Annealing Machines in Late 2018

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by Phil3, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. Phil3


    Sep 30, 2008
    I need to have some brass annealed, and after having looked through a multitude of older threads on annealing machines, it does seem that induction annealing is the way to go...for a price. I am not prepared to shell out $1000+ for an annealing machine unless it is demonstrably much superior in results vs any other method (torch). I am ok with some inconvenience in use.

    Perhaps technology, knowledge, and prices have changed for annealing in 2018, but what in your opinion are good values for the money? I am probably OK spending up to perhaps $500, but if twice that provides much superior brass, well, maybe I will consider the big buck machine.

    I will shoot perhaps a couple thousand rounds a year I would guess, in 223, 6mmBR, and 6.5 x 47.


  2. joshb

    joshb Gold $$ Contributor

    Oct 5, 2014
    I bought a Benchsource. I really like it. It takes a few minutes to get it set up for each case type, but once done I just sit there and plunk in cases. With a little background music, it takes little effort to do hundreds of cases at a sitting. At 2-4 seconds per case, you can do the math. I put the money “saved” into Lapua brass.;) I’m not the kind of guy that needs to have “the newest, greatest, most expensive”. I thought about buying the parts and building one. Instead, I treated myself to the Benchsource.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
    1shot, ckaberna, tmwinds and 2 others like this.
  3. jimmymac

    jimmymac Silver $$ Contributor

    Apr 19, 2017
    Timely thread. I'm considering one right now too. I have zero experience with annealing, but I've heard this is a good machine.

    Maybe someone with hands on experience will chime in on this unit.
    Don likes this.
  4. jepp2

    jepp2 Gold $$ Contributor

    Aug 11, 2011
    That is the machine I use. I annealed with my home made rig for several years before buying a machine. I considered the Annealeez, but decided to spend a little more and buy the MRB unit. I know there are plenty of folks happy with their Annealeez, but I was hesitant to buy a machine with some known short comings.

    I'm sure some of the AMP machines will chime in and tell you if you aren't using an AMP, you aren't annealing. I have a different opinion however.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018
    swadiver, jimmymac and joshb like this.
  5. Jdne5b

    Jdne5b Gold $$ Contributor

    Dec 20, 2011
    I was tired of hand feeding my Benchsource so I sold it. Was going to either build the Gina-Erik induction, or buy something.

    I initially considered the EZ-Anneal machine. It had induction and a casefeeder. Could run almost non-stop and was pretty much everything I was looking for. Then he raised the price substantially.

    After using my buddies MRB while doing research and trying to make a decision, I decided to scrap the induction plans and got my own MRB. I dont have to hand feed each case and it works just fine. I'm happy with the build quality, although sometimes when loaded full of .308 brass they do jam up a little. Other than that, it works great.
    jimmymac likes this.
  6. Gina1


    May 28, 2011
    hambone1971 likes this.
  7. uda123cat


    Oct 15, 2015

    I have, and use the Annealeeze, Bench-Source, and Annealing Made Perfect (AMP). All three do an excellent job in annealing brass from 223 up to and including 375 Cheytac. I have the first version of the Annealeeze and totally replaced the gas nozzle holder as it was just inadequate; a new design has since been implemented and I can't speak to that. Once set up (maybe 5-10 minutes depending if you need to change out wheels for different size cases-very simple) the Annealeeze can just be filled up and let it run. Of course, never walk away from any open flame source. In short the Annealeeze is a relatively cheap, fast, convenient, single torch system that is self-contained and just works. The customer support is fantastic as the owner helped me solve a gear issue with an ultimately simple fix with a wrench by spending time with me on the phone in the middle of his dinner. That's helping the customer!

    The Bench-Source is a two torch system that also requires a little bit of time to set up with some minor fiddling with the torch head holders but easily doable. Unlike the Annealeeze it does require constant attention to feed the rotating wheel with cases. As noted above, this is not a big deal once you get into a rhythm. Of course, one should never leave any machine with an open flame unattended including the Annealeeze. Again, this system can handle any case size up to and including 50 BMG. I use tempilaq for both the Annealeeze and Bench-Source. Two torches makes the annealing process go a little faster but not that much faster.
    Of course, it is significantly more expensive than the Annealeeze. The two propane bottles will require some type of ingenuity on your part to conveniently store them both while using or not using the machine and unlike the Annealeeze it is not a self-contained unit that is easily movable. Customer service is very good and the owner is reachable and helpful.

    The AMP machine is obviously an induction system that requires no propane bottles, open flames, or replacement propane bottles. It does require different case interfaces for the machine for each case size/caliber. Also, it requires that you hand feed each case just like the Bench-Source unless you buy a relatively expensive case feeder. Of course, the price for the AMP MK II is considerable compared to the other two machines. Again, customer service is second to none and you can use the machine in something called AZTEC mode to determine the "perfect" anneal time for your particular case and lot number. Also, you can send your cases in for testing on their machine to determine if it is perfectly annealed and can therefore calibrate your machine to perfectly anneal your particular cases. Kind of a pain to send things to New Zealand but, that is an option.

