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Low budget Annealing (Page 1 of 3)
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Posted: 1/24/2015 12:43:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/23/2020 4:16:50 AM EDT by dryflash3]
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 12:45:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2018 1:46:52 PM EDT by dryflash3]
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 7:57:41 AM EDT
Thanks for the timely post.

Getting the annealing process figured out is on my list for this week.  Previous attempts either in in puddles of brass slag or brittle brass.  

Seeing as how I have 500 some odd pieces of my wife's 6.5x55 European, (as in correct case head) screwing them up is not an option.

Now to find the bottle of Tempilaq I bought a while back.

Semper Fi
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 7:58:12 AM EDT
Is there any specific way to adjust the flame, or does it matter?

After you get the hang of it, could you skip the Templaq on each case?
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 9:39:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2015 9:42:49 AM EDT by dryflash3]
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 9:44:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 11:04:01 AM EDT
Thanks, Dryflash.

I always used the Lee shell holders that come with the cheap trim kits.



I like your idea with the deep sockets better.    

Link Posted: 1/24/2015 11:06:26 AM EDT
This is by far the best way to anneal on the cheap with acceptable consistency.

Without the use of tempilaq your just guessing and setting yourself up for a catastrophic failure. The odds are against you.

Being a new home annealer, couple of questions I can not find the answer to anywhere on the Internet.

Short cases scare me. Understanding the acceptable agreed upon cartridge case annealing temp. Is 750 degrees F at the neck then drop.

Once the heat source is removed molecular grain structure alteration stops and air cool is all that is needed.

Cartridge brass is 70 percent copper and 30 percent zinc. It begins to anneal at 482 degrees F.

Heat the head to that 482 degree temp. and it's junk.

I use 450 degree F tempilaq on the case heads up the body to the shoulder on 300BLK and shorter cases.

Here is the the $20,000 question.

How long is the case head?

The 450 degree tempilaq melts about halfway up from the base of the head.

Anywhere above the web is safe?

Side note:
Please don't slap me, but the cheapest place for tempilaq is Mcmaster-carr at about $17USD.

Link Posted: 1/24/2015 11:07:49 AM EDT
Thanks dryflash3 great post.
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 11:17:06 AM EDT
I've used dryflash3's method several times, and I feel it works quite well.  Importantly, it keeps my efforts consistent.

The deep socket does a couple of things.  First, it lets you just drop the case out of it by just turning your wrist, which really makes the process pretty fast.  Second, it only exposes a certain amount of the case to the flame, so you can't heat the wrong part of the case even accidentally.  And last, it completely shields the rest of the case from getting very hot, so the case head never gets very warm.  The socket WILL get really hot, but not anything like hot enough to hurt the brass...just your fingers!

My biggest challenge with this method is to make the Tempilaq dots more consistent.  Using the brush in the cap, I get anything from perfect dots to smears to globs.  I probably need to work at consistency in dipping the brush and in how many cases I do per dip.  But while the Tempilaq is kind of pricey, it doesn't take much to mark a bunch of cases, so experimenting isn't expensive.
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 11:23:30 AM EDT
Thanks for this post. Very informative...

Couple questions/comments. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

I have been wanting to do this for my Grendel cases. I bought Lapua cases and they haven't seen that many uses yet.
1. How often do you anneal your cases? (after how many firings).

I just don't see the point for 223/300BO. I get a ton of firings for 223 even with hot loads and the brass is so cheap. For 300BO, I am running only subs. I have picked up fired bullets that almost appear to be reloadable. Only sign of firing is the striations from the rifling.
2. Do you think annealing helps with accuracy? If only helps with reloading count, then I will pass on 223 and 300BO

Your comment about getting poor results without Tempilaq.
3. Perhaps you will answer this in #2, but are you talking accuracy, round count, or both? If round count, not sure how you would test that theory unless you actually kept at it for a while without Tempilaq.. Did you?

Last question (s):
4. Basic battery powered drill too fast? Does the smaller electric screw driver go slower? And is slower better?
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 12:26:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2015 4:23:48 PM EDT by dryflash3]
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 12:33:24 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By dryflash3:

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Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Originally Posted By Flashbang1:

Please don't slap me, but the cheapest place for tempilaq is Mcmaster-carr at about $17USD.
Good to know.




I priced around.. didn't check McMaster's website.. but most of the other sites wanted >$10 for shipping. I ordered a $4. free shipping item at Midway (and had to place another order anyway) so net was cheaper for me at Midway. And I get a cool dart tactical knife.. for what? I have no idea. Perhaps it will help in the Zombie apocalypse.

