The Creedmoor Forum

Creedmoor Technical Info => Reloading => Topic started by: gorillamotors on September 14, 2021, 06:58:09 PM

Title: Annealers
Post by: gorillamotors on September 14, 2021, 06:58:09 PM
I am looking at the AMP Mark 2 annealing machine or the Bench Source Annealing machine. Which do you prefer? Have experience with?

Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: jvw2008 on September 14, 2021, 07:37:05 PM
Opinion Statement:

Experience with both and both are the top of the line in their mode of annealing - flame versus induction. The BenchSource is the most economical of the two and quite honestly I think there are some other flame annealers out there that might be even more cost effective - AnnealEze.
State of the art technology and I believe the best  consistency in results is the AMP. The choice probably depends on a guy’s objectives in reloading. If you have to have the best to erase any doubts in your mind about the end product, then it’s more money and it’s the AMP.

Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: hdmunger on September 15, 2021, 12:40:52 PM
If you have any mechanical/electrical know-how, then you could build your own induction annealer for a fraction of the cost of an AMP. 
There are threads on both Accurate Shooter and Snipers Hide with details/guidance on building your own.  The cost depends greatly on how involved you want your machine to be (I personally am in the process of a rebuild of my machine to include an integrated case feeder).

Search for 'Induction brass annealer redux' on AccShooter and for 'Homemade Induction Annealer' on SH.
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: bikemutt on September 15, 2021, 04:43:29 PM
As an AMP owner I cannot deny a bias in my POV. Once AMP added their Aztec function which analyses a sacrificial case in order determine the ideal annealing profile, that made me feel a lot better about a relatively extravagant purchase, especially for a weekend warrior shooter.

That said, prior to the AMP I had a BenchSource flame annealer which I was happy with. After considering the risks involved with running a torch indoors, that gave me one more reason to replace it with the AMP. It is a fine piece of equipment though.

Considering current prices, the AMP is about $830 more than the BenchSouurce, either without any accessories, fuel etc. That's a steep delta which I think is worth it to me for reasons of comfort, convenience, confidence and safety. YMMV or course :)
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: Roaneman on September 15, 2021, 06:03:06 PM
For what it’s worth I only have owned one annealer which is the AMP.  It’s pricey for sure however so simple to use.  If you keep your cases “batched” it’s extremely consistent.  I did a couple of sacrificial cases in the same batch and it returned virtually the same setting. 

As eluded to a flamer probably wouldn’t be my choice.  So other than the $$$ I think the AMP is the ideal choice.  My 10 cents.
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: LeadHammer on September 15, 2021, 10:27:30 PM
For me I would get the BenchSource, I like fire, and currently run my Wood EL Cheapo in the garage ( I use the plumbing already for the two torches ) with the window and door cracked but.... the best is probably the AMP.
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: rardoin on September 16, 2021, 12:59:55 PM
I have an AMP with the AZTEC software.  I like the convenience of being able to get a solid numerical value for each specific case type and set the unit to that value and be done.  Drawbacks are the lack of automation that I had with the Annealeeze I owned prior to that.  I know plenty of very competitive national level shooters, including champions, that use gas annealers (among them Benchrest, or equivalents, are the most used).  If I had a more open area to anneal my brass I would likely sell my AMP and get a quality gas annealer; running several hundred cases in a sitting is a major PIA with my AMP.  With a properly set up gas unit I think one can get the cases annealed with enough consistency between cases to equalize performance.  This requires getting a gas flow that does not fluctuate and this requires a decent size tank and a quality regulator...but very doable.

As far as the very expensive autoloader for the AMP....not ready for prime time and way too costly IMO.  I base this off of experience of a friend who was an early adopter and sort of a beta tester.  It seemed to jam more than enough to deter me and he ended up with a lot of very dented case mouths.
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: gman47564 on September 16, 2021, 02:00:38 PM
No experience with the amp or bench source so cant input on them.. i do use an annealeez and have a 100% confidence in its ability to do the job it was built to do..
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: Stugotz on September 16, 2021, 02:11:06 PM
I'll 2nd the Annealeez, but if you demand the best (and have the $$) get the AMP. My only gripe is that I did not buy the Annealeez sooner.
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: jvw2008 on September 16, 2021, 02:27:21 PM
Wondering where our OP went!
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: bikemutt on September 16, 2021, 02:45:00 PM
I wonder if instead of trying to build a feeder for an induction annealer (like the AMP MATE), build an induction annealer head for a successful feeder like the Annealeez has?

