- February 24, 2016 at 4:09 am #24847
I own a Bench Source for annealing and I think it is a great machine. I did install a “Y” adapter on my 20 lb tank to equalize the pressure for both torch heads to eliminate at least one variable, gas pressure. The next thing is both torch heads have to be able to be set in the exact same position in relation to the case neck/shoulder, think of it as X,Y,Z location. You also have another variable, the torch head can also be pointing slightly up/down. Without having any witness marks to repeat the exact position, this will be a constant variable of the placement of the torch heads and the flame that heats the case neck/shoulder. There is also the application of a heat sensitive paint on the case neck/shoulder, and the dwell time in the flame. I still think it is the best case annealing machine that uses a torch/torches.
Today I received my new annealing machine, it is called Annealing Made Perfect, and it works with magnetic induction. I think you will be impressed with the research that was done in development and the design of this machine. They did micro vickers hardness testing on the case necks and shoulders to prove out the process of annealing with data that proves repeatable neck hardness. Take a look at the settings page and how there are different programs for different brass, and even for the same case brand with reduced neck thickness in .001″ .002″, and .003″ increments. Also look at the About section and be prepared for a little education, I know I was. They show how in just one firing/reloading that the brass gets harder, never mind only 3 firings of the case. I now know I have something highly repeatable to anneal necks.
- February 24, 2016 at 4:20 am #24848
I have often thought that Induction heating would be the very best method to use for annealing case necks. This is simply brilliant!
So Doc, how much can one expect to pay for this awesome machine?
- February 24, 2016 at 4:23 am #24849
Tim, it is $995 + shipping, not cheap but it is highly repeatable. Tim, did you look at the video and the About and Setting pages?
- February 24, 2016 at 7:53 am #24854Wright ArmsParticipant
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Wow. That’s a lot of coin. I am not questioning your methods, but I am curious. At what point have you found this level of consistency to be fruitful? I have annealed case necks myself, but so far, it was just because it made me feel better about the brass. That is, I have yet to conduct any accuracy experiments. I get the importance of neck tension, and perhaps you are doing large volumes. I guess my question is, are my propane torch, bucket ‘O water and a dark room methods just a waste of my time . . . . . ?
- February 24, 2016 at 12:10 pm #24862
I am curious what you might have noticed with cast bullets on target now that you have a way to precisely control neck hardness. I wish it was cheaper, but hot dam, they put in the research! $1000 bones is totally worth it for that level of consistency and research.
So Dock, you’re a solid shooter, and I trust you could drop 1K on a machine and still be stalwart in your comparisons. How big of a difference does this make?
- February 24, 2016 at 5:41 pm #24875
I just received the annealing machine yesterday and I have not had a chance to use it yet.
To see pictures of targets I shot at 300 yards in my Remington 40X chambered in 7.62 NATO using the SAECO #315 bullet and load details are here at Cast Boolits.
I have since made more floating expanders starting at .3085″ to .3115″ in .0005″ steps +-.0001″ tolerance
and I now have more bullet sizing dies in .0005″ steps as well starting at .3095″ to .3110″ again in .0005″ steps +-.0001″ tolerance with 30:1 alloy
- February 24, 2016 at 5:44 pm #24876
I had previously posted this with pictures and the web site here crashed, and when I go to load pictures my screen now goes dark.
- February 24, 2016 at 6:03 pm #24877
Well, it looks like you’ve got the tools necessary to do a comprehensive test.
Are you going to “apples to apples” test cases annealed with the new machine to those that are unannealed or annealed with a torch by expander/bullet size?
- February 24, 2016 at 8:29 pm #24885
The first test is going to be with a .3100″ diameter SAECO #315 bullet cast with 30:1 alloy and annealed gas checks lubed with NASA lube. I will use the Lapua Palma cases with the small rifle primer pockets and small flash holes primed with Federal 205M primers and start with a .3090″ diameter neck expander. The powder I will start off using is Alliant 2400 and when the pressure trace readings show that I have a good powder charge I will then change bullet size only. I will start with a .3100″ bullet with a .3090″ expander, then use a .3105″ bullet with a .3095″ expander so there is only one change, a bullet that is only .0005″ larger. I will continue in increase the bullet diameter in .0005″ while increasing the expander in .0005″ maintaining a .001″ neck tension. I will also be able to go down in bullet size in .0005″ to .3090″.
