Shooting in the indoor range is all fun until you have to collect the spent brass casings that fell in all directions. It can be time-wasting and irritating, and installing a brass catcher on your pistol takes away cleaning up the hassle. In this article, we will get to know the best brass catcher for pistols.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a wide range of pistol brass catchers for pistols on the market. A majority of brass catchers are suitable for rifles. However, we dug around to find a few options that you can work with.
Below is a review of the best brass catcher for pistols – the Graco Mark II Picatinny Catcher and three alternatives to consider.
Ultimate Best Brass Catcher For Pistols: Graco Models Mark II Picatinny Rail Brass Catcher
This Graco pistol brass catcher is for use with handguns. It has a basic-looking design, but it is super-efficient and can mount on the Picatinny rail or a universal rail on your handgun.
This pistol brass catcher has a rim with a flexible wire that allows you to adjust its fit on the gun. Once properly mounted, it stays in place and collects all the hot brass casings, even when using a high recoil pistol. Even when the brass casings fail to enter the catcher, they drop just beneath the catcher for easy collection.
The inside of the hem is double stitched and made with light materials that keep it light even when dry firing. Parts with holes are reinforced with glue to ensure that the catcher does not come apart.
While it stays out of the way of the trigger, it does not allow enough space for your finger to sit on the frame. So, it takes some getting used to using your pistol with a catcher attached. You cannot attach a holster or use the gun with a taser or laser as there is no space left to mount additional accessories.
You do not have to dismount it from the handgun to empty it. You can empty it every 15-20 rounds. It could accommodate up to 50 rounds if you left it to fill. However, that might make it heavy, compromising your shooting efficiency and recoil management.
- Great value for money
- Simple but efficient design
- Easy to mount and dismount
- Compatible with most handguns
- Can also be used with rifles that have a Picatinny rail
- Solid and secure fit
- Take up space on the frame
Graco Models Mark II Picatinny Rail Brass Catcher Alternatives
Alternative #1: Caldwell Brass Trap – 122560
The Caldwell brass trap is a versatile pistol brass catcher you can use with any firearm, including pistols and rifles. It is a collapsible mesh bag mounted on a tripod and is compatible with a ¼”-20 threaded tripod. You can also place it on top of a benchtop. Note that the manufacturer does not provide a tripod, and you will have to buy one separately. When you set up this Caldwell Brass Catcher, its mouth is positioned in alignment with the ejection port.
The bag has a durable construction using strong, heat-resistant mesh. The mesh has a convenient zipper at the bottom for easy emptying, and the big ventilation holes ensure that brass casings cool off fast.
The bag is wide enough to ensure no brass casings escape. It is also so deep that you can shoot numerous rounds without emptying the case collector. It measures 19” in height, 17” in width, and 16.5” in diameter. With that said, if you do not set it up properly, it will not catch the casings.
The tactical bucket’s internal cage design is reinforced with a sturdy but flexible wire that maintains a mesh shape. It collapses to fit into a carry bag for easy storage and portability and comes with a carry bag.
While some people have an easy time setting it up, others find it challenging. Several rods should be inserted into the channels and bent strategically to form the hoop. Also, you may need assistance when setting up for you to establish your shooting position and someone else to position the mesh bag in alignment. If you are shooting in a windy location, you will need to support the tripod with a sandbag.
- Versatile – can be used with both rifles and handguns
- High quality and durable
- Can be used with both rifles and pistols
- Zippered bottom
- Does not add weight to the gun
- Easy to use
- Does not come with a tripod
- Not suitable if you change your shooting position frequently
Alternative #2: Graco Models Mark 1 Handheld Brass Case Catcher
This catcher is a sister to the Graco Models Mark II Picatinny Rail Brass Catcher. Instead of the Picatinny mount that clips on the gun’s rail, it has an elastic strap that you tie around the back of your palm you use for shooting. It does not interfere with your shooting accuracy or efficiency, but it may take some time to get used to it.
The mouth should align with the ejection port. It stays open without needing additional support. Once set up properly, it has a 95% catch rate and those that fall off drop near your feet. The frame is ductile steel wire, which keeps the catcher sturdy. It folds flat for easy storage.
- Solid and sturdy build
- Easy to set up
- Can also be used by a left-handed person
- Easy to store and carry
- May take time to get used to
Alternative #3: CTK Precision Universal Brass Catcher
You can use this universal brass catcher with both pistols and rifles. Place it next to your firearm in a prone position, on a bench, or offhand.
