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Anyone willing to tell their homemade or inexpensive annealing process and equipment?  I think i want to learn it.

 

45 colt/schofield mainly and maybe 38 special

 

edit to add schofield shorter cases. 

Edited by Marshall Matt Dillon
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If you are a bullet caster already,  just melt up a pot of lead and dunk the mouth about half deep in the lead.  Primers out so not to trap air.  One by one. When you lift them out and lead falls away, they are done.

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Tried the homemade kind, right up to making a shell holder with a torch on either side.  Painted Tempilaq on the cases to get the right temperature, put the case in the flame, when the Tempilaq melted took it out of the flame.  The most tedious process that I could imagine.  After researching and not wanting to spend a whole lot of $$ I decided on an Annealeez. Best investment I made, goes fast and easy to get good results.  The best thing, since I started annealing .45C I haven’t had a split case.

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6 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

If you are a bullet caster already,  just melt up a pot of lead and dunk the mouth about half deep in the lead.  Primers out so not to trap air.  One by one. When you lift them out and lead falls away, they are done.

the one's I've looked at that don't require open flames and fancy machines was basically this with the lead replaced with some kind of molten salt...  I'd be willing to try the lead method before investing in that.

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I use a socket mounted in a cordless drill and a propane torch.

Templaq is a plus but it can be done by reading the color of the brass.

Low tech and cheap,but has worked for me for years.

Choctaw Jack 

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1 hour ago, Warden Callaway said:

If you are a bullet caster already,  just melt up a pot of lead and dunk the mouth about half deep in the lead.  Primers out so not to trap air.  One by one. When you lift them out and lead falls away, they are done.

What temp do you want the lead at? How long do you hold them in the lead? Sounds like a cheap and easy way to go if you have a lead furnace.

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I made this one.

 

 

 

Works great.. rather than cut the cake pan down to the desired length I add a wooden spacer to set how much brass is exposed. Use the same for the case feeder ramp.

 

Works exceptionally well. number of cases per hours all depends on how long it takes to get the case to the proper temperature.

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1 hour ago, Eyesa Horg said:

What temp do you want the lead at? How long do you hold them in the lead? Sounds like a cheap and easy way to go if you have a lead furnace.

 

Never knew.  Just hot enough to get the lead melted and hold under a few seconds and pull it out.  If it comes out with cold lead stuck to it, dunk it back in.  After a few you get the timing right. 

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:) Marshal Matt :)

 

PLUS ONE too Choctaw.  I also anneal on the cheap.  It doesn't have to be done "every" loading.  I use a 1/2 inch (I think) socket, with a bolt thru it, chuck it up in a cordless drill motor.  I use those little fat camping propane tanks with a torch head.  Rotate the case in the socket with the top half inna flame, watch the color.  Quit as it goes orange.  then I dump it inna little bucket of water cause I don't want to wait for the cases to cool.  Cheap.

 

SKULL NUMBING BORING.  But well worth it.  Completely eliminates Blow-By with straight wall cases in Rifles.  NOT recommended  for handgun ammo.

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The proper annealing temperature is 650 F ... a propane torch on the case mouth no lower than the case shoulder or bullet seating depth  will turn the brass a bluish/green at 650 ... then drop the case on a cotton towel to cool ... not in ice water

Edited by John Boy
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

:) Marshal Matt :)

 

SKULL NUMBING BORING.  But well worth it.  Completely eliminates Blow-By with straight wall cases in Rifles.  NOT recommended  for handgun ammo.

Is that because of extraction issues in handgun? That is all i could think of.

 

how often do cases need annealed?

Edited by Marshall Matt Dillon
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4 hours ago, Eyesa Horg said:

What temp do you want the lead at? How long do you hold them in the lead? Sounds like a cheap and easy way to go if you have a lead furnace.

I have had good annealing with the melt around 650 - 700,  hold the case in until it gets warm on your fingers , then pull it out. You'll be ready to let it go by then.

Or use gloves or tongs and hold the case in about 5-6 seconds.

Rex:D

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Careful with the dipping in lead / molten salt that you don't leave it too long. It is easy to overheat the brass using a torch based on the color of the brass.  Use templaq till you get a feel for the process. 

 

You only want to anneal the case mouth. Get it too hot or allow the heat to make it to the base will ruin the brass.  This will lead to case failure 

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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At a quick look, the lee lead pot with Ballistic Recreation system looks to be under $200 to set up. (Do all cases)

The annealeez looks to be around $300. (May not do short cases)

The socket/bolt/torch/bucket could be done under $30. (Do All cases)

 

The lee pot could be used for other things, while the annealeez is single purpose. 

 

They all get hot,,,,

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I have a question that I have never seen asked or answered;

If brass was annealed once before, either at the factory or by a reloader, is there a time limit on when it should be re-annealed? I know that annealed brass can be reloaded a couple of times before the annealing should be redone, or that was what I was told, but I have never heard if annealing has a “shelf life”.

