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Old 03-05-2012, 09:24   #1
ModGlock17
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Annealing brass case

It seems the predominant mechanism that make you toss old cases is split lips, perhaps after 15-20 reloads.

In rifle reloading, cases that hold some 4 times more powder, they anneal case neck and that helps cases to last longer.

Has anyone try to anneal 10mm cases at the lips and see if that could extend the life of cases? With all of us, the collective data would be good. I'm going to try a few, like 10, and see what that will do. The annealing process will leave a discoloration on the brass, so that will help you identify which ones had gotten anneal.

Edit: you DO NOT want to anneal the case anywhere close to the web area. There is a way I have in mind to keep this from happening.

Last edited by ModGlock17; 03-05-2012 at 09:32..
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:28   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ModGlock17 View Post
It seems the predominant mechanism that make you toss old cases is split lips, perhaps after 15-20 reloads.

In rifle reloading, cases that hold some 4 times more powder, they anneal case neck and that helps cases to last longer.

Has anyone try to anneal 10mm cases at the lips and see if that could extend the life of cases? With all of us, the collective data would be good. I'm going to try a few, like 10, and see what that will do. The annealing process will leave a discoloration on the brass, so that will help you identify which ones had gotten anneal.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
After heating , do you immerse in water? Please post your results.........DOC
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:48   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scccdoc View Post
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
After heating , do you immerse in water? Please post your results.........DOC
Kind of. Right idea.

Get a wide tray. Fill it with water to the depth of just less than case width.

Line up cases in the tray, in the water with lips up and out of water.

Heat the case lips only to discoloration. I would try for the top 1/8" of discloring. Then tip it over in the water to cool down. Proceed to the next one.
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:28   #4
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I got the idea from Lapua, top of the line brass supplier for rifle brass. Compared to Winchester rifle brass, Lapua costs twice as much with visually higher quality as in material and workmanship. They anneal the brass. All riflemen I know agree that Lapua brass will give you the most consistent result, like bullets in approx. the same hole at 100yards, assuming a good rifle. They also say it would last far more reloads.

So I tried annealing Winchester brass aiming for the same discoloration (that is a sign of the right annealing temperature).

Before this, I encountered a phenomenon that "virgin" Winchester brass would give very consistent bullet strikes at the target. Reloading them, even with sizing to spec + clean + polish, would result in larger groupings, like 0.5-1.0" larger. I also found that other reloaders experienced the same thing with .308 and they chalked to manufacturing techniques at Winchester.

Then I annealed these Winchesters and shot the first 10 this morning. They are far more consistent, like 3 holes for 10 shots. I was in a hurry for work so I wasn't in the best relax state of mind for shooting, just anxious to see results. May be after annealing, the brass releases the bullet more consistently... I am not sure. But I am pleased with the result.

Then comes the question, "What if ... 10mm ?"
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Old 03-05-2012, 13:45   #5
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The extent to the life of cases in straight-wall pistol cases for me has been a function of how long the cases will stay longer than minimum lengths. About 95% of the time, the reason I toss 10mm auto brass is because it shrinks shorter than minimum lengths. Splits have been rare. So annealing is a solution to a problem that I mostly haven't had.

EXCEPT... with nickel plated cases, neck tension has been an issue that may benefit from annealing. However, I personally don't deal with nickel cases enough to be too concerned.

It is intersting timing though on your discussion about annealing. I shot some .25-06 loads over the weekend. About a third of the rounds shot had neck splits on only the second firing. I suspect improper factory annealing.

EDIT: I would be curious to see how this works for you if you do give it a try.

Last edited by Taterhead; 03-05-2012 at 14:40..
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Old 03-05-2012, 23:24   #6
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ModGlock17,

Take a look here:
http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/show....php?t=1357660

21 Carrier tried this and was somewhat successful with your proposed method. But even more impressive, check out the link that rjrivero posted in that thread. A great article and the video of the "mother of all annealing machines" is a must see if you've ever annealed a brass case by hand before.