It's too bad Brownells doesn't have the 750 version. They have 700deg. They are my go-to place. They are cheaper and now with the "Edge" program, I get free shipping. Wonder why they don't have 750?

Link Posted: 1/24/2015 12:34:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/24/2015 12:34:33 PM EDT by Vinny302]
On the subject of over annealing. Could you just heat the case and drop it in a pan of water to quick quench it. Would that not harden the brass again?

V
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 12:43:36 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By dryflash3:

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Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Originally Posted By Flashbang1:
This is by far the best way to anneal on the cheap with acceptable consistency.

Without the use of tempilaq your just guessing and setting yourself up for a catastrophic failure. The odds are against you.

Being a new home annealer, couple of questions I can not find the answer to anywhere on the Internet.

Short cases scare me. Understanding the acceptable agreed upon cartridge case annealing temp. Is 750 degrees F at the neck then drop.

Once the heat source is removed molecular grain structure alteration stops and air cool is all that is needed.

Cartridge brass is 70 percent copper and 30 percent zinc. It begins to anneal at 482 degrees F.

Heat the head to that 482 degree temp. and it's junk.

I use 450 degree F tempilaq on the case heads up the body to the shoulder on 300BLK and shorter cases.

Here is the the $20,000 question.

How long is the case head? To me the solid portion which end about, depends on case, 1/4 inch from the end of the case, then the case walls taper to the case shoulder/mouth.

The 450 degree tempilaq melts about halfway up from the base of the head. I only use the 750 inside the case mouth.

Anywhere above the web is safe? Not sure what you are asking here.
Side note:

Please don't slap me, but the cheapest place for tempilaq is Mcmaster-carr at about $17USD.
Good to know.



Thanks for the info.

What I mean is, as long as the temperature does not exceed 482 degrees F from above the web or thickest part of the head [some imaginary line] (assuming 1/4 of a inch up from the end of the case towards the mouth) to the base or end of the case.
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 12:43:59 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Vinny302:
On the subject of over annealing. Could you just heat the case and drop it in a pan of water to quick quench it. Would that not harden the brass again?

V
View Quote



Only want to heat near mouth. You are softening, not hardening by annealing is my understanding. The rest of the case should remain hard. Prevents mouth from splitting.
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 12:49:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2016 8:46:48 PM EDT by dryflash3]
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 12:55:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 2:44:35 PM EDT
I think you guys are misunderstanding my question. Say you have been annealing but you have over annealed some cases. Could you just reheat them red hot then quench them quickly. Would that quick quench return the hardness to the brass? This is just a question I have been thinking about, I am using Templaq and have been annealing properly.

V
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 2:51:22 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Vinny302:
I think you guys are misunderstanding my question. Say you have been annealing but you have over annealed some cases. Could you just reheat them red hot then quench them quickly. Would that quick quench return the hardness to the brass? This is just a question I have been thinking about, I am using Templaq and have been annealing properly.

V
View Quote

From my research no. Once over annealed it's finished as a reloadable case. Quenching has zero effect on brass. Unlike steel heat treating/quenching/hardening have different properties.

What does happen is you make the brass "dead soft" and there is no going back.

Annealed soft can be work hardened back to a harder state for lack of a better term.
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 3:02:49 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Flashbang1:
From my research no. Once over annealed it's finished as a reloadable case. Quenching has zero effect on brass. Unlike steel heat treating/quenching/hardening have different properties.
View Quote


Thanks that is what I was asking.

V
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 3:14:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 3:31:03 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By dryflash3:

What you made is scrap bucket fodder. Toss them.
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Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Originally Posted By Vinny302:
I think you guys are misunderstanding my question. Say you have been annealing but you have over annealed some cases. Could you just reheat them red hot then quench them quickly. Would that quick quench return the hardness to the brass? This is just a question I have been thinking about, I am using Templaq and have been annealing properly.

V

What you made is scrap bucket fodder. Toss them.



Brass ain't cheap.. any scrap value in brass? Worth keeping a bucket near your reloading bench for those cases that just don't work out....
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 4:11:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/24/2015 11:06:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/25/2015 8:37:28 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By djryan13:
1. How often do you anneal your cases? (after how many firings).

I just don't see the point for 223/300BO. I get a ton of firings for 223 even with hot loads and the brass is so cheap. For 300BO, I am running only subs. I have picked up fired bullets that almost appear to be reloadable. Only sign of firing is the striations from the rifling.
<snip>
Last question (s):
4. Basic battery powered drill too fast? Does the smaller electric screw driver go slower? And is slower better?
View Quote
So far, I've just annealed .223 cases to form them to 300 Blackout.  Annealing helps the brass remain springy, so you retain (or regain) neck tension, and neck tension is critical to accuracy.  There are a number of ways to measure neck tension, but the easiest way for me is a gauge from Ballistic Tools.  You size the case and then gauge it; if the inside is still within tolerance, the tension will be good.  If it isn't in tolerance, the brass isn't staying springy and you need to anneal the necks.  And I HOPE you're not actually seeing marks on teh case from rifling!