    Bottom line, how much money do you want to spend and how into the newest and "greatest" are you? I think the most cost effective and efficient sweet spot is with the Annealeeze. But, as noted in the above posts, there are many options to choose from and that is a good thing. None of the machines are "cheap" regarding cost and you can decide how much you want to spend and what type of machine do you want and if you want torches or induction processes.

    The above is only based on my experiences with the noted three machines and I don't have experience with any others. I hope you find this helpful.

  8. damoncali

    damoncali Gold $$ Contributor

    Mar 30, 2011
    You should start with why you “need” to anneal. If it’s just to soften up the necks then any machine will do. If you want to hit a tight tolerance of hardness, the amp seems to have nailed it and has the data to back it up. The rest are basically mechanisms to automate feeding cases through a flame.

    If all you want is softer necks to extend life, the AMP is not a sensible solution due to its cost. If you want more, I can’t comment intelligently, as I have no idea how much it matters.
    scyzer likes this.
  9. boltfluter

    boltfluter Gold $$ Contributor

    Jan 3, 2012
    I personally would consider salt bath annealing. Very consistent temps and dead simple and repeatable. Just my .02.:D:D

    Texas10, RetiredArmy and MN50Shooter like this.
  10. JRS

    JRS Gold $$ Contributor

    Mar 3, 2008
    The AMP offers consistency. No guess work.
    Matt in Virginia and LVLAaron like this.
  11. Preacher

    Preacher Gold $$ Contributor

    Jun 10, 2005
    Perfect each and every time works for me...
    GrimmSavage, joshb and boltfluter like this.
  12. MN50Shooter


    Feb 29, 2016

    I love the consistency I get with Salt Bath Annealing.
    RetiredArmy and boltfluter like this.
  13. 243BR


    Aug 5, 2016
    I've done thousands on a Bench source. Mostly 6br, but also 223 and 308. I have no experience with other brands but am totally happy with the bench source. I have heard it is possible to rig a Dillon style case feeder up to them, which would eliminate the hand feeding, but I've no tried it.
  14. mchees1


    Mar 10, 2016
    I decided on the more expensive AMP annealing for a couple of reasons. First, I don't have to worry about open flames/fire accidents. Second, with a torch, you have to watch the temperature of the flame because it will vary as the propane level in the tank drops. I saw a thread of a way to help with that by using a large barbecue size tank and rigging up some in-line regulators. But I didn't want to do that. The exact correct amount of annealing for any brand/size case takes all guesswork and uncertainty out of the process. I have found that since I started using the AMP to get consistent annealing that the extreme spread had dropped by almost 50% on most of my handloads. I attribute that to consistent neck tension in the annealed brass. Like a lot of people say - cry once.
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  15. Don

    Don Gold $$ Contributor

    May 24, 2007
    One more for Mikes.
    I never tried it before, read a couple pots and went with mikes..
    To me it is just fine..
  16. josh shrum

    josh shrum Gold $$ Contributor

    Mar 19, 2015
    I will chime in with a vote for the AMP. I have one and consider it money well spent.

    I think that Pag put it best when he said that if there was a need to own two, then he would own two, and so would I.
    dogdude likes this.
  17. Ccrider

    Ccrider Gold $$ Contributor

    Nov 17, 2012
    How long do you leave your 6ppc cases in the bath?
  18. murray brook

    murray brook Silver $$ Contributor

    Aug 8, 2015
    In my salt bath device I leave my cases(25/06--7mm/08) 6 sec when my heat reaches 525 C
  19. normmatzen

    normmatzen Gold $$ Contributor

    Oct 6, 2008
    I decided to start annealing my cases for long range bench rest before the AMP was introduced.

    As I have been an analog design engineer for 50 years with a significant part of that in Switched Mode power supplies, I decided to design an induction annealer.
    Well, after playing with a bunch of circuits and blowing a hand full of MOS power devices, I decided experimenting wasn't fun anymore.

    About that time, Fluxeon came out with their ANNIE annealer. So, I bought one. They had their share of hiccups with the difficult move into production and I had many problems. I stuck with them and they took care of me and after 3 problems, I ended up with the unit they supply now and absolute trouble free for many years.

    Why the Annie doesn't get more press here is
    beyond me. My ANNIE will anneal 100 cases in 15-20 minutes and after initially setting the correct anneal time with the use of Tempilac
    I get very good, stable anneals. And last time I checked their price is still around $450.

    I made a custom plastic base for mine with a glass rod sticking up through the water cooled coil (look up above in the ANNIE stickie) and I have glass rods cut for each case I anneal to get the anneal at the right part of the neck and shoulder area. That plus a tag taped on the platform with time vs case size and brand and I am good to go.

    And, that is my recommendation!
    boltfluter and Jdne5b like this.
  20. SGK

    SGK Silver $$ Contributor

    Mar 14, 2018
    Build a GinaErick. Scale the aesthetics/sophistication to meet your budget.

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2018

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