Brass in the grass, what do you do?


March 29, 2008, 01:07 AM
Seems pretty elementary but maybe there may be some unique solutions amongst the folks on this forum.

I hate loosing brass in the grass. It is no fun just to always stand in one spot and shoot so all the brass lands on a blanket.

I'm very colorblind and unless the brass is very shiney it is hard for me to find.

Some of my solutions:

1. Mow the grass real short. (i live on a farm with a range out back)
2. Large blanket with weights on the corners.
3. Thought about putting gravel in the shooting area but then one has to control weeds with chemicals that I don't want to use.
4. Someone to run alongside and catch the brass in a bucket:D
5. An attatchment on the gun seems cumbersome.
6. I'll use a rake and listen for clinking sounds
7. Maybe with the cost of copper we'll all start using steel cases-(magnets)

Any other ideas or experience?

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Grandpa Shooter
March 29, 2008, 01:18 AM
Inexpensive metal detector. That's your best bet. You can find 'em anywhere with that.

March 29, 2008, 03:07 AM
I don't have to worry about grass where I shoot. Cactus, dirt, rocks, and some bushes. I usually can find my brass.

March 29, 2008, 06:53 AM
I bring a huge tarp to the range with me. Makes it alot easier.

March 29, 2008, 06:55 AM
+1 on the tarp. (12' x 16' heavy duty). I also bring along a few "bean bags" filled with lead shot to keep the tarp in place. Nothing worse than having a nice pile of brass on your tarp and one big gust of wind shucks then into the grass. :)

Have a good one,

Carl N. Brown
March 29, 2008, 07:36 AM
I shoot a Broomhandle Mauser in Black Powder cartridge matches at the local club (18 or 20 rounds per match for score). Obviously, I reload for BP in this caliber and reloadable 7.63 Mauser brass is worth finding. I paint my brass with a bright red Sharpie laundry marker. Makes the brass easy to spot in the grass.

evan price
March 29, 2008, 09:09 AM
I just sweep the grassy area, draggin my feet. I can feel a case in the grass that way.

Jim Watson
March 29, 2008, 09:19 AM
Black powder in a broomhandle?
Do tell us more, Carl.

March 29, 2008, 10:36 AM
Depends on the gun. With a 1911, I like having the bed of a truck just behind and to the right of me. For the CZ-52, my wife and I take turns standing back and to the right about 20 feet and catching the brass for each other. If I'm alone, I may find a tree and shoot so that the brass ejects into the tree and bounces off in a pile just in front of me. If I don't feel like chasing brass, I shoot a revolver or a rimfire.

March 29, 2008, 11:11 AM
Try one of these brass catchers. I have one for my Ruger PC9. I know, I do reload 9mm.

March 29, 2008, 11:20 AM
If I want to look at the brass in a work up with a semi auto, I wrap a towel around the gun to catch the brass.

My hand inside the towel may get slightly burned, but then we have all been burned by a "hot piece of brass".

March 29, 2008, 11:22 AM
i had a labrador which i trained to search for guns, one day i was shooting in tall grass, i lost a piece of brass. with a little encouragement he stuck his head in the grass and came up with my brass. i also used him to find missing arrows.

March 29, 2008, 11:23 AM
I don't shoot in grass, our range is gravel. I like my brass to spread out because that gives me an excuse to look around for more brass than mine.:D I always come home with a lot more brass than I went with.

March 29, 2008, 11:36 AM
Wow that would be uncomfortable with a 1911! A rifle or carbine may not be as bad, but a pistol?!

Mal H
March 29, 2008, 11:55 AM
Laying down a big tarp is the best method, but when you can't do that, a metal detector works well.

Someone here on THR suggested a kiddie metal detector sold at Target under the National Geographic brand name. Since I don't have a metal detector, I decided to give it a try. It cost around $15, so I figured if it didn't work, I'm not out all that much. It worked like a champ!

I shoot down in my woods, so finding brass if I'm too lazy to schlep a tarp down there is hit and miss, so to speak. A few weeks ago, I was shooting a 10mm and lost about half of the 50 cases I had shot in the leaves. I broke out my new metal detector and gave it a try. (I had to stoop over a bit since the handle is sized for children.) I found all but 1 of the lost brass. In fact I also found a few .380 cases I had lost more than a year ago in the same area.