I have a CHEAP electric screwdriver with an un-loaded speed of 200 RPM.  It works fine.  You don't want the cases to spin out of the socket, but you don't want them to move too slowly in the flame, either.  An electric drill can go a LOT faster than 200 RPM (800-2500 RPM depending on the brand and model), so as long as your'e keeping it slow enough to see the indicator material inside the case, it will work.
Link Posted: 1/25/2015 10:03:17 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By GHPorter:
So far, I've just annealed .223 cases to form them to 300 Blackout.  Annealing helps the brass remain springy, so you retain (or regain) neck tension, and neck tension is critical to accuracy.  There are a number of ways to measure neck tension, but the easiest way for me is a gauge from Ballistic Tools.  You size the case and then gauge it; if the inside is still within tolerance, the tension will be good.  If it isn't in tolerance, the brass isn't staying springy and you need to anneal the necks.  And I HOPE you're not actually seeing marks on teh case from rifling!

I have a CHEAP electric screwdriver with an un-loaded speed of 200 RPM.  It works fine.  You don't want the cases to spin out of the socket, but you don't want them to move too slowly in the flame, either.  An electric drill can go a LOT faster than 200 RPM (800-2500 RPM depending on the brand and model), so as long as your'e keeping it slow enough to see the indicator material inside the case, it will work.
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Originally Posted By GHPorter:
Originally Posted By djryan13:
1. How often do you anneal your cases? (after how many firings).

I just don't see the point for 223/300BO. I get a ton of firings for 223 even with hot loads and the brass is so cheap. For 300BO, I am running only subs. I have picked up fired bullets that almost appear to be reloadable. Only sign of firing is the striations from the rifling.
<snip>
Last question (s):
4. Basic battery powered drill too fast? Does the smaller electric screw driver go slower? And is slower better?
So far, I've just annealed .223 cases to form them to 300 Blackout.  Annealing helps the brass remain springy, so you retain (or regain) neck tension, and neck tension is critical to accuracy.  There are a number of ways to measure neck tension, but the easiest way for me is a gauge from Ballistic Tools.  You size the case and then gauge it; if the inside is still within tolerance, the tension will be good.  If it isn't in tolerance, the brass isn't staying springy and you need to anneal the necks.  And I HOPE you're not actually seeing marks on teh case from rifling!

I have a CHEAP electric screwdriver with an un-loaded speed of 200 RPM.  It works fine.  You don't want the cases to spin out of the socket, but you don't want them to move too slowly in the flame, either.  An electric drill can go a LOT faster than 200 RPM (800-2500 RPM depending on the brand and model), so as long as your'e keeping it slow enough to see the indicator material inside the case, it will work.


Thanks. I think you misunderstood one thing. The striations are on the bullet after firing from the rifling. The bullet has no deformity. We find them all the time. They must bounce off the wood backdrop at such a low velocity that there is no sign of bullet impact. Velocity out of muzzle is fine.
Link Posted: 1/25/2015 4:55:15 PM EDT
Dryflash,   So when converting 223 to 300blk do you anneal the chopped 223 cases and then form them (and final trim)?  I have over 1,000 rounds already cut ready to convert, I'm sure the softer annealed brass would be better to form.  Is this your thinking?  Thanks!
Link Posted: 1/25/2015 6:05:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2015 6:05:31 PM EDT by snoog37]
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Originally Posted By jcwallace84:
Dryflash,   So when converting 223 to 300blk do you anneal the chopped 223 cases and then form them (and final trim)?  I have over 1,000 rounds already cut ready to convert, I'm sure the softer annealed brass would be better to form.  Is this your thinking?  Thanks!
View Quote


This is the way I convert to 300bo brass. Cut, anneal, form, trim.
Link Posted: 1/25/2015 8:19:31 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By snoog37:


This is the way I convert to 300bo brass. Cut, anneal, form, trim.
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Originally Posted By snoog37:
Originally Posted By jcwallace84:
Dryflash,   So when converting 223 to 300blk do you anneal the chopped 223 cases and then form them (and final trim)?  I have over 1,000 rounds already cut ready to convert, I'm sure the softer annealed brass would be better to form.  Is this your thinking?  Thanks!


This is the way I convert to 300bo brass. Cut, anneal, form, trim.

