Reloading Equipment to Make Life Easier at the Bench
Date: Sep 14 2021
When working at the reloading bench, it is always nice to see different or innovative products to help the job go smoother. While this is not intended as a commercial, but recently, I was scanning the catalog from Forster products, and I took note of a few of the interesting items this company makes for handloaders and wanted to share them with Wolfe Publishing readers.
The first product I unwrapped was the “original” case trimmer that when boiled down, it turns out to be a miniature lathe with the accessories all attached to a sturdy piece of extruded aluminum. Mounted on a gold-toned base, parts like the collet assembly and crank handle are securely fastened and aligned for years of precision case trimming. Interesting to note is the shellholder is a design based on a Brown & Sharpe-type collet that insures a consistent length case after case, once set up on the left side of the base. Once fully assembled, trimming cases turned out to be effortless thanks to a cutter shaft encased within a hefty bearing, followed by a stop collar and comfortable handle.
Using this product allows the handloader to use a long list of accessories like an outside neck trimmer, neck reamer, primer pocket cleaner, primer pocket chamfering tool, hollow pointer and a power adapter that can speed up the operation via an electric screwdriver or power drill.
However, the most interesting item is the 3-in-1 Carbide Case Mouth Cutter that will trim a case to a specific length, chamfer the inside of the case mouth to an angle of 14 degrees, all while chamfering the outside of the case mouth to an angle of 30 degrees in one motion. Forster stated that since the high-quality blades are carbide, using this attachment on brass should eliminate replacing for a long (if ever) time on your bench. With pilots available to fit cartridges ranging from .224 to .308 calibers, to me, for the initial investment of around $75, this little “gadget” is a real time-saver and it fits on the case trimmer with just a quick turn of the Allen screw.
Finally, since I am human, I do make mistakes and I have sometimes realized that I seated the wrong bullet weight or to the wrong overall length in my powder charged case. To this end, a bullet puller is needed to remove the bullet while saving the case. Some are the inertia-type that work by hitting a hammer-like tool on the floor removes the bullet. Others like this fit into the press and with the aid of a collet, removing the bullet while saving the powder and the integrity of the case by just by just turning the handle. This particular model is easy to use and well-made.