At my request, CTK Precision sent me their universal brass catcher for review.
Those that follow this blog will notice that I am reviewing several different types of brass catchers for different uses. When I first requested this product, I was hoping this would work for collecting pistol brass. I already had brass catchers that attach to my most commonly used rifles and work well, but I hadn’t found anything that worked well for collecting handgun brass.
The CTK precision universal brass catcher arrived in a box roughly the size and shape of a large pizza box. Assembly was very simple. I had to attach the net frame to the base and add some rubber end caps. You also have to attach the net to a pin at the rear of the base to keep the net pulled back and open. The entire unboxing and assembly took all of two minutes. The entire unit is very sturdy and well made. The frame is steel and the base has a durable coating. I have been using it for more than a month now and the unit is basically in the same condition as it arrived.
The net measures 16″x16″ and makes it easy to position your firearm to eject the brass into the catcher.
One feature that I was looking forward to using/testing is the base’s ability to be attached to a standard 1/4″-20TPI camera tripod. This means that the unit is not limited to sitting next to you on a shooting bench or on the ground when you are shooting prone.
I started out with catching .22lr brass from a semi-auto rifle from prone. No, I don’t reload them, but it is nice to clean up after yourself. If I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t be able to see the grass! The lighter casings present their own unique challenges to some brass catchers. Often, the .22lr cases are too light and bounce off the fabric or netting used in most brass catchers. This was not the case with the CTK universal brass catcher. Because the net is held open by it’s attachment to the back of the base, it never kept the cases from entering and staying in the catcher.
Next, I moved the catcher to the tripod and shot from a standing position. Both positions had a recovery rate greater than 95%. Those shells that weren’t recovered by the catcher were mostly due to inconsistent ejection.
I then went to a centerfire semi-auto and had a 100% recovery rate from all positions. The net seemed to suck up the cases. No bounce outs or misses.
Here’s where it gets a little complicated. I brought out the centerfire pistols and had the catcher mounted on the tripod. Because the pistols eject with an added upward angle, they hit the back of the net at an almost perpendicular angle. To keep the cases from bouncing out, I canted the catcher forward. This seemed to help.
There is also the complication of each ejection being slightly different probably partly due to my motion and grip, etc. After I canted the catcher and stood at the proper distance(too close and the bounce out, too far and they miss), I was getting an 80% recovery rate. I took some stiff wire and used it to hold the netting as wide open as possible. This improved the recovery rate only slightly(~5%) as the wire held the net taut and caused brass to sometimes bounce out of the deepest recesses of the catcher. I know that 85% is still a good recovery rate, but I was spoiled by using it with the rifles. I was now having to pick up more than three times as many cases. I had to remind myself that before the CTK Precision brass catcher, I had been searching the grass for every single piece of brass. That usually calmed me down.
The beauty in the CTK Precision Universal Brasscatcher is in it’s versatility. Most catchers are tailored to a specific firearm, system, or shooting style. The CTK model is able to be used effectively with many different firearms and shooting positions. This unit will save you much time on your knees as well as keep your brass from collecting dirt and grass on the ground.