Just a thought. I agree with @rardoin the AMP is no speed demon, it's fine for a low volume shooter but I can see where it would become tedious for the high volume guys. 
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: jvw2008 on September 16, 2021, 03:21:34 PM
I agree but maybe for different reasons. The actual appropriate heat transfer for the molecular transformation of the brass hardness is faster through induction then through the standard flame sources in our commercial flame annealers. I have not specifically measured time between the two systems so this may just be an impression on my part. The induction system is slow because of a frequently inadequate rapid cooling system for the chamber. Many of the home made systems do a better job of this than the AMP machine by iincluding a water instead of air cooling system.  The case feed system for the AMP could easily be geared or programmed to run much faster. I’m guessing it is intentionally slow to allow the air cooler system to have the needed time to do it’s protective job of the electronics.  Bottom line - if you are going to speed up the feed  in the AMP I think you also have to have a much better cooling mechanism for the chamber.
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: rardoin on September 16, 2021, 04:28:27 PM
I don't think cooling is what slows down the AMP/AMP mate.  I can run cases in just under 6 seconds from pickup, place in the AMP, anneal, withdraw and dup in a pan; I run 10-11 per minute.  The AMP mate is a bit of a Rube-Goldberg device in its operation but, because the AMP was not designed to have an automation function when initially designed/produced I suppose it is the best they could do.  I think, if the mate could physically insert/withdraw cases faster the AMP could keep up....to a point.  I have had the unit go into a thermal shutdown only once (pre AZTEC) at about the 230 count point with 6.5 x55 cases.  It has not happened since the AZTEC upgrade.  One thing I find handy is having two case holders so one can be sitting in front of the window unit cooling off while the other is in use.  I get about 85-90 cases done before it gets too hot to handle :D .
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: bikemutt on September 16, 2021, 05:01:18 PM
No, I've not accepted a position with the AMP sales team, lol.

A person could double the AMP throughput by acquiring a second machine  :o.

Think of it as horizontal juggling  :))
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: jvw2008 on September 16, 2021, 06:02:15 PM
I don't think cooling is what slows down the AMP/AMP mate.  I can run cases in just under 6 seconds from pickup, place in the AMP, anneal, withdraw and dup in a pan; I run 10-11 per minute.  The AMP mate is a bit of a Rube-Goldberg device in its operation but, because the AMP was not designed to have an automation function when initially designed/produced I suppose it is the best they could do.  I think, if the mate could physically insert/withdraw cases faster the AMP could keep up....to a point.  I have had the unit go into a thermal shutdown only once (pre AZTEC) at about the 230 count point with 6.5 x55 cases.  It has not happened since the AZTEC upgrade.  One thing I find handy is having two case holders so one can be sitting in front of the window unit cooling off while the other is in use.  I get about 85-90 cases done before it gets too hot to handle :D .

Interesting observation Robin that is pretty different from mine and I’m wondering if it has to do with the different case sizes we shoot. I also run the most current Aztec model but anneal almost exclusively the 6 BRA and 6Dasher cases. The anneal cycle for that small case is very short at may 1.5 seconds. I sit and cycle through cases at a rate that would triple the feed from one of AMPs attachments - based on videos of it that I have watched. I have had to teach myself to not be so efficient with my cycle feed because if I don’t my machine will go into multiple successive thermal shut downs. I will often cycle 200 cases at a time. Other possibilities may be a defect in my particular machine’s cooling - manufactured or induced by the way I have it set up for airflow.
So as usual we develop our thoughts on what we personally observe and thus my comments about cooling in the AMP system.
You’ve jiggled my thinking enough to do some physical rearrangement of mine to see if I can get rid of the frequent thermal shut downs.  Thanks 😊.