Ditto, per guidance from dryflash3.
Link Posted: 1/25/2015 8:37:35 PM EDT
I use a drill and socket and a similar method as what is on the primal rights site.

It's been working well for me and is simple and fast.
Link Posted: 1/25/2015 9:14:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2015 9:14:44 PM EDT by MKT]
I use a 90* angle drill (battery powered) set to low gear. Seems to be working fine. Found it easier to use propane than MAP as MAP gets too hot. Also learned a very valuable lesson last night...well, two lessons. Don't anneal (or use anything that requires fire) when tired, second when done annealing 100 or so cases DO NOT grasp the angle drill by the top to set it off to the side .

Guaranteed the meat from the side of your hand will roll over the not too cool socket! Gave myself a pretty deep burn, the kind that the skins just flashes white. Because of the way the skin cooked I really didn't expect huge blister I woke up with.

Now maybe, just maybe being tired kept me from thinking through grabbing the drill but the fact remains I was tired and playing with fire and got myself hurt.
Link Posted: 1/25/2015 9:27:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2018 1:51:07 PM EDT by dryflash3]
Link Posted: 1/26/2015 8:29:08 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By djryan13:
I think you misunderstood one thing. The striations are on the bullet after firing from the rifling. The bullet has no deformity. We find them all the time. They must bounce off the wood backdrop at such a low velocity that there is no sign of bullet impact. Velocity out of muzzle is fine.
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You're right, I thought you were talking about your cases...
Link Posted: 1/26/2015 8:38:27 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By dryflash3:
But I do debur before forming because my Band Saw leaves a ragged edge that lets brass collect in my sizing die, which scratches the cases.  
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I've been using the Harbor Freight mini chop saw with their (kinda expensive) 2" blades, and I've found that they seem to get dull, or at least don't cut as smoothly, pretty quickly.  The guy from the 300 BlkTalk forum that I got my jig from says that the blade is better than an abrasive disk because the disk leaves the cut rougher.  I'm considering giving the abrasive disk a try anyway, since even with the saw blade the cases seemed to benefit from deburring.  I guess a little more deburring wouldn't be that much more effort, and may cut down my cost for blades.

OP, cutting the cases first puts the most error-prone part of the conversion process up-front.  It's possible to cut the case wrong, or damage the case in cutting.  On the other hand, the only way to really screw up annealing is to overheat the case.  If you use Tempilaq and keep an eye on when it "changes appearance", it's so far been "Glenn proof," which says something about how easy it is to do right.
Link Posted: 2/2/2015 11:29:42 PM EDT
Thanks dryflash, very informative and I appreciate you taking the time to take pictures and post them.

I'm guessing it's in the instructions, but tempilacque works as an indicator by becoming transparent once it reaches the indicated temperature, right.  I believe that is what I read on another forum after some additional research after your previous download of some knowledge to me.  It may be helpful to the original thread for us real new to reloading.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 2/3/2015 12:06:12 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/3/2015 1:44:50 AM EDT
Great write up, thanks! Added to my favorites for future reference.
Link Posted: 2/3/2015 1:52:31 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Vinny302:
I think you guys are misunderstanding my question. Say you have been annealing but you have over annealed some cases. Could you just reheat them red hot then quench them quickly. Would that quick quench return the hardness to the brass? This is just a question I have been thinking about, I am using Templaq and have been annealing properly.

V
View Quote


Brass behaves differently than iron/steel quenching in water won't harden brass.
Link Posted: 2/3/2015 3:28:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/5/2015 2:04:48 AM EDT by Trollslayer]
<deleted in deference to the OP's preference and this most excellent thread>
Link Posted: 2/3/2015 8:26:29 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
The few times I've annealed case mouths, it was with the cases standing in a shallow pan filled with water (to ensure the case head does not get over 212 deg F and will not get annealed).
View Quote

The deep well socket does the same thing, but allows you to apply heat consistently around the entire case.
Link Posted: 2/3/2015 2:42:05 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/3/2015 4:20:53 PM EDT
I have read both pages of this good post about using Tempilaq  750 but have not read how one removes the  Tempilaq once the cases are annealed, or is it necessary be fore loading.  Thank you.
Link Posted: 2/3/2015 9:23:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/4/2015 10:06:53 AM EDT
Thanks for the excellent writeup Dryflash. I'm working on my automatic annealer, but I'll probably start using this method for small batches and until that is finished.

I do have a question though, have you ever tested pre/post annealed brass to see if it changes the headspace reading and/or the case length? I just finished making some 300 blackout and really don't want to go back and resize/trim again... I wasn't sure if you've done this measurement already. If not, I'll try to do it tonight?
Link Posted: 2/4/2015 1:14:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/4/2015 2:28:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/4/2015 2:32:10 PM EDT by drfroglegs]
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Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Now days when I form 300 blk cases, I anneal before forming the shoulder.

