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Annealing brass ?

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Kurt
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Annealing brass ?

#1 Post by Kurt » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:06 am

Can anyone tell me if rifle brass that has been heated too much in and annealing attempt, be restored, and how it would need to be done? Thank you.

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Re: Annealing brass ?

#2 Post by Tommy Atkins » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:18 am

AFAIK its toast. I've never heard of a way to restore it as metals have been leached from the alloy.

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Re: Annealing brass ?

#3 Post by DaleH » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:10 pm

Can’t be done, brass needs to be work hardened, where heat softens it. That cooling step in some torch annealing methods, where one tips over or drops the case into water isn’t to ‘harden’ it. Rather, the faster brass cools down from ‘hot’, the more completely the alloy anneals.

FYI, to extend brass life, I abandoned annealing and when I size my brass, I don’t use dies with an expander ball, as that has been shown to be what overworks the brass neck.

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Re: Annealing brass ?

#4 Post by Kurt » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:08 pm

Thank you very much, gentlemen, for your replies and the information.

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Re: Annealing brass ?

#5 Post by OLDGUNNER » Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:03 pm

ANNEALING BRASS – This is not to be contradictory in anyway – just my thoughts and as far as I know...no, think. I don’t know anything for sure.

To see things differently than the ‘Group think’...I liked that ‘Group think’ when I saw someone use it the other day. Basically if someone would ask me, which they are not, if over annealed brass can be reclaimed. I would say yes. It depends on just how one is doing the annealing, I realize why some anneal the neck AND SHOULDER. They anneal the shoulder just so that the brass will fit OTHER rifles easily after full-length
or partial resizing. Does this mean that the shoulders have to be annealed when one is annealing the NECKS...I say no. The reason for the neck annealing at all it is to save the brass for overworking, cracking, etc. A main reason of course may be to ‘try’ to maintain a more reasonable bullet-neck pressure. So...if one is using the brass for shooting in the same firearm, why anneal the shoulders – I wouldn’t, but some do. Back to the ‘Group think’ idea, most do so therefore one may think that they should also. I can’t help that.

So as far as I am concerned if one over heats the brass neck in annealing for the sole purpose of of preserving the life of the brass or tying to eliminate some of the bullet holding pressures, they can re harden the neck by merely working it a few times in the normal resizing die with the ‘ball expander’. If it hasn’t been softened too much and crumpled on the first resizing, I would say one has lucked out and saved the brass. I realize that if the brass has had its shoulder unnecessarily annealed too much that is just ‘Your bad’...cut that part off and try to use it some other way.

I have in my garage right now a brass annealer that I made years go with just this problem in mind, where the bullet was rotated in water up to the neck, covering the the shoulder.

I have a .30-06 with excess head space that will allow the brass to separate just 3/8 inch up from the base...if...if I do the full length resizing just a couple of times. And a couple of times I think it happened just after one resizing-yes I know, too much head space...but I can work around that by annealing the shoulder of some brass and just neck sizing that brass for that rifle only. Actually I solved the problem a little different - I just don’t need to shoot it.

Again I wish to reiterate, this is just the way that I see these things...in colorful Colorado this lovely day.
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Re: Annealing brass ?

#6 Post by OLDGUNNER » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:57 pm

Hey – Please, tell me if you may think that I am all wet about the brass annealing – that’s fine, it would be nice to know if I was making any sense to others.

The other day when I was saying that I just held the brass with my fingers until it was too hot to hold and then dropped them in water. A fallacy with this may be my work history. My first job out of high school was on the Northern Pacific Railroad, laying 40 miles of new steel...this being an upgrade to a heavier weight rail...and I decided that this idea of heavy work is good for the soul made me realize that my soul didn’t need all of this good help. So...I saw to it that this type of heavy work was well left to others that maybe needed that extra help. So...the idea of dropping the brass when it felt too hot maybe could be more controlled with a better annealing by putting some thin tape on my fingers where I could maybe hold onto the brass a little longer before dropping it – I haven’t tried it...just a thought.
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Re: Annealing brass ?

#7 Post by OLDGUNNER » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:25 am

I realize that this is just one input but If I am reading this phase diagram correctly it looks like to me that the typical cartridge brass of say 20 percent zinc has to get to about 960 degrees C which is about 1760 degrees F before it will start losing its zinc due to vaporization. If someone heats their brass this hot during annealing, darn...should they even be doing such a thing? And even if they are using Lapua brass of 36 percent zinc the temperature decreases to about 800 degrees C which is about 1472 degrees F. Gee whiz, if one heats their brass this hot, why should they even be playing with these things? Come on.

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/201 ... trometers/

https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-effect ... ting-point

Yes, if someone would really want to go to the trouble of reclaiming some brass that has had its shoulder heated too much one way that they could harden it is by what is called 'peen hardening'. Commonly done by using steel shot, but yes, for all practical purposes, just chuck it. But peen hardening is a common method for hardening such things.
I will assume that the Ball Peen Hammer was probable developed to harden areas of metals with out bothering the areas around the area of concern....maybe.
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Re: Annealing brass ?

#8 Post by Kurt » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:23 am

OLDGUNNER, Thanks very much for the information on annealing brass. Very interesting reading and thought-provoking. I am going to do a bit more reading about it and some experimentation just to see what happens to brass as it is worked. Thanks very much.

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Re: Annealing brass ?

#9 Post by OLDGUNNER » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:11 pm

Just in passing---as far as I am concerned, FOR ME, If I can squeeze the a brass neck with my fingers, with a noticeable flattening, it has been over annealed...or more directly it has been annealed more than necessary - to each his own. And.....since I am not into any kind of competitive shooting, and I have so much brass that I don’t even bother. My only reason to even experiment with these things is to just learn. If I were wanting to have a more consistent annealing of my brass I would merely make a tool that would apply a given amount of force on the neck and measure the deflection of the neck brass, and use the brass with a given amount of 'spring' deflection, plus or minus. And then use a common drill motor to polish the neck inside to some kind of consistency.

When one starts annealing brass just after so many firings or some other criteria, they will have no idea of what they may really have...just another compromise...In my opinion.
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Re: Annealing brass ?

#10 Post by OLDGUNNER » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:58 am

Good morning - - HI, HI...I have given my reasons why I wouldn’t just automatically anneal the shoulder of a piece of brass when it would ‘not be necessary’. I think that it may be informative to all as to why some one should just automatically anneal the shoulder of the brass when it is ‘not necessary’. Every example of what I read or see invariable shows this to be the ‘Right Way’. This to me is saying that the whole world is right and I am wrong. No problem on this, I get this feeling all of the time – every since I can remember. I see it as one doing this just in case someone else may want to use your reloads...what an errant reason...no one should be using your reloads in the first place.

It would be interesting to me to see just why this is so. As I have said, there are cases where it would or may be necessary...I am just talking about the times where it is ‘not necessary’, and still is done.

We are having another perfectly wonderful day here in colorful Colorado at 8175 feet.
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