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Thread: The dark art of case annealing.

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    The dark art of case annealing.

    After decades of handloading I am ready to jump into the black magic of annealing. I plan on spinning cases and heating with a torch while watching for Tempilaq applied to the inside of necks to change.What temperature Tempilqa is best? Any helpful hints to this (unfamiliar to me) process? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Reddirt62's Avatar
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    I use 750 and an Annealeez.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    runfiverun's Avatar
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    715 would be best but I doubt your gonna find that.
    700 works though.
    by the time you see that change and react your at the 720 range anyway.
    time isn't a factor, you just need to reach the temp.
    I set the timer and run the cases through.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    The dark art of case annealing.

    First, it's not a dark art. It's basic science but people complicate it or use improper methods. It's simply time and temperature. The higher the temperature the lower the exposure time needed. The neck has to reach a certain temperature while at the same time the case head can't get to hot to ruin it. I believe I use 750. Apparently when I migrated photos over from Photobucket I missed a bunch of them because I had a pic of the bottle.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master 5Shot's Avatar
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    I use the 450 degree, and place it on the body, just below the shoulder. Heat the neck of a scrap case until it just melts, then reduce your actual time by a second or so. This ensures that the body never gets too hot...which is really bad.
    If you live on the razor's edge and slip, you will die in two pieces

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Nothing "dark" about it. Grab the base with pliers, dip neck in hot lead pot, watch the color move up to the shoulder, dump in cold water. Been doing it for 50 years.... no problems.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldon View Post
    Nothing "dark" about it. Grab the base with pliers, dip neck in hot lead pot, watch the color move up to the shoulder, dump in cold water. Been doing it for 50 years.... no problems.
    I was wondering if molten lead would work . Thanks. I know some guys are doing salt bath annealing and having good success. Your the first I've seen that uses lead. Could you please elaborate !!
    You are being watched.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldon View Post
    Nothing "dark" about it. Grab the base with pliers, dip neck in hot lead pot, watch the color move up to the shoulder, dump in cold water. Been doing it for 50 years.... no problems.
    Thank you for sharing that, many reloaders did it that way, probably the very best way to get uniform temperature.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    Huh, never thought of using the lead. I'm going to give it a try on some 3006 brass I have extra...
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter

    Thanks Yall!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I'm using a lyman big dipper 10lb lead pot with a rack made for in it and glass makers sand. Its a very fine sand and flows well also seems to transfer heat very good. I set it up to 750*-780* with my lead thermometer and the rack has there plates the base plat that sits in the bottom of the pot. a stop plate that is adjustable for different length cases and the top plate that has 12 1/2" holes drilled around the outside of it. These are mounted on 1/4" threaded rod with nuts Filled with sand and up to temp I slowly start inserting cases around when I get to the first inserted I remove it and insert another working around the circle thru all the cases. It works very well and all aspects are controlled, heat temp, time of the heat applied, depth of applied heat on the case. and the heat around the case is even also. Unlike lead the sand dosnt stick to cases , I have heard the salt may also. It simple and quick and almost fool proof.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Lead does not stick to cases if they are clean and the lead properly fluxed.

    It's also very easy and fast.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Success with respect to the final hardness will be the combined result of experimenting with temperature and timing. After they reach the ‘draw’ temperature, they can either be air-cooled or quenched in cold water on removal from the oven. Here is a chart (you may have to adjust this chart for your alloy, depending on content) that can be used to ‘draw’ your bullets:

    Draw Temperature Time BHN
    200 1.25 hrs. 26
    225 0.75 20
    225 1.5 18
    237 0.75 18
    250 1.5 15
    263 1.0 16.5
    275 0.75 14.5
    288 0.175 12.5

    The above chart is an approximation using bullets that have been water-dropped from the mould, heat soaked in an oven and then quickly quenched in ice cold water. The BHN of any specific alloy will depend on its constituent makeup so it may fall between, above or below the chart BHN and you will have to adjust the timing based on what your hardness tests, on your alloy, indicate. The point is, ‘drawing’ will bring all of your bullets back to the same temper as long as the bullets are already harder than the target BHN.

    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.

    In my opinion, annealing cases to be dead soft is both unnecessary as well as poor practice. A dead soft case neck will be both prone to crushing too easily during the reloading process and such a case will provide poor bullet retention. It is therefore much better to "temper" the case mouth if you can find that happy medium when annealing.
    R.D.M.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    I use 750 to set the time on the Bench Source Vertex. 100% repeatable all of the time. Money well spent.
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

  14. #14
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    Plus one on that Vertex , the fastest way I've found to go through a bucket of cases .

    Jack
    Buy it cheap and stack it deep , you may need it !

    Black Rifles Matter

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    $530.00 !!!! OMG, perhaps if I owned a MG 42 !

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldon View Post
    $530.00 !!!! OMG, perhaps if I owned a MG 42 !
    You can build or buy a vertical type annealer a lot cheaper than that. They aren't as adaptable but they give repeatable results. This can't be said for any method that is t fully controlled by mechanical means. There will always be variation when a human is the one pulling the case in and out of a flame of pot full of sand/lead/salt.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    The important part is to do it. Annealed cases last longer and work better than cases just getting harder and harder until the necks split. If you were shooting for tiny groups. It is easy to see the difference.
    You are being watched.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldon View Post
    $530.00 !!!! OMG, perhaps if I owned a MG 42 !
    It would take me quite awhile to break even on that considering how infrequently I go to the rifle range......I'm sure it's an awesome piece of gear for long distance enthusiasts though.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter

    Thanks Yall!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I used to dip the neck and part of the shoulder in lead for about 8-10 seconds, and it worked fine. Make sure the neck gets hot enough that lead won't stick to it, and thoroughly inspect the inside of the case to make sure no stray lead is in there. I believe I held the case in my fingers so I wouldn't overhead the lower half of the case, but once you get the time figured out I suppose you could hold them with pliers.

    In recent years I have been doing candle annealing. It works well but it's slow. Plenty of info on the web.

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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