Trimming Brass


Staff member
Butch Cassidy, ah. Got it. I spent 34 years in the motion picture/TV industry and the last thing I am is a movie buff.

That machine sits on the back edge of my bench, when it's needed I slide it forward flip a switch and let the chips fly. Chamfer, deburr, primer pocket uniforming, inside flash hole and of course every function of the Forster.


Staff member
When I first started using it I thought the 600 RPM of the Forster cutter shaft would surely wear it down and dull it quickly so I bought a back up cutter shaft. To Forsters credit I am still using the original. That's about 35 years now.


Staff member
I did yes, right from scratch. Started with an idea and spent 6 months scrounging parts, everything from the motors, gears, sprockets & chain, pillow block bearings. Found a shop with a break to bend up the aluminum housing. The housing as it's finished is actually on it's side. Didn't use the original motor that I had designed it for & the one I did use was taller, had to flip the housing. It's an 110v 1800 RPM motor from Grainger that's for one of those large shop floor fans. Geared down to 600 RPM for the Forster shaft, somewhat slower for the chamfer/deburr tool holders. The inside flash hole uniforming is run from a second 12v gear motor at 60 RPM.


NC Minnesota
Well i’ve Been using a Lyman for 20 years. It’s been back for repair twice. When I get the Girard running I may test some of my .45-70’s on the Lyman. What a piece of junk.


Well-Known Member
Overkill? Ya wouldn't think so if ya had ever used it. It does everything to brass that ya don't need a press for. 5 output shafts, two motors, chain and gear/sprocket driven.
IOW - screw dynamite! Who needs that dinosaur stuff when you can use Nitro!!! (and, fwiw, I was kinda thinking the 'enough dynamite' thing too when I saw it! PLUS, I am jealous!)


Redlands, Kalifornistan
Rick's "The Case Trimmer From Hell!" :) Just the thing for turning 30 or 32 Remington rifle brass into 40 S&W or 10mm. (J/K)

I got my first Forster case trimmer more than 30 years ago. At the time it was an accuracy/repeatability upgrade with its stop collet over the draw collet on the RCBS trimmer it replaced. I added the power driver adapter at least 10 years ago when I started running gas guns a lot. With cast bullet loading, I haven't had a lot of call for case trimming--which is just as well, since it is not my favorite part of the reloading process by a dern sight.


North Central Arkansas
Since, I upgraded to the X-dies for my centerfires, I only have to trim once. Trimming is my least favorite aspect of case prep.
I use my Forster when I want speed.
I may have to get one of those adapters.
For accuracy I use my Wilson Trimmer.
It is slower but extremely accurate....dale


Well-Known Member
Rally - you will love the Girard. Greatest bottle-necked case trimmer there is for speed and accuracy, IMNSHO. I've used the Lyman lathe trimmer since about 1960 or fine for me but the high vol gas guns needed speed, hence the Girard.


NC Minnesota
I hope so Cherokee, they weren’t giving them away!! I really shouldn’t wine too much about the Lyman. I had it about 20 years and trimmed a lot of brass with it, but invented a few new words my mother would not have been proud to hear me say, while using it.


Active Member
I've had the old Forster for 30 years or so. Been more than once I unscrewed the crank handle and chucked a drill motor on the threads. Have intended to build an adapter but never got it done. So far it hasn't damaged the threads.


Well-Known Member
Hmm. I still crank my Forsters by hand. But then, I am only trimming brass
.010 to .020, not taking off 1/2" or something from a bucket full.



Well-Known Member
I had to do something to speed up the process when I was cutting down .223 brass for the 7.62x40.
Just used two nuts with a lock washer in between. Tighten till they line up and use a nut driver or socket with my 18 volt power screw driver.
Cuts thru them like they were butter.
I could have bought a small chop saw from Harbor Freight, but I would still have to trim them down to the final length.


Well-Known Member
I use a tubing cutter when making 375 super mag bras from 375 Winchester cases.
I get pretty close then finish on the lyman powered unit.
I really wish Dillon made a die for doing that.
either way I end up with enough brass shavings to start a foundry, but it's a great way to kill a Saturday, and I do get 50 cases out of the deal.