Annealing brass

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Alfred Crouch, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Alfred Crouch

    Alfred Crouch Well-Known Member

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    Can brass be annealed by putting it in the stove oven?
     
  2. joe0121

    joe0121 Well-Known Member

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    No. You only anneal the shoulder not the entire case. No way to do just the shoulder in the oven. Plus it might piss your wife off. Mine was none to pleased when one of her measuring spoons was pressed into service to measure out duracoat.
     

  3. jimbires

    jimbires Well-Known Member

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    never heat the case head . using an oven will heat the whole case . Jim
     
  4. TikkaShooters

    TikkaShooters Official LRH Sponsor

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    NO.

    heating the entire case will chemically alter the case head which could result in total case failure.

    Only anneal the case neck and shoulder. There's some great info about annealing at www.6mmbr.com
     
  5. Alfred Crouch

    Alfred Crouch Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Soooooo .... it is just the shoulders that need annealing. ... the oven certainly wouldn't do that. Pretty obvious I had no clue about annealing isn't it? It is great that the "not knowing" can ask questions here and get guidance and advice from those who have "already been there and done that" and are willing to share the knowledge and experience.

    I will soon venture into another area I have never visited .... fire forming brass ... My 22-250 AI rifle should soon be ready. I am anxiously to to get it going.

    Wives just do not understand the importance of this hunting and guns thing do they?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  6. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    Alfred,
    I'm no expert at any of this stuff but this is what I do for annealing. There are "nay-sayers" that say this won't work but it works great for me and my brass.

    I start out with a 14mm deep-well socket and drop a 4" carriage bolt through it and lock it down with a nut.

    [​IMG]

    I then put this in my battery drill and slowly rotate the case as I hold it in front of a propane torch. I usually just count 1001, 1002, 1003....anywhere from 8-10 seconds, depending on the case (one brand may be thiner than another). I usually do this in the man cave with the blinds drawn for the nuance and romance....just kidding...so I can see the case tip start to turn color. I never let it get anywhere near cherry red and once I perceive a color change I drop it in a Tuperware bowl with water I have snuck out of the kitchen.

    [​IMG]

    This seems to work rather well for me and I anneal .243, 6.5-284, .25-06, 7mmRM and .300WM. The short action cartridges don't have enough case sticking out of the socket so I drop a alumuinum sleeve in the socket first. This makes it ride higher and I can heat the top .75" of the case.

    Hope this helps! JohnnyK.
     
  7. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Alfred. It is easy and requires very little equipment.

    There are a lot of post on this and a lot of machines available if you wont to spend the money.

    I still use the old fashion method and it works fine.

    All you need is a cake pan and a propane torch.

    Pour some water in the pan until it comes within 1/4" of the shoulder neck junction with the case
    standing on the case head.

    Place 15 or 20 cases in the pan standing up with primers removed (Leave your self plenty of
    room between the cases).

    Next light the torch and hold it 2 or 3 inches directly over the brass and heat it up until it changes
    color (Don't over heat it).

    Using the other hand take a pencil or dowel and tip the case over in the water as soon as it changes
    color. Be careful to tip the cases away from the untreated cases.

    Try using some old worn out cases first until you get the hang of it. As I said it is not hard and
    will give excellent results if done right.

    What you are looking for is a color change just past the shoulder neck junction. If you look at some
    cases that have not been polished they show what the annealing should look like when finished.

    Hope this helps.

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  8. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

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    Lapua cases and military cases are good examples of what a good anneal color range is. I use a method similar to JE, but I set a pan of water below a 2x4. I then set 1 case at a time on the board, above the water and heat it up, then knock it into the water.

    Using some old cases for the first few really is a good idea. If it has been a while, I still do just that, and I have been annealing my own brass for the better part of a couple decades. If you are anal about absolute accuracy, anneal every 3-4 firings. If you are a little lazy like me, anneal every 5-6 firings :) Of course this depends on your brass, chamber type, shooting style, ect... Also, your Reloading Dies have a huge impact. Some dies drastically work the brass, way more than strictly needful, just to "Make Dang Sure!". Investing in a good set of Redding Type S dies or equivalent can help you extend the number of firings between when you NEED to anneal. The Redding Type S can also help you dial in neck tension and greatly improve your accuracy.

    By the way, the big 2 reasons you anneal, A) to extend brass life, B) to have uniform neck tension. As brass "Work Hardens" it develops a bit of "Spring". When that happens, you get erratic neck tension, and "Unexplained Flyers". Cracked Necks are usually a sure sign of brass that was not annealed in time, work hardening set in and eventually the neck cracks due to being too brittle.

    The reason JE prefers the cases already in the water is to Make SURE that you can not Anneal too much of the case. I have used both methods, and using "my" method you really need to be careful, or you will completely ruin brass. If you anneal TOO much, you can get case splitting and hot gasses can come back at you. So, in all honesty, JE's method is safer, just don't leave the heat on the brass too long or it will become too soft and the brass is ruined.

    Sorry for the book, Annealing is fast and easy once you get past the first couple times!
    Gary
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2011
  9. TikkaShooters

    TikkaShooters Official LRH Sponsor

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    You're right this is a.great place for newbies to get info and ask questions.

    I have found everyone here to be a wealth of knowledge.
     
  10. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

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    Just tell her you need some shoes to match the purse. It really pulls the outfit together. Funny how they suddenly understand when you start speaking their language. LOL!