Annealing brass and other non ferrous metals



For copper gasket washers that have age/work hardened - heat them up & quench to soften & re-use.
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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
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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.
Dan
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They'll also quench harden if the alloy contains a little antimony. Then they age soften.
Check out this fairly good writeup:
http://www.tacticoolproducts.com/bullethardness /
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
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On Mar 6, 2:24 pm, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:> They'll also quench harden if the alloy contains a little antimony.  Then

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
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On Sat, 6 Mar 2010 05:58:15 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@krl.org"

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

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Jim Wilkins wrote:

It also reduces the likelihood of burning yourself if you subsequently pick up the wrong part bare handed.
Don't ask me how I know. :-/
--
Paul Hovnanian snipped-for-privacy@hovnanian.com
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Some non ferrous metals harden when quenched. Others, such as brass..soften.
Lead as an example, hardens when quenched.
Gunner
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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
wrote:

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On Sat, 6 Mar 2010 08:44:36 +0100, "Steve Lusardi"

<G>
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?
http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting/alloyhardness/index.asp
http://www.lasc.us/HeatTreat.htm
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.
<G>
Gunner

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On Sat, 06 Mar 2010 01:43:49 -0800, the infamous Gunner Asch

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
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wrote:

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: http://www.lasc.us/HeatTreat.htm
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wrote:

Indeed. However obduration even with soft alloys can be worked with if the bullet is the proper oversize in many cases.
Gunner
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On Sat, 06 Mar 2010 07:06:53 -0800, Larry Jaques

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
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Gunner's right on this one. Ball milling media made from lead alloys is quench-hardened.
LLoyd
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote in

So is lead shot for shotguns. It deforms less on firing, and results in a cleaner pattern. All shot I've ever seen for reloading is "chilled".
Doug White
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Which nonferrous metals? Aluminum is not silver which is not brass/ copper which is not lead or its alloys. And none of those is platinum, iridium, tungsten, cobalt or nickel. They all have their own quirks.
Grain growth in brass has nothing to do with quenching, which is what you're doing with brass annealing. The water just keeps things from going too far, as you say. And solution hardening aluminum alloys are hardened by heating, they'd age-harden eventually, but it just speeds things up. No quenching involved. Without knowing what metal(s) he's talking about, it's hard to say.
Stan
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