Annealing Made Perfect Induction Annealing Machine

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by sandman0921, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    420
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    542
    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    Member of:
    SCI (Life), RMEF (Life), DU, NWTF, NRA (Patron Life), GOA, DSC (Life), WSF (Life), B&C Club (Sponsor Associate Member), USSA (Associate Member)
    Hunted:
    USA (GA, TN, AR, TX, FL, UT, NM, WY, MT, AK, IL, MO, IA); Canada (NWT, BC); Africa (Tanzania)
    As I have stated many times before on this forum, when it comes to reloading, I enjoy purchasing new gadgets and tools that ostensibly are designed to make my life easier, and for the most part, most of the tools I've purchased have been useful to varying degrees barring a few exceptions......

    As I've gotten more and more into the realm of big bore cartridge shooting and, subsequently, reloading, one thing I've come to realize is that nothing about these behemoths is inexpensive....nothing. And that is no better illustrated than when you look at the cost of reloading components. From the large amounts of powder to fuel these monsters, to the huge hunks of copper and lead that are hurled out the end of the barrel, nothing is cheap. This is perfectly illustrated when one looks at the cost of brass cases. For instance, for the 450 Rigby (Rimless) I own, I load Norma brass. That currently is going for a little over $5.00 USD per piece! That's probably my most expensive, but the 375 H&H, 375 Ruger, 404 Jeffery, and 450 NE 3 1/4 inch aren't far behind. I do the best I can to keep a fairly large supply of brass for each cartridge I shoot, so when I see sales at reloading suppliers, I will buy a box here and a box there to keep my inventory up. However, when you have to take out a bank loan each time you purchase a box of 25 cases for a big bore rifle, it's hard to gain a lot of ground. I say a lot of this tongue-in-cheek, but those of you who shoot these guns, and especially reload for them, know what I mean.....

    As such, I've been looking into ways of maximizing case longevity. For regular cartridges like the 308 win, or the 30-06 for instance, neck sizing or partial full-length re-sizing is one way of preventing over-working the brass. However, in bolt rifles used for animals that can maul, gore, stomp, and maim a human being, or in rifles like doubles, semi-autos or lever actions, where extraction force is lacking, it is my opinion that one is asking for trouble if they do not always full-length re-size their cases. I can imagine few worse feelings than shooting at a charging cape buffalo in the hot African sun, only to realize in the spilt second that you're trying to chamber another round, that you action has seized on you due to an over-pressured round coupled with a case that is too tight fitting to the chamber wall due to neck sizing or partial re-sizing. At that point, you better be good at making your weapon into a high-priced spear, or club because you ain't outrunning Mr. Mbogo. Either that, or pray to the good Lord above that your PH still likes you, and is willing to shoot one of his expensive rounds to save your stupid butt.....

    Another method that I've researched a lot is case annealing. The benchrest forums, and long-rang shooting crowds have been talking about case neck and shoulder annealing for years, and there are those in that fraternity who feel a shooter is partaking in sacrilege, if they don't anneal their brass after every session. In those circles, besides prolonging case life in cases that a shooter has invested a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in as far as sorting by weight, fully prepping and neck reaming, etc., the other theoretical advantage, and perhaps the most important one, is consistent neck tension on the bullet. In theory, every time the rifle goes bang, the bullet is released after a consistent holding force is overcome by the powder gas behind it. Or so the theory goes......

    Myself, not being a long range shooter, the big advantage to me is trying to wring as much life out of an expensive case as possible. To that end, I've been researching case annealers for reloaders for the last 3-4 years. If you believe the "experts", the old way of spinning a case on a drill while heating the shoulder/neck to a cherry-red, or heating the same case, instead, in a pan of water (to prevent softening of the case head) is wrong, wrong, wrong......The big risk is of one softening the brass way too much, and worse yet, softening the case head to further increase the chances of a case head rupture. Or, not getting a consistent anneal circumferentially around the case neck. Refinement of the techniques listed above utilized temperature sensitive paints or lacquers such as Tempilaq to try and target the anneal to a specific temperature.