So headspace is set then and case final trimmed/deburred before loading.

If you are going to anneal formed cases, I would anneal then run case through sizing die and check length.

On cases I had formed pre annealing, after I fired them they were cleaned then annealed.

Sized, trimmed as needed/deburred and loaded.
View Quote


Yeah, I agree in the sense that I wish I would have annealed before I formed them..

I guess what I'm asking is... Is there any real proof that annealing changes the dimensions of the brass? I constantly hear people say not to anneal after forming, or if you do to resize them again, but I've never seen the data to suggest it actually effects the size.

You would think the brass would expand/contract the same amount before and after heating, I don't understand why it would expand when you heat it but not contract back to the same size?

I plan on annealing some when I get home, so I'll take some measurements before/after and see if I can prove either way. I figured you may have already done the measurements to see?
Link Posted: 2/4/2015 2:42:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/4/2015 3:59:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/5/2015 2:05:20 AM EDT by Trollslayer]
<deleted by author>
Link Posted: 2/4/2015 4:23:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/4/2015 4:29:29 PM EDT by drfroglegs]
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Originally Posted By Trollslayer:


I did not use Tempilaq but it could have easily been added to the process, had I wanted to do so.

I mentioned this method because none of the processes above monitor or control the temperature/temper of the case heads.  The issue addressed by using water remains valid - it controls the temperature of the case head.  

If you heat the case mouth and melt the Tempilaq and maybe go above the minimum melt of the Tempilaq, what temperature did your case head reach?

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Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Originally Posted By Trollslayer:
The few times I've annealed case mouths, it was with the cases standing in a shallow pan filled with water (to ensure the case head does not get over 212 deg F and will not get annealed).

That's the old school uncontrolled, not using Tempilaq, method.

Water no longer has a use if you use Tempilaq correctly, unless you want to add an unnecessary step and the drying time.


I did not use Tempilaq but it could have easily been added to the process, had I wanted to do so.

I mentioned this method because none of the processes above monitor or control the temperature/temper of the case heads.  The issue addressed by using water remains valid - it controls the temperature of the case head.  

If you heat the case mouth and melt the Tempilaq and maybe go above the minimum melt of the Tempilaq, what temperature did your case head reach?



I think that's the point of the deep socket, to protect the rest of the case from the direct heat.

The thermal conductivity of water is about 0.58 W/(m k) while brass is 109.. So we can pretty definitively state that water does nothing to prevent the brass from heating up in the 4 seconds it's exposed to heat. The only effect that water will have is protecting the area that is submerged from the direct flame (due to the low conductivity), which is virtually the same thing the socket is doing...

I will concede that the water is definitely better than air (actually about 30x better), but I just simply don't think it matters very much when you consider ~218x the heat is transferred to the base via the brass heating than is transferred to the water to cool it... Just my $0.02.
Link Posted: 2/4/2015 4:38:50 PM EDT
Its' my understanding that up until the high 400's you're not making any changes to brass no matter how long you hold it at that temperature -

Optimal Case Temperatures for Successful Annealing
Brass is an excellent conductor of heat. A flame applied at any point on a case for a short time will cause the rest of the case to heat very quickly. There are several temperatures at which brass is affected. Also, the time the brass remains at a given temperature will have an effect. Brass which has been "work hardened" (sometimes referred to as "cold worked") is unaffected by temperatures (Fahrenheit) up to 482 degrees (F) regardless of the time it is left at this temperature. At about 495 degrees (F) some changes in grain structure begins to occur, although the brass remains about as hard as before--it would take a laboratory analysis to see the changes that take place at this temperature.

The trick is to heat the neck just to the point where the grain structure becomes sufficiently large enough to give the case a springy property, leaving the body changed but little, and the head of the case virtually unchanged.

If cases are heated to about 600 degrees (F) for one hour, they will be thoroughly annealed--head and body included. That is, they will be ruined. (For a temperature comparison, pure lead melts at 621.3 degrees F).

The critical time and temperature at which the grain structure reforms into something suitable for case necks is 662 degrees (F) for some 15 minutes. A higher temperature, say from 750 to 800 degrees, will do the same job in a few seconds. If brass is allowed to reach temperatures higher than this (regardless of the time), it will be made irretrievably and irrevocably too soft.

Brass will begin to glow a faint orange at about 950 degrees (F). Even if the heating is stopped at a couple of hundred degrees below this temperature, the damage has been done--it will be too soft
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