How long does it take to dangerously anneal a case

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by calgarycanada, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. calgarycanada

    calgarycanada

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    This is hardly scientific so DO NOT do this and try to use the case afterwards.

    I read a few threads about annealing and over annealing in last few weeks. A few posts got me thinking if it is possible to over-anneal a case head and if yes then how long does it take.

    Just so we are on same page : different cases, different manufactures and even different lots will act differently so take this info with grain of salt.
    I didn't wanna use a socket coz that would act as a heat sink plus I wouldn't be able to see when tempilaq melted. Also I wanted to create worst case scenario. I used 650 deg tempilaq coz I believe (just me, some people say 600)that's where brass starts to anneal. So I put case in Lee case holder and spun it with drill in the propane torch flame set to max with center blue flame just touching the case at neck shoulder junction.
    First I did it with Lapua 308 case, I videoed it too. I'll try to upload but no promises as I have never uploaded video before so it may not work.
    The picture is setup with tempilaq along the side & just above the case head (around the case)starting at 0.350" and finishing at 0.500" from case head(roughly). This is where I believed it's still supported by chamber but close enough to the head where if annealed I wouldn't fire that case again. I'm gonna call it "tempilaq belt"

    Result: At full blast of "my" torch it took about 7 secs to melt tempilaq inside the neck(usually I'm done here) about 16 secs where case neck started glowing and 38 secs when I first noticed top of tempilaq belt staring to melt. I took 58 total secs where complete tempilaq belt was done.
    I repeated the test with Winchester case, times were only couple seconds less compared to lapua.
    Verdict: You guys come up with that. IMHO, this was worst case scenario where there was no socket acting as heat sink So unless you keep heating the case for another 15 seconds or so after case neck starts glowing(case is already not useable for precision work at that point) it is hard to dangerously anneal a case. Please don't quote me on that coz someone is gonna come along and prove me wrong.
    Once again don't reuse such case, short cases will overheat faster and if you blow up your gun don't blame me, blame Mr Obama for that.
    There you have it, don't over anneal cases and be safe.
    Link to crappy video, if it works at all
     

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  2. calgarycanada

    calgarycanada

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    I watched the video on YouTube and it's very very crappy, can't see much. So don't waste your time
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  3. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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    Well he did say he'd never uploaded a video before so give him credit for at minimum taking the chance of getting flamed for trying to do something for the first time. You can do better I'm sure.

    Point is it takes time - quite a bit in fact - to possibly create a safety hazard by softening case bodies thru overheating.

    You could shorten that time by upping the caloric delivery system you choose to employ (heat source in simple terms). Nobody I know uses oxyacetylene or plasma for just that reason.
     
  4. dickn52

    dickn52 Gold $$ Contributor

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    When it turns red, you found the bad point. Toss it in the salvage bin and try again.
     
  5. Webster

    Webster

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    Thanks for the good info. What you did is what i wanted to do for a long time but I didn't want to buy TempLaq. It was very good info. I always though it was near impossible to overheat a case head by annealing. Your test verifies it. You will get flamed by many people for anything you put on this website. There is plenty of good accurate info stating that 1 hour at 750F there is almost zero hardness change. People cannot grasp what that means, they just dump on you. If you heat for 8 seconds the neck is at the very bottom of the published annealing range for only about one second. I cannot prove it but i suspect we are stress relieving and not annealing. No-one will believe any accurate info you put on this website. People are knocking your video and not commenting on the good data. Just shows how pessimistic they are. GREAT JOB!
     
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  6. calgarycanada

    calgarycanada

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    All I'm trying to say here is that under normal annealing process, even if you overheat neck little too much, case isn't unsafe to use. It's just that soft necks may not give precision required for competition.

    BTW crappy video comment is my own, it is crappy quality. On my phone it didn't look as bad when I posted it on YouTube it turned out really bad, hence my own comment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
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  7. fguffey

    fguffey

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    Many years ago I purchased some, what I thought, were magnificent pull down cases. When cases were cheap I never turned down cases with different case heads. I matched the cases in groups of 20 and loaded then fired 20 of them. Not long after firing them I read on the Internet the cases were suspect. Seems the manufactured took short cuts in the annealing process. I moved the suspect cases to the collectable case drawer.

    Before that I decided to start annealing cases. I gleaned through the information available and then decided it could not be done because there were problems with every method and or technique; no one could agree on anything.

    I decided there had to be rules and the rules had to be applied to any process. I used the rules to make a tool that could be used to anneal cases.

    When going back through some of the suggestions on the Internet I found one that suggested holding the case in the hand while using a torch, I did not say that method will not work even though the methods does not agree with a rule. Then there was the one suggesting using a torch while rotating the case in a socket. And I wondered if the socket is used to prevent the case from burning the hand or the socket was used to rotate the case in a drill.

