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Old 05-09-2020, 09:29 AM
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Anyone build their own annealing machine? Anyone build their own annealing machine? Anyone build their own annealing machine? Anyone build their own annealing machine? Anyone build their own annealing machine?  
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Default Anyone build their own annealing machine?

I'm planning on building an annealing machine and found a couple old threads on various sites with some pics and info, but it would be nice to have someone available to ask questions that arise as I proceed.

I'm planning on something like this:




It's not rocket science and I think I'll be able to get it done without too many hitches, but I'm sure there will be a little head scratching involved.

I tried to search but didn't find anything here.
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Old 05-09-2020, 09:48 AM
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Not really an annealing machine, but some use a deep wrench socket in a hand power drill to rotate case necks over a propane torch. It goes very fast. No real need to quench the hot shells after annealing. I'd think most home handloaders would find an annealing machine like the one pictured to be overkill.

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Old 05-09-2020, 09:53 AM
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Overkill? Yes, but way impressive!
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Old 05-09-2020, 10:13 AM
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I use the deep socket on a drill/propane torch method myself and it works well. I do water quench though: not because it helps annealing but rather because it cools hot brass down quickly.
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Old 05-09-2020, 10:40 AM
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I'm a user of a propane torch clamped to the bench, socket, and battery drill. I've learned to count to 6 and the job is done, next. I can easily anneal 6 - 8 cases per minute. Doing it in the cool of the morning works best with the interior lights off. Very easy to see color change.
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Old 05-10-2020, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddocktor View Post
I use the deep socket on a drill/propane torch method myself and it works well. I do water quench though: not because it helps annealing but rather because it cools hot brass down quickly.
Pretty much what I'm doing now, and I also water quench for the same reason you quoted.

One man's overkill is another man's fun project. I'm sourcing parts and don't think I'll have much over $100 in the entire thing, which isn't much compared to what we spend on reloading components. Plus I think it will be really interesting to build as I am definitely a tinkerer.

According to my records I've reloaded 2431 rounds of .223 since the beginning of this year and I anneal them every time, mainly because it's too hard to keep track of how many times a certain case has been fired since it's last annealing. There are only two steps in the reloading process for rifle ammo that I don't really like, annealing and trimming. I think this machine will completely change my outlook on the annealing step. I'm still investigating what to do to make the trimming step better.
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:44 AM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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I have yet start annealing cases, but I'm thinking my 45-70's could use a refreshing!

AS to a faster trimming process. 1) when you trim, you need to establish what your plus or minus (+/-) is. My criteria is .001" either way! 2) finding a trimmer to deliver your criteria at a production speed can be expensive.

I use 2 different trimmers that get these tolerances. One is the L.E.Wilson trimmer with a drill adapter (Mine is set up on Sinclair International's micrometer stand) The other is a Forester Original (or Classic) case trimmer with drill adapter (Best if brands of brass are segregated).

The Forester also will do outside neck turning and inside neck reaming. As well as two sizes of hollow pointing.

I actually convert 223/5.56 cases into 300 Blackout and 30 Mauser brass. I take sized, deprimed, and decrimped 223 brass and FL size in correct die. You have an extremely long neck, sometimes I remove the bulk of the neck with a band saw, sometimes not. Then use the forester trimmer, with a .308 neck ream as the pilot to trim to length. Makes them the correct length and correct neck wall thickness at the same time. Once set up, you can easily do 200 an hour. Next time I'll try with annealed cases.

At high production, I occasionally get one off center, and ream a 30 caliber notch down the side of the case. The Wilson trimmer is impossible to get off center, but it takes longer to change case and only will do one function at a time, but is easy to maintain a .001 or even a .0005 case length spread! ( still can produce 200 cases an hour.

Ivan

I owned a RCBS power trimmer that used a quick change plate as the shell holder. If you were careful and checked the shell plate very carefully every time, you got .003" case variation but as fast as you can was closer to .005 or .006" It was just too sloppy for 1000 yard stuff! Maybe fine for high production AR's, but not for target bolt guns!

ITB

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Old 05-10-2020, 01:39 PM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmb617 View Post
Pretty much what I'm doing now, and I also water quench for the same reason you quoted.

One man's overkill is another man's fun project. I'm sourcing parts and don't think I'll have much over $100 in the entire thing, which isn't much compared to what we spend on reloading components. Plus I think it will be really interesting to build as I am definitely a tinkerer.

