Oven annealing: how long at 400 degress?


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Ignition Override
March 16, 2013, 08:02 PM
No luck correcting title typos. This is for .303 Prvi and .308 Win./Rem. brass.

A friend mentioned it and I could not remember how much time he suggested, or he was vague.

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rcmodel
March 16, 2013, 08:14 PM
You cannot anneal brass at 400 degree's in an oven!!!!

To do so would anneal the whole case, including the case head, and ruin it for any further reloading.
It simply would no longer be safe to shoot.

Annealing is used to soften the necks only.
Not the whole case.

rc

Reloadron
March 16, 2013, 08:18 PM
Annealing is a softening process used on brass bottleneck cases which softens the brass. Only about the upper 1/4 or so of the entire case is annealed. You do not want to anneal an entire case as bad things can happen. Even when the cases are properly annealed the temperature is controlled so as not to destroy the zinc in the brass. Then the brass is quenched. Watch this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVeRDAsrCfM) to see what I mean.

There is a rumor out there about placing brass on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for 20 min. That is a recipe for disaster as I see it. I could be wrong but not a great idea.

<EDIT> That RC guy is really quick! :) I start typing and he completes a post. </EDIT>

Ron

Ignition Override
March 16, 2013, 08:20 PM
Thanks very much.
I just read elsewhere about the danger of heating more than the neck.

The guy that heard this has never done it, but as a master car mechanic they have equipment at work for heating the necks.

Reloadron: A appreciate the nice video link.
As modern ovens have electric coils instead of gas, is it still effective?

Reloadron
March 16, 2013, 08:41 PM
Reloadron: A appreciate the nice video link.
As modern ovens have electric coils instead of gas, is it still effective?

Now you went and just insulted my gas range and oven! :)

A Google of annealing brass rifle cases will bring up a few ways. Unfortunately a modern electric range won't work. However, a simple and inexpensive propane torch from any home improvement store can be used just fine. Remember, do not overheat the brass. Never let it go to cherry red! Just rotate the case necks in the flame for uniform heat.

Hope that helps...
Ron

SlamFire1
March 16, 2013, 08:46 PM
I would not get my brass to 400 F in an oven for any reason. It is too close to actually annealing the case head.

I have lots of horrible pictures of the after effects in a rifle when the case head blows.


Handloader’s Manual

Early Naramore, Major Ordnance Dept Reserve, Small Arms Publishing , 1937


“The best and surest way of drying cases is with the use of artificial heat, but care must be taken not to overheat them, as too much heat will soften the brass and may render it incapable of withstanding normal pressures. Most modern stoves, whether electric, gas, or coal, have oven thermometers that are, at least, fairly accurate. For stoves sold in the United States, these thermometers register degrees Fahrenheit and brass can be heated up to 428 degrees Fahrenheit without undergoing any change in its grain structure. For drying cases it is best to keep the temperature as low as 300 degrees. This heat is amply high for the purpose and offers a liberal allowance for any inaccuracy of the thermometer. If you oven has no thermometer, one can be purchased at small expense in almost any department or five and ten cent store. The thermometer should be placed near the cases as the temperature will not be the same in all parts of the oven. It is also well to place the cases on one of the sliding shelves or racks, away from the bottom of the oven, or the heating element if it is an electric stove.”

I doubt anyone has coal fired ovens anymore; this was written in 1937.

From reading Major Naramore’s book, it is obvious that the gentleman had a technical education in materials or materials engineering. He also worked in an era when the Army actually made rifles, cannons, cartridges and had research labs. Today everything is contracted out and data sharing just does not exist between contractors or anyone else. But then, he could call up an Army buddy and find out who and whom had material data on cartridge cases.

