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Posted: 4/12/2014 1:26:31 PM EDT
well...took me almost a year to complete the test :-) but here are the results.

Overall, I can say the annealing each time gave me more consistent groups and tighter, the worst was never annealing, they just kept getting larger and larger until they were like off the shelf cheap ammo.

With annealing every time 23 reloads
random anneal 20 reloads
no anneal 16 reloads

(couldn't locate my original thread so posting this)

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Link Posted: 4/12/2014 1:46:00 PM EDT
Said it the first go, mean it even more after the full compilation...

"BRILLIANT!"

Link Posted: 4/12/2014 1:59:31 PM EDT
Awesome; thanks for sharing.

What is your definition of 'random anneal' in this case?
What was the annealing setup you used, and I'm assuming using tempilaq?
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 2:01:32 PM EDT
That's very interesting, but what's the cost (both material and time) vs getting more brass at the 16 reload mark?

Annealing is extremely useful but I've never seen someone do it every reload!
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 2:15:49 PM EDT
Were these fired from a bolt gun?

How were they resized each time? Full-length or neck sized?
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 2:47:12 PM EDT
good questions

1. Random anneal, the blue backgrounds indicate when I annealed on the random anneal, anywhere from 3-4 fires usually.

2. Annealing method during 'random anneal' was with tempilaq and the drill socket method, by the time I reached 'anneal every time' I purchased the Giraud annealer.

3. shot from a Semi-Auto AR15 (spikes tactical build) 15 inch 1 in 7 twist barrel.

4. Full Length resizing. The only points I'd like to make that I'm sure keep my brass alive longer are:

a. my rifle shoulder setback reads 1.459 after firing, I push the shoulders back to 1.456

b. I trim to 1.756


Link Posted: 4/12/2014 2:50:34 PM EDT
btw...5,977 rounds were fired for this test :-) I believe I started in May 2013. Round counts are as follows

Random Anneal - 2027

no Anneal - 1858

Anneal every time - 2092
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 2:57:50 PM EDT
Again, many thanks for your excellent post.

I will certainly look at my AR 223 brass differently from now on, and certainly expect that annealing will become more of my processing too, thanks to your work.

If this was polished up a little, I would bet it would be published by accurate shooter or many other sites. It really is a unique piece of work.

Link Posted: 4/12/2014 3:17:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/12/2014 6:55:40 PM EDT by Trollslayer]
Terrific data!

Can you present the group size progression data?  That data is of much greater interest to me.  In my world, I'd say the effect of annealing on case life is fairly small.

As it is, you improved case life by only 11% by annealing every time. One piece of good news is you are getting an average of 13 firings for the un-annealed cases.  Annealing increases that by one firing.

Curiously, you lost substantially more cases (~10) early in the test from the annealed population.  

More curiousness - if you were to use the failure of the first few cases as an indicator that it is time to scrap the batch of brass (I do this), the two annealed batches would be retired first.

Did you track the failure mode over time?  When cases were lost, was it case neck cracks, case head separations, or whatever?

What was the annealing process and how was time and temperature controlled?  Was the process efficacious?  Were the cases all identical to start?
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 6:56:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/12/2014 7:39:00 PM EDT by Trollslayer]
What conclusions do you draw from your data?

The accuracy conclusion is stated but the data to support it are not presented.





I know the others and I are asking a lot of questions.  Do not take this as criticism.  Rather, it is great interest in your information.  

"One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions."    -- Wernher von Braun
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 7:32:48 PM EDT
Thanks for compiling this data. I can appreciate the work (time, money, ocd) that went into it.

One more question. What was the method used to clean the brass? Wet or dry tumbled, and with what chemical/material?
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 9:11:39 PM EDT
So let me try to answer some questions. I'll try to catch them all.

My original intent was to prove to myself if 'range pickup/unknown firings' is really an issue or not.

Brass selection
My test bases were always, 100% lake city brass, various years, some found were as old as 90's, most were 2000-2013, I may have found a few from the 80's but didn't really think to log anything, thus the pure

randomness. I will pick up any brass I find on the ground, some of these I'm sure some would have said toss. If it wasn't cracked then I didn't care how bad the bend is, if I can straighten it with the punch to round

the neck and if I can shove a oval shaped body into the sizing die, well....firing it will make it like new. I made sure that ZERO once fired made it into my beginning counts of 150 cases. Having picked up numerous

tens of thousands of brass I can pretty much tell what is once fired vs not. I wanted it to be 'truly unknown firings'. So I found them with silver primers, figuring a reloader left them so I would imagine they are of the

mindset x firings and they just leave them. (thinking no less than 4??).

Brass Cleaning
Initial


Probably at least 2/3 of what I found were those you really have to look for, you know those days when you go to the range and DARN....nobody left brass. If you walk slow and look you'll find some that are half

buried and so dark and dank. I found lots that were full of dirt and grass roots. All brass initially went into the wet tumbler.

