time,
800F melts you held too long.

After a few tries you will be able to 'Feather' with a torch like a couple other guys do and just starting to melt 800F and you are as close to perfect as you are going to get.
750F for any length of time gets you 90-95%,
Hovering right on the edge, or hitting 800F gets you 95-100% there if you just 'Bump' 800F,
The problem is the brass has hit critical temp and is heating exponentally faster than you think it is!
850-900F and it's completely ruined, even if you where there for a millisecond.

Induction annealing with a good timer you can completely liquify 750F and never even start to melt the 800F anywhere but at the very rim of the case mouth, where the brass is thinnest, and you can do it repeatedly.

When I bring the 800F out to guys using 750F and *Thinking* they have it down pat, they soon find out they are over cooking, nothing left of the 800F paint, they rethink their timing/torch/inductor...

Smaller/weaker torch takes a coupe seconds longer, but MUCH better control/response time threshold.
I can't get it out of the flame in 1/10 second between 750 & 850 with a super jet torch,
But I can react if I've got a full second between 750 & 800F with a weaker/cooler torch.

I was overheating case mouths with induction, so I simply pushed the case mouth up out of the field a little more. Problem stopped.
I was overheating the thinner neck before the thicker case body/bottom bend reached temp.
I simply cut the ferrite wider at the neck, reducing field strength/focus at the neck.
Problem stopped.
The ferrite is very close to the case where it's thickest, imparting more energy into the brass, tapering out away from the brass as the brass gets thinner, and the mouth sticks out of the ferrite gap all together about 3/16"

Temp paint melts nice & even now instead of from the mouth down to the case body like it did,
Timer adjustments don't cook the 800f paint inside the neck at all now.

With a torch, you would have to adjust the focus of the flame somewhere in the middle and let the heat radiate through the brass to the mouth,
I always had best results with two smaller torches, one aimed squarely in a down angle to the lower bend, the second aimed almost straight in towards the taper/top bend and just letting the neck get heat from thermal rise & transfer from top bend/neck.
There is a CRAP LOAD of heat rising, don't underestimate that.

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Old June 8, 2017, 12:23 AM   #106
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It is "molecule", not "molicule".

It is "crystal", not "chrystal".

-TL
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Old June 8, 2017, 11:46 AM   #107
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JH:

I think I get it, in my case I have the Annie so the cutoff is fast.

I am going to work with the wider gap.

I am going to get the temp stick as I know local source for that.

It sounds like I am where I want to be or very close.

I had thought about the thing front edge but did not bring that up as it got lost in other aspects.

While not needed the other aspect is its such a small area that if it does get over the limit, its not going to affect the overall and will get trimmed back.
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Old June 8, 2017, 11:55 AM   #108
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Tag, take it up with auto fill, I've given up fighting it every time.

MG,
I know exactly what you are saying about 0.001" bullet 'Hold'.
When a caliper or micrometer is what you have, that's what you use.
Technically, that's an interference fit, an INDICATOR of grip on the bullet...

That grip depends entirely on the expansion/contraction properties of the brass,
Those properties are what annealing attempts to restore.

I use a stretch/compression testing machine simply because I have access to one.
I engineer race car suspensions, including shocks, and we have a very precise shock 'Dyno' that tests for exactly the amount of pressure it takes to move two pieces,
So I use it to test bullet retention in the case.

There is a reason I size check bullets, not all bullets are created equal in terms of diameter, and I'm NOT going to work every case neck to fit a specific bullet, switching expanders to make the case ID EXACTLY 0.001" smaller than the bullet diameter.

With proper annealing, most necks are very close, pretty consistent & uniform, not perfect but not all over the map...
Size checking bullets is MUCH faster & easier, simple drop through go/no go double orifice gauge makes it simple.

Slightly oversized at the top orifice/die stops excessively large,
Slightly undersized at the bottom allows way small to pass through,
While in tolerance bullets stop in the middle.
Scrubs go in the 'blasting ammo' bin, in tolerance bullets go in the match ammo bin.

The top die catches excessively out of round bullets also.

Then they get weighed, but that's another story...

Witt the Dyno I've been trying to narrow down what the optimum grain structure is for the most consistent movement pressure is, still working on that one...
I've had amazing accuracy nodes happen with what the existing dogma says shouldn't work at all, and I've had miserable groups with what dogma says should be 'Perfect'...

