Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by bsekf, Jan 12, 2018.
Warming the brass will only make it warmer, not harder.
If you check a curve of softening vs temp and time you will see the curve is linear. That means you cannot increase hardness by any heating! For that to happen, the curve would have to be extremely non-linear and dip down from rest then rising to a desired hardness with more time.
I am no metallurgist by any means. I did pay attention to what one old gentleman showed and told me.
He had used an automated annealer a little and had fine tuned it some.
He told me the way he had done it for years and years was with his bare fingers without a problem. Propane torch, blue flame pointing up. Roll the case in between your thumb and index finger, case mouth up. He always dropped his into a bucket of water, today some say it does nothing to the anneal. His method he swore you would drop the case before you ruined one.
Takes more time than most want to fool with.
Brass is only hardened by cold working it.
Please don't take my word for it though.
Just consult with every known reference in the materials engineering universe.
The answer is NO...
Your test is not nearly thorough and complete.
You can do all of that and think you have an answer.
Then you can FL size your cases and find that all the necks accordion and collapse.
Tempilaq tells you nothing about what will happen in the sizing die.
No. It does not harden. But it won’t lessen the seating force either.
Heating to below the critical temperature only relieves the magority of the stress. It does nothing to reduce the spring temper and stiffness associated with that. So the seating force will be the same.
In order to reduce these seating forces, the brass must reach critical temperature and remain there for sufficient time. This temperature and time are dependent on the amount of cold work and the type of cold work. More cold work the lower the critical temperature. Also more cold work the finer the grain structure you get in the rechrystallization process. If you hold the temperature high enough and long enough, these grains start to merge. That is the “dead soft” “no neck tension” state. There isn’t enough grain boundaries to develop tension.
With these fancy machines, most of them get to critical temp for a second or two and then the heat source is removed and the brass is air cooled. The refining process then tapers off until it stops when the temperature no longer supports it. No magic there. Whether it is better and more controllable than a torch and cases standing in water... is up to the user. But I can buy a lot of brass for the price of an amp machine. I already own an old cake pan and a torch. Neither is better. But me is less expensive.
What are you talking about ? I don't remember saying anything about how , when or if I sized the cases . So how can you conclude my test shows nothing ?
FWIW that isn't the only testing I did . I how ever did FL size those cases that were moderately over annealed as well as cases annealed to the correct temperature . They sized just fine , how else could I have seated the bullets ? You don't size your cases then anneal , or at least I don't . I did not size the cases I tried to get the heat to migrate to the head . There was no reason to because
1) That was not the intent of the test . It was just to find out if the heat would actually migrate to the head and reach a temperature that would soften the head if the heat source was only applied to the neck and shoulder .
2) The fact my test already showed I could anneal the necks to the point there was relatively low bullet hold by just moderately over annealing the necks . It was reasonable to assume the necks were at least as soft if not more so if severely over heated .
Correct , it only allows you to have consistent and repeatable results to draw conclusions from .
Why don't you show me/us the methods and results of your testing for comparison ?
Aside from neck tension capabilities being altered significantly, I found (the hard way - as usual) that over-annealing semi-auto brass brings on far more drawbacks. In my early days of annealing (I think I was 14?) I WAY over did some .223 brass and the necks would actually bend an/or partially collapse after being stripped off the mag. I ran into that again to a much lesser degree not too long ago, My accuracy had really fallen off with a lot of brass. I loaded a few dummy rounds, then checked them for run-out after ejecting them. WOW! No wonder. The necks weren't strong enough to remain straight and true through the loading process - which in semi's such as AR-15's - is tough to do anyway - especially with long bullets. The necks were able to provide adequate neck tension so, if not for the accuracy loss, I would likely not have checked the run-out after loading to find this problem.
Thank you Searcher , there's at least one real life confirmation that shows my test were accurate .
Where's CatShooter when we need him.....
You guys are making this too hard. First of all, if you look at all the annealers they all are time driven not temperature. That should tell you something.
I have had every annealer out there with the Ken Light being the only exception (MRB, AMP, Annealeez, BenchSource, etc...). They all have pros and cons. Unfortunately for me, I keep going back to the drill and socket, but I am hopeful that someone will come up with a good reliable annealer. The AMP was close, but my brass kept getting stuck in the shell holder, plus I don't like one at the time system. I'm hoping someone will make a commercial version of the Gina-Erik induction annealer.
In the meantime here's a paper that a member has written that should answer a lot of questions.
haha yeah based on how hot you get the case . It's not like each machine has a time it takes to anneal any case at any torch setting with any type of gas used . Yes they are time driven but that's just cus .
FWIW I'm not trying to make things difficult . I did these test to understand what was going on when annealing . It got confusing after awhile hearing so many people say so many different things about annealing . I figured instead of trusting one of many opinions I'd just test this stuff my self .
My test showed a propane torch turned down a bit will give more consistent results as far as the brass consistently reaching the same temp each time . I tested a propane torch at multiple settings ( different intensities of flame/heat ) and compared that to using a MAPP gas torch .
All these photos below were taken the moment the 750* temp indicator melted inside the necks
This flame took about 7 or 8 seconds to melt the 750* temp indicator inside the neck . I got lucky and caught the 450* on the outside melting at the same time .
