What Is Annealing Brass?
In simple terms, it’s properly heating metal to a prescribed temperature then cooling to restore desired malleability
To harden brass, it must be WORKED to increase its hardness such as bend and re-bend, repeatedly hammer, draw and form which are all methods of WORKING brass. Regarding cartridge brass it is work hardened and consequently made more brittle from firing/reloading cycles which is “work hardening”. Brass can have its level of hardness softened by subjecting the metal to an annealing process at the proper temperature. Proper cartridge brass neck annealing is attained from quickly heating to not less than 700°F and not over 800°F. This must be done quickly so as to not over heat the base of the case as it must retain the hardness produced by the manufacturer.
Cartridge brass develops internal work hardening stresses form repeated firing/reloading cycles. Correct brass case neck annealing relieves these stresses returning the internal metal structure close to that as originally manufactured. Without annealing cartridge case necks will become brittle and crack from repeated use. If maximum accuracy and case life is the goal it’s best to anneal after every firing. Shooting loads near maximum we recommend anneal after no more than two shots. For milder reloads anneal at least after no more than three firings.
Annealing, when done correctly, increases the brass longevity plus giving consistent neck tension shot to shot which also increases accuracy. Both of these are desirable benefits for those reloading ammunition.
Are you in need of a brass cartridge case neck annealing rig? Check out www.cartridgeanneal.com! Our Anneal-Rite brass system is the perfect item for you. It is durable, inexpensive, and easy to use, see the demonstration video of the unit in use.