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Big Al

AMP Annealer - Aztec Upgrade

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Al covers most points clearly,as far as available info/data allow.

The complexity of variables in LR shooting make it ulikely a really well controlled test at distance will be done. But serious LRshooters may believe it's worth doing,and may be right. Of course,they will load quite hot,and loses primers before the brass reaches 'best shoot by' date (as MJR and Vince say)

   Medium range/frequency users(probably a larger potential market) might well see the advantage in annealing as extending their brass life to (how many?) more reloads,especially if they keep loading sub max.They may well see gains,though you can buy a lot of brass for £1k+,(but see final point-10p a pop),and actual performance improvements may well be almost undetectable/insignificant for varminting or gonging.

   Just out of general interest,and a little  background in crystallography/metalurgy-variation is considerable.There are  around a dozen fairly big  manufacturers of commercial ammo.I listed  that many just for 308w,and didn't include some of the smaller/proprietary/specialist suppliers (and there are subsidiaries of majors, Relcom or American Eagle eg,who may well use differnt brass than  the 'parent' company).

 Add in some suppliers of niche cartridges,and of course the proprietary specialist calibres (there are a good few 416s,or 7s served by small manufactires etc).It starts to get a fair number of potential variations (manufacturers) on quite a lot of number of themes (calibre/cartridges).

Some might share a common brass supplier,but they all don't-especially  the US/Euro divide. (Norma isn't Sako isn't Lapua isn't RWS isnt PPU...)

This isn't  a definitive listing,just ones I can easily name...Add in batch variations,and changes over the years...and all the other factors (neckturning etc)....it's almost certain one size (aka specific temperature /exposure time) could  not be optimum for all ( or worse yet,safe).

Tempilac should be used for flame systems,but it's not very precise-more makes mistakes less likely. AMT system offers much more control,at a considerable price...but then so do most expensive options in equipment.The best reduce the error probability,as well as increasing the positive benefits,and that  is relevant to annealing. (A cheap scope won't cost you an arm and a leg OR an eye if it fails. Case separation is unlikely to end your days,but it will end that days shooting.)

  10p a pop to have it done proper,sounds like a reasonable option....each  annealed loading probably costs about half that in case life,depending  etc.. (£70/100 new Lapua brass, and 14 reloads  is about  5p each for brass wear alone,with no annealing benefits.)

gbal

 

 

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Vince,Al, thank you for your explanation on the AMP. 

I am still in the dark age of annealing by flame, I do have access to a hardness tester but have no means of looking at the grain structure of the brass. I don't doubt the accuracy of the AMP or it's effectiveness.

I don't have data on whether or not my loads are more accurate but resizing of cases and bullet seating is noticeably smoother compared to non annealed case. 

Looking at the prices quoted for the loader and Aztec they don't seem too steep?

 

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Hi George.

How will you know if your AMP annealer is still doing it's job properly years on.at least with the tempilac and the flame you will probaly no yourself if you over annealed them.how long is the warranty on the AMP annealer

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Noideer,I don't know. That is one reason I suggested paying 10p a time to use an AMP machine might make sense. I'd be far more confident long term about AMP if there were a european agent for servicing etc. The point is general-can equiment be serviced economically  reasonably close (Europe)-not all  annealers can. Set against other less technically sophisticated systems,which might be doing as much harm s good...and can't be checked either. Again.10p a time obviates  most risk-though that AMP might go off....hard to see how anyone would know for sure....

  I don't think an AMP £1200-1500 (with extras) makes a lot of sense for the small volume  solitary hobby shooter -but then a £4K rifle and £2500 scope doesn't either.....though those can be  kept in good shape-at a price-and you can't shoot without some rifle.

    I have a Bench Source,running on gas and tempilaq-but don't think it really is cost effective;another £200 or so hobby costs-over a few years-assuming it does not need much maintenance!

    On the other hand,you can be fairly confident your £30k car-more than you really need-won't be worth much  in 12 years.....but you will know when it does need expensive maintenance. You won't get hire of such for 10p mile either.       :-)

g

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I would be more than happy with 10p a case and risk it if someone local had one.not sure how wrong you can go with tempilac if it changes it's form at 750 degrees.as everything else there is tolerances.in my experience there is no such thing as perfection

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No I deer,

If a blow lamp and  Templaq does all you need carry on, some people do not feel this way.

As per Vince, faffing round with a blow lamp became a bit of a hassle.

The other plus point for the induction annealers is the ease of use, within 30 seconds of turning on I’m annealing brass consistently, if I just have time for a few cases I can walk away, have tea, and come back a pick up where I left off, change cartridge type takes less than 1 minute. No flames or fumes.

terry

 

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Just had a demo on this from AMP, it’s very impressive and not only calculates the correct setting to use for annealing but can be used to sort your brass by mass.