I'm finding a range that works well, not 'Perfect' in about all situations other than super high pressure mags, which I don't shoot much anyway.
I'd like to find that '90%' that works with about all calibers, but just the difference between .308 and .223 is driving me nuts!
.308 'likes' a much harder, smaller grain harder case, while .223 seems to 'like' a softer, larger grain case neck.
Don't ask me why, still haven't figured that one out...
High pressure mags seem to do better with a REALLY large grain, soft neck, right at the point of going mono-chrystaline.
Again, I'm baffled since that shouldn't​ be...

And just for the record, mono-chrystaline doesn't mean one big solid chrystal, it simply means the chrystals are very large in comparison to a given published & accepted grain size for cartridge brass.
The scientific definition of 'Proper' chrystal size, which virtually no new cases have in the first place, again, don't ask me why, I ASSUME they start with fresh smelt brass for the standard and the working changes the size to something that works best for firearms cases.

The firearms case brass working/annealing has been refined over the past 160 years through trial & error, working through paper, iron, steel, tin, copper and who knows what else that might have been tried, and they always come back to 30/70 brass.
So, brass is what we have to work with, and that means learning about brass.

You know, I was MUCH happier when I had no clue how ignorant I was,
Life was about weekends & redheads, screwing up with idiot friends just like me!
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Old June 8, 2017, 12:09 PM   #109
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But as we age the chasing girls slows down, we can't much beer anymore and we can focus on this stuff!
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Old June 8, 2017, 12:15 PM   #110
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RC,
I'm never completely satisfied, the OCD takes over and I'm lost on some side angle tangent for months.
Don't be me, when you get consistent cases that shoot tight groups, be happy! AND STOP!

FIRST it was getting a case to cook, then it was keeping the case from overcooking, then it was grain structure & size,
Then I noticed the paint wasn't melting uniformly, so I ruined half a dozen ferrite cores shaping one that melted paint stripes at the same rate,

Somewhere in there I painted the entire neck, then it was turning the case to even out heating so the paint melted uniformly all the way around since I wasn't using a circular coil anymore which gave me slower, but circular uniformity.

It was about faster & faster, now I'm making the unit LESS efficient to get better uniformity and accuracy....

The OCD never lets up!

Now it's trying to equate chrystal size to specific cartridges/calibers,
This one has consumed a year of free time already running along with timing for grain size accuracy, which means a crap load of visual samples, which I hate preparing...

I'm using an 'Annie' simply because it lends repeatability to the study in the event I actually stumble into something, anyone with an 'Annie' should be able to repeat & verify...
I don't expect anything earth shattering, but maybe an accurate time/temp data chart on caliber specific, and even further reaching, on specific calibers from different manufacturers without having to test samples for your favorite brass.

Not that I expect to complete that, but I might stumble into something...

I don't do this because I expect to be some super genius, I do this because curiosity & OCD are making me do this.

I'd rather be a trust fund beach bum, butt in the sand, drink in my hand, hitting on every properly fitting bikini on the beach!
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Old June 8, 2017, 12:58 PM   #111
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Disregard- You guys are WAY overthinking annealing.
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Old June 8, 2017, 01:32 PM   #112
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My point was only that I've annealed my necks to the point that no matter how much I sized down the neck . Seating the bullet just stretched the neck out and there was very little bullet hold because I soften the neck so much . It's my opinion heating your necks to glowing of any type of red makes your necks that soft . I'll admit my test were some what limited and I may need to revisit that to confirm .

I may very well have not been able to see the difference in lets say 900* and 1000* in the glow of the cases . My point there is when I ran my original test using propane and MAPP gases . Some flames ( MAPP mostly ) were so hot that by the time I recognized the tempilaq melting and pushing the button on my camera the case was already past the desired 750* And that's with a clear indicator as to what the temp was .

Now thinking I had a clue what the temp difference is from kinda glowing vs kinda glowing a little more and then being able to remove the heat source consistently based on just my visual abilities , well lets just say I'd have no confidence I'd be able to reliably guess by looking at the glow if this case glowed the same as the last and remove the case from the flame accordingly
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Old June 9, 2017, 12:21 AM   #113
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Your reflexes are better than mine, by the time I saw 750 melt and flipped the case out of the heat, it had melted 800 completely, I have no idea where the temp actually wound up...
Lower, slower torch helped with the reflex time, I could get the case to 750 without hitting 800 and without having the heat creep too far down the case.

