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A Shell Catcher for Your AR: Why It’s Time to Quit the Mesh Bag Models

If you look up something along the lines of “what’s the best shell catcher for an AR,” most of the top entries are going to be those models that are made with heat-resistant nylon mesh and have a wire frame that covers the ejection port.

There are a lot of them, and many brass catchers on the market are styled accordingly, so they must be doing something right. To be fair, they work, well enough (keyword, right there) at capturing spent brass.

Most of these AR-15 brass catchers feature hook and loop webbing and mount to Picatinny rail space. They’re good enough at preventing hot brass from scattering all over the place – but just that, and no more.

Why they’re consistently rated as the best brass traps is beyond us. Despite their convenient features, their designs are fraught with shortcomings.

Take, for example, the fact that these shell catchers mount to rail space. Where are you going to mount all of your other accessories now? You can’t use the rail when it’s covered, now can you?

Don’t even get started on mounting a scope. Some of them mount over the top of the receiver and effectively prevent shooters from enjoying that possibility. So if it’s between an optic and your brass catcher, all we can say is we hope you like the brass catcher a lot.

So that’s one problem. Actually, it’s one problem that leads to another. Whether you’re realizing it or not, every single shooting accessory you mount that infracts on your sight picture is potentially hurting it.

These brass catchers do just that. They stick abominably off the side of the rifle and crowd your site picture. Some shooters might have more of a problem with it than others do, but it can slow down target acquisition across the board.

We wish we could stop at that, but we can’t. It only gets worse from here.

Now let’s talk about the wire frame construction. Many of these brass catchers need to be bent into a more proper shape before they can be used. Often they simply trap the brass between the wire frame and the rifle without actually catching it. This can cause jams, too.

Many of these brass catchers have a zipper at the bottom of the bag that, in theory, allows the bag to be emptied easily. It’s a good theory. Only it requires you to clear the weapon, place it down, and use two hands to empty the bag. Not that convenient, honestly.

But wait, there’s more! Intense firing sessions serve up hot brass. Hot brass and plastic don’t mix, heat resistant or not. These bag brass catchers have been known to melt, or worse, catch fire.

So, all in all, there are some serious problems with that general design. Brand aside, brass catchers just aren’t made to be constructed of plastic bags.

Now, the Brass Goat, designed by Magwell Mounts. They’re doing something right. Their shell catcher for ARs is made of solid molded ABS resin that is truly heat resistant. That thing will not melt and it certainly won’t catch fire.

It’s compatible with a detachable hopper that can hold up to 30 rounds of .223. It’s actually easy to empty.

It’s also low profile and doesn’t take up rail space. Actually, it mounts to mil-spec AR-15 magwells and requires no tools to mount.

So, in essence, it solves every single issue mentioned here and then some.

If you’re sick of the old design and are ready for something that just, honestly, works better, visit Brass Goat online at and get one for your rifle.

For more information about Best Ar 15 Brass Catcher Please visit: Magwell Mounts, LLC.

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