Annealing brass and other non ferrous metals


Guy at work swore up and down that you have to quench non ferous metals to get
the softest
annealing.
I've annealed case mouths on rifle cartridges standing in shallow water and then
tipped
them over into the water just to cool them. The standing water level kept the
case body
from being annealed. Was I missing something there? I'm thinking he is FOS.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
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No, he's right: You quench ferrous alloys to harden and non-ferrous alloys to anneal. Not that copper and brass are that fussy.
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn
When annealing cartridge brass (C26000), the cooling rate is almost irrelevant. It can only be influential if you're giving the brass a severe annealing treatment, at close to the maximum annealing temperature of 1400 deg. F. You shouldn't be doing that with cartridges. You won't experience grain growth if you hold the temperature close to the lower end, 800 deg. F. There is no reason to go much higher unless you're going to severely re-work the brass. It might be an issue if you're fire-forming wildcat cartridges.
There is no harm from a water quench in brass, except for lead-containing alloys. Cartridges are made from straight copper-zinc.
This info is from the ASM's _Metals Handbook_, 9th Edition.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
BTW, I may not have been clear about whether the guy at work is FOS. The answer is, yes, he is.
The grain-growth business only applies to very slow ramping down from very high temperatures -- like you'd use to anneal air-hardening steel. And the effect of that slow anneal would be to very slightly *soften* the metal as a result of grain growth. It has no relevance in this application.
There will be no difference in hardness or grain size of your cartridge necks whether you let them cool in air or quench them in water. However, the water-tipping trick will help you confine the annealing to the area you want.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
In college metallurgy class, I insisted that copper, brass, and silver, are annealed by quenching. I got on the teacher's shit list for insisting this was so, and probably lost a grade point when I challenged him in front of the class to put it to the test. And he refused...
Jon
Reply to
Jon Anderson
For copper gasket washers that have age/work hardened - heat them up & quench to soften & re-use.
Reply to
Royston Vasey
the softest
Some non ferrous metals harden when quenched. Others, such as brass..soften.
Lead as an example, hardens when quenched.
Gunner
Whenever a Liberal utters the term "Common Sense approach"....grab your wallet, your ass, and your guns because the sombitch is about to do something damned nasty to all three of them.
Reply to
Gunner Asch
So lead is a ferrous alloy?
Gunner
Whenever a Liberal utters the term "Common Sense approach"....grab your wallet, your ass, and your guns because the sombitch is about to do something damned nasty to all three of them.
Reply to
Gunner Asch
Gunner, I do not normally disagree with you, but this time for sure. Lead hardening is performed by alloying the lead with other elements, not heat treatment. Steve
the softest
the case body
Reply to
Steve Lusardi
performed by alloying the lead with other elements,
Take your basic batch of wheel weight lead..which Brinnels about 9-10..and as you cast each one, dump it into a 5 gal bucket of water.
Measure them again in 3 days for hardness. You will find that they hardened up to about 21-23 Brinnel and will stay that way for at least 4 yrs.
Dont believe me?
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I cast nearly all my rifle bullets over a 5 gallon bucket of water. I average Brinell of 21 with basic wheelweights after a couple days and if I use a Lead/Antimony alloy...I can get up to nearly 35 Brinell.
They will heat treat to 2.5-3.5x the hardness of the unheat treated metal.
Gunner
get the softest
the case body
Whenever a Liberal utters the term "Common Sense approach"....grab your wallet, your ass, and your guns because the sombitch is about to do something damned nasty to all three of them.
Reply to
Gunner Asch
"Steve Lusardi" fired this volley in news:hmt15a$fad$00$ snipped-for-privacy@news.t-online.com:
Gunner's right on this one. Ball milling media made from lead alloys is quench-hardened.