I do run that machine in an air conditioned room so my ambient room air is going to be around 70° F.
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: Roaneman on September 16, 2021, 06:08:54 PM
Unless you’re in the commercial annealing business why would you want anything faster than a manually operated AMP?   I couldn’t afford the brass 😀
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: gorillamotors on September 16, 2021, 06:13:50 PM
Wondering where our OP went!
I went with the AMP today
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: Roaneman on September 16, 2021, 06:19:46 PM
I went with the AMP today

Good call.  They may include an AMP baseball cap.  Don’t wear it at the range. New friends will want to borrow your AMP. 😀
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: jvw2008 on September 16, 2021, 06:54:15 PM
Unless you’re in the commercial annealing business why would you want anything faster than a manually operated AMP?   I couldn’t afford the brass 😀

LOL now there is a common sense statement!!

Auto feeds are nice though. They let you walk away and work on something else. I don’t have one though and don’t plan on the purchase. Kinda like to sit there and watch those little suckers cook. 😊
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: autoxforfun on September 16, 2021, 09:05:51 PM
I'm out there on the fringe but I have been using the Salt Bath process and find it effective.  Like the AMP, it is a manual process but I can keep up a pace of one every 6 seconds and get thru a couple hundred rounds in pretty short order.   I ended up ditching the rheostat on the Lee pot and built a PID based controller.  I added an adjustable timer (3 secs to 13 secs) which goes beep when it is time to cycle the brass out of the pot.  
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: LeadHammer on September 16, 2021, 09:28:53 PM
I have an AMP with the AZTEC software.  I like the convenience of being able to get a solid numerical value for each specific case type and set the unit to that value and be done.  Drawbacks are the lack of automation that I had with the Annealeeze I owned prior to that.  I know plenty of very competitive national level shooters, including champions, that use gas annealers (among them Benchrest, or equivalents, are the most used).  If I had a more open area to anneal my brass I would likely sell my AMP and get a quality gas annealer; running several hundred cases in a sitting is a major PIA with my AMP.  With a properly set up gas unit I think one can get the cases annealed with enough consistency between cases to equalize performance.  This requires getting a gas flow that does not fluctuate and this requires a decent size tank and a quality regulator...but very doable.

As far as the very expensive autoloader for the AMP....not ready for prime time and way too costly IMO.  I base this off of experience of a friend who was an early adopter and sort of a beta tester.  It seemed to jam more than enough to deter me and he ended up with a lot of very dented case mouths.

I use a 20lb bottle with no regulator, dual head. Still on the original fill. Still shows full.  I have a regulator for it, but with it on, I could not get it to work at all. It just takes a few more minutes to set up without using one. This reminds me that I need to build a better annealer sill. Maybe this winter.
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: bikemutt on September 17, 2021, 09:10:11 AM
I ended up ditching the rheostat on the Lee pot and built a PID based controller.

How many vacuum tubes in that PID controller Bob?  :))
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: autoxforfun on September 17, 2021, 09:41:10 AM
lol......good one Chris.   I just use a couple to heat the salt. ;)
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: CaptMarine on September 19, 2021, 01:18:05 PM
IMO - Haven't used any of the mentioned items, but did my research on all of them before deciding on the Annie induction.  Now that I have it used it with a stand setup it's easy to use and doesn't require any additional items for different calibers.  Water cooled unit where the coil has so far not gotten hot with 50 cases annealed at a time.  Fits me to a tee annealing 6.5, .308, & .338.

Owen
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: HufD63 on September 19, 2021, 01:23:47 PM
Keep forgetting about the Annie, glad it's working well for you.
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: gorillamotors on September 22, 2021, 05:04:51 PM
Just got my AMP 2 yesterday. Been playing with it all day. Great machine. Probably will be selling my Bench Source annealer.
Title: Re: Annealers
Post by: gorillamotors on September 25, 2021, 09:13:53 PM
Good call.  They may include an AMP baseball cap.  Don’t wear it at the range. New friends will want to borrow your AMP. 😀
I went to the range today and told some of my buddies about my new AMP. You were right. They wanted to borrow it. I said no you cant borrow it but I would anneal some for you. I've got about 15 bags of about 100 each to anneal now. I told them that I would have to destroy one for each bag. Several got really pissed off about that so I said you do it yourself then.