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Easily containing brass at the range?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by heypete, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. heypete

    heypete Well-Known Member

    After a bit of full-auto shooting over the weekend, and having to pick up brass of various sizes (.22LR and .223 mostly), I was thinking that there's got to be a better way of picking up brass than kneeling down on rocks and dirt.

    Some put down tarps and whatnot, but I can't imagine that pouring the brass into a bucket is too clean and easy.

    Here's my idea, and I haven't tested it yet and wonder how well it'd work:
    1. Get a large sheet/tarp/ground cloth that can put up with people standing on it and hot brass landing on it.
    2. Get a 5 gallon plastic bucket.
    3. Cut a hole in the center of the tarp such that the bucket can be placed under the tarp and the edge of the hole duct-taped to the inside of the bucket like a big funnel. (In two dimensions, think of how your shower curtain rests inside the shower...water can roll down the curtain into the tub, but it doesn't [or shouldn't! :evil: ] leak out onto the floor. Same idea, only imagine it'd be duct-taped to the tub wall.)
    4. Place the bucket in the center of the shooting area and spread the tarp out such that you can stand on it without ripping the taped-down bit inside the bucket.
    5. Shoot.
    6. Have a four people, each holding a corner of the tarp, lift the tarp so all the brass slides down the tarp and is neatly collected in the bucket.

    It seems a bit more self-contained, but who knows? I always come up with the zaniest ideas.

    I'm curious how others police their brass, if simply for the sake of being tidy, for salvaging, or for reloading.
  2. sm

    sm member

    1. Tarps

    2. Kids.
  3. heypete

    heypete Well-Known Member

    Still lacking #2 for the time being, and hopefully it'll stay that way until I get married. :evil:
  4. igor

    igor Well-Known Member

    A decent leaf rake.
  5. Dorryn

    Dorryn Well-Known Member

    You might need an almighty-large tarp. Some of my guns throw brass a surprising distance and not always the same direction.
  6. CNYCacher

    CNYCacher Well-Known Member

    tarp is a good idea, but don't bother cutting a hole in the center, just fold two corners together and pour the brass into a bucket after lifting the tarp. Unless you are gonna dig a hole in the ground for the bucket to sit in, cutting a hole in the center of the tarp idea seems more trouble than it's worth.
  7. cuervo

    cuervo Well-Known Member

    A broom and a dust pan.

    If you're feeling adventurous, you can cut out the center of the dust pan and replace it with some screen to let the dirt you sweep fall out again and have only brass to dump in the bucket.
  8. bogie

    bogie Well-Known Member

    I agree. Been using big tarps for some time. Harbor Freight sells the big plastic ones very cheaply.
  9. MJZZZ

    MJZZZ Well-Known Member

    In the summer I use a 27' round pool cover tarp, in the winter while the tarp is busy I use the sharp eyed kids. It helps that I bought the CZ and Kadet from them to shoot, they don't mind picking up brass at all. Mike
  10. Mr White

    Mr White Well-Known Member

    When he was 8, my son told me I should invent a magnet that picks up brass. I told him I'd get right on that. I'm still working on it. When I get it to market, I'll let you all know. :)
  11. 230RN

    230RN Marines on Mt. Curibacci

    When I used to run around the woods, I'd be taking shots from here and there, not from one firing point. I could usually reclaim 70% of the brass. The remaining 30% was just a cost of doing business.

    When I'm shooting my SKS with brass loads, I usually turn off the gas valve and single-load. When I'm firing semiauto at an indoor range, the cases bounce off the partition and land well forward of the firing point, which makes case recovery difficult in this case.

    (By the way, I could swear it shoots more accurately with the gas valve off.)

    I find one of those car-part-store pick-em-up grabbers with the four little fingers quite handy. For "policing" steel cases (not "recovering") I use one of those magnetic pick up tools. One with a good magnet will pick up two or three steel 7.62 X 39 cases, and maybe four or five .45 Auto cases.
  12. heypete

    heypete Well-Known Member

    Good ideas, all. Thanks.

    I'm also "working" on a brass magnet...and by "working", I mean "hoping really hard that I have some stroke of genius while doing something completely unrelated".
  13. GhostlyKarliion

    GhostlyKarliion Well-Known Member

    What about attaching a brass catcher to the firearm?
  14. heypete

    heypete Well-Known Member

    Not really a viable option with the types of guns being used (multiple pistols, rifles, and shotguns of different makes, models, and calibers). Most of the rifles have optics, and it's difficult to mount a catcher to such a gun...and the M1 Garand doesn't really have any useful mounting point, and mostly ejects cases up and to the side, so catching cases still going up is tough.
  15. MikeK

    MikeK Well-Known Member

    If you're shooting at a range with a roof and a pole near your firing position I have seen a net in a frame that clamps to the pole. You position it near the ejection port. They seemed to work pretty well - 85-80% I think they're available commercially, but it wouldn't be too difficult to make one.
  16. shc1

    shc1 Well-Known Member

    On a side note, using a cat litter scoop can filter out some of the dirt and gravel.
  17. Trifler

    Trifler Well-Known Member

    Seems like someone could incorporate a a method of attaching a second "clip" that attaches over the ejection port to store the brass.

    If designing a new gun then perhaps a clip could be designed that is two bullets wide, but only the right side is loaded with ammo. Then, as ammo is used, the brass gets sent back to the empty left side of the clip. This would avoid having to change two clips as in the above idea.

    Either one of these ideas would probably require a gun designed with them in mind. Some existing designs might be able to be modified to make use of the first idea, but not the second.

    Disclaimer: I am not a Gunsmith or an Engineer. I am merely putting these ideas forward for possible discussion.
  18. bumm

    bumm Well-Known Member

    I have a little brass catcher that attaches to my hand. One guy thought I was shading my sights from the sun with a cap. Works pretty good with pistols. With something pumping out a high volume of brass, not too practical.
  19. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    Have used tarps for decades.:)

    One thing I did see when I was a student at the Chapman Academy was a "pecan sweeper". It looked like a reel mower but instead of blades it had a hopper in which the brass was captured after you rolled over it.

    Maybe one of our Southern members has a photo ready?

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