Ballistic Edge Triple Torch Model 350 Annealer Review
Ballistic Edge Triple Torch Model 350 Annealer ReviewBy Jerry Teo
In the constant quest to improve accuracy and consistency, precision reloaders go to great lengths to prepare their ammo as best they can. The goal is to produce ammo that is as near identical from case to case as humanly possible.
An area that is getting more attention is case neck annealing.
Annealing is simply the process of rapidly heating the case neck to approx 750F for a second or two. This causes the brass to soften and return to a state similar to factory fresh.
Why is this necessary? As brass is fired and sized, it is worked hardened changing its ductility. Over time, this can change the neck tension which can affect your load tuning. If left unchecked, the necks will eventually become brittle and split, ruining the entire case. With expensive or hard to form cases, extending case life is a very good thing.
There have been many methods used over the years with differing amounts of success. The common failure of these methods is in using an arbitrary reference to determine the temperature reached. Because of this variability, annealing has likely done more harm than good, making brass of inconsistent temper, or worse making necks that were too soft.
How to monitor neck temperature
An annealing device must do these things:
1) Position the heat source (usually propane torches with fine tip nozzles) to heat the neck of the case. This should be easily adjustable and secure so that the heat source doesn't move during the run.
2) Position the case in the same location in that flame.
3) Expose the case to the heat source for a precise and repeatable amount of time.
4) Insulate the lower portion of the case so its temperature doesn't exceed 450F. This is absolutely critical for safety as any softening of the case web can cause it to fail.
The subject of this review is the Triple Torch Model 350 Annealer (M350) by Ballistic Edge MFG, which has really impressed me as a tool to get this tricky job done correctly, quickly and in large volumes.
The first impression when I opened the box was WOW, this is a really well made and finished product. Mild steel with a very attractive zinc coating (making it rust resistant) is used throughout. Mine is a yellow/golden. A clear version, which leaves the surface silver is also available. I really like the looks of the finish.
All the welds are expertly done and the annealer is solidly built. There is no way you are going to wear the metal parts out under normal use.
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