March 29, 2008, 11:57 AM
most of my outdoor shooting is on ranges that either have short or no grass, although one club I used to belong to had pretty nice grass on the pistol range. they had several large tarps you could set out to catch the brass if you wanted. I never liked walking on the tarps while shooting though.

Carl N. Brown
March 29, 2008, 10:19 PM
Black powder in a broomhandle? do tell us more, Carl.

Slightly off topic of the thread, but my broomhandle has seen 95 years of use, so the barrel is about .311 to .312 with rifling that looks like polygonal rifling (a ghostly hint of a swirl). It will not stabilize any 7.63 Mauser or 7.62x25 Tokarev factory rounds worth a darn at 25 yds.

I recalled that old time ML shooters would have their bullet molds re-cherried as their barrels wore, eventually having the rifling freshened (recut) and the bullet mold recherried to the new boresize. You can sometimes get good accuracy from a "shot out" barrel if the bullet fits the bore.

I have used .312 jacketed 90 grain bullets intended for the .32 H&R Magnum with 1.0cc Triple 7 or PyrodexP. I have also used .312 cast bullets lead 73 grain intended for .32ACP with 1.0cc Goex FFFg black powder. Casings are 7.62x25 S&B once fired in my CZ52 (empties caught in a large, weighted cardboard box on the range bench). The 1.0cc Lee measure fills the case to the base of the bullet.

Our black powder matches are off hand and open to any gun, old or new, as long as the cartridges are loaded with BP or accepted BP substitute like Pyrodex or Triple 7.

The key to shooting a relic that requires handloaded ammo is finding the brass for reloading, and red laundry marker does make the brass stand out against green or brown grass. Since I only have fire 20 rounds in the current match, painting the cases with a red, broad tip laundry marker is not time consuming but does aid brass retrieval.

March 29, 2008, 10:21 PM
take your boys like i do. then they pick up the brass.

March 29, 2008, 11:55 PM
If you want a nice area, you can just get some pressure treated 4x4's and outline an area say, 8x5 or whatever and bolt 'em together.. Before you acutally put this down on the ground in the spot, get some landscaping cloth this black stuff they have. Put that down, put the frame over it and fill it up with gravel, all set, very nice spot..! Always dry too. No weeds will grow up through the cloth.

March 30, 2008, 01:14 PM
Tarp works, one of my shooting buddies swears by a brass catcher that straps on her hand. But for me it ALWAYS gets in the way of my sights.

So I stick with the tarp.

March 30, 2008, 01:41 PM
To kill weeds, use salt instead of expensive and toxic weed killers. For small areas (cracks in sidewalks), use regular table salt. For large areas, get rock salt at a farm supply store.

You guys need to read your Bible more. They figured this out 2,500 years ago.

March 30, 2008, 07:47 PM

March 30, 2008, 07:56 PM
Similar to above, but what about a boxed in area and a sandbox type arrangement. When you are not using it, the kids can play in it and bring their favorite uncle (or dad as appropriate) whatever brass he misses. Every 2-3 trips you could even sift the sand with a shovel and strainer type arrangement to find the extra pieces that are mixed.

March 30, 2008, 08:35 PM

Outstanding project you have there, it's definitely #1 on my priority list. The only change I am going to make is to use nylon screen material because of the wind factor here.

March 30, 2008, 08:48 PM
If you do decide to build the brass catching net, try using swimsuit mesh that you find at Hancock's for $5 a yard. A quilting needle and a thin cord works well for attaching it to the frame. I built mine using a sliding fit with a 1 inch PVC pipe and a 1/2 inch PVC pipe. I drilled a series of holes in the 1/2 inch pipe to allow height adjustment using a cotter pin. The frame then divides into 3 pieces for easy transportation. PM me if you want a picture or two.

March 30, 2008, 08:55 PM

I made the thing out of scrap I had from other projects. The cloth is held on by sections of pvc pipe I split and then just slipped on over the the fabric.

As far as the screen is concerned, the brass may bounce off. I found that even the cloth can act as a trampoline and bounce the brass right back out. You need lots of "bag" in it to allow the brass to just sort of settle in.

You will note that the legs are sort of splayed out. This helps in the wind. You can use some 22 or 45 degree fittings but I did not have any so I just heated the pvc with hot water and bent it. Also the legs are not glued on. They can be removed for transport or in my case, my wife is very short so I made a set of legs just for her.

