Titan ReloadingRepackboxGraf & SonsLee Precision
Inline FabricationStainLess Steel MediaWidenersMidSouth Shooters Supply
RotoMetals2
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Forster Trimmer

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy

    Omega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Clarksville, TN
    Posts
    848

    Forster Trimmer

    In Mar of 15', I bought a Forster trimmer from a member here. He stated that the cutter was broke, but functional, so decided to get it. I put it away and until recently when I began converting more 5.56 brass into 300 Blackout and 277 wolverine I hadn't needed it. So I decided to setup the trimmer to process the brass, but wanted to replace the cutter, I ordered one from Midsouth only to find out it would not fit the old bearing. I contacted Forster, and they stated that yes, sometimes that happened so just to send in the bearing, collar and new bearing and they would hone them so they would fit. I had the neck turner as well and one of the pieces, the cam, didn't fit either so asked about it and sent that as well. I got the pieces back yesterday only to find out they didn't hone out the cam. I wasn't happy about having to pay to ship the pieces in the first place so I figured I would hone the cam myself and just trim my cases for now.

    Well, I assembled the trimmer only to find out the base was damaged as well, when the bearing is tightened down it is canted and does not lineup with the brass. It must of been glued down or something as I recalled trimming a couple cases when I got it, and it seemed ok. There was some residue on the bearing and base when I disassembled it to send in to forster. So now I have to get a base for the trimmer as well. I would just go to my other trimmer but I am invested in this one now as I have purchased the hollow pointers, collets, case, new cutter shaft, and power adapter etc. So now I am thinking of cutting off the end of the base and seeing if I can use it as the short base Forster offers; they have a 4 5/8" one for 9mm cases and such, which I normally don't trim, the original is 5 3/8" so it would be a 3/4" trim.

    So, all this to ask...has anyone tried to fix one of these bases, force the bearing to align, etc. It's been a frustrating experience so far so my first thought was to just chuck the base and call it a day but figured it didn't hurt to ask.

    Canted case
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Shell Offset.jpg 
Views:	32 
Size:	95.5 KB 
ID:	218109
    I switched positions of the bearing and collet holder to see if that would make a difference but nope.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Cutter Offset.jpg 
Views:	34 
Size:	91.7 KB 
ID:	218111
    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
    ~Pericles~

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy metricmonkeywrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    149
    Two courses of action as I see it, Without a view without a straightedge on the base I will assume only one end of the base is bent. On mine the collet base and cutter bearing have 2 holes to widen or shorten on whichever base it is on to give some basic adjustment. If the bend in the base is isolated to one end it may be possible to drill a new hole closer in away from the damaged area and still retain enough clearance for the caliber your working on. Worst case you remove the O-ring shaft stop to allow the cutter/pilot to go into the bearing for the necessary room to get the shell seated for trimming. Once set you could then lop off the offending end of the base.

    Of course the default option is to just bite the bullet and get the new base.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    8,987
    I would put a straight edge along the various flat surfaces first, this will show if it got bent during shipping. Also look for dings where the bearing sits as it dosnt take a lot in the shorter length of the bearing to move it that far. If bent straighten as best you can and see how it looks. you may have to "Bed" it in to achieve final complete accuracy. Coat the out side of the bearing with release agent. and moix some good epoxy ( J*B weld, plastic steel) set up with a case in the collet straight and pilot in the case apply a coat of epoxy and clamp the bearing in located like this then let cure. Plug holes off with clay or play dough. When cured clean up holes and bolt together and check it again should be perfect.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    722
    Before you futz with it, email them, send some pictures, tell them that you just got it back from them in this condition and ask them what you should do. If they don’t just give you a new base I bet they’ll sell you one cheap.

  5. #5
    Moderator



    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    10,730
    As country gent mentioned, "I would put a straight edge along the various flat surfaces first"

    When you are sure that it is the base that isn't true, and NOT that the bearing or other end aren't 'mis-mounted' or that Forster didn't screw up your bearing when they honed it? Then I'd contact Forster about a replacement base ...FYI, I see midway has them for $20
    https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/49...iABEgKC0vD_BwE

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy

    Omega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Clarksville, TN
    Posts
    848
    Well, under closer scrutiny it is damaged. I put a straight edge on it and it is indeed the end that is the problem.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	straight edge.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	23.6 KB 
ID:	218157
    I tried moving the bearing closer, to the next hole, but that didn't help since it was just 1/4". So I drilled another hole 1/4" further in, for a total of 1/2" and that brought it into better alignment.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	new hole.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	36.9 KB 
ID:	218158
    But now, a 308 case is about the longest I can trim, and no neck turning because there's no room for it.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	308 aligned.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	29.2 KB 
ID:	218159
    So, in the end it's a new base in store for this trimmer. I think I'll process all those hundreds, maybe thousands, of cases on this damaged base before I swap the base out to the new one, in case that is what damaged it with the previous owner. Do to the clearance, at least I don't have to worry about cutting off 3/4" off the end.
    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
    ~Pericles~

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Czech_too's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    434
    I have an extra base, send me your address, via PM
    Cruffler

    genealogy, another area of interest

    feedback - http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...9613-czech_too

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy

    Omega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Clarksville, TN
    Posts
    848
    Quote Originally Posted by Czech_too View Post
    I have an extra base, send me your address, via PM
    It's guys like you that make this place so wonderful; Thank You, I appreciate the offer, but I just found and ordered one off EB for $12 (edit, it was actually $12.99)shipped.
    Last edited by Omega; 04-11-2018 at 04:40 PM. Reason: correct price
    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
    ~Pericles~

