My long winded thoughts on annealing

Boarman03

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
49
Location
Arizona
The greatest thing about our country is the freedom to choose what works best for you as long as it doesn't hurt someone else.
When I was younger, I had a steady hand and better eye sight. What worked then doesn't always work now.
I have many different talents and abilities that I was given and have developed over the years. Everyone has different talents and abilities.
I appreciate every opportunity to learn more that is of value.
The majority of this post is valuable to me.
What one person can make work is not always the easiest for the majority, but it is still very, very good for a few.
What can work for most everyone is not normally the least expensive, but is probably the easiest for many. Convenience has a price. Development has a price. Freedom is the ability to make your own decision and not be forced to use only one.

All the methods can work. A thread like this is great when all options and evidence is presented. You are all correct, and you are all right. Still, some things won't work for me even if they do work for you or for others. So for my abilities and finances, some methods may be "wrong".

Thanks to all of you, the OP and responders, for so thoroughly discussing what is available, what are the costs, what time is involved, and what are or may not be the benefits.
I believe such IS the intent of this forum. Happy I joined.
Take out the emotions and a lot of great info was provided by all.

Thanks again from an old "Newbie".
 
Last edited:

justinp61

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
323
Blonds or brunettes? Country girl or a high rent drama queen? It's all about what your needs are and what works for you. I don't need a Ferrari or Porsche but have no issues with folks that have them.

At 60 I still like to read, try new things and learn. I'm a tinkerer, fabricator and builder, for me ideas are like pennies, the more you rub on them the shinier they get. Knowledge is a good thing, knowing how to apply it is another subject.
 

QuietTexan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2020
Messages
965
Location
Fort Worth, Texas
Well, after I read all this I need to put up all the parts I got for a Salt Bath Method.
Well, one interesting thing I got from reading the articles: the AMP research focuses on annealing the neck and shoulder. Salt-bath annealing concentrates annealing in the shoulder, yet apparently still provides consistent (albeit hard) necks. The fact most of the annealing is concentrated in Sections 3-6 means that the shoulders are set up for consistent bumping maybe? So it won't make neck fit worse, and might help fitting the sized brass to your chamber better.
 
Last edited:

Petey308

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2018
Messages
312
Location
Missouri
Salt Bath Annealing will definitely add back some consistency to your cases, and could very well be better than not annealing at all. The only thing with it is it doesn’t produce a complete anneal on the entire neck and shoulder. For some folks’ needs, that may be just fine. Some might be after just enough improvement to get their brass behaving just a bit better than if they did nothing at all. My argument (if you can even call it that) isn’t that it’s a waste of time or absolutely doesn’t work. My only argument with it is that it’s not producing the best result and not a full and proper anneal. It also leaves a bit of room for error as you still have to get the timing right on how long you hold the case in the molten salt and how far.

INDUCTION current creates heat as a reaction in the metal. A torch heats brass via CONDUCTION. Salt bath does as well, but energy and heat is lost as the brass also cools the molten salt as it contacts it, to a degree (no pun intended).

We flash anneal cartridge brass with a source that heats the brass much higher than 750°. That's where the time comes in. You can also vary the current with induction to vary results as well. Commonly, 750° Tempalaq is used to ensure you reach minimum temp, but so you also do not exceed it in areas of the brass you do not want annealed.

From my research, I've concluded that salt bath will only partially anneal. It only achieves the recovery process; which will give a slight reduction in hardness and essentially stress relieves the brass. The final phase of annealing, grain growth, is where you actually see a lot of reduction in the actual hardness of the brass. Why it only achieves recovery, I'm not fully certain, but either way, you don't get a full and proper anneal on just the areas that should be annealed. This has also been tested and researched by the Findlay's as well, but I'm fully aware people tend to reject their findings because it's from a company selling an induction annealer.

So yes, to reiterate, I'm fully aware of the somewhat controversial matter regarding salt bath annealing, and if it really works or not. I won't argue that it does provide a degree of annealing and/or stress relief, but I really don't believe it produces a true baseline hardness level to the brass- at least not without over-annealing areas you do not want annealed, because it would require more time in the molten salt and the conduction would travel down the case body and anneal the body as well.