The high-quality nylon net is quite durable. It is wide enough to catch most of the casings. Since it is not mounted on the firearm, it does not interfere with the functioning of your pistol. It weighs 3.5 pounds, is 18x18x2 inches, and can catch up to 800 rounds without needing to be emptied.
- Easy to set up and use
- Wide enough
- High capacity
- Does not interfere with your shooting technique
Best Brass Catcher For Pistols Buying Guide
Below are the key factors to consider when buying a brass catcher for your pistol:
The size of the bag determines the capacity of a brass catcher. The bigger the bag, the more rounds you can shoot without having to empty it. However, it shouldn’t be too big that it is difficult to attach and use with your pistol. A 20-50 round capacity is decent for most pistol brass catchers.
Plus, some of the best brass catchers for pistols have an easy-to-empty feature. For example, the Caldwell brass trap has a convenient zipper at the bottom. For others, you need to manually empty the bag.
Material of the Bag
Brass catcher bags are made of a wide variety of materials, including canvas, mesh, and nylon. Each material has its pros and cons.
For instance, mesh offers excellent ventilation for the brass to cool fast. Canvas, on the other hand, is thicker than the other materials making it more durable. On the downside, it does not offer adequate ventilation and makes the brass retain heat for longer. Therefore, if you are using a canvas brass catcher, ensure that it has some vent holes. On the other hand, nylon is durable and heat resistant making it a great material for brass catcher bags.
Ultimately, the best material for a brass catcher bag should be heat resistant; otherwise, the hot brass will burn or melt holes through it.
When it comes to mounting, brass catchers for pistols can be broadly categorized into two: remote and attached brass catchers.
Remote brass catchers are usually mounted separately from the pistol, like the CTK Precision Universal Brass Catcher and the Caldwell brass trap reviewed above. They are mounted on a tripod, bench, or held by hand next to your gun. The tactical buckets are positioned such that the ejection port is in line with the mouth of the case catcher.
A few, such as the Graco Models Mark I handheld Brass Catcher, have a unique mounting mechanism and an adjustable velcro strap that you attach to your dominant hand in alignment with the ejection hole.
Generally, remote bras catchers work best when shooting a stationary target from a fixed position. They are versatile, and you can use them with all types of firearms.
On the other hand, attached brass catchers attach to the gun next to the ejection port. They have different mounting mechanisms, including Picatinny rail mount, clips, hooks, and Velcro straps.
You can use those with a Picatinny rail mount with any firearm that has a Picatinny rail. On the other hand, those with adjustable clips, hooks, and Velcro straps offer a universal fit on both pistols and rifles. Overall, the attached brass catchers are quite convenient. However, they can interfere with your gun handling and shooting technique.
Ultimately, both types are effective at catching brass casings as long as they are set up properly.
3 Expert Tips For Buying The Best Brass Catcher For Pistols
- Ensure that the brass catcher is compatible with your pistol. Consider the mounting mechanism and size of the bag of the brass catcher. Since pistols are much smaller than rifles, ensure that if you choose a brass catcher with an attached mounting mechanism it is compact to avoid overweighing on your pistol when shooting.
- Buy a brass catcher that fits your budget while being durable. Brass catchers have a basic design across the board with minimal differences in mounting mechanism and material used.
Therefore, the only considerable difference between high-end and low-end catchers is quality. While you do not want to go for the cheapest catcher in the market as it is most likely made of low-quality material that will tear and rip easily, you can get decent quality and build at a mid-range price.
- Consider your shooting style and environment. If your shooting style will involve changing your position regularly, an attached mounting system is more suitable. A remote catcher will not be suitable if you are shooting in a windy environment as it is likely to be displaced. On the other hand, if you are keen on your shooting accuracy, an attached brass catcher will not work.
What Are The Key Features Of The Best Brass Catcher For Pistols?
The best brass catcher has the following key features:
- An easy-to-mount mechanism onto your pistol
- A brass catcher bag that is durable, heat resistant, and provides adequate ventilation
- A capacity to hold more than 30 rounds before you have to empty it
- Does not interfere with your pistol handling and shooting technique
- Has a wide mouth that collects at least 85-95% of the spent casings
- Fits within your budget.
- Versatile – can also be used with rifles and different types of pistols
- Convenience features, such as a zipper for releasing casings or frame at the mouth to retain its shape
A brass catcher is a handy accessory that allows you to enjoy shooting without worrying about brass casings clean-up. Besides, if you are keen to refill your casings, a brass catcher ensures that they do not get dirty. Although there is a limited variety of brass catchers specially designed for use with pistols, the aforementioned options listed above will work great with your pistols.