Should I bother to anneal

Klemm

Online Training Member
Feb 23, 2013
64
2
8
#1
I have some Lapua brass that has 10 firings on it. Should I bother to anneal, is it a waste of time?
 
Likes: RRG
Feb 13, 2017
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#4
Yes I just started to anneal as I was reaching about 5 firings. To keep things consistent I am doing it every firing now.
 

OLD308

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 8, 2018
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58
28
#5
My assumption. You’ve spent the money on Lapua Brass because you value the excellent quality. My opinion. By annealing that brass you get the full value of your purchase. Without annealing your chopping the brass off at the knees.
 

ken4570tc in WY

Sergeant of the Hide
Aug 30, 2018
215
66
28
63
Wheatland, Wyoming
#7
Yes-for all the reasons stated by others. I used to do the turn the brass with a cordless screwdriver and count, 'one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two' for a seven second exposure to the hottest part of the flame then tip them out into a bucket of water. It worked for me. I've got about twenty firings of my Winchester brass doing it every five firings with no signs of impending case failures. I recently purchased a hot salt bath annealing system that will speed up the process. I just made an adapter plate to make it work with a 20# capacity lead pot. I'll use this system with the brass I'm prepping for my Ruger Precision .243.
 

EchoDeltaSierra

Low-speed High-drag
Jun 1, 2013
277
83
28
Minnesota
#8
This is a question I'm currently pondering and have 300-500 trigger pulls to determine what to do. I recently screwed up a couple lots of good (and expensive) brass by mis-annealing. The problem I introduced is one of inconsistency, which messes with precision.

The pro argument requires the investment in the time and/or equipment to do this. Manual takes considerable time and because we are human will introduce some degree of human error. The next step costs around $300 for the most basic of machine, which from my reading, still requires quite a bit of tuning for each batch. As one spends more on tools, the process will be easier and the results better.

The con argument presents (specifically for Lapua Brass) is one where shoot them 10+ times, until neck failure then buy new brass all of time time/tool investment and potential errors that can be introduced are eliminated.

If one runs the math, then brass cost per firing; at 10x is $0.12, at 15x is $0.08, and at 20x is $0.06. So, with regular annealing and doubling brass life from 10x to 20x, that would yield a $60 (yes only sixty) across 1000 rounds shot.

This is what's causing me to lean towards not annealing... that said, change my mind.

;-)
 
Likes: Bender
Feb 13, 2017
660
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#9
The money isn’t why you anneal. Your SD’s and ES WILL be lower with annealed brass.

We spend all this time trying to perfect our reloads to be the most accurate possible. Why skip out on possibly the largest factor with creating small SD numbers?

I also don’t know about over annealing unless you just began to melt brass. If you think you annealed too much shoot them until they harden back up.
 

jpgolffl

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 21, 2017
926
337
63
Tallahassee, FL
#10
This is a question I'm currently pondering and have 300-500 trigger pulls to determine what to do. I recently screwed up a couple lots of good (and expensive) brass by mis-annealing. The problem I introduced is one of inconsistency, which messes with precision.

The pro argument requires the investment in the time and/or equipment to do this. Manual takes considerable time and because we are human will introduce some degree of human error. The next step costs around $300 for the most basic of machine, which from my reading, still requires quite a bit of tuning for each batch. As one spends more on tools, the process will be easier and the results better.

The con argument presents (specifically for Lapua Brass) is one where shoot them 10+ times, until neck failure then buy new brass all of time time/tool investment and potential errors that can be introduced are eliminated.

If one runs the math, then brass cost per firing; at 10x is $0.12, at 15x is $0.08, and at 20x is $0.06. So, with regular annealing and doubling brass life from 10x to 20x, that would yield a $60 (yes only sixty) across 1000 rounds shot.

This is what's causing me to lean towards not annealing... that said, change my mind.

;-)
I built a machine to anneal for about $100. It works great as long as you understand how to time it. It’s not that hard.
 

Culpeper

One divided by F
Nov 25, 2006
2,516
884
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59
Roswell NM
#12
The money isn’t why you anneal. Your SD’s and ES WILL be lower with annealed brass.

We spend all this time trying to perfect our reloads to be the most accurate possible. Why skip out on possibly the largest factor with creating small SD numbers?