    Over the last 3-4 years, the rotating propane torch annealers have caught fire. These units like the Benchsource, Giraud, Anneal-eeze, etc. were awesome when they first came out because after a tedious set-up process, one could anneal hundreds of cases an hour by simply continually loading cases in a rotating holder, or a bin. As long as the propane supply was constant, and the set-up was true, it worked great....or so they said. One of the big knocks of these units was the set-up time, and tediousness of getting the dual flames just right on the case neck. Then you had to make sure the flame dwell time was spot-on with the temperature sensitive paints. And if you wanted to change to a different cartridge, then you have to go through the whole process again. I have a friend who builds rifles as a hobby, and shoots at very long range with calibers like the 338 Lapua, 375 Cheytac, etc. He has one of these units, and I've observed him setting his unit up, and it was a big turn-off to me to see the steps one had to go to to get it "just right". Also, another theoretical disadvantage was if the propane pressure was not consistent, flame temperature would not be consistent across the session. The only practical way to ensure propane "longevity" and pressure, was to hook the unit up to a 20 lb. propane tank which required a regulator, tubing, splitters, etc. As such, I decided to hold off, and do some more research on these case annealers.

    About 2 years ago, I started hearing about electric induction annealing machines. These have been around for a while for major industrial processes, but not for reloaders until recently. The concept is basically the same as the newer induction cooktops, in that when an electric current passes through a coiled wire, it creates a magnetic field. If a metallic object is placed in the center of that coil with just the right air gap between all sides, small eddy currents are created within the interior of the metal object which causes it to heat up. This effectively anneals the metal object in a consistent, and effective manner. Of course this is not a very good description of the process, but it was never intended to be a primer on the science of annealing.

    The big disadvantage of these machines are a few. First, they are expensive, as the technology at least as it applies to reloading, is relatively new. Hopefully, as time goes on, the cost will come down, as happens with most technology. Second, the coils generate a lot of heat. As such, after a couple hundred cases, the units have to be allowed to cool off for several minutes (up to an hour) before resuming the session. This can be mitigated by having a water-cooled coil, instead of an air cooled coil, but that adds more expense, and more complication (i.e., more things that can break) to the system. For someone like me, that only loads at best 100-200 cases per session, that's not a big deal. But for a 3-gun shooter that needs to churn out 500-1000 5.56 cases a session, then it may be. Finally, the application of the science is misunderstood, and the old principles that were utilized by the flame annealers, are being incorrectly applied to induction annealing. There has been a couple of home-brew units I've seen on YouTube, and a commercial one by a well know case prep manufacturer that I've been eyeing, but for various reasons, I decided not to go any further.

    I had put the search for one of these units on the back burner for a few months, and the other night I was reading a benchrest forum about induction annealers, and a company out of Auckland, New Zealand called Annealing Made Perfect (AMP) came up. The company debuted their induction case annealing machine at ShotShow in 2016. Their unit appears to do everything I could want, and several reviews from reputable sources, are singing their praises. It's simple, scientific, and easy to use. Set-up time is minimal. After watching the YouTube video, I reached out to the company via email, and very quickly I was contacted by Mr. Alex Findlay, the founder of the company. Over several emails, Mr. Findlay has been excellent to deal with as far as answering all of my novice questions. They have distributorships all over the world (NZ, Australia, USA, UK, RSA, Italy, and Canada). Their US distributor is Graf & Sons. When I went online to look at ordering one, they were out-of-stock. Mr. Findlay relayed to me that sales are so hot right now, that they've had to hire more staff to keep up with demand.

    Their machine appears to be very well thought out, and has gone through a lot of R&D to get it right. The science behind their system appears to be sound as well. And if Mr. Findlay's willingness to communicate via email to answer questions is any indication of their customer service philosophy, then I have to say I think they've got a winner. I have been very anxious to try their system, so me being me, I went to Graf's and backordered one, and several of the cartridge specific pilots. AMP assures me that I should have my unit, in no more than 4 weeks as they are set to ship another pallet of machines out in a few days.

    I included a video from their website that gives a fairly detailed review of the unit below:




    As far as I can see, the major downside to their machine is cost. It retails for $1099.00 USD, not including pilots, which are cartridge specific (although some are good for families of cartridges like 308 Win based rounds, etc.) and cost $19.99 USD per pilot. But in my mind at least, the way I am justifying the expense is looking at the cost of brass, and if I can extend my reloads by just 2-3 times per 100 cases, I'll have paid for the machine after a few sessions with a couple of my DGRs.

    For those who are interested, the link to their website is:

    http://www.ampannealing.com

    Once I get my machine up and running, I will try and post an update to this forum to et everyone know what I think.