Torch annealing, by use of a flame, is not affected by the starting temperature of the brass before the flame touches it and that starting temp of the brass also does not affect the temp of the flame. Same with induction.

While I do agree that salt bath annealing allows for about the most consistent heat source, since you can heat the salt to a specific temp, but once you introduce something of another temp into a liquid, it will affect the temp of the liquid it contacts- acting as a heat sink. I feel this is one reason the salt bath annealing doesn't fully anneal like flash annealing with a torch or induction current. I'm by no means an expert though, and this would simply be a theory of mine until proven false or confirmed.

And I don't just mean the brass cools the entire pot of salt. I mean it will cool the salt that comes into immediate contact with it, and subsequent salt after that. It's like reverse conduction and convection, at the same time. I understand the pot will work to try to reheat and regulate the temp of the salt, but in the seconds you have the brass in there, they're literally fighting each other. The salt does win, and does apply a degree of annealing, but just not in the same way induction or a torch does, since neither of those methods are affected by the brass start temp.

An analogy would be having a pot of boiling water and then dropping an egg into it. It'll slow, or stop, the boiling until it gets back to temp. Dipping a single piece of brass for a few seconds is similar to this, but obviously not exactly the same. It's just another example of the same principle. The physics don't lie. If you could keep the heat from conducting through the rest of the case, it might work properly, but you can't.

Ultimately, what your end goal and desire is is what should determine the path you choose. I know darn well not everyone needs what the best induction annealer will give them. There are plenty of reloaders that would never benefit from annealing at all. Some do it because they are necking up brass to make a different cartridge and want to reduce the amount of split necks they get in the process. Some do it to prolong the life if their brass. Some do it to get the best consistency in sizing and neck tension they can get. I'm not trying to get into a debate in which method is best, which machine is best, or anything like that. I'm really not. I was simply sharing my thoughts and experience on the subject matter. This is just to elaborate further regarding Salt Bath Annealing.
 

1911CWP

New Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2021
Messages
2
Location
East Coast
Well, since I posted last I bought a Bench Source. I wouldn’t get any more benefit from the AMP at my level. Still better than a shell holder and torch or SB. It still would be better and offer more consistency. Really just trying to preserve the value of the brass since it’s expensive and 260 Remington. So not easily found.
 

sp6x6

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
4,715
Location
NW MT
Lots of thoughts.As usual,like you mentioned.I have bench rest shooting friend that does not anneal his small 1000 yrd set up.Has probably ten or more world records.But does on other rifles.Part is do to the very minimal brass stretch id guess in his overall set up.There was also some post recent of a homemade induction set up that was about $200.Looked very clean,simple and efficent.Id be willing to try,im ol torch guy.Maybe can teach ol dog new trick
 

Beluebow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
372
Location
USA
Yeah, I’ve seen it. It’s good to add this for others though. Even Erik admits the AMP produced better results than the Bench Source flame annealer.

I have my doubts that that test proves anything. A ES of 12 on seating pressure versus 8-10 with the AMP is negligible....you can't shoot the difference. So many other factors come into play at that distance.
 
Last edited:

phorwath

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2005
Messages
7,422
Location
Alaska
First I had to concern myself with proper annealing. I anneal with a torch and rotate case shoulders in the flame with a battery powered drill.
Now I see a Thread last week and learned I have to concern myself with proper primer seating force and depth. And proper and consistent shoulder setback. I uniform all my primer pockets to a consistent depth with a K&M primer pocket uniforming tool. I don't measure primer seating force or depth. I prime with the K&M hand held priming tool. Nice stout tool for setting primers.
That's about as far as I'm willing to take it, because the process can become exhausting for a guy that doesn't need every bullet to shoot thru one hole at 200yds.

But I appreciate the input on advanced reloading techniques, all the same.
 
Last edited:

Recent Posts

Top