Annealing Last

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by kvd, Jun 13, 2017.

Tags:
  1. kvd

    kvd Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Messages:
    193

    Ken,

    ...You are getting warm with your methodology but IMO you have a way to go yet.

    We have many people here that are reloading experts, but the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. If you get really good results come out to a match. If you do well everyone will take notice and you'll have a big following. Jade Delcambre AKA Down South mentioned in his post that he didn't buy in and you missed a good opportunity to pick his brain. If you don't know who he is go look at the NRA F-TR records for 20 shots, 1,000 yards. You will find his name at the top of the list. Get him to explain his methodology and tools than you have something really worthwhile.

    Kindest regards,

    Joe[/QUOTE]

    Your observations are astute and I appreciate your comments. I will be putting that 0.002 neck grip load to the test on the 24th at our local 1000 yd match.

    Ken
     
    6brmrshtr likes this.
  2. Nude nut

    Nude nut

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2015
    Messages:
    206
    The ammo was already very accurate very little vertical at 900 it would hold the xring in fine conditons and still does so no change in accuracy but seating force feels more consistant .
    I felt that sizing,trimming then sizing necks then running a mandrel through the neck was working the brass more by the time I seated the bullet so I just thought I would see how it went once I get my new mandrels of different sizes I can test in a more througher way.
    In regards to neck grip mine is 0.001
    Cheers Trev.
     
  3. DJSBRS

    DJSBRS Site $$ Sponsor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    218
    Exactly as I have seen with my experience annealing, sizing and seating. Well thought out, articulated and expressed. Many thanks for your opinion.

    DJ

    DJ's Brass Service
    205-461-4680
     
  4. kvd

    kvd Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Messages:
    193
    I guess what the comments in this thread thus far highlight is that accuracy and precision at the target can be accomplished by annealing/sizing/seating or sizing.annealing seating as long as one accounts for the accumulated work hardening after annealing in the former or increased spring back of the brass neck in the latter process.

    What we will never know exactly for any given round is the exact pressure at which the bullet is free to begin moving forward. All we can hope to do is maximize the consistency and uniformity of what we do.

    I'm keeping that 0.001 number in mind. That is what I have used before with some mixed results. Thank you for sharing that.

    Thanks to all for the comments and insights.

    Ken
     
  5. warbird2006

    warbird2006

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    88
    What if I clean the brass stainless steel media after neck Will the wet tumbling affect the brass?.
     
  6. Mozella

    Mozella

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    Messages:
    951
    I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. It's been a long while since I studied metallurgy as part of my engineering education, but it was in fact post-bronze-age and at the time properties of brass were well understood. A good deal of that information was passed on to me in the classroom, and a little bit of it stuck. Perhaps things have changed, but I doubt it.

    When forming a thin metal at room temperature, such as our cases which are normally made from cartridge brass , there will be both elastic and plastic deformation. After the piece is removed from the tool (in our instance that will be the sizing die, sizing mandrel, etc.) that the elastic deformation will be released and only the plastic deformation remains. The elastic deformation part of the distortion is commonly called "spring back". As one might imagine, the word SPRING has to do with the metal acting like a spring, which is typically a piece of metal designed to return BACK to the original shape after the distorting force is removed; i.e "spring back".

    Cartridge brass in an annealed condition has a tensile strength of somewhere around 50 ksi and a yield strength of around 21ksi. This is ideal for forming and when you think about it, it is remarkable that brass manufacturing companies can take a piece of brass which looks like a coin and quickly turn it into a cartridge case and then sell it to us so cheaply.

    When used as a spring, this same alloy can be work hardened to have a tensile strength up around 100 ksi and a yield strength over 85 ksi, roughly double and quadruple respectively. This is the opposite of what you want for forming, but ideal for making corrosion resistant springs.

    In simple terms, when we work harden brass, it becomes more "springy"; i.e. it acts MORE like a spring. When we anneal it, it acts LESS like a spring.

    Said another way, it takes relatively less force to distort annealed brass to the point where it won't return to the original shape. When the same force is applied to an identical piece of hardened brass, it will not only distort less, it will return to the original shape; i.e. it has more "spring back". Anyone who has ever done sheet metal fabrication using a bending brake knows all about spring back.

    Naturally, choosing to anneal after firing or after sizing will produce different results. Resizing, by it's very nature, involves plastic deformation. That involves not only shoulder "set back" but also "neck tension", our common way of trying to quantify bullet grip.

