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Thread: annealing for reloading

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Oklahoma Rebel's Avatar
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    annealing for reloading

    I have shot my 7.62X39 brass 2 times, is it time to anneal the necks, and any tips to isolate the heat to keep the lower part of the case cool?? thanks, Travis
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    You can stand the cases up in a cake pan of water About half way up the cases. Heat with propane torch to light straw/blue color change and tip over to cool quickly. A socket that fits the cases ( 7/16 should do that for 7.62 x 39 cases but you might need a spacer in the bottom) and set tourch upright. spin case with a extension in the flame with the inner blue tip just touching the case to the color change and dump in a pan of water, also dip the holder each time to limit heat build up in it.
    You can anneal as you think is needed, I would probably anneal new or once fired and then every 5-6 loadings. 7.62X39 is readily available so its a personal decision as to anneal or not. I have some BPCR brass that gets annealed every 2nd loading.

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    I have no experience with reloading 762x39 but with my 5.56 I've reloaded it half a dozen times or more without annealing.

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    Hold the case near the middle, hold the neck/shoulder to a candle flame until it's uncomfortable, then drop into water. The candle is hot enough, but not too hot for the brass.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    I do the '06's from time to time. Gonna do the 8x57 after the next firing.

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  6. #6
    Boolit Man LeadPoisonTX's Avatar
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    Travis - the most important part of annealing is to not over heat the cases which ruins them. John Haviland wrote a good article on this subject in Handloader #265 (August 2010). I use this method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FClA2atq7XM
    To say that it is "quick" doesn't begin to give it justice. I ruined a few cases by leaving them on the flame too long (4-5 seconds). I suggest you pick a few "practice" cases (range pickups of something you don't reload), so you get the feel of it. Tempilaq also helps, but make sure to pick the correct temperature. I'm using 15/32 socket to hold my 30-06 family cases with my drill (picked them up from pawn shop for cheap). I do not drop them in water, just on a towel with a fan blowing on them. I'm building a solid stand for my torch so it doesn't get knocked around. Wishing you great results!
    LeadPoisonTX

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub dhenry132's Avatar
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    So, what color should the brass turn for correct annealing?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Annealing case necks in Lead
    Annealing case necks by dipping them into molten lead that is held at about seven hundred degrees ‘F’ works well. Wheel weight alloy, which is approximately eighty nine parts lead, one part tin and ten parts antimony, melts at six hundred and nineteen degrees ‘F’ so you can safely set your lead alloy temperature at seven hundred degrees ‘F’. The use of a thermometer will take any guesswork out of the process. The reason for using lead for annealing is to keep the temperature low enough for proper uniform annealing, and that is simply not possible using the torch method. With a torch the case is often heated on one side more than the other, temperatures are not readily repeatable from case to case, and in falling over into the water, one side is quenched before the other.

    To minimize the likelihood of lead ‘soldering’ itself to the brass case it is best to use as close to pure lead as possible (although any lead alloy will work). Anneal your cases with the fired primers left in, as that forms an airlock that keeps lead away from the inside of the case. With respect to annealing cases using molten lead, basically you: set the thermostat on your pot at seven hundred to eight hundred degrees ‘F’ pick up each case by the head and dip the neck of the cases about a quarter-inch into some powdered graphite or light oil (vegetable oil is fine). The oil keeps lead from sticking to the brass but, any lead that does stick is easily removed by a quick twist in steel wool while the case is still hot. Shake off any excess oil, dip the neck, shoulder, and about a quarter-inch of the case body into the molten lead and just as you begin to feel an uncomfortable degree of heat in your fingertips, drop the case into water. If you hold the cases in some other way than with your bare fingers, leave them in the molten lead from eight to twelve, but not more than fifteen seconds. When the case is hot enough that the lead does not cling to it, it is annealed. Pull the case up out of the lead, tap on the side of the case to remove any bits of lead (if the lead is really sticking, the case isn't annealed!), then drop it mouth down (straight) into a container that is mostly full of ice water. Following the anneal, it would be wise to closely inspect the inside of the case both visually and with a bent paper clip just to make sure there are no lead drippings adhering to the inside the case.