According to my records I've reloaded 2431 rounds of .223 since the beginning of this year and I anneal them every time, mainly because it's too hard to keep track of how many times a certain case has been fired since it's last annealing. There are only two steps in the reloading process for rifle ammo that I don't really like, annealing and trimming. I think this machine will completely change my outlook on the annealing step. I'm still investigating what to do to make the trimming step better.
Interesting, I have never found the need to anneal 223 and consider it almost an easily replaceable commodity. They are so easy to find, both new and once fired. I have only annealed cartridges I form from other cases. Do you see a real benefit in annealing so often in groups or ease of loading? Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2020, 02:23 PM
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I annealed brass beginning about thirty-five years ago, long before it developed Internet fad status. I annealed .25-35 and .30-30 brass during the several forming steps required to convert them into .219 Winchester Zipper cases. Annealing was required to give the brass a semblance of normal case life.

Annealing was never a requirement when using .30-06 brass to form .25-06 (when it was a wildcat cartridge prior to '69), .338-06, .35 Whelen, .35 Whelen Improved, .375 Whelen Improved, or .411 Hawk, or when using .250 Savage brass to make .250 Ackley Improved cases.

Annealing, properly done, hurts nothing and may provide some benefit, but is likely an unnecessary step in many instances, particularly when working with cases that don't require forming and may have been annealed during factory production steps.

If accuracy or short case life with rifle brass becomes a problem, and other solutions don't correct it, annealing may be worth looking into.
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Old 05-10-2020, 02:26 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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Quote:
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Do you see a real benefit in annealing so often in groups or ease of loading? Thanks.
Mike Venturino (of Handloader and other magazine fame), won multiple National championships in Black Powder Rifle Cartridge. He insists on full length resizing and annealing every reloading, to ensure consistent and repeatable neck tension.

There is an article in Reloader Magazine #308 from June 2017 by John Barsness that goes into Annealing. Reasons, techniques and results.

Ivan
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Old 05-10-2020, 05:15 PM
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That's a neat machine!

I anneal some for case forming and then when I feel it's time after X number of reloadings in order to save them from cracking/splitting.

I don't do much of anything in large enough quantity to go to a mechanized set-up. I still just hold the case by the base and twist it back and forth for a 3 or 4 count in the flame of a propane torch and then set them on the concrete basement floor.
Cools them quick enough and I don't have to dry them out.

No need to get them too hot, just enough to relieve them from a hardened/spring brass state.
If they're just dead soft many times for use in forming they collapse.

Anything I shoot in quantity like 38, 9mm ect,,I just shoot till they are not usable and scrap them.

No BlackRifles in the safe.
But stuff like 30, 25 & 32Remington and 401WSL, you treat kindly no matter the quantity of brass.!
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
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Interesting, I have never found the need to anneal 223 and consider it almost an easily replaceable commodity. They are so easy to find, both new and once fired. I have only annealed cartridges I form from other cases. Do you see a real benefit in annealing so often in groups or ease of loading? Thanks.
I'm not any kind of precision shooter looking for extreme accuracy. I anneal my cases simply because I've read that it makes them last longer and so far I've not had to scrap a single case due to neck splitting. I'm cheap and won't buy brass unless I absolutely have to.

Once I have this machine up and running the annealing process should be so easy there won't be any reason not to do it.

Even with reusing my brass I'm not saving any appreciable amount of money by reloading my .223's, the whole reloading thing is simply a hobby that I enjoy. A lot!

It's probably my years as supervisor of an assembly line that makes me such a methodical person. I have an exact sequence of events for each caliber I reload and it doesn't vary, so I won't decide that one batch of brass can skip annealing while another can't. They all go through the same process.

I'd probably be willing to spend the time and money building this machine if there was no other reason than the fun of building it then tweaking it to make it work as well as possible.
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:48 AM
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I have that exact home made annealer. Works great. I only anneal my rifle cases, but they get done every firing. I shoot 1,000 yard benchrest and it does make a difference.

Would love to say I built it, but I did not. Paid the guy who built that one, $250.00 to build me one. Much less expensive than a Girard.

Bob
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Old 05-11-2020, 01:23 PM
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At the ammunition factories, the cases just march in line by gas flames. No quenching.
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Old 05-11-2020, 03:04 PM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan the Butcher View Post
Mike Venturino (of Handloader and other magazine fame), won multiple National championships in Black Powder Rifle Cartridge. He insists on full length resizing and annealing every reloading, to ensure consistent and repeatable neck tension.

There is an article in Reloader Magazine #308 from June 2017 by John Barsness that goes into Annealing. Reasons, techniques and results.

Ivan
I am aware of the issues regarding bullet pull and black powder. I don't think they carry over to the faster powders, semi-auto guns and light bullets.
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