With induction, I screwed up totally at first, but figured it out in time.
Having a nearly unlimited supply of side dented cases helped keep the good cases out of the junk bin.
It would have cost me a small fortune otherwise because I figured out every way that DIDN'T work at least three times!
Never said I was the brightest bulb, just persistent...
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Old June 9, 2017, 01:25 PM   #114
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Concerning proper neck tension and SD. I did a load workup this morning of 50 shots, 10 groups of 5 shot. Average SD of the ten was 8.9 with a high of 13 and a low of 4. The average ES was 25.5 with a high of 43 and a low of 10. The 4 and the 10 occured on th esame string and were outliers, toss them and the other 9 averaged about 30 ES and 10SD

Those numbers are on Lapua never been fired cases, CCI 200's and powder metered on a RCBS Chargemaster. These numbers are what I will use to determine when these cases need annealing and how effective the annealing was in the future. I seriously doubt these will need to see the torch before my parts get here from China so these will be good test cases to see how effective the automated system will be at maintaining the cases, also I am considering switching out to a arbor press with a strain gage to monitor to see what relationship seating pressure has on the stats. I did not have one for this batch but I do have another 50 of these cases which still virgin I could save to run those numbers on when/if I decide to go the arbor press route
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Old June 9, 2017, 06:41 PM   #115
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I have done as JH suggested, opened up the Annie coil more.

Also stuck the cases in further.

I am no longer seeing even hints of orange blow in the darkened room down in the case neck.

End result was more even heat.

Now I have to work on the timing again.

This certainly has been the single best clarification on annealing I have read or been involved in.

I do knot that my cases I tumble are actually pretty clean. They run 8 hours so while not a complete solution that helps that part.

Annealing is done with an open door and I will get the fan involved as well to move air.

I went with the Annie as I wanted to focus on the process and not the build and the Annie is a solid working form and I can get into the part that I need vs making a box and controls and all that.

I have done my share at work but this seemed the better solution for me.

Others that go the do it yourself route I respect.
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Old June 9, 2017, 07:09 PM   #116
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Quote:
Disregard- You guys are WAY overthinking annealing
Ignorance is bliss!
Wish I could be happy and leave it alone...

----

RC20,
Did you think you would have to DE-Tune an annealer?!
I didn't either...

I was talking endlessly about annealing machines, annealing ect.
My wife bought me a Girard feeder and Annie unit! (Best wife ever, and cooks sausage gravy from scratch!)

I have built several units, bought the China surplus units, all kinds of crap,
I was talking about building one like the Annie, before I got to it one showed up!
She WAS listening after all, so be careful what you say!

The Girard is a pain to load, fine for someone doing say 100- 500 cases, but when you sit down to do 30,000 it REALLY needs a feeder instead of a bin.

I'm impressed with how the Girard has broken the feed unit down to basics, really simple yet effective and should last nearly a lifetime
(not counting electrical components, which will all fail at some point),
It's overbuilt for what it does, nothing is high stress so no serious wear issues, just a simple, overbuilt design that is virtually no fail.

No computer anything, just power supply (common $15-$30), motor speed controller (common $5) and motor $15-$45 depending on how fancy you want to get.
The genius is the motor mount to keep it from side loading/stressing, and the case roller carriage, just dirt simple, gravity never fails!

I actually prefer a rotary table, easier to feed with a common case feeder, and you can about build one from thick cardboard using an induction annealer since you don't have to worry about open flames or over annealing the case body.
eBay has gear reduction (gear motors) for cheap, like $15 , power supplies are just as cheap.

----

I went for speed, under a second a case, but consistency wasn't great,
Slowed the heating down just a little, and evened out the heating a little and it's as close to dead accurate consistent as I could have hoped for.
Shaping that ferrite REALLY helped with even heating, couldn't ask for the paint stripe to melt more evenly, which means way more even heating than I was getting.