 

They will continue to offer the brass analysis service for owners at no cost other than the postage of the brass, the Aztec mode has been developed due to more and more countries being unfriendly towards even something as simple as a brass case being posted.

 

AMP have tested tempilaq, and whilst it is reasonably accurate over  periods of an hour in a oven or similar, it does not work correctly when exposed to a few seconds of flame.

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I agree that the AMP product is two or three jumps ahead of the pack at the moment but as this technology is now becoming mainstream there will soon be other players with similar machines.

Here's a new one with an simple auto feed.

 

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1 hour ago, Big Al said:

£175 for a software download, is it ok to feel shafted now?

Permission granted Mr Maughan.   Most people don't like it up 'em!   (Courtesy of Corporal Jones/Dads' Army).

images.jpg.f6fd07b6a6dfd73d341588c38ad60697.jpg

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Is that the cost £175? Nothing about this on their website.

 

Apparently thats the news from the Shot Show in the US today, its also being discussed on Accurate Shooter Forum

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32 minutes ago, That bald headed Geordie said:

Permission granted Mr Maughan.   Most people don't like it up 'em!   (Courtesy of Corporal Jones/Dads' Army).

images.jpg.f6fd07b6a6dfd73d341588c38ad60697.jpg

Don' tell them your name Pike :D

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Yes I agree Terry.no flames.no fumes suits me too .it does sound the dogs.this is why ive not purchased a flame type annealer. Is there a warning light on the AMP to tell you it's malfunctioning...?

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1 hour ago, Big Al said:

£175 for a software download, is it ok to feel shafted now?

No, only if you ‘had’ to buy it, like upgrading your Cannon camera, throwing away your older one as it is now old tech.,  or are you still using an A-1 😉😎

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3 hours ago, Big Al said:

£175 for a software download, is it ok to feel shafted now?

It would be - if it was compulsory!   To be honest Alan, the 'send off four cases' service is excellent - and free!   I've used it twice in 12 months.  It'll do me!

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I think the technology of this upgrade makes such a difference to this machine...I'm going to buy one.

I didn't think the old machine was worth the cost personally, but would stump up for one, with this gizmo fitted.

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I've been watching this thread for a few days with a little bit of bewilderment

Firstly, annealing brass isn't my thing. I have too much of the stuff and like a simple life, and from what I can find out annealing can help, but no one knows to what extent

Now I know that at times money is no object to some elements of shooting, but there is a perceived movement that some things like this are a definite "must have" and the latest and greatest thing. Maybe it is, I don't know.

But it is an awful lot of money for a very tangible gain and as Vince says he shoots about 30rds on each outing and anneals every 4th time....that's a long time before you break even...if that matters.

 

What I am curious about though is this: how do you now that when you send your brass off for calibration, the setting you get back is accurate and not just one that's "near enough" or maybe not even "near, near enough"? Could all be just snake oil

Furthermore, if you have an "official importer" then why do you have to send your brass half way round the world? why isn't the importer offering that temper calibrating service in their country? Surely they should've received some training to do this and offer after sales support rather than someone half a world away

 

I do wonder if it's a variation on the old fairytale "The Emperors new Clothes annealing machine"

The other thing I am a little curious about is whether or not it's CE approved

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8 hours ago, The Gun Pimp said:

To be honest Alan, the 'send off four cases' service is excellent - and free!   I've used it twice in 12 months.  It'll do me!

I agree Vince and it will also do for me. 

Its interesting though to see the guys on Accurate Shooter Forum already speculating that this service may well be withdrawn going forward to force is to buy the upgrade, hopefully that wont happen. When you think about it there will easily be an hours work if not more in analysing four cases, it wont take many coming in each week to become a real burden or cost drain, Im cynical I just can't help it. ;) 

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1 hour ago, bradders said:

I've been watching this thread for a few days with a little bit of bewilderment

Firstly, annealing brass isn't my thing. I have too much of the stuff and like a simple life, and from what I can find out annealing can help, but no one knows to what extent

Now I know that at times money is no object to some elements of shooting, but there is a perceived movement that some things like this are a definite "must have" and the latest and greatest thing. Maybe it is, I don't know.

But it is an awful lot of money for a very tangible gain and as Vince says he shoots about 30rds on each outing and anneals every 4th time....that's a long time before you break even...if that matters.

 

What I am curious about though is this: how do you now that when you send your brass off for calibration, the setting you get back is accurate and not just one that's "near enough" or maybe not even "near, near enough"? Could all be just snake oil

Furthermore, if you have an "official importer" then why do you have to send your brass half way round the world? why isn't the importer offering that temper calibrating service in their country? Surely they should've received some training to do this and offer after sales support rather than someone half a world away

 

I do wonder if it's a variation on the old fairytale "The Emperors new Clothes annealing machine"

The other thing I am a little curious about is whether or not it's CE approved

I can understand your reasoning Mark and the cynical (myself included) could think 'snake oil'.

