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Things you learn - Brass Hardening

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by CrossHairs, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. CrossHairs

    CrossHairs Tigard Active Member

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    To cut a long story short, I've got loads of remington brass that I've shot through my savage and has been sitting waiting for loading. It's all been neck sized since initial firing and is now at it's fourth load.

    Did a some loads a few weeks back and discovered that on some cases, the bullet was loose in the neck!? I am aware of work hardening for brass, but was actually surprised it came around so quick. I did some additional checks this weekend, and yep....i've got one 'batch' of 100 that has this issue. So, I suspect that either I did not correctly label the batch at one point, or I have some brass that was previously a reload.

    Either way...it's a problem....especially when you bump the box of loads and one of the bullets drops into the case...yes! Really! Oooops!

    Interestingly, I've not experienced this with any of the other cases I have at the same level of loads.

    This means I've started doing some annealing. I've tried the crayons....real hard to read. it was difficult to tell if I was on temp or not. The crayons don't mark the surface well and I think this technique is a little suspect. I'd like to try the fluid versions of the crayons, just not got around to it.

    I did read somewhere that standing the brass in water above the head space stress point and then heating the neck to a cherry and quenching works well....so I figured, what the heck and gave it a try.....seemed to work. I just don't know how effective it will be longer term. Maybe a metalurgist can chime in on that one.

    This reloading thing is fun....!
  2. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    Cherry is generally considered to be too hot. At that temp the brass components may begin to separate.
    Turn the lights down low and look for a soft yellow-orange glow.
    Then drop it in the water pan.
    I use one of these, that I home-made on the drill press, without the tempilaq. Hornady Annealing System - MidwayUSA
    Works for me.
  3. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    The stuff you are looking for is called tempilaq, it flashes off when the temperature is reached and tells you how hot you are getting. I would suggest starting out in the 600-700 degree range. This is way less than "cherry" red.

    There are another set of possibilities here... if you turned the case necks, the reduced thickness of the case could keep it from being taken down to the proper size. Also, I have noticed that certain dies are more open than others. I recently bought one of those bushing style neck sizing dies from CH4D (because they were cheaper for replacement bushings than everyone else, and the owner is a cool guy).

    If you have exhausted those avenues, and are still interested in case annealing I am currently working on a product for just this problem (althought I developed it for a very different reason... re-forming cases). I need to redo the torch mounts, and then I do need some people to test them out and give me some feed back on it. Here's the youtube video:

    YouTube - Ammunition Manufacturing Products - RCA-1 (Rotary Case Annealer)
  4. CrossHairs

    CrossHairs Tigard Active Member

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    I did discover the tempilaq and may just order that (in the form of the annealing kit from Midway as well, thanks for the heads up jamie6.5)

    Got your PM, the setup looks promising. Let me know when your ready.