    As usual, best regards to all.......
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017

  2. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3,089
    Video/Photo:
    81
    Likes Received:
    2,594
    Hunted:
    Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(2) New Zealand
    Thanks for sharing. Looks to be state of the art. Now what to sell to get one....... ruce
     
    sierraone likes this.

  3. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    39
    When the price comes down to somthing reasonable like $350, if it ever does, then I'd consider getting one. Meanwhile, my butane torch annealer works just fine.
     

  4. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Messages:
    4,687
    Video/Photo:
    182
    Likes Received:
    4,412
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hunted:
    South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
    Awesome machine! A whole lot of research went into this. My only question is that an induction heater degenerates some every time it is used. I am curious what the life is.
    Thanks for the info.
     

  5. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    420
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    542
    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    Member of:
    SCI (Life), RMEF (Life), DU, NWTF, NRA (Patron Life), GOA, DSC (Life), WSF (Life), B&C Club (Sponsor Associate Member), USSA (Associate Member)
    Hunted:
    USA (GA, TN, AR, TX, FL, UT, NM, WY, MT, AK, IL, MO, IA); Canada (NWT, BC); Africa (Tanzania)
    Ridgewalker,

    I asked Mr. Findlay (CEO/developer) of this machine that question via email.

    His reply was that some of the homemade units, particularly that use a "work" coil, very well may degrade after repeated usage, and over a short time. The AMP machine however uses an open inductor with a large ferrite core, and an air gap. Couple that with a thermal cut-out to protect the circuitry, and the machine can easily handle thousands of cycles....

    He stated that all of their components were rated for 40,000 hours except the 3 fans, which were rated at 20,000 hours. Furthermore, they have some testing units that have annealed tens of thousands of cases without any degeneration.

    I received my unit from Graf & Sons yesterday, and I have to say the machine has a "quality" feel to it, and appears to be well built. Not to say that speaks to its effectiveness, or durability per say, but it does certainly "look the part" if that means anything.

    No annealing yet, as I am waiting on a few pilots to come in, but as soon I cycle a few cases through it, I'll give an update.
     
    Pheroze and Ridgewalker like this.

  6. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    11,223
    Video/Photo:
    136
    Likes Received:
    3,568
    Member of:
    Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
    It's an interesting machine. It could easily be worth the investment due to the cost of brass.
     
    cem rona ergin likes this.

  7. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Messages:
    4,687
    Video/Photo:
    182
    Likes Received:
    4,412
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hunted:
    South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
    Sandman0921,
    I have no idea how many hundreds maybe thousands of cases I have thrown away because of case mouth splits, hard bullet seating, number of times reloaded, etc. I think I could have easily paid for this just to prevent worrying about consistent bullet release.
    This is a real temptation as opposed to sitting in a freezing garage with my torch, handdrill and bucket of water counting
     

  8. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,329
    Video/Photo:
    38
    Likes Received:
    3,116
    Location:
    Ontario
    Member of:
    OFAH, DSC
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Canada, USA
    Very cool and thanks for posting.

    Would you use this machine to anneal with every use or how will you incorporate it into your reloading regimen?
     

  9. Lrntolive

    Lrntolive AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    538
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    357
    Location:
    Colorado
    Member of:
    RMEF, SCI, NRA, WCF&W
    Wow! And here I thought my reloading was expensive. You DG guys take it to a whole new level. Congrats on the annealing machine. You'll have to let us know how it goes.
     

  10. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    420
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    542
    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    Member of:
    SCI (Life), RMEF (Life), DU, NWTF, NRA (Patron Life), GOA, DSC (Life), WSF (Life), B&C Club (Sponsor Associate Member), USSA (Associate Member)
    Hunted:
    USA (GA, TN, AR, TX, FL, UT, NM, WY, MT, AK, IL, MO, IA); Canada (NWT, BC); Africa (Tanzania)
    Ridgewalker,

    I agree, and that's why I bought one.......I have had the same experience as far as tossing cases. It's one thing if it's a $0.50 Federal 308 Winchester case, but entirely different if it's a $5.04 Norma 450 Rigby case. Theoretically, this machine, as the flame annealers do, should help extend case life in these large cases by a fair margin. Like I said, even 2-3 extra reloads per case will by far justify the expense in my mind. However, value is a subjective thing. For some, only the finest vacations and travel will do, or the finest automobiles, etc. For me, in this case, the cost is justified by the ease and simplicity of the machine's use, and furthermore, the actually identification of, and scientific verification of their algorithm and process....

