April 7th, 2007

Annealing–Restoring Life to your Brass

cartridge brass annealingWhen you look at a new piece of Lapua brass you’ll notice the neck and shoulder area is a darker color. That darker hue comes from the annealing process. You can do this yourself to extend the useful life of your brass. Click HERE to read our Annealing Guide and learn all about annealing methods. After many firings and reloading cycles, brass work-hardens, losing its resiliency or “springiness”. This will affect the consistency of neck tension, a very important factor in accuracy. By annealing your cases regularly you can extend their useful life. Champion 30BR shooter Joe Entrekin anneals his brass very often and his brass is still winning matches after 40+ firings. We normally recommend annealing when you notice the brass has stiffened signficantly, or after 7-8 firings. There are many different methods to anneal brass. You can anneal by hand, or use a machine. It’s a good idea to mark your necks with a temperature-sensitive laquer or Tempil stick so you don’t overheat the cases (which can ruin them). Unless you’re very skilled at manual annealing, the machines normally produce the most consistent results.

Brass Annealing machine

Annealing Video with Home-Built Carousel
Our Dutch friend Jim DeKort created this 2.5 minute video of his annealing machine in action, processing 6BR cases. This carousel unit, similar to Ken Light’s BC 1000, was designed and built by Jim’s father. Currently Jim leaves a gap between each shell to allow more “flame time” per case. But with a second torch he can have a case in each slot. The cartridges spin in their mounting holes while they are rotated clockwise by the shell wheel. Right-Click on Screenshot and “Save As” to download 2.8 megabyte Windows Media video. If you have the video plug-in, you can left-click to watch the video.

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