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Annealing brass

05 Mar 2013
@ 05:09 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

For Jason.

I prefer the old fashioned simple method Jason.

Pan of water, halfway up the case.
Blow torch (and pan) as per bullet annealing video in KB
I set the vise so I can walk around it, I do one case at a time.
Apply heat to the shoulder and neck, once the case neck goes dull cherry red, I rotate the blow torch around the case so that the cherry color goes around the case neck.
It is easiest to do this in a low light, prevents going overboard and making the case so soft that the shoulder collapses during bullet seating!

Wait 5 seconds
Remove case from water with a welding glove or very gently with light poly grips on case body. lay on a towel. Case needs to cool slowly to anneal.

Either allow to dry naturally or oven dry at a very low temp. If you have annealed unprimed cases, be very careful of water trapped in the case, it can really get locked in the case. It is preferable to anneal fired cases while the dead primers are still in the case.

I then resize and decap the cases. Because the above method is not performed in a controlled environment, there is the potential for variations in neck tension which may effect ES or subtly effect accuracy. Therefore, if doing load development, treat the freshly annealed cases as 'preliminary development'. The cases will then be uniform in neck tension after firing and re FL/Neck sizing.

There are various methods and home inventions on youtube. Some folk use a lee cutter shell holder and a cordless drill, others have different ideas. Whatever you do, make sure the case head has a heat sink (why I use water) as this area needs to remain somewhat hard. If incipient case head seperation (circular case split) occurs at the case head (or just forwards of the belt on magnums), it is a sign of over working brass in your press versus a long head space rifle. Back the sizing die off in the press to remedy this.


06 Mar 2013
@ 02:20 am (GMT)

jason brown

Re: Annealing brass
would you say that a wide flame is best like in your video?
we have one somewhere but i remember it having a pointed flame. mind you i guess its adjustable.

i will have to give it a go, thanks.
so the only thing that can go wrong is the case being too soft when seating?

06 Mar 2013
@ 04:32 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Annealing brass
Yes, I prefer a wider flame. The smaller torches would probably do- but my torch can be used to singe pigs! The torch I use is a Kovea Canon gas torch KT-2408.

The main considerations for annealing are:
Soften case necks- but not too soft. Cases to maintain a level of spring back.
Even annealing around the case neck and shoulder.
07 Mar 2013
@ 12:18 am (GMT)

jason brown

Re: Annealing brass
ok. thanks nathan.


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