Slowing it down let me evenly melt 750*F without melting the 800*F, which was a real challenge!
That case mouth is REALLY thin, especially cases that have been champfered & deburred, so I just stuck it out the top... Problem solved!
Can't ask for easier than that, took about 15 seconds to adjust the depth control - DONE.

Heat rising is solved with an induction annealer, no open flame means no BTUs trying to overheat the mouth.

----

I don't know how many cases you clean at one time, but have you considered just washing first?
Just plain hot water, a little shot of dish soap or non-gel hand cleaner, and a splash of white vinegar in a coffee can and roll it around a little will take the worst of the crud off.
The point is, that sticky crud comes right off, while when you dry media tumble your media gets plugged up with that crud.

They polish MUCH faster once you knock the crud off and shake the water out, you can throw them directly into dry media, no crying in an oven or anything.
They aren't taking a lot of moisture in with them, and the media is usually ultra dry anyway, tumbling keeps the media from clumping even if you do get a little extra water.

When I set clean and immediately dry polish (5 gallon bucket at a time) I don't bother drying.
Drying is only important if you are worried about water spots and you aren't going to polish, after washing.

Wash that crud off first, and you won't believe how much longer your media lasts!
It still gets dusty, but a little moisture helps keep that down, and CLEAN media works so much faster!
You know how fresh, clean media works so much faster? Same deal when you keep it clean longer...

Saves a TON of time and media...

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Old June 10, 2017, 11:51 AM   #117
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While I had not thought of slowing down the annealing to make it better I am not surpised either. Too many years of working with heat transfer issues.

I do a lot of HVAC air box tuning, wisdom is that you want it fast (and the new conrtoler won't let you have slow)

Me, I found each room had its own charactgersistics. With a min cooling (and min required air into the room) and a min heatring that was the same I could smoothly transion from cooling mode to none (dead band) then add heat and then if the temp kept dropping I would move up the CFM until I found it was effective in warming up the room.

I did think Gerad has it figured out but he admist its a work in progress.

So, its pretty cool to be in on the ground floor and exchaing infiroation with poepl though my end is almost all learning right now.

While its a goal, I am not too concnered with the clearning end yet. YOu don't want to see pictures of my benches right now!

So its one step at a time.

1. Built narrow shelves that are brass storage only, doing small batches in the past no problem. Now I have fired, sized and cleaned, annealed or not and that does not count the ones that are sized but not cleaned yet.

In short I needed to reorganizes and clean the shop up. I have a good shop, its just a lousy layout for this kind of work. I don't even have good place to keep my micrometers. I can put them a safe place, but then I have to dig them out as they are used so often.

So right now, two goals, one to keep shooting, two to get annealing done and that means organization and cleanup.

2. As the cleanup occurs that will free up bench space and I will have a clean are and then I can go onto the cleaning process as I am really getting bench space back fast.
I hate an in between cleaning method when I see what works best and that is some bucks out again. sigh.



I am ok with it, I will get to the 97% solution here, just have to work it out my way as I can't do it someone else's way though I can learn from others and have the end goal in mind for what I want.

So, a fan, open doors for any fumes but I am not seeing the smoke others talk about, though there is a bit of smell.

Then into the pool when I am set (and it would be good to sell another gun to pay for it!)
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Old June 10, 2017, 01:04 PM   #118
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edit- apologies where needed


still

As others have pointed out, some are way overthinking what is essentially a simple process and induction machines are just a solution in search of a problem
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Old June 10, 2017, 03:08 PM   #119
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MG does a great job with a torch, can actually have the lower end of the paint stripe intact while the upper half melted completely, that takes skill I don't posess.
As good a job as he does,
I bet he can't repeat it 10,000 times a work day like an annealing machine can....
I just saw this , not sure how I missed it . Yes I agree , NO way I could do that 10k times in a row . I likely can't do it a few hundred times in a row . In fact every time I anneal I have to start from scratch and get the flame size and time in the flame dialed in .

