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Annealed Brass - TempilStik

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Joshua M. Smith, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith Well-Known Member

    Hi All,

    With all the conflicting information out there about annealing, I decided to experiment a bit.

    I'd heard I needed a pan of water; that no, a air cooling was fine; to make the neck glow and to keep the neck from glowing and the flame from changing color, as either indicated a cooking-off of zinc from the copper (zinc melts at about 790°).


    Structural changes begin in brass at 650°, so I used a TempilStik crayon that turns to liquid at that temperature.

    I marked the case in three places: 1/4" below the shoulder, halfway down the case body, and at the head.

    The TempilStik melted below the shoulder at 8 seconds. An additional 2 seconds did not melt the crayon halfway down the body, so it looks like for this particular setup, which is a 9/16" deep wall socket stuck in an electric screwdriver, 10 seconds per case, air cooled, gives adequate annealing without burning out the zinc.

  2. oldfortyfiveauto

    oldfortyfiveauto Well-Known Member

    I broke down and got a Giraud Cartridge Case Annealer a while back and also did some experimenting. Most of the ways I've read to do this are typically way too complicated to be practical. You pretty much have to use the tempilstik liquid inside the case to know exactly whats going on so the flame doesn't ruin the material. Then you have to cut the case open to see. Turn the torch off and you have to start over.

    After much monkeying around I've found that just need to adjust the torch to get the heat line just below the shoulder and the neck to a very dull red in a dark room. This has been working well and is quick and easy to set.

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