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Thread: Annealing shells

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Annealing shells

    I want to try and make some heads out of 9mm shells.
    Need to anneal them, but don't want to put them in the oven.
    Don't have a fire place.
    Any other way to do it "on the cheap"

    Not making them to shoot.
    Looks like they would make cool key rings.

  2. #2
    Vendor Sponsor uncle dino's Avatar
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    Propane torch..

  3. #3
    Propane torch?

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Use a junk screwdriver to hold them and a torch to heat them

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Poke a bunch of 1/4" holes in a coffee can start a charcoal fire in it and put brass in let burn out and cool

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks
    I'll try the propane first.
    I didn't know if propane would get it hot enough.
    Charcoal sounds like a plan tooo.
    Can do a bunch at once.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Pee Wee's Avatar
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    You can purchase a lee 20 lb dipper pot and anneal in it. it will get them glowing hot in about 15 min, We used it for years untill we got a kiln. We did not use it to melt lead in, only for annealing.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    I use the propane torch method. I line a bunch of cases on a steal decoy mold and the heat each one till it glows. Anything that you can line them up on and keep them off the bench will work. Or you can do them one at a time using pliers. Dump in water to cool. I can do 13 to 14 at a time using this method. I then cook them in a crockpot with a citric acid bath for 2 to 3 hours to help get rid of the burn mark on the cases then into the vibratory tumbler for a few hours with a brass cleaner added.

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
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    When I anneal, I only heat the top 1/3rd or so of the case with a propane torch & then dunk in water. I have also done the heat with torch & tip into pan of water. All de-primed cases, of course. Usually for about 3-5 seconds. What ever it takes to manipulate the case or the torch to get the end heated well.
    I have also used the dip in lead method a couple times. Using fired cases primer in, not de-primed ones. Keeps the lead from entering the inside of the mouth.
    (Note- If ya ever do the lead dip, do not do it with nickle cases as the lead likes to stick & hard to get off. Brass is just fine)

    IMO, I do not think it is recommended to anneal the lower parts of the cases, as it weakens the brass that contains most of the charge & the primer. I may be wrong, but I am pretty certain that ya should not do it. My memory seems to make me think I have read that in more than one place & it makes sense to me also. The brittleness(work hardening) one is trying to overcome is in the end that we manipulate (the mouth end) & not the middle & other end that contains the charge & primer.

    G'luck!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    I believe the OP was referring to annealing for swaging. In this case you anneal the entire case so it can be manipulated in the forming dies.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I just put a bunch of them on a sheet of tinfoil, wad it into a ball, and put it in the charcoal grill after the burgers are done.

    Pile the coals and ash around the ball, let them burn out, retrieve the ball the next day, empty and wash, or tumble, as needed.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch-1 View Post
    I believe the OP was referring to annealing for swaging. In this case you anneal the entire case so it can be manipulated in the forming dies.
    OOps. My mistake. Thanks for politely pointing that out. Please disregard my post since it is not applicable here.


  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    For what the op wants the whole case needs to be annealed and to get the most complete job it takes more time as the brass needs to be brought up to temp and held there for some time then slowly cooled down to room temp. AN oven set to 600-700* for an hour or hour and a half then turned off and left to cool, better still would be to drop oven to 350 for 1/2 hour 45 mins then turned off and left to cool. The charcoal fire does this nicely and naturally as it burn hot for the desired times or a little longer then slowly cools for a long time as it burns down. the ashes and can provide an insulation of sorts to slow the final cooling some also. When done brass done like this should be dead soft through out. Better still is a tube or pan to set the can in to protect it from wind.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    I put the cases in those 50 round plastic ammo trays base first and then flip them over on some cement pavers. That way the case head it facing up and I can ensure I get a good anneal on the thicker head when I hit them with a propane weed burner.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master tiger762's Avatar
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    If you're not in a big hurry, a toaster oven from Goodwill set to maximum temperature for one hour will get them dead soft. Just let them cool for an hour after you shut it off. Or, like I do, dump them hot brass into the water inside the wet tumbler, then add soap and Lemishine and tumble for an hour or so. The benefit being that hot water makes the cleaning action much more effective.

    Oh, beware that one out of fifty or so fired brass will have some primer compound leftover and WILL set off so don't have a heart attack if you hear a loud pop from the toaster oven

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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