TacStar’s Brass Catcher: Gimmick or Gear?

The new TacStar Brass Catcher for AR-platform rifles.

TacStar, a subsidiary of Lyman Products, announced an addition to their existing line of aftermarket long-gun products. The newcomer is the TacStar Brass Catcher, a device that mounts to the Picatinny rail of AR-platform rifles.

According to the company, the product’s aluminum component is fully adjustable and low profile, meaning it can be used in conjunction with most optics. No modifications are necessary. To attach the catcher to your flat-top AR, simply clamp it onto the Pic rail.

Once the catcher is clamped on your rifle, you attach the catch bag. The bag is black, made from heat-resistant Nylon, and listed as having a 120-round capacity (specifically related to .223 Rem brass). Emptying the bag is as easy as pulling it off the mounting component and dumping it. The catch bag can also be cleaned by unsnapping it from the aluminum deflector plate. MSRP is $34.98.

TacStar is marketing their new Brass Catcher to reloaders.

Those are the product details. On to the actual use.

The Brass Catcher is being marketed to reloaders, at least according to the press release. Catching the brass in an attached bag negates the need for reloaders to crouch over to collect it from the ground (of course, it isn’t only reloaders who collect it).

There are certainly possibilities here. Every time I hit the range, whether with a review gun or my own personal firearms – not that I have much time for my personal guns – I spend an inordinate amount of time collecting brass. Would it make my life easier to attach this to my ARs? Maybe.

Some ranges require you to pick up spent brass, some ranges forbid it. Some shooters collect spent brass because they or someone they know intend to use it. Some shooters hoard it like an old woman hoards those ceramic figurines with big eyes.

Our needs and uses vary just as our opinion of the Brass Catcher will. I’m curious and I can see how some shooters might make good use of it. I’d like to know how well it really works with optics and how severely it affects the rifle’s balance as it fills and gets heavier.

So…gimmick or gear?

If you’d like to take a closer look, Brownell’s has them on their site (click here).

comments

  1. avatar Dev says:

    I have the Caldwell brass catcher that mounts the same way. It works great. I use it mainly on my MP 15-22 when shooting out in the desert. Leave no trace.

    1. avatar little horn says:

      LOL no trace of your deadly .22 LR training? ok LOL

      1. avatar Juice says:

        Pretty sure they’re referring to the principal of leaving no trace when you enjoy the outdoors. Litter isn’t just candy bar wrappers.

      2. avatar Tom of Toms says:

        Showin’ all your cards there, little horn.

      3. avatar anonymoose says:

        Get out of here with your Californian lies about lead. It came from the Earth, and to the Earth it must return!

      4. avatar rosignol says:

        There’s a spot out in the boonies about an hour’s drive from me that has been used by ‘the public’ as a place to plink for years.

        It’s a complete $hithole because the only people who bother to pick up spent shells and targets are the methheads collecting scrap to get the money for more meth.

    2. avatar Matt in FL says:

      This is not a new idea. I have Caldwell’s pic rail net on my AR, and another adapter on each other upper so I can move the net around as needed. I use it collect good 5.56 brass for turning into 300BLK someday…

  2. avatar Mr. savage says:

    my ar’s aren’t too bad, all one small area two or three feet away, a mini14 however, throws them somewhere on the other side of the planet, make one that works for a mini and I’ll give it a go, for now, my pvc and net made from home can hold thousands before emptying.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      Caldwell makes one that velcros on. It works pretty well, I use it on stuff with no pic rail like AKs and retro ARs.

  3. avatar John Locke says:

    I use the Brass S.H.A.R.K. shell catcher by plastixrevolution and it works very well.

  4. avatar Erik says:

    I use tactical brass recovery, works great and hinges out to give easy access to the chamber.

  5. avatar silverwarloc says:

    I use the Tactical Brass Catcher compatible withe SCAR-17. It works really well. It has a zipper at the bottom. Can hold about 75 casings.

  6. avatar Juice says:

    Not sure if it would quite fit around the optics I have on my receiver. I’d definitely like to get a brass catcher that works, though. I’ve borrowed a “universal” one from my dad that just straps on with velcro and it was pretty much worthless. The cleanup is just about the only plus of going to a public range.

  7. avatar Armed Partisan says:

    Personally, I find very little benefit to reloading 5.56, because it is perversely cheap; however, if you have an AR in any of the dozens of boutique cartridges that probably cost more per 100 rounds than this does, like the 25-45 Sharps, or .30 AR, or .50 Beowulf, or something like that, then keeping all your brass is definitely practical, if it isnt particularly tactical.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      The benefit of reloading 5.56 is performance, not cost.

      1. avatar Tim says:

        ^ This exactly.