    Then there was the suggesting a reloader should use a candle. I thought that method would not work because of simple rules.


    F. Guffey
     
  8. Sheldon N

    Sheldon N

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    Thanks for the video, gives some reassurance that you're not likely to soften up a case head under reasonable circumstances.
     
  9. jlow

    jlow

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    Nice work! Nothing more convincing that actually running an actual test.

    It was my impression and believe that it is difficult to anneal the case head, this is why it is a total waste of time dropping heated cases into water. I think it might be possible to do it but you have to heat a significant surface of the top part of the case and slowly so that the heat can equilibrate and migrate. People who has experience with sweating copper pipes know how hard it is to get efficient transfer of heat.

    IMHO, the difficult part of annealing is not softening the head but getting the correct and even anneal on the head and shoulders case after case so that you get consistent shoulder bump and neck tension. The last one not overly soft, not just warming the case up, but actually getting a proper anneal and the same degree of anneal.
     
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  10. Hntndad

    Hntndad

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    When I first started annealing I realized it takes quite a bit (and I mean A LOT) to over anneal a case neck to the point that the head is suspect.
    However, over annealing case necks softens shoulders and upper portion of the case body. Folks know that the firing pin itself can set back the case shoulders. When the shoulder and upper 1/3 of the body is too soft, a tremendous amount of setback occurs. The firing process takes place and the case head to shoulder lengthens back to normal. What your left with a lot of times is a case that lengthens very quickly. Over anneal a case, fire it, partial full length resize and you may just notice that your case length has grown .010 in 1 firing. Not very conducive to brass longevity. At that point not annealing at all would be a better way to go. Just my honest opinion.
     
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  11. lal357

    lal357

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    i started annealing using templaq and started counting how long it took to melt i wrote it down for the different case i reload and just count
     
  12. dkhunt14

    dkhunt14

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    I believe it would be hard to ruin the case head. In my opinion the case is ruined way before you get that heat to the case head. Matt
     
  13. Webster

    Webster

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    ! agree. The neck would be grossly over annealed or melted before the case head is in danger. If the case neck is a definite red for a couple seconds it is close to or dead soft and will have close to zero neck tension.
     
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  14. itchyTF

    itchyTF

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    I think this .223 was on the order of 4-5 seconds using my induction unit. I don't believe the case head got anywhere near 450.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Paddyd

    Paddyd

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    I anneal my more expensive cases after a few firings to try to squeeze a bit more life from them. I probably am doing it wrong ,but this is how I do it. First, I fill the case half full of water. This keeps the heat where I want it, up top. I also do it in the basement in very low light. The low light area helps me from over heating. In the low light I can see when the case is "just about" to turn red and I then stop the torch and tip it over onto the cold cement floor to aid in quick cooling. You can quench brass in water since brass alloy doesn't react to quenching like steel and get harder, it just cools off quicker. I may try the drill method to get a more even heating pattern. Then I could dump it out of the socket into a bucket of water without needing to handle the hot case.
     
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  16. eric n

    eric n Gold $$ Contributor

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    Here's my experience
    I was using mapp gas and letting it go for 15 seconds or more. With my completely unscientific method I was checking spring back at the case mouth with a pair of needle nose pliers and using a small punch down the case body with a tiny ball peen to see if the malleability changed or the indents showed any sign of changing.... I was performing this "experiment" while holding the case head with a pair of channel locks...
    After opening up the channel locks, the case flipped up on my hand. I heard the sizzling before I felt it, and after swatting it away it bounced off my counter top and hit me in the chest. I had an exact replica of a 223ai emblazoned on my chest. Lol.
    Moral of the story? Don't anneal without a shirt on!

    I have a pic but it's on an old phone... I will dig around for the charger and see if I can find it then put it up.
     
  17. dixieppc

    dixieppc In search of one small hole...

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    Wow, you could Tattoo something real neat around the emblazoned scar of the 223 to set it off.

    Regards....
     
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  18. r bose

    r bose

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    Before I started annealing I thought it was some sort of complicated process. Now I use a drill, a torch, and low light conditions looking for that faint red glow. Simple, wait for it then drop in a pie pan to cool. Never had a problem.
     
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  19. dickn52

    dickn52 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Looks like it may have touched the coil. Just guessing though.
     
  20. dkhunt14

    dkhunt14

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    My machine has dip switches which controls the time. It has a 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, 4 and 8 second. They can be added up to get what time you need. I use Mapp and it gets real hot. I was doing my 300 WSM cases and had the 1/4, 1/2 and 1 second flipped on. I was going through the set and accidently bumped the 4 second switch on. I sat there waiting for the case to flip out the flame and was saying come out, come out. It turned red and redder and I watched the whole neck slump and fall inside the case. The base was nowhere near being annealed, but the case was ruined. Matt
     

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