    If you are left-handed, have the cases on the right side, the lead in the middle, and the ice water on the left. The cases go only one direction, to the left, and you use only one hand. If you are right handed, reverse the set-up. Because it only takes a few seconds per case, you can anneal hundreds of cases in an hour with this method. After the annealing process, remove the cases from the water, shake them out and use a piece of bronze wool to clean the annealed portion. This removes any residual lead and/or burned oil. Then, dry and tumble the cases to remove any traces of residual oil and they are ready to process.

    There are many threads that deal with various ways of annealing cases on this site. The above is only one of them (the one I use). You can find others if you look.
    R.D.M.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Oklahoma Rebel View Post
    I have shot my 7.62X39 brass 2 times, is it time to anneal the necks, and any tips to isolate the heat to keep the lower part of the case cool?? thanks, Travis
    stand them up in an old frying pan with water level just above the rim about 1/2" up. heat the neck/mouth area with a plumbers torch all around circumference, until it lightly discolors bluish color- then knock the case over with the torch tip end into the water to quench it

    7.62x39 is so cheap, is there any cost advantage to reloading it ?

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I took the time to run "bullet case annealing" in the "Advanced Search" (top of the page, right side" and there are 10 pages of annealing related threads. Have fun!
    R.D.M.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Annealing is a process that's verified by science. There are all types of ways to do it and most won't give you repeatable results. Will this effect brass life or impact on target? Hard to say because there are to many variables.

    The long and short of it is you need something to measure the temperature of the brass, like Tempilaq. And a machine will give you the same result every time. I used the drill and socket method for years. But the results differed from case to case. I now use an Annealeez. Lots of options when it comes to automated annealers. Horizontal table machines have more adjustment but cost more money.

    Here is the Annealez in action.
    http://s198.photobucket.com/user/dra...F8A_1.mp4.html

  12. #12
    Boolit Master flashhole's Avatar
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    I use the torch method and drill/socket but I use a fixture that positions the brass in exactly the same place piece to piece and I count time in the flame. Works for me.
    ,,, stupidity comes to some people very easily. 8/22/2017 Pat Lengyel (my wife) in a discussion about Liberals.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I have not annealed a lot. I did anneal some .303 british cases that I fireformed to .410 brass. I used my lead pot about half full of lead. Dipped the neck in some bullet lube just before going into the pot. Lube would migrate ahead of the lead keeping the lead from sticking. I held bases with a pair of pliers. When I saw a color change they came out, got tapped on the pot side once to shake off any lead and dropped into water.

    Was a pretty simple process, went fairly well. I only ruined one case, first one up, left it in too long. Was dead soft clear to the rim.

    Otherwise I doubt I would anneal brass until I started losing more than 1 per hundred to case neck cracks and the like. IMO the Brass will tell you when it is time.

    I think of all my brass I have some 7.62x54r that has been reloaded the most often. With 7-8 cycles. No sign of cracks or problems yet so I am in no hurry. YMMV

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Norske View Post
    Hold the case near the middle, hold the neck/shoulder to a candle flame until it's uncomfortable, then drop into water. The candle is hot enough, but not too hot for the brass.
    This cracks me up every time I hear someone suggest it.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master slim1836's Avatar
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    I made this one, works well. Several variations can be made, just check YouTube.

    http://68forums.com/forums/showthrea...case+annealing

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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelshooter View Post
    This cracks me up every time I hear someone suggest it.
    Same here. Worse part is that it was recently published in Handloader. There is no vudu behind annealing. It's strictly time and temp. Subject the case to a specified temp for a specified amount of time and the case is annealed. You need a temperature indicator, like Tempilaq, if you don't know the temp the case is being exposed to.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Depends on why you want to anneal. Neck splits on x39 - who cares (mostly PPU brass?)? I tried the lead, candle, socket tricks, PITA. I use the MAPP torch, neck in the flame tip and hold the case head with the fingers and rotate. When I feel it getting too hot, dump in H2O. For sub MOA, neck turn and anneal about every 6 reloads. Top end loads, anneal more frequently.
    Whatever!

  18. #18
    If you don't get the brass (case neck)up to proper temperature you are wasting your time and energy.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master gnostic's Avatar
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    I don't bother annealing brass, because it's the primer pocket that fails first.

  20. #20
    You must be really loading those cases hot. I have never wore out a primer pocket in 40 years of reloading and I have 308 brass that I know have been reloaded at least 30 times.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check