May 22nd, 2020

Caldwell Brass Retriever — Handy Item That Saves Your Back

Caldwell pistol rifle cartridge brass rake retriever handle

Caldwell Brass Retriever
Tired of bending over or kneeling down to retrieve your fired cartridge brass? For older shooters (including this Editor) getting down on the ground to pick up brass is tough on the lower back and knees. Here’s a product that makes brass retrieval quick, easy, and pain-free. The Caldwell Brass Retriever works quite well with a little practice, once you apply the correct pressure. While it won’t always grab every fired case, it will capture nearly all, and that can really make the job go much faster.

One owner praises this as a “very good tool” that is “a lot easier on my back.” While it can work on grass, gravel, and hard-packed earth, the unit works best on smooth, hard surfaces. Currently priced under $37, it is a good value.

Caldwell states: “Spend less time bending over and picking up brass at the range and more time shooting. The Caldwell® Brass Retriever picks up brass, saving your back and time. Picking up spent brass is as easy as pushing a mop. The Brass Retriever can pick up rifle and pistol brass quickly and efficiently. The Brass Retriever works anywhere, even on grass and gravel. The retriever comes complete with a roll cage separator that allows you to dump the collected brass into a bucket quickly. It is collapsible as well, making it convenient to transport. The retriever’s handle expands from 28″ up to 57″ tall.”

Caldwell pistol rifle cartridge brass rake retriever handle

Brass Retriever Owner Reviews
Here are Amazon reviews from actual purchases. It’s clear the device is not perfect and can miss a case or two. However, as you can see from the videos, the Brass Retriever does pick the vast major of brass on the ground, sized .223 Rem or larger diameter. This will save time and reduces stress on your back and joints:

“This thing … does a terrific job of collecting the brass from a standing posture quickly and efficiently. It helps to have the cases on a smooth surface like concrete or dirt without a lot of vegetation. But we used it on open desert yesterday and it collected nearly every case with a single pass. It’s now a permanent piece of gear in the stuff we take when target or ground squirrel shooting.” — Hans H.

“This WILL save your back. The only drawback is you can’t overload it with brass. After couple dozen pieces (or less) it will start dropping brass while you’re attempting to collect others. That’s the limitation (one of them). There is a short learning curve (15 min.) in which you’ll learn how much brass is too much And how you need to orientate the wires to pick up the brass. It doesn’t do as well on gravel or high grass as it does on a smooth, firm surface. Even with its limitations, it’s a keeper. Just empty every dozen or so pieces and it works very well. It comes with a wire form that attaches to a bucket for easy emptying. I normally just use my fingers to spread wires and give a shake to allow the contents to fall out. Again not perfect but when used within its design capabilities, it does pretty well. I would buy again.” — Jeff M.

“It’s not perfect. But neither is using a broom or picking it up by hand. Sure, a 9mm might drop out while you’re picking up a .45 ACP. But you roll back over the 9mm and pick it up again. I now pick up my brass in a fraction of the time it used to take me and I stand upright while doing it. I should add the disclaimer that I’ve only used it to pick up handgun brass and it’s picked up everything from .22 LR to .44 Magnum. I have not tried it with rifle brass.” — Johnny C.

Caldwell pistol rifle cartridge brass rake retriever handleSpecialized Tool for .22 LR Brass
NOTE: The Caldwell Brass Retriever is designed primarily to recover reloadable rifle and pistol brass, with case diameters as fat as .223 Rem or larger. Some people state it can be used for smaller .22 LR cartridges too, but there is a much better product for that.

The UniqueTek Rimfire Brass Wizard is optimized for picking up .22 LR rimfire cases. It has a smaller basket with wires spaced closer together. It can also pick up pistol and rifle cartridge brass but will hold fewer cases than the original Brass Wizard or the Caldwell Brass Retriever.

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July 1st, 2015

AR Brass Catcher — Great Accessory for Under Ten Bucks

Caldwell ar16 ar-15 ar brass casing bag net catcher

If you shoot an AR-platform rifle, you could probably use one of these gadgets. A brass-catcher keeps your brass in good shape and saves you the hassle of picking up fired cases. Moreover, nearby shooters no longer have to fear being pelted with your hot brass.

Caldwell ar16 ar-15 ar brass casing bag net catcher

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July 24th, 2014

New Caldwell Brass-Catcher Mounts on AR Picatinny Rails

Hate chasing brass ejected from your AR platform rifle? Well here’s a clever new accessory — a brass catcher that mounts easily to the Picatinny rail on top of your upper receiver. There are other types of brass-catching rigs on the market, but this is one of the best products we’ve seen for ARs with Picatinny rails. Caldwell’s AR Pic Rail Brass Catcher mounts easily with a quick-detach aluminum clamp. Both the clamp and wire frame are adjustable so they won’t interfere with your scope or scope mounts.

AR 15 brass catcher bag mesh Picatinny Rail mount

We like the quick-detach feature. This lets you quickly check and/or clear your chamber, or inspect the bolt. The bag itself, made from heat-resistant mesh fabric, will hold approximately one hundred .223 Rem cartridge cases. And here’s another nice feature — the bag has a zipper on the bottom so you can quickly dump your spent brass without having to remove the brass-catcher from your rifle.

AR 15 brass catcher bag mesh Picatinny Rail mount

Brass Catcher Features:

– Captures fired casings before they hit the ground.

– Quick-detach system mounts securely — no fumbling with straps.

– Compatible with most Picatinny rail-equipped AR-10s as well.

– Heat-resistant mesh bag holds 100 pieces of brass.

– Fully adjustable — can be placed at any point on Picatinny rail.

AR 15 brass catcher bag mesh Picatinny Rail mount

If you shoot an AR and reload your own ammo, you should get some kind of brass-catching device. With a $39.19 “street price” ($49.99 MSRP), this is one of the more affordable options. Once you use a rig like this and no longer have to pick up brass from the ground, you may get spoiled. Moreover, a brass-catcher like this will earn you “Brownie Points” with other shooters at your range who no longer have to dodge your hot brass.

Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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