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Posts
    4,026
    I bought one of the new Forster Trimmer several years ago to replace an older Pacific trimmer, I didn't like it at all...the Universal shell holder part universally didn't hold anything ...it sucked rocks.
    I'm still using the cast iron based Pacific.
    If you want the infernal thing and if I can find it , I will give it to you. No charge.
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    3,584
    If he does not want it I will certainly make good use of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    I bought one of the new Forster Trimmer several years ago to replace an older Pacific trimmer, I didn't like it at all...the Universal shell holder part universally didn't hold anything ...it sucked rocks.
    I'm still using the cast iron based Pacific.
    If you want the infernal thing and if I can find it , I will give it to you. No charge.
    Gary
    EDG

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy

    Omega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Clarksville, TN
    Posts
    848
    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    I bought one of the new Forster Trimmer several years ago to replace an older Pacific trimmer, I didn't like it at all...the Universal shell holder part universally didn't hold anything ...it sucked rocks.
    I'm still using the cast iron based Pacific.
    If you want the infernal thing and if I can find it , I will give it to you. No charge.
    Gary
    It does take some getting used to, I find that the case has to be placed in there straight, and held while tightening the collet. I use the longer pilot, the one for neck turning, to guide the case straight, then tighten. Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty quick.
    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
    ~Pericles~

  12. #12
    PAPERPATCH MASTER


    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Michigan Thumb Area
    Posts
    5,673
    I had an original Forester - Appelt trimmer that I traded for some other `must have` supplies. Wish I still had it.Robert

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    9.3X62AL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Redlands, NorKifornia
    Posts
    11,258
    I have used Forster trimmers for close to 30 years now, and they have been accurate, tractable tools for the purposes I use them for--case trimming and neck reaming. The Forster system's "stop collet" is a superior design to the RCBS trimmer's "draw collet" design.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy

    Omega's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Clarksville, TN
    Posts
    848

    Update

    So went to do some trimming this weekend and wouldn't you know it I could not use the old base. The stop collar would hit the edge, barely in some spots, and would not give consistent lengths. So swapped it with the new base and put the pilot in for my 5.56/223...that's when it got strange. So I noticed the case would wobble, my first thought was they honed the pieces out of round. but then I just spun the shaft with out a case and it was the pilot that was wobbling. Seems that somehow I put the Lyman pilots into the Forster case.

    So, I guess the purchase wasn't as good as I had first thought, it had a bad cutter, bad base, only a .308 neck turning pilot along with the outside neck turner. I probably should of just bought a new one and been done with it. Anyone want to sell or trade me some of their extra pilots?
    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
    ~Pericles~

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy metricmonkeywrench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    149
    Think your almost there, don't be discouraged. I believe Forster uses the same pilot size as Hornady and a couple others. I have the list around here somewhere.

  16. #16
    I bought my first Forester in the early 90's maybe. I finally bought a second used one a few years ago so I could send the first ones cutter out to be resharpened. Now I keep that one set for my most common brass and use the other for everything else. Once you get it sorted it will be good.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    England,Ar
    Posts
    4,057
    The original Forrster trimmer had a very loyal following. Everyone that owned one seemed to like it. I hate to hear about the problems that you had with yours. I'm a little surprised Forrster did not take better care of you. Thats kind of unusual in the reloading equipment industry. Hope you get this guy up and running after all of the trouble you have had.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Western North Dakota
    Posts
    2,789
    Quote Originally Posted by lightman View Post
    The original Forrster trimmer had a very loyal following. Everyone that owned one seemed to like it. I hate to hear about the problems that you had with yours. I'm a little surprised Forrster did not take better care of you. Thats kind of unusual in the reloading equipment industry. Hope you get this guy up and running after all of the trouble you have had.
    Waranties usually don't apply to abuse. The OP bought a broken and bent trimmer. Forster fixed what he asked to be fixed. Forster did not know the base was bent as they did not have the base to examine. Seems like Forster took good care of the OP.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    Rick Hodges's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Taylor, Michigan
    Posts
    1,141
    I have a Forster trimmer and it works well for trimming. I use a Sinclair tool for neck turning.

    I did purchase a hollow pointer for the trimmer. Evidently there is some learning curve for that thing. I have no problem putting a hollow point in the bullet to consistent depth but I am not getting it anywhere near centered.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Communism closing in!
    Posts
    2,598
    I own a Forester trimmer but have only used it for outside neck turning. I think if you have one in good shape and it never gets beat up it is fine. But I am not a fan of collets for case holders particularily. You have to have a range of them to cover the various case heads if you load for a lot of cartridges and I find it is tedious to get your trim length very consistent.

    For my average trimming chores I use a Lyman Universal tool with a carbide cutter (no collets used) and lately have begun switching more of my case trimming over to the Wilson case trimmer, particularily with the “varmint calibers”.

    With the Wilson I get the best trim length consistency and also the very squarest case mouths. You end up with several collets with the Wilson as they hold the body of the case and even 2 holders for a given cartridge “fired” and “new” or “sized” depending on the body taper or lack of it so that can get tedious, but the pay off is in the results.

    Over time I have been accumulating multiple trimmer units and holders (used) and intend to set them up as prep stations with the stops set appropriately with the other specialty tools (inside neck de bur, primer pocket recut etc.). If I had not fallen into all this Wilson stuff priced right I would have never taken the plunge though .... that is for sure!

    Knowing what I know about the Wilson tools I would buy one base unit and enough case holders for my most accurate cartridges though if need be.

    Three44s
    Last edited by Three44s; 05-01-2018 at 09:52 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check