    Of course this "technology" could be the proverbial snake oil as so many technological things are sometimes, but I don't think so. The science makes sense to me, and apparently to a lot of cartridge manufacturers who induction anneal their cases during the drawing process, as well as a finishing process before packaging.

    Below is a large scale induction annealer running in a European cartridge factory......




    Another video of factory annealing machine.....





    When I first started reloading, I never annealed brass. Then, the more I read and talked to experienced reloaders, I realized I probably should be if I was interested in accuracy, safety, and prolonging case life. Furthermore, when I first started reloading it was for 30-06 Springfield, and annealing had value to me for the potential accuracy and safety gains........cost savings not so much, because I could just buy 100 more 30-06 cases for not much expense. However, once I started reloading for large bore , African rifles, cost savings jumped to the head of the line because these cases are so damn expensive.......

    I like you, and probably most reloaders that anneal, read articles and posts on how it should be done, and first started annealing by spinning the case in a cordless drill fixture (like Hornady makes) until the neck got dull-red, or to a certain time count, and then quenching them in a bucket of water to stop the process. And then, when I started worrying I might be overheating the case head, and risking a case head rupture, I migrated to the standing-cases in a pan of water technique, where the cases were tipped over when they started glowing a dull-red. My biggest problem was this was all so subjective, and there was no verifiable evidence that I was doing it right, or getting the results I wanted, and worst-case, I was actually ruining the brass and risking inducing a premature failure. I was really about to pull the trigger on one of the rotating flame annealers until I saw how aggravating the set-up could be, and still not being sure the annealing process was being effective. Also, if one wanted to anneal small batches of different cartridges like I tend to do, the set-up for each new cartridge became very time consuming over the whole session. Couple that with the cost of these units ($450-600) for the base unit, and then potentially needing a 20-lb tank, regulator, gas tubing, and a manifold to divide the flow, to make these units more "pressure-consistent" across the board, and the cost starts climbing.

    When I saw this unit, and the science behind it, I wanted to try it. Hopefully it is not a waste of money, but only time will tell..... The holy-grail will be when someone incorporates automated case feeding into a small unit like this one, that reliably functions. According to Mr. Findlay, they tried an automated feeding system but couldn't get the cases positioned precisely in the air-gap to be consistent. However, that is the next phase of development according to AMP's website. Also, an oil or water-cooled coil would greatly extend the duty cycle to make this very efficacious in high-volume annealing sessions like a lot of competition shooters undertake...
     

  11. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    420
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    542
    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    Member of:
    SCI (Life), RMEF (Life), DU, NWTF, NRA (Patron Life), GOA, DSC (Life), WSF (Life), B&C Club (Sponsor Associate Member), USSA (Associate Member)
    Hunted:
    USA (GA, TN, AR, TX, FL, UT, NM, WY, MT, AK, IL, MO, IA); Canada (NWT, BC); Africa (Tanzania)

    Pheroze,

    In reading AMP's website, and corresponding with Mr. Findlay, the real advantage gained is when you anneal every time the case is reloaded. I typically will decap the case with a universal decapping die, and then ultrasonically clean the brass. After drying them in a food dehydrator, I usually go to resizing and then priming, etc.

    Now, my plan is to add the annealing step in after the cleaning and drying. I typically only reload around 50-100 cases a session, so adding this step shouldn't add much time to the "process". Anymore cases than that, and it starts to feel more like work and becomes unenjoyable…
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017
    enysse and Pheroze like this.

  12. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    420
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    542
    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    Member of:
    SCI (Life), RMEF (Life), DU, NWTF, NRA (Patron Life), GOA, DSC (Life), WSF (Life), B&C Club (Sponsor Associate Member), USSA (Associate Member)
    Hunted:
    USA (GA, TN, AR, TX, FL, UT, NM, WY, MT, AK, IL, MO, IA); Canada (NWT, BC); Africa (Tanzania)
    Lrntolive,

    I suppose most DG Shooter's don't go to the lengths and expense I do…

    I'm just anal retentive when it comes to reloading, not because you have to be with DG game cartridges per say, but because I enjoy the process. Yes, I admit I'm weird.…

    In this case however, I really feel (and hope) it will benefit my pocketbook.....
     
