Ballistic Edge Triple Torch Model 350 Annealer Review
The time between case positions (the speed that the rotating arm moves) can be adjusted by a dial rheostat located on a panel at the front of the device where the on/off switch is also located. From full speed to dead slow only takes a very small change on the dial, so care is needed to set it up.
This was the only area where I found some issues with the annealer. As the picture shows, the dial is very sensitive, with a narrow operating range. Try and move a bit too fast and the rotating arm over cams the turntable and jams.
When you first plug it in, turn the dial to 1 and slowly advance. You will quickly see the range that it works and you can mark it on the dial as I have. Once that is figured out, there is no problem in actual use. The dial works well and stays set.
Keeping the case in the flame for the same amount of time is critical, and the M350 Annealer does a fantastic job. I timed 20 to 50 movements at various operating speeds while the annealer moved cases around, and the time was within the same tenth of a second. My error in timing is at least that much. This is as near perfect as you are going to get.
In general, the speed of the turntable is kept constant and the flame intensity is adjusted to get the right heat cycle. Either can be used to fine tune the process.
Using moderate flame heat, a 308 case will need 7-8 seconds of exposure - a 223 a few seconds less, a 338 Lapua mag a bit longer. The time is confirmed with test cases coated with the temp indicator. I have up to ten cases to help with the setup and reuse them every time the annealer is restarted.
The one thing that needs to be done before using the annealer each time is to warm up the electronics. I found that in the first couple of minutes, the timing was off and drifted, but once it settled down, it was dead steady. So turn on the annealer while you are getting your stuff organized and it will be ready to go when you are.
The M350 annealer is very well built and has some nice unique features that can make this step in case prep quick and easy to accomplish. Best part is knowing that the cases are annealed the same which can only improve your accuracy or at the very least, leave more green in your wallet.
How to Monitor the Case Neck Temperature
Monitoring the temperature is very easy these days. Welders have needed this type of temperature indicator for years and products have been developed for this that are not only easy to use, but inexpensive and reliably accurate.
The brand that is most commonly used is Tempilac, and they offer both a solid crayon as well as a paint. Both products work the same way by melting/vaporizing when the desired temperature has been reached. The product comes in 50F increments. The hottest brass should reach is 800F and going over this can turn the alloy into taffy. The lowest temperature that is reported to start the annealing process is 700F. I use 750F as a nice median.
Welding supply stores will be able to offer these or similar product. Just make sure that whatever you use doesn't leave a hard residue behind. This is no fun to remove later.
Jerry Teo shoots regularly out to one mile and also competes in F class. His current cartridges are 223, 6.5 Mystic, 7 Mystic, 308, 300RUM and 338 Mystic. He enjoys experimenting with gear and wildcatting in order to increase accuracy performance and to debunk accuracy myths.
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