    It follows that when comparing bullet grip for two cases of IDENTICAL SIZE, one hard and one soft, the hard one will be more difficult to expand because of it's higher tensile and yield strength; therefore, it can be expected to grip the bullet more tightly. Of course, by adjusting the sizing die, expanding mandrel, etc. to suit the hardness of the brass, one can produce ready-to-load cases of a particular size and, one hopes, achieve the desired end result.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
    264WM70, noload, Eraser and 7 others like this.
  7. kvd

    kvd Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Messages:
    193
    This explanation of things is more in line with my understanding of brass annealing and its affects upon the neck area of the cartridge brass. I want to "normalize" this area to the same hardness and annealing just prior to seating seems the best way to accomplish this. Adjustments to the neck ID from previous efforts may be a consequence of this change. I'll get some feedback at the range this coming Saturday to see whether I goofed up or am making some progress.

    Thanks for adding to the discussion Mozella.

    Ken
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  8. kvd

    kvd Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Messages:
    193
    It might be an issue but I've never measured the hardness or any dimensional changes before and after stainless steel media tumbling to verify. For this type of aggressive cleaning, I would likely do it only at the very beginning of the reloading process. I thought stainless steel media tumbling was a little aggressive for my needs and switched to vibratory media polishing and ultrasonic cleaning for general cleaning. Still, for really trashed cases, it's hard to beat.

    Perhaps someone can post up so quantifying data. Thanks for the post.

    Ken
     
  9. T-shooter

    T-shooter

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2017
    Messages:
    784
    I experimented with annealing years ago before beginning with 20-25 old cases using thermal markers. Looking at the end of a case neck under a magnifying glass and slightly pinch it with a pair of pliers, maybe deforming the necks .005", just enough to see. The more it's heated, the less springback there is, and at some point, the metal goes dead where there is none. After running the dead cases back through the resizing die maybe 10 times, it still would not show any indication of work hardening or springing back. Of course, some of those were really torched. Now I put the flame on the shoulder and let the heat radiate from there. Then the shoulder is softened without burning the necks and the discoloration is visible about 1/4" under the shoulder.
     
  10. erich greer

    erich greer

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    This method of annealing last made more logical sense to me but it did not work out to well for making 6.5 Creedmoor precision handloads. When I went to seat 140 Berger Hybrids the necks had expanded so much I could literally pull the bullet out with my hands. Grabed a six pack of cold ones and started all over again. Ughhh
     
  11. kvd

    kvd Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Messages:
    193
    Hi erich greer,

    Welcome to the forum! I've not experienced what you describe. Regardless of when you anneal in your reloading process, you may want to revisit your annealing dwell times. You may be staying in the heat source to long and heating your cases to hot. You should see no distortion of any dimension in the case.

    Ken
     
  12. fredo

    fredo Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    762
    As mozella stated so well, annealing 'softens' the brass, and 'soft' metal don't "spring" well!

    Re-sizing a freshly annealed 'soft' case allows for the die to "work harden" the brass to a point where it will have more 'spring back' than before sizing. In turn, neck tension (bullet release) should be more consistent & controllable via bushing/mandrel, etc...


    This order of operation makes sense, and despite the interesting dialogue, I'm not seeing any reason to change?
     
    Eraser likes this.
  13. josh shrum

    josh shrum Gold $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2015
    Messages:
    166
    kvd,

    Have you been measuring/recording seating force with your process?

    I keep my brass in lots for each rifle, for example my heavy gun has 195 pieces of brass in the lot. All same lot# from Lapua, all made at the same, same neck turner setting, same amount of firings (within 1), etc. Basically as identical as possible.

    Before I got an AMP I would usually see three distinct groups of seating force with this brass. Each piece of brass within a group was within 5 inch pounds of the rest, with three total 5 in/lb groups. About 5% of those 195 pieces usually fell outside of that range and were used as foulers.

    I now anneal after every firing.

    Clean necks > anneal > size

    I am seating using the K&M Arbor Press with Force Pack

    After the first time annealing with the AMP all 195 pieces were within 5 in/lb of each other.

    After the second time they were all within 2 in/lb of each other.

    The 2 in/lb has remained constant so far.

    I am not challenging your method, I am just curious to see if you have found similar results by annealing after sizing.

    Thanks!
    Josh
     
  14. CharlieNC

    CharlieNC

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    Messages:
    772
    If one anneals after EVERY firing the order may not matter so much as the brass is relieved frequently, prior to a significant deterioration. I just started annealing 1.5 years ago because I noticed extremely variable bullet seating force led to variation in seating depth; that brass was obviously highly work hardened, and in a very non-uniform manner. On that brass, the issues were resolved by annealing followed by sizing. Do you think that extreme variability would have been corrected by annealing after sizing (which resulted in variable neck tension)? I don't think so, but I will not allow my brass to get in that condition again to test the theory. But my educated guess is by annealing after every firing it probably does not matter since in that mode it is preventive maintenance vs correcting a problem.
     
  15. Mozella

    Mozella

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2015
    Messages:
    951
    I agree. I anneal after every firing in the hope that consistency will improve my match scores in spite of Bryan Litz's tests showing that annealing every time offers no benefits.