This flame took just over 5sec to do the same .
Will this MAPP gas flame only takes 4secs
As you can see your timing is proportional to the heat of the flame
are you trying to anneal brass for a match or are you looking to satisfy some other deep psychological need that you have?
I have annealed a lot more steel than I have brass and with steel there is a critical temperature plus a time requirement, it also has to be in an "atmosphere". If you do not get it to the temp it does not matter how long you hold it at a less then critical temp, it will not change. I expect brass to do the same thing, but I don't know. Brass is different than steel, no atmosphere required...it doesn't harden if quenched, etc. I would expect that if you don't get brass to the point it changes then it will not change either.
Everyone has an annealing story, I'll try to keep it short....here is mine. 1990 I built two rifles both 30 caliber one had a HS stock and a McMillan barrel, the other had a McMillan stock and a Krieger barrel. Both were very accurate rifles for non-benchrest guns. Both would easily shoot 1/2 minute and they would do it with just about any powder and bullet combo if carefully reloaded. Now, I didn't have nowhere near the support gear I have today. I wasn't shooting these rifles off of a Sinclair rest, wasn't worrying with bullet runout, I did size to .001" under chamber size and I kept the barrels reasonably clean.
One rifle was a 308 and I was given a bucket full of Lake City 57 and 58 brass. It was so hard that the expander ball would chirp and pull very hard thru the necks. None of these cases split but they had to be the hardest I have ever loaded...still the rifle shot 1/2 minute at least and most of the time 5 shots at 100 was a ragged hole.
Worried about how hard the cases were and remembering reading about annealing in a reloading book I had I went ahead and tried it. Well, the SD/ES numbers were very favorable, unfortunately the groups were not. I just couldn't believe annealing the cases so they had soft necks and lighter tension could do this. I chased this ghost for many years. Tony Boyer, in his book comments on neck tension and he says he wants all he can get...he says he wants the bullets to seat hard into the necks for best accuracy.
I don't know how all this works and I am still not totally convinced I am on the right track with tighter neck tension, but I am seeing results that appear so. I really wish I had kept some of that rock hard Lake City 58 brass...I did keep one of the rifles though. For the purpose of testing I wish I knew how to harden brass!!
"......when I know in advance I have an error in reloading" Are you sure????
In the testing , only trying to understand how it works and what works using the torch and socket method .
As far as why I anneal . To promote consistent bullet hold/release and to extend case life .
To be clear these posts are about what the OP asked about . I'm not promoting anything or discounting anything . I'm just posting the results of some testing I did a few years ago . When those test are challenged , I explained a little more in detail as to what I did . I have all kinds of notes and photos on this subject . but so far I've been going off memory .
I personally like to test things before commenting how they work . Rather then regurgitate what I've read . This is not the case 100% of the time but is something I try to do
Just trying to track all this stuff & keep up.
Of interest is Mg's observation of higher temps inside neck than outside.
MAPP gas burns hotter than propane. Mg's 2nd post showed the MAPP flame so close enough to the neck the gas was not entirely consumed making the flame/brass contact to be in a reduction stage; in the 1st shot the propane flame was further away. MAPP gas is super hot and will toast brass faster than the adequately hot burning propane. This would support use of some device having a fixed distance between brass and flame tip and uniform heating and consistent timing.
In shots 2 & 3, the surface of the brass was not at the hottest part of the flame. The 1st shot (propane) was almost at the right position. The timing might be affected by the position of the brass and flame state, like inside the hottest part of the flame. But heat is heat & the temps were measured @ 450 & 750 and only 1 + second separated the two tests. The 2nd & 3rd (propane?) post shows what I think is secondary combustion of unburned gas shown by orange flame starting at the leading edge of the neck top. Increasing the flow of gas might be negated by positioning the brass inside the hottest part of the flame. Possibly, the inside 750 MAPP temp might occur 2 seconds before the propane temp if the brass surface was at the flame tip.
I shared searchers misfortune when I over toasted .204 R necks and my efforts destroyed a bunch of brass, sort of like searcher's. My thoughts are that small cartridges with narrow necks don't need as much torch time to anneal.
Looking at the Accurate Shooter site I found a bulletin that described testing brass spring back using vise grip pliers and a caliper. My .204 brass did not recover the .002-.003 - like dead soft. I might have been able to work-harden them but instead tossed that batch. Bullets were sort of stuck in plastic like necks. I think I will save the MAPP gas for sweating copper pipe joints.
Larry,as has been alluded to, it's my understanding that until brass is brought to the right temperature and duration..nothing happens.
I also believe that many people over anneal in search of that pretty blue Lapua ring.
Fyrewall , good observation . The one thing that was difficult with these test was the temperature indicator on the outside of the cases just below the shoulder and keeping the flame off of it . That’s why the flames were placed a little high or a little off from optimal position that was to keep them away from the temperature indicator . That MAPP gass was way hot and very hard to keep off the temp indicator. Yet it still heated the cases really fast .
There are many observations i noticed doing these test that are off topic for the thread .
I agree that can affect the timing but I don’t believe it would’ve been as much a second or two from the position of each flame . so I believe the those numbers are accurate enough for the purposes of this discussion .
Here is a good free online metronome for your computer or smart phone.
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