I also don’t know about over annealing unless you just began to melt brass. If you think you annealed too much shoot them until they harden back up.
It is difficult to over annealing when the range is 800 to 1400 degrees.
 

ken4570tc in WY

Sergeant of the Hide
Aug 30, 2018
215
66
28
63
Wheatland, Wyoming
#13
According to my 'homework', the $100.00 molten salt bath kit I bought with digital temp monitoring, the added $9.00 digital metronome and $60.00 lead melting pot, will allow me to more quickly and accurately anneal my brass than any other system out there. I believe with minimal re-sizing and less than maximum loads, I can coax 40+ firings from my .243 brass. When I have my modified system fully up and running, I'll post some still pics with more details.
 

Bradu

Full Member
Aug 24, 2011
2,080
311
83
IL
#14
According to my 'homework', the $100.00 molten salt bath kit I bought with digital temp monitoring, the added $9.00 digital metronome and $60.00 lead melting pot, will allow me to more quickly and accurately anneal my brass than any other system out there. I believe with minimal re-sizing and less than maximum loads, I can coax 40+ firings from my .243 brass. When I have my modified system fully up and running, I'll post some still pics with more details.

You think primer pockets will last that long
 

ken4570tc in WY

Sergeant of the Hide
Aug 30, 2018
215
66
28
63
Wheatland, Wyoming
#15
We will see about the primer pockets. I've got twenty firings on 200 pieces of Winchester .308 brass I used for 1000 yard bench-rest keeping loads under 0.5 grains of max and annealing every five firings. No sign of loose primer pockets yet.

The only loose primer pocket I ever experienced was when I had a severe over pressure experimenting with .223's and Ramshot X-Terminator. After exceeding max loads, I wanted to see how far I could go before seeing visible signs of excess pressure. The previous shot fired read 3400+ on the chronograph, a tenth grain more caused a massive over pressure I could feel. The chronograph quickly flashed 4000 then displayed 'EEEE'. The bolt was noticeably hard to lift and the case hard to extract. The primer was gone from the case and I couldn't find it till I disassembled the rifle at home. It wasn't till I got on the net and researched it, that I learned double base powders are notoriously known to go nuclear when pushed to unsafe pressure levels. I decided that I'd not experiment above published maximum charge weights nor use double base powders any more.
 
Mar 9, 2017
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#16
According to my 'homework', the $100.00 molten salt bath kit I bought with digital temp monitoring, the added $9.00 digital metronome and $60.00 lead melting pot, will allow me to more quickly and accurately anneal my brass than any other system out there. I believe with minimal re-sizing and less than maximum loads, I can coax 40+ firings from my .243 brass. When I have my modified system fully up and running, I'll post some still pics with more details.
I’m interested in seeing this setup
 

supercorndogs

Ham Fisted Gorilla
Feb 17, 2014
3,013
1,040
113
#18
It is difficult to over annealing when the range is 800 to 1400 degrees.
I would venture a guess, the annealing temp range is because they use that brass for so many things. A cartridge would be junk if you got it to 1400 degrees. Its interesting that the melting point is 1750F and a propane torch is supposed to reach 1995F. I have never managed to melt a brass case with a propane torch. I have torched a bunch just to see what they do when I get them way too hot. They get so soft you can smash them with your fingers. No way would they hold a bullet, or survive being fired until hard again. Molten salt is supposed to be around 900F, I believe. So the only real danger of overheating brass, is letting the heat move too far down the body, and make it soft where you don't want it soft.
 

ken4570tc in WY

Sergeant of the Hide
Aug 30, 2018
215
66
28
63
Wheatland, Wyoming
#20
Badfinger, thanks for the link. I plan on accessorizing my setup to increase productivity and promised to show some pics when done. Gary, at Ballistic Recreations did a great job putting together the equipment, salt and instruction package. It is well worth the money and wait time to get it through customs and ground shipping. Yes, I'd recommend this system to others. Yes, if I had it to do over, I would buy again.
 
Jul 2, 2014
469
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London, KY
#21
I use a Bench Source Vertex and produce consistent low single digit SD/ES ammo. If I can keep my Lapua brass in service longer, it basically pays for itself.
 