March 30, 2008, 10:12 PM
If you find yourself at a bench the most economical and easiest thing I ever saw was a piece of wood with a aquarium net screwed into it. Bendable and can be adjusted near the ejection point. I use them on my semi-auto .22's just to ease clean up

March 30, 2008, 11:11 PM
Lots of good ideas!

A metal detector is an excellent tool, and I have one that is a big wand that I use for finding nails and such in reclaimed lumber before I mill it.

The problem is that there is soooooo much 22 lr on the ground it goes beep continuosly.

Thanks for all the posts!

May 1, 2008, 02:06 PM
I can back up that some material acts as a brass trampoline more than a catcher. Yesterday I went to Lowe’s, got the material to put together my own catcher, and stayed up until 1:00 AM trying to get the thing to work (by throwing brass into is, not firing in my basement). I tried the nylon screen, and about 30% of the brass bounced out of the catcher on to the carpet. :fire: If my shooting spot was carpet, no problem. But I use a local farmer’s land, and where I shoot is usually a foot high with grass. I think instead of a “catcher”, I might go with a “baffler” and let the screen hang into a box so the brass hits the screen, slides/bounces down into the box.

May 1, 2008, 02:25 PM
My range is all sand, very little grass. I've been thinking of getting some nylon screen and just putting it on the ground. The mesh is big enough to let the dirt fall through when I pick it up, so I wouldn't have to worry about shaking sand out of my brass later on - just ball all the brass up in the mesh and shake it for a second.

May 1, 2008, 02:36 PM
As someone said, salt works very well for killing weeds.

I worked spreading organic fertilizer last summer and that was one of the main things in the weed killer. You could probably dissolve some salt in water and use it in a hand pumped sprayer for a lot cheaper (and healthier) than other, commercial methods.
Also, putting a weed cloth (or whatever it's called) under the gravel will help with weeds. The best way to keep weeds from being a problem is to take care of them before they come up.

If you want to keep the grass, I'd go with a metal leaf rake. Just rake the area into one spot.

May 1, 2008, 02:38 PM
As Bill Dana said - I cry a lot - especially .460 Rowland or 9X23.

Jim Watson
May 1, 2008, 03:46 PM
Main reason I don't shoot odd caliber automatics.

Grandpa Shooter
May 2, 2008, 12:36 AM
I like the idea of using PVC to make a frame and then make a funnel out of some material and let the brass drop into a bucket. I have been using the drop cloth technique and always have to hold the tarp down with weights. With the funnel method I would only have to hang weights on the frame and adjust the distance from the shooter.

Another project!

May 2, 2008, 12:42 PM

May 2, 2008, 02:28 PM
Old post why was this revived.

i don no

May 3, 2008, 10:08 AM
When shooting my AR I bought a BrassCatcher. It is the nice plastic one that snaps on under the carrying handle. It is completely out of the way and works like a charm. It is one of the best things I ever bought for that rifle. I love it. No more chasing brass.

One member mentioned in this thread that he had one for his pistol. Does that work well for you? I have not seen one in person, but am curious. I hate to shell out the bucks for something that I won't like. But it works so well on the AR, that I would sure like to try one.

good shooting

May 3, 2008, 12:00 PM
Don't you all have trouble with the brass sticking to the rip-stop plastic tarps? That's what happened to me! Ruined the tarp and sixteen .45 cases.

May 4, 2008, 12:14 AM
I got a ten by ten piece of 1/4 inch mesh minnow net from Memphis Net & Twine. Dyed it brown, so it can serve triple duty.............

1Catch brass

2 Use as a camo net, with added foliage

3 Use with a 10 X 10 PVC frame to catch bait.

What the net misses, I use a metal detector to find. Like you, I usually shoot on a farm, and brass ain't cheap.

May 4, 2008, 08:27 AM
where i shoot, it is mostly sugar sand, and a lot of casings just sink into the sand. i have started bringing a rake with me. i keep finding many old casings, some of which will not clean up. so for those, i have started a "recycle" bucket. when i get a bucket full, i will take it and turn it in at the local scrap yard. . i bought a cheapie metal detector, but it will not pick up brass or lead. only ferrous metals. makes it pretty much useless for me. but the kids get a kick out of it.

May 4, 2008, 09:20 AM
Fuss and moan while I search for it. :D

May 4, 2008, 10:00 AM
Ive got the luxury of shooting in my side yard and when brass escpes the catcher, or when I dont use it for small amts. Then I go back after dark with a good briht flashlite and can find it pretty easily in the grass due to the bright reflections, works close to 100%

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