I have bullet sizing dies in .3090″, .3095″, .3100″, .3105″, and .3110″ all +- .0001″ with 30:1 alloy
I have floating expanders in ..3085″, .3090″, .3095″, .3100″, .3105″, and .3115″ +- .0001″
When I find a bullet diameter that shoots the best I will go back and play with neck tension in .0005″ increments.
The next test will be changing the bullet lube from Bullshops NASA lube to Lars 2700+ lube.
All these tests will be with cases that are annealed after each firing or before each reloading so they will respond the same for sizing.
The last test will be cases that are annealed before reloading vs annealed and then just fired and reloaded to show how quickly neck hardening affects accuracy.
All test will be pressure trace recorded and velocities recorded with the Lab-Radar
- February 24, 2016 at 8:55 pm #24886bjornbModerator
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thanks for posting this. I`ll be following your testing very closely. I also enjoyed the old thread on CBF, gave me several ideas.
I only have an Anneal-Rite setup (75 bucks, but hey it`s from Arkansas), so the consistency is only minute-of-propane torch. Very interested in seeing what your setup will do.
- February 24, 2016 at 9:07 pm #24887dvernaParticipant
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I am astounded and humbled. There is a tremendous amount of effort, thought, and capital being invested. And it takes a hell of a shooter with excellent equipment to determine the accuracy (or more correctly precision) gains. Very impressive!
- February 24, 2016 at 10:29 pm #24892
That sounds like a very solid path. Great plan. now that I think about it, it would in fact be easier to demonstrate the deficiency of unannealed brass rather than the virtue of the consistently annealed brass.
Great logic there.
- February 24, 2016 at 11:13 pm #24895
I think my greatest idea is modifying the seating die with the sliding chamber and floating the expander. I liked it so much I designed one for the 30-30 Winchester, abet it took more work as the Forester seating die is designed wrong, I even contacted Forester but did not hear anything back from them.
- February 25, 2016 at 1:37 am #24903
- February 25, 2016 at 4:12 am #24922
Tim,the part of the sliding chamber that protrudes out the bottom of the main body (7/8×14 Thd.) has to be longer then the neck or seating depth of the bullet. Anybody who has loaded a 170 grain bullet in a 30-30 Winchester case knows that the base of the bullet is at the neck shoulder junction in order to maintain a 2.550″ O.A.L. The neck length of a 30-30 Winchester is .486″ and the part of the sliding chamber that protrudes from the bottom of the Forester Bench Seater is only something like .350″ making it about .136″ too short. This is with the sliding chamber flush with the 7/8×14 outer die body. On top of that if you fix that, then the spring will bottom out before full seating depth is reached.
With my modification I now have .586″ letting me have approximately just under .100″ allowing for clearance of the sliding chamber with the 7/8×14 die body.
- February 25, 2016 at 12:01 pm #24933
I see. The start is the most important. If you get it started crooked in that first .136, there’s nothing a “fully supported” sliding chamber (it’s not fully supported, just supported better) is going to do to straighten it.
I would think this depends on caliber with the Forster dies wouldn’t you say?
- February 25, 2016 at 5:10 pm #24948
Yes that is correct Tim. Two cartridges that have the longest necks are the 30-40 Krag and the 30-30 Winchester. I have two single shot 30-30 a Browning 1885 Traditional Hunter and a Ruger No1 which is why I know about the problem with the Forester Benchrest Seating die.
- February 25, 2016 at 11:44 pm #24962
When I get really persnickety, I use a seating die I made with the same reamer that cut the chamber in the rifle, and push the bullet home with a correctly fitting mandrel like the Lee Loader uses (only more precise). I tested this method against several of the common BR seating dies on the market (the Forster being among them) and I found superior concentricity using this method. Not a lot mind you, but clearly better.
- February 25, 2016 at 11:55 pm #24965dragon813gtParticipant
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Hopefully the cost of this type of machine comes down over time. I was willing to spend the money on a LabRadar chrono. But the cost of admission for induction annealing is just to high. I hope it works extremely well for you. Does it tell you what the duty cycle is? I’m assuming they designed it for almost constant duty and it’s not an issue.