CJS-6.5

Full auto flintlock user.
Sep 15, 2017
626
251
43
#23
The correct answer is. It depends. It depends on how your rifle is shooting the most. Then it depends on brass cost. Is it economical to anneal or is brass readily available and reasonably priced. Having covered performance and economics we next look at the production factor. How effective is your annealing process? Results? Time spent? Overheads to get setup? Moving to Alternative solutions...can you source brass elsewhere cheaper? Or look at your reloading process. How hard are you working your brass? What is your load doing to your brass? Can you find a solution to your marksmanship needs that will stress brass less. Powder, bullet selection, primers, many things enter into why you should or shouldn't anneal. Is half moa good enough? Or is quarter moa needed to win competitions? You weigh over everything and decide.
 

ken4570tc in WY

Sergeant of the Hide
Aug 30, 2018
215
66
28
63
Wheatland, Wyoming
#27
The correct answer is. It depends. It depends on how your rifle is shooting the most. Then it depends on brass cost. Is it economical to anneal or is brass readily available and reasonably priced. Having covered performance and economics we next look at the production factor. How effective is your annealing process? Results? Time spent? Overheads to get setup? Moving to Alternative solutions...can you source brass elsewhere cheaper? Or look at your reloading process. How hard are you working your brass? What is your load doing to your brass? Can you find a solution to your marksmanship needs that will stress brass less. Powder, bullet selection, primers, many things enter into why you should or shouldn't anneal. Is half moa good enough? Or is quarter moa needed to win competitions? You weigh over everything and decide.
CJS-6.5, Good analysis! Your point in a nut shell, it depends on each reloader's needs/desires/money-to-burn. My OCD requires me to personally experiment and control every factor to the nth degree, thus I anneal. I hope to keep good enough records to publish an in depth article about what matters and what doesn't.
 
Likes: CJS-6.5

mijp5

Gunny Sergeant
May 7, 2009
4,892
2,121
113
#28
If one runs the math, then brass cost per firing; at 10x is $0.12, at 15x is $0.08, and at 20x is $0.06. So, with regular annealing and doubling brass life from 10x to 20x, that would yield a $60 (yes only sixty) across 1000 rounds shot.

This is what's causing me to lean towards not annealing... that said, change my mind.
Sure it’s only $60, but what about the cost in components and time for the first firing of the new brass? I’d like to limit that as much as possible
 

Badfinger

Sergeant of the Hide
Aug 11, 2013
982
1,176
93
66
Dayton, OH Area
#29
To me it’s about consistency and accuracy not cost savings but that’s a plus as well. I bought the kit from Ballistic Recreations for $113.00 including $23 for shipping from Canada. I got a Lee furnace from Amazon for around $42 delivered. So I’m at about $155.00 all in.
I just did a second batch of 75 pieces of Lapua 260 Remington brass in about 8 minutes only doing one at a time (it’s possible to do two at a time) and this was after about 10 minute wait to warm the salts.
I know for a fact I can feel a difference when seating the bullet as the force required is more consistent and I don’t get the occasional light push. My groups have also tightened up and I’m getting smaller one hole groups.






 

supercorndogs

Ham Fisted Gorilla
Feb 17, 2014
3,013
1,040
113
#30
Sure it’s only $60, but what about the cost in components and time for the first firing of the new brass? I’d like to limit that as much as possible
This should be expressed as a percentage not a dollar amount. Doubling the firings on your brass cuts the amortized price of the brass in half. So if your brass costs 100 you save 50. If your brass cost is 1000 you save 500. CHS and primer pockets stop most people from getting into the twenties. I had winchester 223 brass that was loaded into the 20s before I had ever heard of annealing.

I anneal to control SD. I have never noticed it doing anything at the 100y range, unless my chrono was attached.
 

ken4570tc in WY

Sergeant of the Hide
Aug 30, 2018
215
66
28
63
Wheatland, Wyoming
#31
Sure it’s only $60, but what about the cost in components and time for the first firing of the new brass? I’d like to limit that as much as possible
Take a look at first fire forming without bullets using a light charge of fast powder with an inexpensive filler. I prefer the untreated walnut shell from the pet store, I gave it a try and so far I'm pleased.