Another annealing question.... Sequence? How to anneal each loading....

cdherman

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OK, another post prompted me to ask this question that has been floating around in my head.

I anneal with just some tempilaq and a couple propane torches and my rechargeable drill. I get considerable improvement of accuracy I think.

BUT

I need to clean the brass after the annealing, due to the residue of the Tempilaq. And I have (not alone, many other threads) noted that squeaky clean pin tumbled brass shoots less accurate that brass with some fouling on the inside of the neck. (sticky necks) So I don't really want to anneal and tumble every loading. And I do not think that ultrasonic or media tumbling is any better/worse.

Not annealing each loading leads to inconsistency. Brass is not prepped identically each time. Inconsistency = BAD!!

So I am trying to find a sequence that uses annealing each loading, such that the consistency benefits are achieved.

I'm trending to try the following on some a new gun:

1) Once fired brass gets the primer poked out with decapper. Clean out primer pocket as usual.
2) Then gets FL resized with .001-.002 shoulder bump back, with expander ball removed. (cases get lubed with Imperial Spray Wax)
3) Next step annealing with tempilaq, low tech torch. (I am pleased with affect generally, I use two torches and drill)
4) Tumble with stainless pins. Everything nice and shiny, and also "sticky necks".
5) Sinclair mandrel to the necks, using Imperial Dry Lube (graphite). Makes necks less "sticky", approximates powder residue. I've been doing this for sometime already with all my loads.

Thereafter proceed with usual loading.....

I get that some of you are popping hundreds of dollars for annealing machines. I bet they do a better job at consistent annealing. But consistent neck tension is not just the annealing. Its the sequence of sizing, cleaning, and seating...... I think...
 

sedancowboy

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I never clean my precision brass by tumbling in anything. I deprime fired brass, then wipe off with alcohol might wipe with 0000 steel wool if necessary. Anneal, brush the neck with a nylon brush with One Shot sprayed on it. Size, wipe with alcohol again to remove lube, Expand with a mandrel. check case length, prime and weight powder then seat bullet. All new brass is prepped only once. With 30-35 degree shoulder rarely do you have to trim. All that tumbling and cleaning buys you nothing on the target. Matter of fact many would argue that it hurts your accuracy.
 

cdherman

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Kansas City
OK, I've let this "percolate" in my head for a couple days. Here's my dilemma about annealing before resizing. I like the idea of cleaning the tempilaq residue off with the tumbler. And, I think its necessary. And I am not buying a fancy annealer anytime soon.

But if I anneal, then tumble, then resize, I will have case lube. And then I'll either have to swab it off with spirits, or tumble again. Ughh.. Its so nice to throw brass in the tumbler with stainless pins and it comes out clean. But twice?

What's more, I think the "anneal before resizing" recommendation is quite valid for people who are resizing and pulling an expander ball back through the neck at the same time. I intended to control neck ID with a mandrel AFTER annealing. No expander ball. I would only be sizing down before annealing. Expanding would happen afterwards.

Essentially, my thought is to put the annealing as close as possible to the final critical step in determining the neck tension, the process of expanding the neck back up, immediately prior to seating.

Finally, I am looking at this process as something I would do with every loading. Consistency. People talk about anneal every other, every third etc. I figure that if I am annealing every loading, I can do so pretty much whenever and no great degree of work hardening problems should occur.
 

Deputy819

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Sep 24, 2016
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Frankfort, Ky
You are correct in that consistency is ‘key’ when it comes to this beloved hobby of ours. However, I’m not sure how you would go about ‘quantifying’ the sequence differences (if any) between sizing...then annealing....then the mandrel vs. annealing...then sizing....then the mandrel. You’re still working the brass after annealing either way. I anneal (salt-bath) after every firing before doing anything to the brass.

But if I anneal, then tumble, then resize, I will have case lube. And then I'll either have to swab it off with spirits, or tumble again. Ughh.. Its so nice to throw brass in the tumbler with stainless pins and it comes out clean. But twice?
Unless I’m missing something (very possible....haven’t yet had my gallon of coffee this morning), but it seems your ‘dilemma’ concerns tumbling your brass once vs. twice. So, maybe just tumble your brass once after annealing and sizing?🤔
 
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