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Discussion Starter #1
All,  I bought a 3BR and some nice Redding and RCBS equipment based on your recommendations.  What's next is a case trimmer.  I'm currently using a Redding form/trim die and bastard file and getting tired (those 6.5 MS stretch a lot every shot!).

What's the best trimmer for rifle/necked cases in 40 round lots?  (Don't need a factory machine.)

-Charlie
 

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Hi, Charlie:
   I've been useing a Forster for about 25 years. Some others might be faster or cheaper, but mine just keeps going and going. A number of accessories like a neck turner are available. The standard base will do most calibres. IIRC, anything longer than 9mm Luger and .375 H&H or shorter.

http://www.forsterproducts.com/

  Glad to hear you got that little Mannlicher humming.

Bye
Jack
 

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I'm with Jack on this one. I have been using a Forster for about as long, since I outside turn necks on match ammo, inside ream, and trim. However, it's hard to beat the Lee trimmer in a hand drill. I just don't know if Lee makes one for the 6.5x53 MS???
best regards, James
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, the Redding case holder is #24 (Hornady #20, 21 or RCBS #9, Lyman #28, C-H #14 equivalent).  Lee doesn't seem to cover the 6.5 MS, but I may get away with a Lee #2?

It looks like Lee will make up a case length guide if they have a case holder that fits (&#3615).  It sounds like a bit of work to get the works going with Lee and my oddball cartridge.

The Forster looks nice.  Great site, too; looks like a "quality company."  I almost bought  a screwdriver set, some competition dies and a sight alignment tool just because they look good.

I *think* I need the Forster #1 collet & #26 pilot with it.  (The collet is the shellholder and the pilot is the mouth aligner for the cutting tool?)

Will using the trimmer be faster than my file and form/trim die dance?  (I wouldn't mind the trim die so much except that the die is fixed at max shell length, 2.11" -- so every time I shoot, the case flows over-size.)

Thanks for the advice,

- Charlie
 

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Hi, Charlie:
  Yup, the Forster uses the #26 pilot for the case mouth and the #1 collet for the base when you're doing the 6.5x54. I checked 2 WCCs and one Dominion 6.5x54 case in my #1. They are .447-.448" across the base and you have to crank the collet in a bit more than you do for the .30-06.

  The Forster takes a bit of diddling to set up, but I suppose it takes 10 seconds a case after that. Never timed myself. Here's how you set it up.  There's a collar on the cutter shaft. Take a look at the picture of the .50BMG trimmer picture on the website. The collar's slid back far enough that you can see it's separate from the bushing that that the shaft runs through. The fine adjustment is a setscrew in this collar that rides on the bushing. Loosen the setscrew that locks the first setscrew and turn it in until it's about 1/32-1/16" out of the collar on the bushing side. Loosen the setscrew that clamps the collar to the shaft. Put a case in the collet, tighten it,slide the cutter shaft up tight against the case mouth and tighten the collar clamping setscrew. Give it a spin and check the case length.

  It's probably still too long, but an out of square case mouth can fool you. If it's too long, back out the fine adjustment screw a quarter turn and cut again. An eighth of a turn if you're close. Lock the fine adjustment screw when you've got it. Put a bit of grease on the end of the setscrew. Chamfer the mouths when you're done.

  Sometimes a bit of dirt sticks to the base of the case and you can over trim it. I start spinning before I tighten the collet. This spins the case and the dirt goes out the slots in the collet.

  Both the shaft bushing and the collet holder can be moved out for longer cases. You don't have enough adjustment on the shaft to switch from a .38 Special to a .30-06 without moving the bushing.

  As you can see, you can trim the case to any length you want.

  You'll have brass cuttings flying all over the place. I don't have my Forster permanently mounted. I lay a large piece of paper on the bench and set the trimmer on top. When I'm done, I unscrew the trimmer and pick up the paper with the cutting on it.

Bye
Jack    

   
 

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Hello Charlie,

No, Lee doesn't make a Trimmer pilot for the 6.5 MS. But they do for the 6.5 Swede. The MS is just a bit shorter then the Swede from what I can tell. It looks like the 6.5 Jap takes the same trimmer holder as the MS.

So, if you are into it, contact Lee and ask for a Trimmer shellholder for the 6.5 Jap and a Case Pilot for the 6.5 Swede. Also get the Cutter and Base as this is only bought once.

You would need to stone down the pin on the Swede Pilot just a bit so it will match the case length of the 6.5 MS. Actually a very simple modification. You would then have a quick trimming setup to hit your cases with after every loading if you are so inclined.

I too have a Forster Trimmer, one for a drill press and the Regular Lathe type unit. Very good machine and quit capable of doing a number of tasks such as outlined by the other gents above.

Best Regards,

:cool:
 

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I have been using the Lyman universal case trimmer for 33 years with complete satisfaction.  It has handled everything from the stubby .380 ACP to the lenghty .416 Rigby, all without having to change holding head, and up until last winter I had been using the same cutter head for all those years, and it was a non-carbide cutter head also.  All you need to do is change the pilot and adjust the cuting length.  The only thing it has not worked on is the .50 BMG, a bit short to trim that round.  Fast it is not, but since I load in lots of 50 to 100 rounds, it has been plenty fast for me.
 

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Now my experience with the Lyman is the exact opposite of Big Bore's. I've had one since I started reloading and have found it to go out of spec very easily. The variation in trimmed length is dramatic. I haven't used it for years, instead using the Lee hand trimmers. I may try the new Lee Zip Trimmer in the near future.
 
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