I am surprised that brass will anneal at 428 F, I would have thought, based on the diagram I have, that it is much higher. Still, I put my oven on low, and in a half hour or so, my “five and dime” store thermometers read 212F, and don’t go any higher. Since water boils at 212F (at sea level) I know my brass is dry. I don’t set the oven any higher than warm because all the grease in the oven evaporates on my brass, if the oven temperature increases by much.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/BrassAnnealDiagram.bmp

jmorris
March 16, 2013, 09:19 PM
Only reason you would anneal an entire case would be to swage it into a jacket for something else.

joeschmoe
March 16, 2013, 09:54 PM
I saw a pic of a mold someone made drilling holes in a brick(?) for the cases to sit in leaving only the necks exposed. He then used a torch, but a hot oven for a few minutes would do the same thing.
Although ingenious, there were many who commented that there still was no way to know if he had made the necks too soft or brittle. Without a way to accurately control, and calculate the cooling as well as the heating you can't be sure of what you've achieved.

Reloading works fine without annealing. Home annealing could be worse than not doing it. Trial and error is not a safe way to find out.

Xelera
March 16, 2013, 10:14 PM
Here's a very detailed and informative article from the old 6mmbr.com forums.

http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html

Ignition Override
March 17, 2013, 03:15 AM
Thanks very much.

jmorris
March 17, 2013, 09:36 AM
Joe, you can cool brass how ever you want, it won't make any difference.

FROGO207
March 17, 2013, 12:06 PM
An old reloader once told me that you fill a pan with water to the height you want the brass to stay cool and put it in the oven to anneal. WOW I never did that though------water will boil at 212* F and just evaporate keeping the whole thing from heating up until it was gone.:banghead: I anneal my brass by dipping the necks into my lead pot for the correct length of time. This works for me and there are several other good methods. jmorris has a machine he built to do just that. A search for annealing will find a lot in this sub-forum.

murf
March 17, 2013, 02:06 PM
slamfire1's post makes a couple good points.

1) don't heat brass over 428 degrees fahrenheit. best to keep the temp well below that. ovens tend to cycle on and off while heating and may bring temps up much higher than what you set the dial. get and use an oven thermometer.

2)don't heat your brass in a cooking oven where it can be contaminated by grease, etc. use an oven dedicated to drying your brass.

3) below 428 degrees, it doesn't matter how long you leave the brass at temperature. above that, grain structure starts to change which changes the qualities of the brass.

murf

SlamFire1
March 17, 2013, 08:00 PM
1) don't heat brass over 428 degrees fahrenheit. best to keep the temp well below that. ovens tend to cycle on and off while heating and may bring temps up much higher than what you set the dial. get and use an oven thermometer

I wash the lube off my cases and I put my cases in the oven, or toaster oven at low. The toaster oven lowest setting is 150 F and that is what I use. Takes about 30 minutes.

rcmodel
March 17, 2013, 09:44 PM
IMO:
Annealing and ovens have no place in the same thread after the OP's question was answered in the first place.

If you want to cook your brass, or your face?
Use the oven!

Otherwise, find out how brass annealing is done correctly, and do it that way.

rc

Sport45
March 17, 2013, 10:56 PM
I anneal my brass by dipping the heads into my lead pot for the correct length of time.

You mean the necks, right? Annealing the heads wouldn't be the thing to do.

TheCracker
March 17, 2013, 11:04 PM
Reloadron: A appreciate the nice video link.
As modern ovens have electric coils instead of gas, is it still effective?

Wow! i guess the $650 gas oven i just bought for the wife at home depot last month is an antique! Gas stoves aren't modern? You must live under a rock lol. Gas is cheaper and cooks better IMO and still used by most that have access to it.

I wouldn't recommend trying annealing on a electric range!

FROGO207
March 17, 2013, 11:11 PM
Yep I mean the necks.:o I'll go back and change that. Thanks!

jerkface11
March 17, 2013, 11:19 PM
Brass should never go into an oven for any reason. Your oven is for cooking food not for heating brass. As for quenching, you don't have to quench brass after annealing.

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