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Annealing, a primer. (Not annealing a primer)

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Shamu View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 10 2015 at 7:38am
I thought I'd already posted this, but I guess not so here goes.

A primer for those who have wondered about annealing brass to reduce neck splits & tough resizing.

 

There are many methods & even automated machines for doing this, but I thought I’d share my repurposed, recycled (read dirt cheap) solution.

 

To use you light the propane torch &back off to the absolute lowest setting that will burn continuously. Then the chuck adapter (from Lowe's $25.oo or so) is fitted to an electric screwdriver (a drill will work also but its tough to keep the speed low enough). Then the deep socket is attached just like a drill bit & the case dropped into the deep wall socket.

 

This does 2 things. It holds the brass to be annealed & protects the rearwards sections which you do not want to soften. The flame only contacts the neck & shoulder, which is what you want.

 

The 2 “pencils” clipped to the “Y junction are temperature indicating wax sticks, you don’t want to over soften the brass with too much heat. I have a 450-degree & a 600-degree one. The 600 is for the actual case mouth & the 450 is for further back behind the shoulder. With my .303 British brass & this torch the time seems to be about 5~6 seconds in the flame for just the right amount of annealing.

 

Electric screwdriver, chuck adapter & deep socket.

 

Storage position.

 

Working position.

 

Annealing height & result.

 

To use you fill the metal bowl about ½ way with cold tap water. (There is some discussion on whether this is needed or not but I dump a lot of hot brass in there so I feel snap cooling will keep the bottom cases from excess heat exposure & stop the process before any extra heat gets transmitted back too far). Next you light & adjust the torch, assemble the screwdriver, chuck & socket adapter & drop a case into the open end.

 

With the screwdriver turning lower it into contact with the flame. It should be angled so the part of the flame just ahead of the “blue cone” brushes the entire neck & shoulder area. Now apply the 450-degree crayon to the back part of the exposed brass & start counting. When the wax crayon starts to melt remove the case & crayon & tilt the screwdriver to dump the case in the water. Do this 3~4 times with different cases & average the times. Now just use that average time for all the rest of the run, no more crayon needed.

 

Make sure the cases have dried completely inside & out before reloading, hair dryer is fine to speed up the processes but I usually just empty, shake dry & stir on a big cookie sheet for a few days.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2015 at 7:50am
Thank you.
Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2015 at 10:07am
In case you decide to build your own:

Parts list:
Stand.
3" "Y" junction
31/2" wall flange.
(doesn't need to be waterproof so they are actually assembled reversed & glued together.)
Wood base from scrap.
thin sheet plastic for holder of temp sticks.
scrounged food mixer bowl.
(Any metal container will do.)

holder (for .303 Brit), change sizes as needed for other calibers.
Kobalt deep well 14mm socket.
31/2" X 1/4-20 carriage bolt.
1/4 washers.
1/4 fender washers
lock washer
1/4 hex nut.

1/4" chuck adapter for hex shaft electric screwdriver from Home Despot.

"Templistick" heat indicator crayon.

2 temps 450 for case shoulder, 600 for case mouth. It depends which caliber I'm annealing which one I use where. I only use it at the beginning to set up time/temp, after that I use the same time for every case. Flame as low as you can get it & about 5~7 secs a case depending on flame & brass thickness.

Match the carriage bolt to the socket by head size, it stops in the neck portion of the socket to limit case insertion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DairyFarmer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2015 at 9:25pm
There is no scientific reason to quench the brass in water. Some metals change structure when quenched, brass is not one of them. Annealing will soften the brass. Cold working brass hardens it. The only reason to quench would be to handle the brass immediately after annealing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2015 at 8:16am
As I mentioned, I only do it because of the pan I'm using to catch the treated cases. The first cases get buried in a pile of selectively heated ones so its an insurance policy against accidentally softening any of the earlier ones in places I don't want to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 11 2015 at 10:53am
My annealing kit cost virtually nothing. I use a hand cranked drill (that was in the barn when I bought the house). I have a piece of steel tube hammered on to a Torx head tool bit that is a nice interference fit. a standard camping gas blow torch and bucket of water.
I don't have the temp pencils either; but you soon get used to chasing the ring of heat to just below the shoulder the flicking them into the bucket.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DairyFarmer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2015 at 5:58am
These are fairly easy to make.
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