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Why Is Annealing Your Brass Important?
When you fire a round, the brass case expands and contracts. This expansion and contraction cause the brass to work-harden, which makes it more brittle and can lead to cracks, usually in the neck which ruins the case after numerous reloading and firing cycles. Annealing your brass helps relieve this stress and makes it more pliable, which in turn extend its life.
In addition, annealing your brass improves accuracy. The expansion and contraction that occurs during firing and reloading cycles work hardens the case causing uneven bullet to case tension shot to shot. Annealing the brass helps maintain proper and consistent ductility improving accuracy.
What Is Annealing?
Annealing is a heat treatment process to make metal softer by heating to a precise pre-determined temperature then letting it cool. For cartridge case brass necks, it occurs by heating the neck to at least 700º F. but not over 800º F. then cooling it. Steel that has been annealed needs to cool very slowly however brass can be naturally air cooled after removing from the heat source. The old method was to immediately dunk annealed brass into water once removed from the heat, however, this has no effect on cartridge case brass neck annealing. Proper annealing changes the microstructure of the metal, reducing internal work hardening, the temperature must be controlled and for cartridge case neck annealing must be stopped before reaching dead soft, which will ruin it.
Brass that has been properly annealed is resistant to stress cracking. Additionally, annealing can be repeated as often as necessary, for precision shooters it’s usually done before the case is reloaded each time. Brass used for hunting loads at or close to maximum should be neck annealed at least after 2 firings. Those who reload and shoot mild loads may only anneal the neck after 3 firings. For maximum case life and best consistent neck tension shot to shot annealing after each firing is by far the very best.
Why Is Annealing Your Brass Important?
When you fire a round, its brass expands and contracts. This expansion and contraction can cause the brass to work-harden, which makes it more brittle and can lead to cracks. Annealing your brass helps relieve this stress and makes it more pliable, which in turn helps extend its life.
In addition, annealing your brass can help to improve the accuracy of your rounds. The expansion and contraction that occurs during firing can cause the brass to distort slightly, which can affect the fit of the bullet in the case. Annealing the brass helps to ensure that it retains its original shape, which can help improve your rounds’ accuracy.
How to Anneal Your Brass?
There are several ways to anneal brass, but the most common method is using a torch. You’ll need to use a propane or butane torch with a small tip, and you’ll need to heat the brass until it’s glowing a cherry red color. Once the brass is glowing red, you’ll need to let it cool gradually. The best way to do this is to submerge it in water.
If you’re annealing a large batch of brass at once, you can also use an oven. Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and place the brass on a baking sheet. Heat the brass for 10 minutes, turn off the oven and let the brass cool inside.
No matter your method, it’s important to heat the brass evenly. If you heat one area more than another, it will create uneven stresses that can cause the brass to crack.
Once you’ve annealed your brass, you’ll need to clean it. The best way to do this is to tumble it in a media such as corn cob or walnut shell. This will remove the black oxide layer that forms on the brass during the annealing process.
How Often Should You Anneal Your Brass?
How often you anneal your brass depends on how often you work the metal. If you are constantly working on it, you will want to anneal it more often. If you are only working it occasionally, then you can anneal it less often. The best way to determine how often to anneal your brass is to experiment and see what works best for you.
Annealing your brass is a process of heating the metal to a specific temperature and then cooling it slowly. This process relieves stress in the metal, making it more ductile and less likely to break. Annealing also makes the metal easier to work with, allowing you to shape and form it more easily.
If you’re working with brass, it’s important to know how to anneal it properly to get the best results. Use this article as your guide to get you everything you need to know about annealing your brass.
Enterprise Services, LLC offers cartridge brass annealing services. Our Anneal-Rite brass annealing system is the perfect tool for annealing cartridge brass necks. It is precise, durable, and affordable. For demonstrations, call us at 479 (629-5566)