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blow torch, water and brass cases

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Eb1, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. Eb1

    Eb1 Well-Known Member

    I just saw a commercial with ol'man potterfield (no disrespect), and he was heating cases with a torch while the other half was in water.

    any idea what this is about?
  2. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    he's attempting to anneal the cases. he wants to make the necks softer w/o changing the metal around the head of the case in order to get more life out of them. brass hardens as it is worked (fired, resized) and the necks eventually split

    and by "attempting" i mean he's probably accomplishing nothing
  3. Mt Shooter

    Mt Shooter Well-Known Member

    He is annealing them, once they get to a certain temp you knock it over into the water I believe is how it works. Not sure how you tell what the temp is unless he is looking for a color change or something.
  4. 74sharps

    74sharps Member

    Color is what is being watched. I've been looking into that same thing for my .41LC. Brass runs a bit more than I care to pay and can be fire formed from .38SPL. easy enough.
  5. Eb1

    Eb1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, everyone.

    I wonder if that is why some of my PRVI Partisan and others are different colors sometimes.
  6. taliv

    taliv Moderator

    yeah, lots of new brass is annealed and has a odd discoloration around the neck.

    i'd consider this before doing the "knock it over in water" method. http://www.6mmbr.com/annealing.html
  7. mrkubota

    mrkubota Well-Known Member

    ...to slow on the keyboard for me...
  8. kelbro

    kelbro Well-Known Member

    ALL new bottleneck rifle brass is annealed. Some manufacturers just polish it before they package it.

    Annealing, like a lot of things, can do more harm than good without the proper tools.
  9. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Well-Known Member

    It's not hard to do, but if you're going to start annealing, read up on it and practice on some scrap brass before attacking your good cases. It takes a little knowledge and practice to get it done right.
  10. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    Go to Varmint Al's site to find out how it's done.

    IIRC, most all commercial cases are annealed before their first loading. On some military brass and commercial brass in very large calibers, you'll see the heat marks on the brass.

    I hand form brass for my .357 Herrett and anneal it. Pretty easy to do.
  11. Floppy_D

    Floppy_D Member In Memoriam

    Good article, taliv.
  12. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine uses this technique on 300 Weatherby cases. Using handheld propane torch not Oxy/Act. As above, in 1” of water, heat to color change and tip as you are just annealing the neck and shoulder. He clams cases last over twice as long when annealed every other loading.
  13. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    That's the way I have done it for about 40 some years.

    I very seldom anneal anything anymore, but used too a lot when using GI 30-06 brass to make several smaller calibers.

    Heat to light red and tip over in the water.

    Contrary to some folks opinion, it works just fine.

    Without it, case loss is unacceptable when re-forming or fire-forming 30-06 & .308 to many other calibers.

    With it, every case is a good one when you get done.

  14. cracked butt

    cracked butt Well-Known Member

    Just hold the case in your fingers and heat it with a propane torch until the neck discolors down to the shoulder. It doesn't need to be water cooled to annel the brass.
  15. HJ857

    HJ857 Well-Known Member

    For easy annealing get some of these.


    At whatever temp range you think is best. Some folks think 650 degrees is right, some say 700 degrees.

    Put the casing in some sort of holder that you can use in a power drill or screwdriver. Apply some of the Tempilstik to the neck then heat with a propane torch until the wax melts (This is usually around 8 seconds, give or take a couple), then tip into water to prevent heat from moving the the base of the case.

    Rapid cooling of brass does not adversely affect it, so no worries about that.
  16. TurboFC3S

    TurboFC3S Well-Known Member

    You must have asbestos fingers ...
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    and the whole idea of the case head being in water is to protect the integrity of it so the case head won't soften up. (Which is real bad, by the way ;) )
  18. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    How about dunking the case necks in a pot of molten lead? That seems faster and better temperature control (not that I've tried it yet)
  19. cracked butt

    cracked butt Well-Known Member

    If you are doing it correctly it will only heat the neck to annealing temperatures before the brass is too hot to hand on to.
  20. cracked butt

    cracked butt Well-Known Member

    If you are doing it correctly it will only heat the neck to annealing temperatures before the brass is too hot to hang on to. You can see the part that is annealed because it will turn a silverish color and have sort of a blueish rainbow color at the edge of where the annealing is. Like I said, your fingers won't get hot holding on to the rim, and it won't overanneal the case if you stop when the color change gets close to the shoulder. You don't need to get the brass glowing red or try to melt it or anything, just 3 seconds or so in the hottest part of a propane torch's flame and you're done.

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