        To put some numbers behind it, I can buy Lake City 5.56 for say $0.40-$0.45/round. I can reload some equivalent FMJ for $0.20-$0.25/round. But, factoring in my time, that’s barely worth it. I do it anyway, but it’s not cost effective.

        However, I can load 55gr VMAX for $0.30/round versus $0.75/round commercially, and then it does start to make financial sense.

        And that’s even before you get into all the accuracy benefits, and additional choice in components.

    2. avatar Mark says:

      I catch as much brass as possible to save for reloading, also sell some on armslist , and the rest to the scrap yard for cash to buy more ammo. Brass is like $2 a pound currently, if I scrap 2- 5 gallon buckets it can buy a another 300 rounds of 5.56×45.

  8. avatar i1uluz says:

    Have the older style that did not collapse, works great. Nothing worst than being hit by fresh out of the chamber brass, not a great way to make a good impression on others to the right of you at the range. Yes I know it’s a pun.

    They use to sell just the rail mount so you could buy one and then leave mounts on various uppers. Saved a few dollars. Not sure if the new one uses the same 2 prong setup.

  9. avatar George in Alaska says:

    Both of the Caldwell models (Pic rail attachment or velcro attach) allow enough brass to bounce back into the ejection ports of my AR’s in 5.56 or Blackout to be pains in the ass. Happens enough to be annoying because it results in a cartridge and a piece of brass firmly lodged in the upper. Not hard to fix but sure would not take this out into a leave no trace situation… you know, like being point on Seal Team 6 or being an FBI Hostage team member out of Quantico… which I am not… I just find them effective when they work… annoying when they jam everything up. Saw one that swung open at the range last year and looked very sturdy with aluminum to angle every case down into the bag,guy said it cost about $200. May get one some day but ammo is really cheap right now, even though I do save my brass for when President Maxine Waters takes office.

  10. avatar ironicatbest says:

    That just makes an evil black as salt rifle look that much evilier

  11. avatar Southern Cross says:

    For one I wouldn’t go to a range that wouldn’t let me pick MY OWN cases. I paid for them and I re-use them as I see fit.

    Reloading. 223 is not only about costs, although ammunition is expensive in my part of the world and so are components. It is about customizing the loads for the rifle for greater accuracy.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “For one I wouldn’t go to a range that wouldn’t let me pick MY OWN cases. I paid for them and I re-use them as I see fit.”

      ^ This.

      I *refuse* to pay for a range where I am required to leave my brass. I have left brass at a range, but it was private property where I was an invited guest and I was grateful for the invite since it included good friends and ‘refreshments’.

      (A very good time was had by all…)

      *burp* 😉

  12. avatar John in AK says:

    I have thoroughly considered this device, and have formed an educated opinion.
    As it decreases the time required to recover ejected brass, thus allowing the shooter to spend more time shooting and less time picking up fired cases, I can state that this device thereby increases the overall firing rate of the semi-automatic rifle upon which it is affixed, thus turning it into a machine gun.
    Plus, it makes the gun look more shootier.
    I have written the NRA and BATF informing them of my opinion and demanding that this device be banned (because it might save even one life), and will proactively not buy one of these devices so that I am not required to turn it in when it is banned.
    Oh. . . /sarc.

    1. avatar BlazinTheAmazin says:

      You must have been the guy that kept writing the ATF about shouldering the Sig brace…

  13. avatar Blake says:

    I have the Velcro-fit Caldwell and like it enough to keep using it despite its flaws. The netting is a weak point I don’t care for as it can melt, and it can shift around on the gun.

    Pic rail attachment, and a sturdier material for the bag seems like a good idea. Would like to see one made of kevlar or nomex to really handle the heat.
    I spend considerable time converting 5.56 to 300 blackout, so anything that minimizes lost brass isn’t gimmicky to me.

  14. avatar Hannibal says:

    Makes sense for those that shoot in the backyard/woods as an alternative to policing up the brass.

  15. avatar Ckineverett says:

    Been meaning to give one of these a try. At the range I’ve been hanging a baseball cap from the top turret on the scope on my AR10 with a folded towel under the hat. Works pretty well on the bench, but feels like using coathanger wire for carburetor linkage…

  16. avatar Adub says:

    This looks sturdier than ones I have seen in the past! If it works, I’d love one. Now to get a can and some 300 Blackout subsonic. Leave no trace…

  17. avatar MIO says:

    This wouldn’t be bad at the tight compartments of an indoor range or shooting from a helicopter on a hog hunt but nothing that would suit my needs as of now.

  18. avatar Tim U says:

    I wonder if this would be compatible with the Galil ACE, since the reciprocating charging handle isn’t on the same side as the ejection port.

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