Ongoing Cleaning

pretty much just did the vib cleaning in walnut for 5-10 min, before sizing then 15-20 min after sizing to remove the lube. Since the initial cleaning made them perfectly look new (some looked copper) and I have a

brass catcher, there was no need to go clean freak every single time in the wet method (though I do this when I store stuff :-) )

Firing

Looking back, partway into the no anneal test is when I said 'dang....I should have taken pictures of targets cause my groups are opening way the heck up!" So being halfway through I decided to just finish vs.

starting all over with test 1 (random anneal) and getting back to the 1/2 way mark in the no anneal test. Granted, some of the grouping could be my skills increasing, I can't discount that. But I did get disgruntled with

the unannealed grouping and pulled out fresh ammo, shooting way better with the fresh ammo. repeating this on more than one occasion to at least confirm to myself that apparently the 8th firing I hear most toss it

at is probably because groupings start going into the crapper. Then when I hit the annealing all the time, I was expecting my groups to start going south but they appeared to stay consistent. Zero data that I can

show you guys to support the claim. Now also consider, I'm not one that can put cloverleaf on the paper with three rounds, 200 yards I'm maybe an 8 inch circle.

Annealing Method

Giraud annealer, tempilaq in the neck and the other temp down the side to ensure it didn't pass the top 1/3 of the case. (I'm not in my shop but it whatever the Giraud machine described to use). Timing was the

moment that the entire green tempilaq in the neck melted, that was the moment the case dropped from the flame. I used (and continue to use) a set of 13 cases to configure before I start annealing. I've gotten to

where now it takes me only 2. One to set, the other to confirm. on occasion a third.

Failures - I tracked failures. I had a few loose primer pockets in the first batch, never got them in the last annealing case, but...that may be my definition of loose, if it went in lightly with barely resistance I tapped in

on it's side at a angle, if the primer dropped out or dislodged at all, it was called a PP failure and counted as a failure. If it didn't dislodge....good to go. Had ZERO fall out in my chamber while firing. My failures were

all case neck splits. Never a single case head separation, though I did look for the line in the case, never saw any.  What I did notice by annealing every time, if the bottom of the neck can begin to split, just watch

for burn marks on your brass and investigate them. I did not notice this with either the random or no anneal cases.

Strange oddity

The anneal every time, perhaps it was me getting new to the Giraud annealer? perhaps it was luck of the draw with the range pickup? I can't explain it...I would bet that if I took another case and did it again I would

get no less than 3-4 addition firings than this test case. Very strange so many failed up front. But again this is pure randomness and can be expected. This test was about range pickup, So who knows how many

times it had been fired. It would be interesting if it was 150 once fired. I would expect it to get more firings.


My conclusion from all this......

I can be ocd and anneal every time, or...I can anneal every other time or third time, etc....I just know that I will anneal vs. not.

Accuracy, while no data to support it...i'll anneal knowing that for me it seemed to keep the groupings better. The only true way to prove the accuracy would be to lock it down tight to where it was 100% same spot all the time and just run through the same test over and over to see.






I started with 150 brand spanking new







Link Posted: 4/12/2014 10:54:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/12/2014 11:01:57 PM EDT by Trollslayer]
You have a Giraud annealer, eh?  I knew you were going to say that.  I'm not jealous.  No, really, I'm not.  

It's funny the failures were case neck splits when the cases were being neck annealed.If you were using standard dies and an expander ball, this could be the cause, despite the annealing.  Every non-bushing die I've seen grossly under-sizes the neck, then relies on the ball to bring it back to the proper size.

The technique of minimal shoulder set back (-0.003") really yields good case life.  I think your data is interesting, if for no other reason than that.


Thanks, again.
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 10:57:46 PM EDT




I would be interested to see the test repeated with a single annealing cycle run on the whole batch at 10 reloads or so. Seems that we see a significant and repeatable slope change in the failure rate at that point. This is assuming that I'm reading your data correctly, of course.
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 11:03:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/12/2014 11:07:40 PM EDT by Trollslayer]
LOL, I have those exact same plots on my machine.  

Another interesting plot is number of failed cases versus number of firings for each of the three populations.  

The rate for the no anneal set seems could be changing at about 5 firings (green line).

What is amazing is these are range picks.
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 11:19:42 PM EDT
What temperature tempilaq was used in the neck?
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 11:25:51 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RocketmanOU:
What temperature tempilaq was used in the neck?
View Quote


750f on the neck and 425 down the body
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 11:32:04 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RocketmanOU:
http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad111/RocketmanOU/AnnealExperimentCasesRemaining_zps33799346.png

http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad111/RocketmanOU/AnnealExperimentHistogram_zps72cccfe5.png

I would be interested to see the test repeated with a single annealing cycle run on the whole batch at 10 reloads or so. Seems that we see a significant and repeatable slope change in the failure rate at that point. This is assuming that I'm reading your data correctly, of course.
View Quote


I love your charts email me and I'll send you my excel you should then be able to figure out my various tabs and data maybe showing something in a different view.