    Lrntolive likes this.

  13. Lrntolive

    Lrntolive AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Messages:
    538
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    357
    Location:
    Colorado
    Member of:
    RMEF, SCI, NRA, WCF&W
    Sandman, Ha! I completely understand. I do the same with my predator and varmint cartridges, not the annealing, but being anal with powder, primers, bullet and case weight, etc.

    I unfortunately do this with my archery equipment, too.

    I've given up on trying to justify it to my wife as saving money. She knows better that it is just a passion (albeit more like a quirk), and I'm not really saving money. Unless you count not going to bars and strip clubs on a regular basis!

    Have fun!
     

  14. sandman0921

    sandman0921 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
    420
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    542
    Location:
    Tennessee, USA
    Member of:
    SCI (Life), RMEF (Life), DU, NWTF, NRA (Patron Life), GOA, DSC (Life), WSF (Life), B&C Club (Sponsor Associate Member), USSA (Associate Member)
    Hunted:
    USA (GA, TN, AR, TX, FL, UT, NM, WY, MT, AK, IL, MO, IA); Canada (NWT, BC); Africa (Tanzania)
    As an update:

    I have been waiting on 2 things before I got up and running with my annealing:

    1) Graf's to get the AMP unit in stock for my backorder (appx. 1 week after ordering), and

    2) Graf's to receive the necessary pilots for a few of the cases I had ready to anneal (i.e., decapped, ultrasonically cleaned, and dried)


    I was finally able to anneal some brass, and I have to say the process went extremely well.....really better than my already high expectations........

    I annealed a batch of Hornady 375 Ruger cases (100 cases) which took me about 25 minutes, and then after a quick 30 second change over of the pilot and shell holder, I annealed 50 Nosler 280 Ackley Improved cases which took me about 15 minutes. The anneal line (color change) was perfectly centered about the neck and shoulder area with extension to appx 1-2 mm past the body-shoulder junction. It's such a fast process, you almost don't believe it really happens but it does, and I know this because I got in a hurry and accidentally dumped a cartridge into my open palm instead of the cooling pan......woah momma! :eek:

    Overall, I am very happy at how simple the process is, especially when considering I annealed batches of two separate cartridges.

    They are working on the automated case feeder, and have a proof of concept prototype working very well. It will be made to attach directly to existing machines. Hopefully that will come onto market very soon.......

    Also, they just rolled out a machine that is dedicated to the 50 BMG cartridge, and will be nice for those shooters considering the cost of those cases ($5-6 USD per case)


    All in all, despite the cost, I am very pleased and will now incorporate the annealing process into my reloading process every time I reload....
     
    Clayton and enysse like this.

  15. Opposite Pole

    Opposite Pole AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2017
    Messages:
    589
    Video/Photo:
    62
    Likes Received:
    598
    Location:
    Warsaw & Sydney
    Member of:
    SSAA; PZŁ, KŁ Sęp
    Hunted:
    Australia, Poland
    @sandman0921 it has been a while since you've posted this. Did your thoughts about the machine change? I am considering purchasing one so would be grateful for your long term user's opinion.
     

  16. Timbo

    Timbo AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    509
    Video/Photo:
    33
    Likes Received:
    695
    Member of:
    BGRC PFRC & SSAA
    Hunted:
    Australia (WA & NT), Zimbabwe, Zambia
    When you get it, can I borrow it? :)
     
    375 Ruger Fan likes this.

  17. Luvthunt

    Luvthunt AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Messages:
    243
    Video/Photo:
    2
    Likes Received:
    117
    Graf’s price now at $1300+. Believe it may be a 2nd generation.
     

  18. GA Hunter

    GA Hunter AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Messages:
    532
    Video/Photo:
    23
    Likes Received:
    649
    Location:
    USA , GA
    Your post reminds me of a LOT of the people I’ve come across in the benchrest world.
     

  19. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Messages:
    4,508
    Video/Photo:
    15
    Likes Received:
    2,077
    Location:
    Trzebiatów
    Member of:
    1977; Polish Hunting Assotiation
    Hunted:
    Namibia, Zimbabwe
    Very interesting.
     

  20. Inline6

    Inline6 AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    96
    I have one and love it. It's a lot but worth every dime. Aztec is awesome btw.
     

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice