Will Oven Drying Anneal Brass?


January 25, 2009, 07:24 PM

I noticed that several of the posters on the thread “Cleaning Brass of Lubrication” mentioned that they dried their washed cases in the oven at temperatures of 250F and 300F.

Is anyone aware if there may be a problem with the brass cases annealing at those temperatures and is duration at those temperatures a factor as well?

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January 25, 2009, 07:39 PM
why would you take such a chance with something that separates your fragile flesh from several thousand PSI worth of superheated gas. If you don't go beyond 300 it would be fine. But let me ask you this. How much do you trust your oven to be accurate?

If you're in such a hurry that you cannot allow your brass to air dry simply place a 100w light bulb over a bucket O brass


January 25, 2009, 08:07 PM
I am with Krochus on this.

The traditional viewpoint is that oven drying will anneal your brass.


January 25, 2009, 08:32 PM
I like the tried and true thrift store hair dryer method. It's slow and highly controllable. And a thrift store hair dryer only costs about 50 cents.

Jim Watson
January 25, 2009, 08:36 PM
I dry my wet ceramic tumbled black powder brass in a 250 F oven. Hasn't blown up yet.

January 25, 2009, 08:43 PM
I put my wet brass in a stainless colander, stick an oven thermometer in the pile, put the oven on low, and wait about 30 mins till the thermomter reads above 210F.

Been doing this for a couple of decades now.

I don't have an oven which will reach 600 F, the melting point of lead. My oven will get around 500 F, but if left on low, it never gets above 215 F. Ever.

January 25, 2009, 08:49 PM
C260 Brass which is 70-30 Copper-Zinc anneals at 800-1400F. I don't know what alloy your cases are, but even pure copper anneals at 800F.

January 25, 2009, 09:03 PM
i dont like oven drying, but 180 degrees in an electric oven, top rack, preheated should be OK, if the oven is clean, for 30 minutes. But you add some oily greasy stuff laying in the bottom of the over. Air born oil/grease that you can't see, not good.

January 25, 2009, 09:09 PM
i don`t even like gettin mine wet !!
i did try the vinager & lemon juice wash on some grungy range brass
i just put it in a bucket & stuffed a light bulb in with it , dry in 1/2 day or so.
keep your powder dry fellers!!!!


January 25, 2009, 09:19 PM
I anneal brass for several of my rifle loads and the annealing is not accomplished until the neck just begins to glow red which if memory serves is just under 500oF. Attached below (I hope) is a pretty good site for annealling.


January 25, 2009, 09:23 PM
I use the oven drying method at times, set the oven "electric" on low and as soon as the oven light goes off I turn the oven off. If I can pick the hot brass up with my hands it ain't annealed.

January 25, 2009, 11:19 PM
Krochus said: How much do you trust your oven to be accurate?

Well... if you insist on using your oven, you can get an oven thermometer just for that purpose - an "add on" that hangs from the rack or sits on the bottom, because home-variety ovens aren't all that accurate.

I've never been in so big a rush to do that - because anything I load I usually have thousands of empties anyway... :evil: but I will admit, I've run brass through the dishwasher a time or two.

PS - if you do THAT, make sure it's in a mesh bag like your wife uses in the laundry for her slips or whatever women wear :scrutiny: underneath. I lost some hornet brass in the dishwasher, got blown out of the rack and sucked down into the sump :eek: No fooling. I'm not good enough to make that up.:banghead:

The Bushmaster
January 26, 2009, 12:37 AM
Oh for petey sake. You would have to really get that oven HOT to anneal brass in that oven. 150*F to 250*F isn't enough to do much except dry the brass (water) and burn your fingers if you try to handle them too soon. They WILL anneal your fingers...

January 26, 2009, 12:50 AM
I dont know where you guys buy your ovens, but they shouldnt be innacurate to the point of 100 degree variables. I'm sure not all of us bake, but I do quite frequently. If my oven was off by 25 degrees my pastries would be destroyed.

Marlin 45 carbine
January 26, 2009, 01:57 AM
also to properly anneal brass it must be water quenched from heat.

January 26, 2009, 04:18 AM
The traditional viewpoint is that oven drying will anneal your brass.

If oven drying did anneal the brass at the temperature range that you mentioned (OP), the other issue would be that you wouldn't want to anneal the base of the case anyway. It's only the neck that needs to be annealed so that it's softer and won't split as easily after all the cold working that it experiences. Generally, the base of the case needs to be harder than the neck for a number of reasons.


January 26, 2009, 07:55 AM
it must be water quenched from heat.Just getting too hot can ruin it, despite quenching generally being a part of annealing brass. It does not have to be quenched to soften the case head enough to be dangerous.

January 26, 2009, 08:45 AM
If I can pick the hot brass up with my hands it ain't annealed.


i do not think annealed is the propper term here for this. anaelling is as posted earlier is getting the brass very hot and water quenching. but what you guys are afraid of is softening the brass by removing the temper in the bottom 2/3rds of it. i am no genius, but i dont think that is called annealing in the sense of the word as we normally use it. it is a valid point though. i once through out a whole tray of brass that i didnt get out of the oven in time, and my wife went to make french fries. she pre-heated the oven to 450 degrees, and when she went to put it in, she found my brass. that sucked. one of those lessons you dont forget!

January 26, 2009, 10:42 AM
Why bother washing the lube off your cases? I either load with a single stage and wipe the cases off or use a progressive and don't worry about it. As far as drying off cases I always just air dry for a day or two. Maybe put a fan blowing on them if I want to speed it up. I might put them in a 180 degree oven if I had one for shop use. I don't use anything that comes close to food for any reloading tasks.

January 26, 2009, 11:01 AM
I cannot remember the title of the Samworth publishing book on reloading, but in it the author warned about not getting brass above 470 (473?) F. He was an Ordnance Officer and probably had access to guys who knew the right answer.

The charts below make it seem that nothing is happening till 350 C (662 F).

This page, http://www.lfa-wire.com/c26000.htm, they reference a one hour stress relief temperature of 500 F (what ever that is) and annealing temperatures 800-1400 F.

Either way, nothing is going to happen at brass around 215 F. Except that it will burn your fingers.



If you want to convert C to F here is a calculator:

Mal H
January 26, 2009, 11:14 AM
I wouldn't dry out my brass in an oven strictly from an economy standpoint. That's overkill, wattage wise.

However, unless you plan to set the oven on the cleaning cycle, there is no chance of annealing or even affecting brass in it, assuming you don't go crazy with the temp setting.

Fire about 20 or so rounds in a bolt action in a short period of time and leave the last one in the chamber for a minute or two. That brass will be hotter than a low to medium oven. Would you toss that case? If so, toss it my way, I'll use it.

Sometimes we worry about things that we shouldn't.

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