Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    606

    Question Annealing cartridge cases, simple method?

    In a prior post it was mentioned that annealing a cartridge case would make it easier to resize. What is the simplest and best method to do this? Heating in an oven and coooling in ?
    Thanks,
    Subvet

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Martinsville, Indiana
    Posts
    283

    Default

    I have used a deep well socket put on the end of a power drill. Insert the case into the socket, and rotate it over the flame of a torch. The deep well socket protects the part of the case that you don't want exposed to heat, and when you've finished annealing just dump it into a bucket of water. Search YouTube for how to anneal a case. There are a couple different videos on there that should show you how to do it.

    -Thomas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Higher AZ Mountains
    Posts
    1,386

    Default

    subvet

    Before you get involved with annealing cases you need to ask yourself - why? Since the invention of the Internet, procedures like annealing have gotten a lot of attention when, in fact, 99% of the time it is not needed. Only the case neck and part of the shoulder is annealed (softened) and it's only done when the brass gets too hard and springy to hold the seated bullet uniformly. It certainly doesn't do a thing to make it easier to resize a case.

    Anyway, the case below the shoulder needs to be completely protected from heat. It's usually done by standing the cases in a pan of water that comes at least half-way up the body. Never, NEVER, try to anneal a case neck by heating it in an oven, on a stove top, or anything similar.

    As Thomas said, you can probably find directions on places like FaceBook or Google but I wouldn't rely too heavily on anything I find on the Internet. Some of these sites contain misinformation that could get you into serious trouble.

    Cases are annealed several times during their manufacture. The final neck anneal should be sufficient to reload the case several times before it becomes hardened. By then, it is probably best to toss it in the scrap box anyway.

    JMHO

    Ray

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    945

    Default

    For years I have held the base in my fingers while I heated the mouth with a fine flame propane torch. When your fingers
    get hot swish the case mouth into water. As your fingers can only stand 160 or so you won't over heat.
    As said before you don't have to do this very often. i do it when forming cases from another caliber.
    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    The method used by those who really know how to do it is as above, to stand the cases up in a pan of water with JUST the necks above the water. Heat one neck at a time to a dull red then immediately tip the case over into the water.

    Again, this is something that really doesn't need to be done with most rifles. By the time the neck needs annealing, the case is worn out.
    A more productive thing to do is make up a small "L" shaped wire with the short leg of the "L" sharpened.
    Insert this feeler tool into the case and feel for a separation stretch groove near the bottom of the case.

    A case that's at the end of it's life will have a stretch groove there and the tool will detect it. When you feel a groove, pitch the case, it's shot.
    By this time, few cases will be at the point of needing annealing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    945

    Default

    Two problems; Dull red is too hot, and when you tip the case over it knocks others down.
    People who really know what they are doing use temp-lac.
    Good Luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    589

    Default

    all of the responders to this post are well informed and offer excellent advice. i log my reloaded cases and after 10-12 reloads, figure that the case doesnt owe me anything and it gets tossed. a few years ago i annealed some 303 brit shells prior to fire forming them for use in an Ishapore SMLE No1 Mk3 410 shotgun conversion. original shells and ammo for the 2 1/4" 410 were non-existent before Midway began selling brass 410 shells and i was curious about how it would shoot with mild round ball and shotshell reloads. holding the de-primed shell case by the rim with pliers, i would dip the case down to the shoulder in molten lead for a few seconds, shake and visually check for any lead "stuck" to the case, then drop them into a pan of water. the de-primed case allows the lead to fill the case uniformly and at the correct depth. also minimizes the chance of lead remaining in the case when removed. ALERT! DANGEROUS ACTIVITY! molten lead and water should not be used in close proximity due to the VIOLENT NATURE of molten lead when exposed to ANY amount of water. this method maintains a more uniform temp on the case for more consistent annealing. i wore leather gloves, work apron, and full face shield. if accuracy and patterning were promising, i would have purchased new 410 brass from Midway. best, john

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Oldsmar, FL (Tampa Bay)
    Posts
    23,246

    Default

    I had to anneal my .303 Brit brass necks every time I reloaded, otherwise they were too springy and expanded to hold the bullet and crimp properly. I just set the cases on their bases in a sink with 1/4 in water in the bottom and using a spreader on a propane torch pointed straight down went over the neck areas on a dozen or so at a time. As long as the case doesn't get hot enough to glow more than a touch you're OK with this moderate pressure cartridge.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Wild Wonderfull, WV
    Posts
    2,374

    Default

    I know a little about heat treating from working with tool steel and how little differences in process can make a big difference in results. A while back I read technical write up on annealing and came away with no desire to try it again. It is way too easy to either make no difference at all or to make it too soft. By too soft I mean softer than industry standard. The margin between these 2 is very slim and I seriously doubt any home method will produce consistent correct results.
    Motor

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    606

    Default

    Thank you for the info. but I guess it is best to stick with brass that doesn't need annealing!
    Excelent information!
    Subvet

  11. #11
    Clyde's Avatar
    Clyde is online now Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    56,876

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Subvet View Post
    Thank you for the info. but I guess it is best to stick with brass that doesn't need annealing!
    Excelent information!
    Subvet
    If available - that is a great idea. But sometimes, it just ain't the way life is. I suggest using the Temp Lac myself.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •