Forster Original Case Trimmer: Trimming and Neck Turning

Case trimming is a super-important part of the reloading process for bottleneck rifle cartridges. And for those concerned with maximum accuracy, neck turning is also an important capability and consideration. So what if you could buy one tool that would both trim cases AND turn case necks… Enter the Forster Original Case Trimmer, the subject of this article and video!

The Original Case Trimmer: A Case Prep “System”

In the above image, you can see the contents of the FORSTER Case Trim Kit which includes:

  • FORSTER Original Case Trimmer
  • Pilots 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30
  • Collets 1,2,3

The FORSTER Original Case Trimmer is also available separately without the collets and pilots.

There are also some great accessories available for the FORSTER Original Case Trimmer:

Basic Trimming

The most common use case for the FORSTER Original Case Trimmer is “basic trimming”, where the end of the case mouth is trimmed to length. Here’s what that setup looks like:

Above we have:

  1. Collet clamp T handle
  2. Collet (stepped type)
  3. Case being trimmed
  4. Cuttter shaft with integral 4-flute cutter
  5. Bearing
  6. Stop collar with micro depth adjustment
  7. Hand crank

Trimming with this setup is very simple:

  1. Insert case rim into collet
  2. Insert pilot into case neck
  3. Tighten collet
  4. Spin crank while slowly making contact between cutter and case mouth
  5. Continue cranking until cutter stops cutting

This setup works very well, and the stepped collet is great for repeatable locating of the case in the trimmer.

3-Way Cutter

An optional 3-way cutter attachment is available for the FORSTER Original Case Trimmer which trims, chamfers the inside of the case mouth, and chamfers the outside of the case mouth all in a single operation! Installation is simple, it slips over the cutter shaft, and can be installed in just seconds:

Setup is pretty much the same as when using the integrated cutter, except you can also fine-tune the chamfer tool setup (even though it’s most likely not necessary! Trimming is also pretty much the same as with the default cutter, except you’re performing 3 steps simultaneously with the same effort!

Outside Neck Turning

Want optimal neck tension and chamber fit for your handloads? You should take a look at neck turning! With the addition of the Outside Neck Turning Accessory for the FORSTER Original Case Trimmer, you can turn case necks with your trimmer:

As shown in the video, there are a few steps required to convert the FORSTER Original Case Trimmer over to neck turning mode:

  1. Remove O-Ring and pilot (if installed) from cutter shaft
  2. Remove cutter shaft from trimmer
  3. Slip cam follower (strip) into case trimmer frame slot
  4. Slip cam into cutter shaft
  5. Install cutter shaft into trimmer
  6. Slip neck turning cutter head onto end of cutter shaft
  7. Make depth and diameter adjustments to suit your specifications

Once you get this setup, turning is very straightforward:

  1. Install case in trimmer
  2. Spin crank while advancing cam slowly
  3. When at end of turning pass, withdraw cutter over neck by backing out cam (continue cranking to avoid back-drag mark)

Check out the result:

Once you get a rhythm setup, you’ll find this process to go quickly. That’s it! A basic overview of the FORSTER Original Case Trimmer and some of the accessories. I’m loving this tool!

If you want to get your own FORSTER trimmer, check out the FORSTER Case Trimmer inventory at Midsouth Shooters Supply:

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4 thoughts on “Forster Original Case Trimmer: Trimming and Neck Turning”

  1. Looks like a quality tool but the neck turning looks overly complicated. I’ll stick with my Hornady neck turner. Thanks for the demo, keep up the good work.

  2. If you could design and construct a different kind of collet tightening handle that would fit over the Forster handle, there are thousands of users who would buy them.

  3. Been using this Forster set up since the late 80’s. Works great, but as mentioned in video when you use the neck turner attachment it takes some getting use to. Best is to set it up with a couple of culled cases to get things right. As of late I’ve purchased the power adaptor to be used with a cordless drill etc. Works great and when trimming much easier on the old arm. The price is also very affordable.

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