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Old October 26, 2004, 05:57 PM   #1
Peter M. Eick
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Join Date: August 3, 1999
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,877
A Detailed Review of the CMM Shooting Sports Ultimate Brass Catcher (lots of picts)

A Detailed Review of the CMM Shooting Sports Ultimate Brass Catcher (lots of picts)




This picture is the brass catcher all setup and laid out on the range. It is really quite nice in size and construction. As you can see from the pictures it is a metal stand and base that is adjustable for height and rotation angle. You can also adjust the tilt angle of the catcher head and with the wires the hold the cloth back you can adjust the tension of the cloth and how far back the catcher trough is. Finally there is a quick release tie at the base that allows the system to act as a catcher and as a funnel to capture the brass into the coffee can below.




This is a picture of the unit nicely folded up for transportation and using a Dan Wesson Razorback for scale in the background. It is compact and easily transportable. I found the metalwork to be good and the choice of materials to be quite well thought out.

Now back to the range for a test session!




Here is the test bed. We are using two 10mm 1911’s for our test today. As I said before one is a Dan Wesson Razorback and the other is a Les Baer 10mm HeavyWeight Monolith. The Razorback has been fired around 3000 times and the Monolith had been fired around 5000 times so both were well broken in and quite reliable.

I picked my 10mm’s to try out this catcher because 10mm’s tend to toss the brass the furthest and the hardest. These are my worst offenders for losing brass. The Monolith because I tend to shoot it with hotter loads and the Razor just seems to want to fling the brass a lot. They both have consistent ejection patterns, just it is hard to get a catcher that works with them. Other guns like my Sig 210’s just put the brass in this nice little pile so they would not be a good test for this setup.

Finally, for all you guys think why doesn’t he just put a bigger spring in the guns to stop the wicked ejection? Well I subscribe to the theory that a bigger spring might stop the recoil bashing of the slide to the frame, but it increases the battering of the slide stop and fitting of the gun in the opposite direction. For this reason I am down to a 21 lbs spring on both and next time I will probably drop again to a 20 or even 19 lbs spring and a square bottom firing pin stop (EGW style) on both guns. (Thanks to CastleBravo for that fine 10mm advice).

Here is a shot in the middle of a string



As you can see I am using the system as a catcher. I found that the unit does not funnel the 10mm brass well into a small coffee can like this when the bottom of the bag is open. The brass tended to have too much velocity and it would bounce out of the can into the grass or onto the ground. They also tend to bounce out when the can is empty. Maybe you need to seed the can with a few empties to help this out. This may also be due to the cloth being stiff from being new but I cannot be sure. I did find that in this mode as a catcher it was very successful once you got the angles set right. This picture is about 35 rounds into a 50 round string. As you can see it is collecting the brass neatly and ready to go. All you have to do is pull the drawstring and it will drop the brass into the bucket. Thinking about it, I bet I could add a cloth down spout to get all of the brass into the can if I wanted to. I will have to look into that.

Since I was doing the shooting and taking the pictures it is hard to see the setup, but I found that the pistol needs have the following setup:
1) Ejection port forward of the support bar (front half of the catcher)
2) The pistol needs to be in the bottom half of the catcher
3) The cloth needs to be somewhat loose
4) The catcher needs to be closed at the base.
5) Slight backwards tilt of the head helps.

I think these rules are somewhat nebulous because different guns will have different patterns of ejection. For 1911’s they seem to work quite well.

I found the sweat spot or the area where you can hold the gun and still get the brass into the catcher to be quite large. The sweet spot is about a one foot square where if the ejection port is in that area, the brass will make it to the catcher. This is really quite nice because it means I can engage at least 4 to 8 targets with one catcher setup and still get the brass.

I found that the tilt function of the catcher head did not seem to make much difference tilting it forward. That seemed to increase the tension on the cloth which made the brass tend to bounce more out. What I did find useful was tilt the head back (oddly) which with less tension on the cloth made the catcher more effective.

It was fairly windy during shooting (also dang hot and humid in Houston. Who ever heard of 95F and 99% humidity in the end of October????). The system did not tilt much or drift in the wind. I did find that it would rotate in the wind because I did not tighten the bottom up enough. I might put an O ring on the threads at the base to compensate for the rotation problem next time out.

So how did we do (at catching brass)?




Well, here is the monolith on my spent brass bag. I shot 1000 rnds of my standard target load. 10.4 grns of Blue Dot, Remington JHP, Starline or Federal Brass, CCI 300 primer, 1.254 COL. This is kind of a wimpy 10mm load, but it seems to give good general accuracy in my guns.

So I shot 1000 rnds (ouch, and have the blisters to prove it) in about 2 hours and how many pieces made it back home (yes I actually counted them)? Including pickups meaning 10mm’s that bounced out and hit the ground (62), I had lost 37 pieces of brass. So the statistics were:

Capture Rate: 90.1%
Recovery Rate: 96.3%

I would judge that to be pretty reasonable considering the options of manually picking them up. So, a summary, 99 pieces out of 1000 were not captured by the unit into the net and of that 99, 62 bounced out and had to be picked up. Another 37 either missed the catcher completely or bounced out and were not found.

Conclusions:

All in all the system worked well and better then I expected for a first time use. I am not going to continue to use my older brass catcher that you put on your right hand. I will stay with this system. I expect that given time and use I will get better at adjusting the setup. With better adjustment I expect a higher recovery rate in the long run. I think the key problem for 10mm is that the cloth is quite stiff. 10mm rounds out of a 1911 get ejected QUICK and they tend to bounce off the stiff cloth. Finding the right setup takes some time and testing but once you have it, it works quite well.

Had I chosen my P7PSP’s or Sig 210’s I would have expected 99.9% recovery of the brass because the 9mm ejection is reasonably slow and well behaved.

All in all I am quite pleased with the purchase price of around 90$ shipped. A good investment overall! Besides if nothing else it will allow me to focus on the shooting more instead of adjusting the Velcro strap on my hand and dealing with the torque during recoil of a full hand based brass catcher.

Ok, Ok, I have been trying to avoid it, So how did I do shooting?



Certainly not the best I have ever done, but at 15 yards, shooting reasonably quick and more watching the ejection and where the brass went then the target I cannot complain too bad. These are 50 shot targets, just sort of banging away trying to watch the brass eject. Also, I freely admit that after about 700 rnds I was getting pretty fatigued, but I wanted to get all 1000 rnds shot for the statistics. These targets are from somewhere in the middle of the string. If you are concentrating on where the brass goes, you tend to forget about that little thing called the front sight…. (Sigh, maybe next time I will focus on the targets more….)

Questions or comments?
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