Firstly, the science behind annealing or for want of a better word 'conditioning' of brass or any other metal is straightforward enough and well understood. How you condition a metal will determine its hardness and this is easily measured using a Vickers hardness tester and given a number all standard industry stuff.

AMP have determined an optimum for brass so they heat up/cool the four cases and measure them until they reach the correct number. If you dont go over and spoil the brass you can allow it to cool an indefinite number of times and use it again, within a time scale they arrive at a number and give it to you by email. A less precise method is to measure your neck wall thickness and go off the archive of results on the website. After your brass has been analysed it joins the published archive with its make, neck wall thickness and batch number from the maker.

Clearly AMP know the parameters (as does the world of metallurgy) and so we have to trust them that when they measure our own cases they do it right and give us correct results, not too difficult really, then they have an existing archive to cross reference with.

Getting on to frequency of annealing, if you own an AMP machine the idea is you anneal after every firing, in terms of work hardening its not really the firing that hardens the brass as much as the working through dies that we do between firings, tests have even shown that tumbling brass in stainless media work hardens it enough to measure so forcing it through dies makes up for a lot of the stress, of course firing also does its bit.  Cases dont harden the same after each firing, the decline is rapid to begin with then it slows as the brass gets harder and so more resistant to work hardening, the problem is its this resistance or springiness that we want to eliminate as it gives inconsistency. A five times fired case will reach 60% of its work hardening after the first firing and resizing and will only increase 10% on each of the next 4 firings/resizings so you can see why annealing every time is the only consistent way, the ease of use of the AMP makes this fast and not really a chore, I can anneal 50 cases in 5 mins approx with no flames, smells etc.

As for tangible gains, thats were the jury is out but for the kind of shooting you do you will never be able to measure it in accuracy although maybe possibly in brass life but even then I dont suppose that matters to you as you wont be spending hours on prepping Lapua brass to the enth degree. 

Technically minded benchrest shooters have seen the effects of neck tension on accuracy, we can play around with different tensions using bushings in our dies and neck wall thickness but as the brass work hardens it also changes neck tension due to it becoming harder and more springy, this decline isn't always uniform and cases with the same 'dimensional neck tension' but different 'state of the brass tension' can make a difference to consistency in extreme range/accuracy situations.

As you know, within shooting there are all kinds of disciplines and some really wouldn't benefit from a machine like this whereas things like benchrest could and most likely does. When you think what some shooters spend on their rifle, scope, rests not to mention the money spent of the best reloading tools and methods, the hours of meticulous brass prep, bullets and powder, travel etc it starts to look more like a gain you can't afford to be without if you want to win or place well on a regular basis. 

As for training national suppliers, too costly and not really needed, you can post four cases to New Zealand as easy as Newcastle these days and the results are back via email within a week.

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Mark

your usual enthusiasm I see 😉

annealing comes down to your personal approach, on paper it should make a difference so going the extra mile to do it makes sense to some. The ease in which the ANP does it adds no drain on time.

As to empirically showing the advantage, would take some doing.

me I look at it in the same light as cleaning brass, does it improve performance- don’t know, does it feel right to do it - yes

So psychologically it works

re CE, do not think you can sell without it being so?

T

 

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With 308 or 6.5x47 or any other of popular cartridges I shoot, I don't bother annealing - shoot 'em five times then bin 'em.

But, if you've spent time fire-forming, neck-turning, fire-forming again etc. then you have a 'sizable investment' in your brass.

The temptation is to run it for too many firings - resulting in less than expected results on the target.

This is where the AMP comes into its own - it even gives alternative programs, depending on how many thou. you've turned off the neck, so it's great for 'wildcats'.

OK - tedious to some I agree but essential to others - depending on your chosen discipline.

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Terry,

I've been around this world long enough to be able to question the validity of things.

Al, you state you anneal every time, I was always led to believe the BR community do indeed meticulously sort and prep their brass until they find their Holy Grail "Flatliners" then shoot and reload them on the range between relays

So if they're doing this and work hardening the brass without detrimental performance drop-offs between relays, then where does the annealing after each shot fit in?

If you follow these practises then that's fine, I'm happy for you....but how about someone does the blind Pepsi Challenge between hardened and annealed cases and then post the results :-)

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3 minutes ago, The Gun Pimp said:

But, if you've spent time fire-forming, neck-turning, fire-forming again etc. then you have a 'sizable investment' in your brass.

I can appreciate that Vince. I do wonder about the "after each firing" though.

If you're running large enough batches of brass and have a procedure (and let's face it we all do) it works, but basing my thoughts on costs of initial brass vs life cycle of it and trying to factor in the time spent, money invested (not that big of a concern to some) weighed up against the actual benefits does leave me curious

Minimum effort for maximum return and all that

In my world, these days I shoot my brass twice then dispose of it

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