By JK | June 11, 2009
On my April 18th post I mentioned that I was ordering my reloading equipment. Most of it is still on back order and has not arrived yet. In the mean time I've been saving my brass casings.
The most expensive component (generally) of reloading is the case. This is the brass part of the cartridge and is what is ejected out of the weapon after firing. From what I've learned, most well made brass casings can be reloaded 5-10 times for rifles and 8-12 times for pistol rounds (again generally).
So while brass is expensive, it will last a while with proper care. Now, the challenge is saving your brass which is much easier said than done in some cases.
With a bolt action or leaver action rifle it's very easy to save your brass, you just open the action slowly and pick the brass out with your fingers, same with a revolver, single or double action. But with a semi auto rifle or hand gun, things get a little wild.
The whole point of a semi automatic rifle or hand gun is that each time you fire the round fires, the slide or bolt ejects the empty casing and then as the action closes, strips a new round from the magazine and chambers the new round.
All of this taking place in fractions of a second. When the weapon is extracting, it will eject the empty casing out of the gun. Some guns are nice to you and can throw the brass into a large coffie can exactly five feet from you every time.
Or they can throw them randomly.
The Ruger Mini 14 is famous for its brass throwing. Recently I was talking to a retired cop who mentioned that he and some friends from his department would have contests to see who's Mini threw brass the farthest. I think the winning Mini threw its brass about 50 feet!
So therein lays the problem of collecting brass for semi auto guns.
For my AR's I found a really cool device called the UTG Deluxe Brass Catcher that attaches by a Velcro strap to the hand guard and has a wire framed opening positioned at the ejection port and a mesh bag for the casings with a zipper at the bottom to empty it.
For $10 it's a great value product, it catches about 70-90% of ejected rounds from my AR-15. The extra nice thing about it is the casings that miss the pouch fall at your feet.
The only drawback I have encountered is that it gets caught on limbs and brush when walking and it sticks out to the side of the rifle quite a bit. It's ok for target practice and general shooting at camp but when out and about I don't use it. It should work with just about any semi auto rifle, Mini 14, M1 Garand, AR-15, etc…
So for when I'm out hunting I'm thinking about getting some kind of brass deflector that just deflects the rounds down at you feet for later recovery. More research on that!
For now, when we are target practicing, I'm trying to come up with a system to catch the brass. Most of the ones that you can buy are $40-50+ and you have to be pretty close to the brass catcher for the brass to go in. When we are just shooting at targets and stuff we move around for different targets so a stationary catcher would not be efficient.
One idea that I saw online was to use one of those large 10×10 or 12×12 portable patio covers and just clamp a blanket on one side. When the brass hits the blanket they drop to the ground all in one general area, you can even put a tarp or another blanket on the ground as well.
I still haven't thought of a good one to use at the shooting range. At Target Masters you have the shooting lanes (about 3 feet wide if I remember correctly) and a bench top about 3 ½ feet high. I'm thinking something that would set on the bench that would funnel down to a bucket or something.
Anyway, I'm just kinda throwing out ideas here so I would also like to hear about your brass catcher ideas and systems that you are using that work for you.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=855937 – The UTG Brass Catcher thru Midway USA.
www.ruger.com – Ruger's site.
www.TargetMasters.com – My 2nd home