    I also anneal after sizing, but not for any potential performance gain, but for convenience. Here's why. My brass comes home clean so I begin with these steps: lube, decap, size, and chamfer. I size using a neck bushing slightly smaller than desired followed by expanding the neck by inserting a mandrel designed as a turning mandrel for my 21st Century neck lathe. It's slightly smaller than the matching 21st Century expanding mandrel and produces slightly greater neck tension.

    Now I clean the dirty lubricated brass using the wet SS media method. Then I dry and anneal to make the brass ready for the next reloading session.

    When I reload, I insert the mandrel again during the priming stage to insure that the necks are as round as possible in case any were distorted during the wet SS tumbling process.

    Since I don't like annealing dirty brass, if I annealed first I would have to clean the brass prior to that step and then clean it again to remove the sizing lube; i.e. two cleaning steps per reloading cycle. By annealing last, I can get away with only one cleaning step. This routine seems to work well for me.
     
  16. mysticplayer

    mysticplayer

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    589
    I will throw my vote to annealing first... Why?

    I want the case to be consistent/softened for the shoulder bump step. If you anneal every firing, it will not matter. But time doesn't allow me so I do it every 2 to 3 firings. So I am working to get the shoulder back to a factory state so sizing can be consistent.

    The neck sizing seems to be very consistent as well.

    Eenie meenie....

    Jerry
     
  17. T-shooter

    T-shooter

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2017
    Messages:
    784
    Makes me wonder. Does brass get that much harder with one firing and resizing? At what point does it become measurable? Has anyone actually tested the hardness of the metal? Can you over-anneal and kill the brass by annealing too many times if not overheated at any one time?
     
  18. Sheldon N

    Sheldon N Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Messages:
    631
    Helpful info from the AMP Annealing website. They've done a lot of testing on this subject.

    Should annealing be done before or after resizing?
    If annealing brass that has had multiple reloads or is of unknown history, we would strongly recommend annealing first followed by resizing. This is because the harder the brass, the more likely it is to resist conforming to the resizing die and "springing back”.

    Because the process anneals both the neck and shoulder, die conformity will be correct when resizing. Note: we have found that the target annealed hardness is reached reliably regardless of the starting hardness i.e. it doesn’t matter if it starts at 20% harder or even 70% harder, it will still come back to the same hardness.
    If, as we recommend, annealing is done every reload, the brass is always soft enough in the neck and shoulder to resize accurately either before or after annealing. We have, however recorded consistently more uniform hardness test results by annealing before resizing, and we therefore recommend that sequence. With all the potential chamber/die/brass variations, we would certainly welcome customer input on this subject.

    What if I accidentally anneal the same case twice?
    If an annealed case is then re-annealed after cooling down, the neck hardness will drop slightly by about 6 HV. The brass will still be fine, and when shot and resized it will come back to regular hardness. For absolute consistency we wouldn't recommend including that case in your match ammo, but it will be fine next time around. If the same brass is re-annealed when still hot, it will probably be ruined.


    There's also more good info at this link...

    https://www.ampannealing.com/about-brass-hardness/
     
  19. kvd

    kvd Silver $$ Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2011
    Messages:
    193
    Good discussion gentlemen - good points being made for early annealing as well as late in the case preparation process.

    I think the point is valid that if annealing is done frequently, it probably doesn't matter all that much when it is accomplished. Consider that if annealing is done just before seating, then the only two events capable of possibly work hardening the neck before sizing again are seating the bullet and firing the round. According to AMP's website, seating a bullet adds approximately 5 - 10 HV to the micro hardness value and firing the round does not change the hardness appreciably. It may well be that the AMP machine lends a lot to the consistence of neck hardness and an annealing step somewhere in the process is all that is required.

    I do not have a way to quantify seating force. I have considered the 21st Century Arbor Press setup.

    Ken
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  20. Michael White

    Michael White

    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    Messages:
    37
    Here is my 2cents, I'm just an average shooter, not compatition at all, no time for it
    But I do so love accurate ammo. While serving as the person in charge of acquiring special ammo/explosives and other fun stuff in the early 1990's for my Seabee unit, I had the chance to watch a private contactor load up 50 cal with solid bronze bullets. Neat process and Armor piercing. The annealed with a torch head on the loading belt and did a perfect job of it
    Right after amnesling it was primed, powder charge dropped, and bullet seated, then finished. This new brass was full length sized first and eye balled each round for any imperfections.
    After the tour he loaded a Barret ul and gad me shoot a steel plate 2 inch thick i. His shop, with sand bags behind and more steel. It went tight through.
    Now thats shootimg out of a Bolt action Barret. Semi auto and full auto require almost bench rest precision to function safely. So if the anneal like this for high tolerances required I would sure hope it would work for normal reloading. It works fine for me.
     

Share This Page