Good luck!
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:22   #7
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I'm pondering on economics of it, however. Rifle brass costs 3x more than 10mm, with shorter life reloading if not anneal. It's better to just toss it unless you live in a place that's hard to get mail.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:27   #8
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Check out these set ups!

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/...aling-machine/

http://www.giraudtool.com/annealer1.htm
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:56   #9
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Thx, Guys.

Good reference article on the previous thread. It's amazing people think of similar methods.

Based on what I am reading, annealing 10mm is too difficult because of short case length and economically not rewarding enough. For rifle cases which are longer and more expensive, it is more worthwhile to do.

I used a shell holder that has some steel mass in it, attached to a cordless screw driver, held over a portable propane flame for camping only at the lip. The steel mass helps keep case head cool. I judge by the color change, and never to a dull hot glow. As soon as color change progresses below case neck, I immerse them in cool water, which also cools down shell holder. At the range, the result is an amazing improvement in grouping. But I need the shoot more and evaluate them more.

There seems to be two benefits: consistency in grouping and longer case life.

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Old 03-08-2012, 21:54   #10
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I've been able to repeat this result twice so far. Everything is the same: reloading equipment, powder, shooter, weather condition, etc. The only variation is annealed brass and no-anneal brass.

The wind was blowing quite gusty on the day of this target. My rifle case got blown off the table once. I was just pleasantly surprised at how annealed brass provided better grouping even in the gusty wind.

I am pretty convinced, but will shoot more comparison later. Annealing cheaper brass brings its consistency near the perfection of Lapua (expensive) brass.

Last edited by ModGlock17; 02-16-2013 at 15:41..
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Old 03-08-2012, 22:00   #11
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I would like to "audit" this session.

As I read the comments about reloading and "brittleness" of the cases, I have wondered why this isn't done. I am interested in the comments here just for scientific curiosity. I have some experiences with Copper and Aluminum in this area, thus my curiousity about Brass reloading and brittleness.

Thanks guys.
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Old 03-08-2012, 22:05   #12
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Interesting. I assume you're doing this with used brass? Do you have any pictures of your brass after annealing?

I might have to give this a try. What kind of shellholder did you use? Mine are all the Lyman/RCBS type, that probably wouldn't hold the cartridge in place in a spinning drill.
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Old 03-08-2012, 22:51   #13
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Yes. Used Winchester brass, once-fired. Also see the Lee shell holder (not the one with three flanges that swings into the case head).

I think the soft brass from anneal may help to release the bullet more evenly after pressure built up. Strictly my guess.

Again, "virgin" Winchester brass has much better grouping. Once fired, this tight grouping disappeared replaced by more scattered impacts. That's what drove me to investigate, particularly after I reload 5 Lapua brass where 4 of them practically went in the same hole. Lapua came annealed, also twice the price of Winchester. Holding a piece of Lapua brass reminds me of holding a piece of jewelry, well made, smooth, varies 0.1gr from brass to brass. But I wondered how much the tight tolerance contributed to better grouping vs. annealing.

Last edited by ModGlock17; 02-16-2013 at 15:41..
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Old 03-08-2012, 22:55   #14
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Oh, I thought the target you posted was for annealed 10mm. Picture is too small to read the load notes.

For rifle cases I've just put the case directly in the 1/2" drill chuck, or even hold them by hand; they are long enough not to need a heat sink. I thought you were using the shellholder with the 10mm cases for a heat sink.
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Old 03-08-2012, 23:03   #15
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I think it's too dangerous to try with 10mm case. It's hard to control the heat toward the case head. If that part gets soft, it will blow !

Besides, 10mm by definition is a handgun, which presents too much movement anyway.

I did this on 308 Winchester with target at 100 yards. I was curious if anyone had done so for the 10mm, but as I anneal them, I think annealing the 10mm is too risky.
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