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
When forming copper sheet and tube I usually heat to visible red and DON'T quench, the metal seems to be equally soft either way. However immediate quenching does reduce surface oxidation.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Right. The quenching has no effect on copper and brass, other than it makes no difference and if you quench you can handle the material immediately. I suspect the same is true of lead alloys. ie they do age harden whether one quenches them or not.
Gunner, have you ever not quenched a few bullets and checked the hardness after a couple of days.
=20 Dan
Reply to
dcaster
" snipped-for-privacy@krl.org" fired this volley in news:21355932- snipped-for-privacy@g19g2000yqe.googlegroups.com:
They'll also quench harden if the alloy contains a little antimony. Then they age soften.
Check out this fairly good writeup:
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I have a friend who is an antique weapons expert -- probably as well versed on things over 75 years old than all but a small handful of people in the world. His opinions, which I'd respect more than any web referece, is that lead can be (surface) hardened by quenching.
LLoyd
Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh
On Sat, 06 Mar 2010 01:43:49 -0800, the infamous Gunner Asch scrawled the following:
performed by alloying the lead with other elements,
With the exception of the brief touch on obduration, the benefits of quenching bullets weren't really covered in either article.
Why do you want harder bullets, Gunner? Penetration? Proper obduration for the best velocity/performance on its flight? Or what?
Don't softer bullets fragment and/or widen better to stop the perps quicker?
-- The blind are not good trailblazers.
-- federal judge Frank Easterbrook
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Must be ...
Can't say that I was thinking about lead and its alloys. The above rule of thumb covered common metals that exhibit elastic behavior over some range of stress and strain. Unlike lead, indium, and the like.
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn
Harder bullets will go faster without leading the barrel. But, there is a balance needed. Too hard and too slow and it won't obdurate and fill the bore and you get gas leakage and gas cutting.and it might disintegrate on impact or overpenetrate, To soft and it leads the barrel, The rifling will not grip the soft lead like a striped screw. Read this:
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Reply to
Buerste
I don't have much reason to test lead hardness, but the site you provided seems to know about lead hardness. So I stand corrected on lead alloys.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster
Ayup. and the Brinell seldom goes up past 1-3 points.
Ive cast somewhere around .5 million bullets in my lifetime....shrug. I know something about the subject. Even wrote an article or two over the years.
And brass cartridge cases really do need to be quenched when conditioning the necks. Been there, done that many many thousand times.
Shrug
Whenever a Liberal utters the term "Common Sense approach"....grab your wallet, your ass, and your guns because the sombitch is about to do something damned nasty to all three of them.
Reply to
Gunner Asch
is performed by alloying the lead with other elements,
Obduration is one key ingrediant. Velocity is another. Both articles touch on both. Reread them again.
One needs harder bullets so when fired at higher speeds, such as in any rifle, they dont leave significant amounts of lead on the barrel walls. If the bullet was sized to the proper diameter..which depends on the weapon and type..self loader/bolt action/single shot vrs revolver with properly formed and sized forcing cone...obduration is not a big issue.
Few people will pick lead alloy bullets to shoot perps with. Jacketed dead soft lead cores do an admirable job of expansion, with the jacket controlling the amount of expansion. Giveing maximum results to an opponents body. Cast bullets in most cases simply whistle right on through. A decent SWC with nice sharp shoulders, or full wad cutters are the exceptions.
Pure lead starts to leave significant amounts of lead on the barrel walls at 700 FPS -/+
(one notes that few black powder rifles actually have an exposed ball..its protected by the wad during its flight down the barrel)
Wheel weight alloys, can be fired up to about 1300 FPS +/-
Heat treated they can be fired up to about 2200 FPS -/+
Lead/Antimony alloys can be fired up to about 2200 FPS +/-.....but they are hard to get ahold of since Linotype printing presses have largely disappeared.
This of course assumes proper gas checks, base wads etc etc.
Gunner
Whenever a Liberal utters the term "Common Sense approach"....grab your wallet, your ass, and your guns because the sombitch is about to do something damned nasty to all three of them.
Reply to
Gunner Asch

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