So are you saying take 10 rounds anneL once only and fire until they all fail?

I should over the next few weeks be able to find more  non once fired cases. Lots of reloader at my range, hell it's rare to find someone that isn't a reloader.
All you see is .22. .17 hornet and steel on the ground
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 11:32:26 PM EDT
Do you happen to know how much you were setting the shoulder back on the brass, and how much you were trimming, on average?
Link Posted: 4/12/2014 11:37:05 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RocketmanOU:
Do you happen to know how much you were setting the shoulder back on the brass, and how much you were trimming, on average?
View Quote


msg above...

a. my rifle shoulder setback reads 1.459 after firing, I push the shoulders back to 1.456

b. I trim to 1.756
Link Posted: 4/13/2014 8:03:57 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Scorpius:


I love your charts email me and I'll send you my excel you should then be able to figure out my various tabs and data maybe showing something in a different view.

So are you saying take 10 rounds anneL once only and fire until they all fail?

I should over the next few weeks be able to find more  non once fired cases. Lots of reloader at my range, hell it's rare to find someone that isn't a reloader.
All you see is .22. .17 hornet and steel on the ground
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Scorpius:
Originally Posted By RocketmanOU:
http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad111/RocketmanOU/AnnealExperimentCasesRemaining_zps33799346.png

http://i927.photobucket.com/albums/ad111/RocketmanOU/AnnealExperimentHistogram_zps72cccfe5.png

I would be interested to see the test repeated with a single annealing cycle run on the whole batch at 10 reloads or so. Seems that we see a significant and repeatable slope change in the failure rate at that point. This is assuming that I'm reading your data correctly, of course.


I love your charts email me and I'll send you my excel you should then be able to figure out my various tabs and data maybe showing something in a different view.

So are you saying take 10 rounds anneL once only and fire until they all fail?

I should over the next few weeks be able to find more  non once fired cases. Lots of reloader at my range, hell it's rare to find someone that isn't a reloader.
All you see is .22. .17 hornet and steel on the ground


Email sent

I'm saying do another batch of 150, but instead of never annealing or random annealing, don't anneal any until the 10th reload. Based on your data, it seems like while annealing is giving you a benefit in terms of consistent neck tension, it's not doing that much to improve case life. This suggests to me that the dominant factor in case failure as seen here is the eventual stretching and thinning of the brass in the neck. Another piece of data that might be interesting (albeit difficult to measure and track) would be case wall thickness at the neck. You'd need a micrometer with a ball head though, and you'd have to track each case one by one, which would take a good bit of effort.

Tell you what, I could easily do a test to look at brass stretching/dimensional change over time, and see if I can draw some conclusions in that regard. I'll add it to the list of stuff I want to explore during my 'time off' this summer. I'll be sure to post up results there and link them here, assuming this thread still exists.
Link Posted: 4/13/2014 8:17:46 AM EDT
The whole "don't use range brass" is more of a safety thing, you are avoiding an unknown. Obviously nothing magical happens to brass when it lands on range property. The point is a novice may pick up some guys 10x fired brass that is ready to come apart.

Most of the brass I see/pick up at the range is new, so yeah I can treat it as basically new brass.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 4/13/2014 10:11:48 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By popnfresh:
The whole "don't use range brass" is more of a safety thing, you are avoiding an unknown. Obviously nothing magical happens to brass when it lands on range property. The point is a novice may pick up some guys 10x fired brass that is ready to come apart.

Most of the brass I see/pick up at the range is new, so yeah I can treat it as basically new brass.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
View Quote


Good point, while I did pick up some narly looking brass I did inspect it for cracks or issues that  concerned me. If the sizing die could fix it and if firing it could reform it as well, then I used it. I think brass is way more durable than it's given credit for. I should do a "can you use it thread" next :-)
Link Posted: 4/13/2014 2:00:28 PM EDT
Dryflash or Aero E can we get a toggle on this? This kind of information is something to keep around!
Link Posted: 4/13/2014 9:48:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/14/2014 9:37:06 AM EDT
Thanks a bunch Scorpius, really appreciate you taking the time and resources

to put this all together.

I rely 99.9% on range pick ups for brass, some guys won't touch pick ups, that's

just more brass for me!
Link Posted: 4/14/2014 10:28:23 AM EDT
Good stuff Scorpius, Kudos.

I would love to see this tacked and I like the idea of a "Can you reload this?" thread. Maybe a consolidated place to house all those reload steel, reload berdan cases, and range pick ups threads.

Link Posted: 4/14/2014 10:51:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/14/2014 10:51:59 AM EDT by usmc0331tamu00]
Nice work!  Thanks for posting this.  It will help me make some points with some of my shooting buddies.
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