Annealing - first attempt!

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  • Annealing - first attempt!

    So my 223 cases were getting a bit tight, time for a FL resize, and I thought I'd have a bash at this annealing lark.
    I did a bit of reading, I get the temperature and time bit, spent a few hours last week knocking up a spinning rig so today was the day.

    60rpm on the motor, a blob of bluetack on the shaft, lights off and away we go.
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    Seeing the glow is reasonably straight forward, despite the flame you can see the brass start to luminesce. Move the flame away and there's a dull orange red glow. It was taking around 4 seconds directing the heat between 1/3 and 1/2 way down the case. Once it got to temp, flick it off into the tray of water.

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    I knew I'd over cooked a couple, not to worry, they stick out like dogs balls in the tray.

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    It turned out to be 3 in the end, but easy enough to spot.

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    I read a little bit about testing, and there were some longwinded, descriptive methods. My solution, bite it
    Dead easy, very obvious for a fail, and you can confirm as many as you like. Just bite hard enough to get a tiny bit of spring, and release. The over cooked ones have no spring, they just give.

    All done, into the wash. As I've said before, I use Skips method, but I have no tumbler of awesome .I have a cheap imitation made by Fisher and Pykel
    .

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    The tumbler may not be awesome but the results,,,,, well judge for yourselves
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  • #2
    Well done.
    I like using the hot lead method. It gets them pretty even.

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    • Guest's Avatar
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      Those cases look to have the heat mark way lower than I would do with mine.
      It maybe because your torch is not a nice concentrated heat or you were getting them hot enough to glow red (not good) Either way, they were in the flame a little too long for my liking. Could also be your POA with the flame, You only need to be heating the necks, nothing else.
      The heat mark on mine only comes down about 2-3 mm below the shoulder.

      Nice effort in the rig & well done for a 1st go.

      They should only be in the flame for about 5 seconds & that should be enough to get just a slight colour change. A deep, barely visible purple hue that will disappear as soon as the flame is removed, not glowing red.

      Mick.

  • #3
    This is an ADI factory case and you can see where the annealing should go to.
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      Originally posted by SpottyDog" post=33868
      This is an ADI factory case and you can see where the annealing should go to.


      This is a new Lapua case and where I would suggest the annealing should go too.
      I have the theory that ADI brass is cheap tough crap that need a large anneal to get it soft in the right spots.
      The ADI case in your photo dose not look to bad. The ones I have seen in real life have annealing half way down the case wall.

      I anneal after each firing and only try and get the neck to temperature. As a result I find the colour change in the brass extends to 1mm or so below the shoulder.
      Thats my 2 cents on the topic anyway

      JH

  • #4
    Thanks for the feedback guys. I have another 50 to do tonight. I've got a couple of hundred of these 223 cases so no problem if I stuff it up. (Rather here than on the Norma brass)

    I found if I just heated the neck, it went red hot almost instantly so I moved down a bit and found where I ended up with the flame gave me time to see the glow. I'll be honest, this process is taking me back to my apprenticeship when we had to form a cold chisel and harden the tip. That's a few years ago now!
    Maybe the gun is too intense, I'll wind it back and go for the neck tonight

    Billy, with regards to the purple hue can I just confirm. The stuff I was reading explained annealing brass was a function of heat and time. A purple hue, air cooled or go for orange and quench in water, Either way it's barely visible. Once it gets red - too hot never to be retrieved. If purple is where I need to be then I'll probably bin the brass I did last night, that all went into a dull orange (with 3 getting into the bright orange/red stage ) That said the necks do still have some spring in them,,,,,,, . If I need purple, I'll wind the torch back and just hit the neck and see how I go.

    These pics are the 2 batches from last night, the brass is Highland (PPU) so it's annealed from factory
    The first is un-annealed by me, just sized and trimmed. the second got the annealing. As you see my discolouration was at about the same place as the factory stuff so I thought I'd nailed it . That said, I'm told the Highland brass is a bit soft, so maybe not the perfect model to go from.
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    Not to worry, I'll have another bash tonight and see how we go at the neck, at least I'll be sure these cases are dry!

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      I try to pick up random brass at the range to practice on so im not wasting my good cases.
      not sure if you have read the 6mmbr guide to annealing but its a good read.
      Using Templaq is a good way to start till you find the right end colour for the set temperature range!
      http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html

    • Guest's Avatar
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      Originally posted by tinytim" post=33877
      Billy, with regards to the purple hue can I just confirm. The stuff I was reading explained annealing brass was a function of heat and time. A purple hue, air cooled or go for orange and quench in water, Either way it's barely visible. Once it gets red - too hot never to be retrieved. If purple is where I need to be then I'll probably bin the brass I did last night, that all went into a dull orange (with 3 getting into the bright orange/red stage ) That said the necks do still have some spring in them,,,,,,, . If I need purple, I'll wind the torch back and just hit the neck and see how I go.
      No don't bin it. Sounds like youvé got your temps worked out, just the method needs a tweak.
      As you said, turn the flame down a bit & aim it at the neck, when the heat is right it should take about 5 seconds to get that very slight purple/red hue (a slight red is JUST OK but glowing like the sun = buggered)

      Mick.

  • #5
    Thanks John and Spotty,

    It seems annealing is another area of shooting that isn't an exact science
    I'm wondering if case size may have some play here, or if these are lead dipped. In fact I'd imagine any large scale process is going to have these cases zipping along a line and probably hit a batch of very fine flames as they pass by. My little PPU case may not see the same treatment, who knows?

    Lapua
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    ADI
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    Unfired Highland
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    (See that round there^^^^^^ the one with a "blob" of lead forming the soft point,,,,, I can't handload a round to beat the groups I get with that round; speer, sierra, berger, hornady- 2208,2206, 2219- soft point, hollow point and ballistic tip all fail, I get sub MOA with 22gn of 2219 but still not the 1/2" groups that Highland gives me, and it pisses me off!!!!!)

    I'll go with the "quality cases" model tonight with a reduced flame, direct to the neck and see what I can pull off.

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