Ruger Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been annealing rifle brass for a number of years now but have never heard of annealing pistol brass until I was reading an on line article the other day and annealing 45 Colt brass was mentioned to prolong the life of the brass. I'd be a bit leary of trying that with a short pistol case. I have to ask though, is it possible to safely do it? I'm never too old to learn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,605 Posts
I suppose you could but my biggest concern would be getting it to hot since you’re dealing with a short case. Personally I wouldn’t mess with it. I’d just shoot-em till they split and toss em.
 

·
Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
Joined
·
16,162 Posts
I'm with the other posters …. annealing any straight wall case is an exercise in futility. Annealing makes the brass much softer so it is very likely you will "accordion" a case when you try to seat a bullet. If you ever tried reloading AMERC cases, you would see what I mean because they are way too soft. Further, soft brass does not maintain enough neck tension on bullets so you can easily get bullet pull, even from very modest recoil. Getting good initial powder ignition relies on good neck tension …. otherwise you will get a wide variation in muzzle velocity, which in turn affects accuracy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
I've been annealing rifle brass for a number of years now but have never heard of annealing pistol brass until I was reading an on line article the other day and annealing 45 Colt brass was mentioned to prolong the life of the brass. I'd be a bit leary of trying that with a short pistol case. I have to ask though, is it possible to safely do it? I'm never too old to learn.
GunBlue490 has a presentation on YouTube, and his opinion is NEVER anneal pistol brass. It can create dead soft brass...a dangerous situation! His videos are somewhat long, but seem to come from a wealth of experience with what he talks about. Be safe!:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
I started reloading 45 Colt in 1976. Most of my cases had in excess of 40 reloadings before the necks split (I through out the last of my original cases about 3 years ago). Annealing is not worth the trouble. Now hard to find rifle cases (35 Rem) are another matter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
458 Posts
Seems like thin necks walls like 45colt & 4570 would be problematic.

Have never been very comfortable with the idea of softening brass cases, re: neck tension needed.

Perhaps thicker walled 454 cases might be different, depending on psi, velocity & weight of bullet that planning to use (as in reduced loads that might need help with chamber seal since using cases that have been fired a number of times already).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
458 Posts
Other bottle neck case designs already lend themselves to collapsing shoulders, ie. 416 rigby. So if done, thinking neck only.

But honestly, uncertain if homebrew annealing is very effective in the first place (as in 'even' & proper heat where needed) without the proper equipment. Anyway, it needs to be done correctly or easily ruin brass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,605 Posts
SA45, I’ve been a “homebrew annealer “ for over 20 years. All it takes is blue bottle pipe torch, a drill, (hard-wired or cordless), some deep well sockets and a bottle of 750 Tempilaq. The short version is, place the Tempilaq in the neck, place the case in a the socket, (the socket acts as a heat sink) and then spin the case NECK ONLY over the tip of the flame. When the Tempilaq changes color you’re done. I no longer use the Tempilaq, I annealed in dim light and when the case neck turns a dull red it’s done, total time, 7 to 10 seconds depending on caliber/case. The neck/shoulder region is now annealed leaving the body and case head at the proper hardness.

Brass anneals at a temp of 660 to 670 degrees, the time needed is roughly 15 minutes.The downside to this is the ENTIRE case is to soft which can create a dangerous situation. Some have tried using an oven, that wasn’t a good idea either. The torch is hot and fast, fast enough to only work the neck and shoulder of a bottle neck case.

The downside I see to annealing pistol brass is it’s length. You want the case mouth softer for longer life, but how does one do it without transferring to much heat to the case head rendering the case to soft/dangerous?

I’ve used a torch years with excellent results, it’s cheaper than spending $500 to $1300 for an annealing machine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
458 Posts
Thanks for sharing MARK204.

Case life is good anyway CTYANKEE. .... and on 454s too but IF REALLY wanted to experiment on mouth/neck (if actual better chamber sealing) might put Temilaq 450 (if avail. or something) on lower case body of 454 and keep an eye on it. Also, spinning cases seems more 'even flow' heating than other methods re: rifle cases.

NAM VET, Starline does tout their 45colt case as being quite robust which have also put back several at bench, but have several good brands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
560 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
SA45, I’ve been a “homebrew annealer “ for over 20 years. All it takes is blue bottle pipe torch, a drill, (hard-wired or cordless), some deep well sockets and a bottle of 750 Tempilaq. The short version is, place the Tempilaq in the neck, place the case in a the socket, (the socket acts as a heat sink) and then spin the case NECK ONLY over the tip of the flame. When the Tempilaq changes color you’re done. I no longer use the Tempilaq, I annealed in dim light and when the case neck turns a dull red it’s done, total time, 7 to 10 seconds depending on caliber/case. The neck/shoulder region is now annealed leaving the body and case head at the proper hardness.

Brass anneals at a temp of 660 to 670 degrees, the time needed is roughly 15 minutes.The downside to this is the ENTIRE case is to soft which can create a dangerous situation. Some have tried using an oven, that wasn’t a good idea either. The torch is hot and fast, fast enough to only work the neck and shoulder of a bottle neck case.

The downside I see to annealing pistol brass is it’s length. You want the case mouth softer for longer life, but how does one do it without transferring to much heat to the case head rendering the case to soft/dangerous?

I’ve used a torch years with excellent results, it’s cheaper than spending $500 to $1300 for an annealing machine.
I anneal rifle brass exactly the same way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,216 Posts
Some reloaders believe they must anneal everything .

The only pistol cases I ever annealed were one box (50) of 41 magnum that I wanted to reload with target wadcutter loads @ 750-800 fps and the light charges of 700X , Bullseye and Red Dot in the magnum brass wouldn't develop enough pressure to seal , cases came out all black...annealed and the target loads then worked like 38 special loads , no blackened cases . I do have to keep these seperated and use only for target loads.
Today I would just buy some 41 Special brass....but in 1973 it didn't exist or I wasn't aware of it .

45 Colt is such a low pressure round I don't think you will extend the case life much but if you enjoy doing it....go for it .
Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Guess Im the odd duck. I have been annealing my 45 Colt brass for many years. I have some that have been reloaded around 100 times with no problem. I find annealing not only prolongs brass life but it seams to let the brass seal up in the chamber better when firing light loads.
I even anneal my 22 hornet brass with great success. Of coarse I use an annealing machine so each piece gets the correct amount of heat for just the right amount of time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,605 Posts
I find annealing not only prolongs brass life but it seams to let the brass seal up in the chamber better when firing light loads.
I agree, it definitely prolongs the life of your case, and it will seal the chamber with “light loads”. Why? Because the case has more elasticity than a work hardened case. Short of a machine, annealing pistol cases by hand can be a PITA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,576 Posts
On my 26 reload with Starline 45 Colt brass. So far not 1 split case.
Your lucky :) . I've had least a couple by then.
Brass is relatively cheap, after 20+ reloads it is time to retire it anyway. Early this year, I just dumped my old brass and started over....
Never have annealed pistol brass... or rifle brass either, but then my rifle shooting is limited to maybe once a year... And that is usually .22.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top