Over time I've gotten pretty quick at it but I don't have the type of equipment that allows me to set everything up the same as the last time I annealed . Because of this I do need to anneal in large or complete brass lot batches to be sure the whole lot is consistent . I can't or at least don't just anneal 50 of a 300ct lot then at a later date anneal the other 250 . Although it's likely both lots would be annealed pretty much the same . I still only anneal full lots .
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Old June 10, 2017, 03:48 PM   #120
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Concerning proper neck tension and SD. I did a load workup this morning of 50 shots, 10 groups of 5 shot. Average SD of the ten was 8.9 with a high of 13 and a low of 4. The average ES was 25.5 with a high of 43 and a low of 10. The 4 and the 10 occured on th esame string and were outliers, toss them and the other 9 averaged about 30 ES and 10SD
You sure have the loads nailed down!
My point is,
With automation/timing control, it's much like shooting brand new brass nearly every time, even after 50 or more loadings.

Restoring fractured pieces & stray molicules to the chrystaline structure, then heating just a bit longer to get the chrystals to optimum size makes a crap load of difference.

If you aren't cooking crud into the brass (good & CLEAN when you open up they chrystals), you can restore the size & grain orientation to new like condition, and shoot the same brass with like new results until something else fails, like the primer pocket wears or expands.

When I shoot high end brass, I try NOT to do anything stupid to it,
I don't overload it, I don't step on it, I don't eject it into the rocks or concrete, I don't let it lay around and corrode for a year before I clean it, ect.
With milbrass, who cares! I mean really, at $.04 each who cares?
At $4 each, I pay a little more attention... Second use makes it $2, fourth loading makes it $1 per firing and so on,
And honestly, the premium brass often just plain loads & shoots better...

When Im shooting an AR that scatters brass, and the bolt lockup is questionable, it's milbrass since I don't know where the brass is going to stop or what condition it's going to be in when I find it.
Annealing goes a VERY LONG WAY towards making milbrass repeatable & consistent.
I get some or nickel size 10 round groups pretty reliably with a reasonable barrel & some trigger/bolt work, so the ammo probably isn't the limiting factor, it's probably shooting better than the loose wheel behind the rifle!

I've always known that annealing helped when done even close to correctly, I just know WHY now, and the why has helped the process.
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Old June 10, 2017, 04:02 PM   #121
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I just saw this , not sure how I missed it . Yes I agree , NO way I could do that 10k times in a row . I likely can't do it a few hundred times in a row . In fact every time I anneal I have to start from scratch and get the flame size and time in the flame dialed in .
I do volume production, so 10,000 is just an order or two,
While you might not anneal 10,000 in 10 years!


I'm not trying to sell mass/volume machines, not my deal...
I'm trying to give insights into how things are *SUPPOSED* to work, the scientific mechanics of the process,
And, if someone is so inclined, tips on how to build automation for themselves to keep costs down, and give them one more thing to tinker with that's reloading related.

We all know there are two kinds of reloaders,
The ones that want to reduce the cost per round so they can shoot longer on the same money,
And the kind that do this to tinker, experiment, learn all angles and areas, shooting is just validation of their work.

You can always hire out or buy precision ammo, pure shooters don't have to reload at all,
While the tinker bunch WANT to know every aspect and learn something new all the time.

I'd say you fall squarely into the 'Tinker' category...
This crap is seriously frustrating sometimes, but the sense of satisfaction when you master a new skill is great!
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Old June 10, 2017, 05:47 PM   #122
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You can always hire out or buy precision ammo, pure shooters don't have to reload at all,
While the tinker bunch WANT to know every aspect and learn something new all the time.

I'd say you fall squarely into the 'Tinker' category...
This crap is seriously frustrating sometimes, but the sense of satisfaction when you master a new skill is great!
Not sure then what category I fall into? I get personal satisfaction from doing things myself, but my main objective is shooting the smallest groups possible at 1,000 yards and closer with ammo I made. I do love reloading and the science of it all.

I began annealing because 1: I noticed that after 5 loads or so, my velocity spreads began to increase despite the same lots of powder, primers, bullets etc. I didn't know what to attribute it to before, but after becoming an annealer, I now know why. Also, most of my bolt action rifle brass has historically been discarded when necks began splitting... Annealing has increased longevity.

And finally, I used to worry about making sure I kept very accurate track of how many times brass had been fired, i.e. if I have some 5.56 lake city 15, I had to ensure each group had been fired exactly the same number of times such that the necks were as consistently work hardened as possible. But once I began annealing them, as long as they were all just annealed, it doesn't matter if some are twice fired and some thrice fired etc.