- February 26, 2016 at 2:28 am #24977
dragon813gt, there are different programs for each cartridge depending upon the mass and the higher the program number the hotter the unit gets. According to their literature if you use program 50 or below the unit can be used for 35 minutes or about 200 cases. after 30 minutes of cooling annealing can commence. For programs 50 and over you can use it for 20 minutes or about 75 cases with a 60 minute cooling time.
I had over a 1/2 hour talk with Alex Findlay today about how they researched annealing and used Tempilaq temperature indicator from around 600 degrees to over 1100 degrees and with the Vickers hardness test (Hv) the readings were all over the place, or non repeatable. He explained how they even had to make the mandrels that support the case neck more precise to fit the caliber so as to get repeatable readings. There is a lot of research and development that went into the design of this Annealing Made Perfect unit.
I strongly suggest you take a good tour of their web site and read about the research that they did, not just watch the excellent video on the first page.
Some might sat this is going too far, but think about it and what details that you are taking making your best ammo.
First you start with cases all from the same lot making sure they are all the same length, and even weigh them and sort to within a small weight tolerance. You also make sure that you use the right case neck expander so the neck tension is correct and the bullet will enter the case straight when seated. Then you do your best to cast the perfect bullet and lube and size it with the gas checks square to the base. Your powder charges are each individually weighed to the tenth of a grain, and cartridge run out is checked.
Neck tension affects bullet pull or start pressure, and this affects how the powder is going to progressively burn resulting in velocity variations. Now think of having a 6 cylinder engine and having 6 different brands and heat range spark plugs, how well do you think the engine will run. Having cases with different neck tensions or hardness will give you greater extreme spreads.
Even cases that have the same hardness but different neck wall thickness is no good and you will end up with velocity variations.
Cases like Lapua and Norma have very close tolerances for case wall thickness from the head to the case mouth. But even these cases are subjected to work hardening and need annealing.
My thoughts are, if I am going to use a target grade rifle and match cases and primers, with the best bullet that I can buy or make and use the best reloading dies, I don’t want to take short cuts when when it comes to neck tension when it does affect accuracy.
Read this about brass hardness after just a few firings, and let me know what you think.
- February 26, 2016 at 4:19 pm #24994
Think about bench rest shooters that shoot cartridges like the 6mm-PC and why they turn the necks of their cases. Not only is it for a minimal clearance between a loaded cartridge and chamber neck, but also consistent or uniform neck tension. What they are striving for is for every cartridge to be exactly the same.
Here is a good article about neck tension and how it is not just about bushing size, Think about the floating expanders that I made using the sliding chamber.
- February 26, 2016 at 9:10 pm #25006
I forgot to mention that the Annealing Made Perfect unit has a USB port, so that it can be connected to your computer for access to the internet in case of updates.
- February 26, 2016 at 10:56 pm #25012
It’s a brilliant machine. No doubt about it.
At one time, I was all set to design a die that would accurately measure neck tension by pulling a precision mandrel from the precision turned/prepped necks. My theory was that brass sorted by the pressure it took to pull a mandrel from it, would be more accurate (and I still hold this to be true). However, I ended up landing on neck hardness as being the big fly in the ointment because it’s the only thing that can effect neck tension once you have properly turned the necks and prepped the brass. The problem is that you don’t need a precision neck pull die to tell you that you have varying neck tension. You can feel it just by seating the bullets. I could still detect a difference even after annealing my necks.
Some of this was due to varying amounts of fowling the necks, but I switched to SS tumbling, and that helped a TON.
Now I’m right back to the annealing being the big white elephant in the room, and my spinning cases in front of a torch is close but no cigar. I’m not saying I’m ready to drop a grand on a case neck annealer, but I want to see what you get from your system Doc, and more importantly, what benefit you identify through the course of testing this tool. If it really does make that big of a difference, I’m going to have to find a way to buy it, or match the results a cheaper way.
All eyes on you sir.
- February 27, 2016 at 3:40 am #25022
Does anyone have feed back on the site that I posted for Annealing Made Perfect?
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