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5 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

I have a question that I have never seen asked or answered;

If brass was annealed once before, either at the factory or by a reloader, is there a time limit on when it should be re-annealed? I know that annealed brass can be reloaded a couple of times before the annealing should be redone, or that was what I was told, but I have never heard if annealing has a “shelf life”.

 

Brass does not harden over time it gets harder the more it is worked. (bent, pulled compressed ect.) Working the brass changes its internal structure and making it stronger. When cases are manufactured a certain amount of work hardening is desired. This makes the brass strong enough to contain pressures of over 50,000 psi. 

You can over work brass making it so tough that is becomes brittle. this is what happens to the case mouth from contstant resizing and crimping.

 

When you heat brass to a certain temperature you allow the internal structure of the brass to relax and become less tough. The higher the temperature the faster this happens. You can anneal brass at temperatures as low as 600 degrees but it take hours. Temperatures over 775 degrees will permanently damage the alloy composition making it unsuitable for cartridge cases.

 

Unlike steel brass does not get harder when quenched. The primary reason brass is quenched during the annealing process is to prevent the base of the case from being annealed. You want to limit annealing to the case neck only on bottle neck cases and to the depth of a seated bullet in straight wall cases.

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1 minute ago, Cahawbakid said:

I have no problem doing .45 colt in my Annelize. They carry wheels of the appropriate size. 

Which wheel kit? I emailed them and ask but got no response,,which was also a strike against them.

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It’s a small company, just a couple of employees. In this environment give them a break. The wheels are listed on the website by case measurement length x Diameter. I have three sets, different sizes, I run 45 colt, 223, 50-70,45-70

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I use a sardine can. Setup a number a of cases in the can. Add water to the can about half way up the cases. Use propane torch to heat top of cases to just a discernable dull red. Quickly jar can so cases fall over into the water. Done.

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53 minutes ago, Cahawbakid said:

It’s a small company, just a couple of employees. In this environment give them a break. The wheels are listed on the website by case measurement length x Diameter. I have three sets, different sizes, I run 45 colt, 223, 50-70,45-70

No break for not answering phone during business hours. 

 

Below is what their wheel kits fit. None of them fit the dimensions of 45 schofield,,so they need to answer my questions. 45colt just sneaks in! I need their opinion on thinning wheels on my lathe.

 

Do you also need to anneal cases that are:

Longer than 2.5″ with a diameter between 0.5″ and 0.625″? Add Large Case Kit

Between 1.25″ and 2.0″ long with a diameter less than 0.5″? Add Small Case Kit

Shorter than 2.0″ with a diameter between 0.5″ and 0.625″? Add Super Short Magnum Kit

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39 minutes ago, Snakebite said:

I use a sardine can. Setup a number a of cases in the can. Add water to the can about half way up the cases. Use propane torch to heat top of cases to just a discernable dull red. Quickly jar can so cases fall over into the water. Done.

It appears the most needed knowledge for the cheap DIY methods is learning to read the color. Everything else is just convenience. 

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Marshal Matt,

 

We're now two miles down the page, butt . . . . YES.  The reason I don't anneal handgun cases (nor recommend) is extraction.  It can be very difficult to extract in a normal manner.  Becomes:  Pull cylinder - Use Punch.  Don't ask how I have garnered this little factoid. 

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John Boy,

 

Why on earth would I want to scorch a perfectly good Towel??  My bucket of water, is just plain Tap Water.  Why would one waste perfectly good Ice Cubes??  Quenching to quickly cool has no effect on Brass . . . . . . . .

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15 hours ago, Snakebite said:

I use a sardine can. Setup a number a of cases in the can. Add water to the can about half way up the cases. Use propane torch to heat top of cases to just a discernable dull red. Quickly jar can so cases fall over into the water. Done.

 

 

That's how I've done it for years. Except I use a casserole size pan. I de-prime, stand all the cases up in the pan with water about half way up the case. Using a torch I bring them to a low cherry glow and tip them over one at a time

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I started salt bath annealing about 6-7 years ago, because my rifle brass was pricey and some hard to find (303,8mm mauser,7.5x55) and also for neck tension...
ABout oh...2 years ago I would do some of my 45 colt because I read it would help with the dirty cases and blowback in my 1873 .....
Before November 2020, I would never bother scraping under the gun safe to get the 10 primers that rolled under it....these days I we'd probably hire a mover to move the safe over so we could get them.....same with brass...if it helps make it last longer-its worth the effort.
I never considered buying an annealing machine because back then I dont believe I ever saw on for under 300..I bought the salt and a small lee pot to dedicate to salt-and made the "holder" for the rifle brass myself. I have found that holding the 45 colt with pliers is much easier than plopping it in and out of the holder.
 As long as my salt is between 500 and 570 or so, Im not picky about the temp...I hold for about a count of 6 Mississippi, then chuck in water (has nothing to do with the annealing process-its just to get rid of the salt.  
It turns the first 1/4 to 1/.2 inch or so the nice blue green annealing color as from factory-so Im happy. If you do drop one in the pot, dont bother with it-pull it out and chuck it-its ruined...Ive ruined about 6.
 

 

Edited by Lunger Dan
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