But creating the "ultimate annealing machine" isn't something in and of itself I worry about. Only that I am doing well enough to I achieved what I stated above. I enjoy tinkering with my loads, more so than I enjoy tinkering with loading equipment.
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Old June 10, 2017, 07:16 PM   #123
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Although I do also load to save money or shoot more how ever one wants to look at it . As well as to craft specific loads that shoot best in my rifle which goes really to saving money . Your definition of tinker would also be accurate . I how ever don't use the term tinker in that way . I would use the term in like saying someone is not all that serious about what they're doing , "they just tinker" . I take reloading pretty serious and take great pride in the work and is why I tinker ( your definition )
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Old June 10, 2017, 10:07 PM   #124
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You sure have the loads nailed down!
My point is,
With automation/timing control, it's much like shooting brand new brass nearly every time, even after 50 or more loadings.
nothing fancy, new Lapua .308 large primer cases, regular CCI 200's not the benchrest type. I did a full resize on the cases with a body die, then then neck sized using a inexpensive collet die. Seated regular large CCI with a old hand priming tool then threw the powder with a RCBS Charge master. Seating was on a Lee single stage which I bought off EBay or so and replaced the bushings in.

The fanciest fanciest part of the gear was a micrometer seater which next to the Chargemaster is one of my favorite tools fro cranking out 50 or 100 rounds. No fancy voodoo or magic.

Point is being simple tried and true works. I am huge fan of the KISS method and if it works don't mess with it. The more complicated a piece of equipment is the more things that can potentially go wrong

I love that Chargemaster but if it breaks I still have dippers and tricklers as a backup and a balance beam scale to weigh them in. I bet my loads would just as accurate as the Chargemaster. Just a helluva lot slower.

Anyway I am going to have fun watching these cases through a number of firings. I will collect chrony data and group sizes with every firing. nothing super scientific , but something I can base my practices on other than seat of the pants and hearsay. By the 5th firing I should have my auto system built, that should be a good test of how far the numbers have fallen and if my auto system can return them to factory performance.

My hand annealing SD/ES numbers are higher than these so this gives me a good benchmark on how much the auto system improves, if any my results and whether my older cases are "ruined" for anything but fowlers and sighter use. Who knows I might end up being one of those guys who anneals after every firing.
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Old June 10, 2017, 10:25 PM   #125
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I LOVE to tinker!
Build things, almost anything, but especially the stuff that hasn't been done or done really successfully yet, like home production annealing machines.

There have been large volume machines since the industral revolution started, but a successful home production machine pretty much consists of a Girard feeder and an 'Annie' and not much else...
Everything else is one at a time, manual load, or more or less a 'Rube Goldburg' gadget or a 'Bevis & Butthead' mistake waiting to happen.

I pretty much have some guidelines,
If it's gas, it MUST have a regulator or the gas pressure is going to screw you on any kind of volume annealing, you just can't spend the entire day double checking your work,
It's just a given the pressure IS going to change no matter what, PERIOD.
A larger tank helps, but it's not going to solve the problem like a regulator will.

For electromagnetic induction, starting with an over powered unit and DE-tuning gets more consistent results than starting with a smaller unit and wringing every last watt out of it.
It's REAL easy to DE-Tune by shaping or extra gap in a ferrite than trying to make a new coil and tuning the machine for the new load.

Ferrites are cheap, you can destroy several for a $20 bill, but that also means you can have a ferrite shaped for each & every caliber, or even brass manufacturer to get things just right.

I won't anneal dirty brass.
As discussed, it's not good for the brass, and it screws with annealing time.

No one should ever anneal for 'Color'!
That's one of the old wives tales/dogma that has screwed so many people up.
You shouldn't anneal for 'Glow Color' and trying to anneal to make a case look a certain way is an absolute mistake.

Undercooked is MUCH better than overcooked!
Undercooked you have a chance at recovery, there is no coming back from overcooked!
I used to go great guns, now I sneak up on my annealing, a lot less scrapped brass that way!

Never throw out your culled brass!
Your annealing set up & timing testing doesn't care if the brass has an oversize primer pocket, dent or even cracked neck!
The temp indicator paint works just as well on a cracked neck during setup as it does on a brand new case, when you are done, it fits right back in the scrap bucket just like it did before.
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