Indian Military’s Improvised Brass-Catchers

Earlier on TFB we reported on the South Korean Military’s insistence on picking up every single brass cartridge fired while conducting live fire training. Soon after, we received an Indian reader that emailed us with these photographs showing the brass catching practice is alive and well within the Indian Army’s INSAS and Kalashnikov rifles in training. However with the Indian Army, possibly due to funds soldiers have to improvise their own brass catchers out of bottles and wire meshes that fit over their rifles. Some of them are even painted to match the rifle they are attached to. One of the biggest problems with this brass catching phenomena is that the brass catcher can induce malfunctions on the rifle by rounds falling back into the action.

As I mentioned earlier in the South Korean report, I can understand the logistical issues of maintaining brass collection but from a practical standpoint I cannot see it helping with training value because soldiers might become more worried about maintaining their brass numbers than with actually hitting targets downrange. This could possibly take away from the training value of the exercise.

From our reader-

India is no exception, here the Indian Defence Forces have a long history of using different attatchment for cathcing spent brass, As the pictures in the attatchment shows
Picture 1 Indian Army Jawans(soldiers) using empty plastic bootleg type bottles in their AKs for brass catcher
Picture 2 shows the Navy’s Special Operational Force, Marine Commandos(MARCOS), the US NAvy SEAL counterpart using a special made attatchment

Picture 3 shows Army Jawan and Mongolian soldier using AKs with bottle cartridge as brass holder

Picture 4 show INSAS rifles with factory made brass catcher

In this example we see the brass catcher installed on an FN FAL in use at an Indian Army range. If it works, it works I guess.

It also appears that the Japanese Self-Defense Force does a similar practice but with a buddy system and what looks like fishing nets to catch the outgoing brass cartridges.

Much thanks to Siama C. for contributing to this post!


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • DanGoodShot

    Idk about that last video. I think they might have watched too many tactical youtube videos. They had that shoot, look sharply left, look sharply right down pretty good! Lol.

  • Giolli Joker

    On the INSAS, maybe the brass catcher is a good excuse to justify the malfunctions…

    • LCON

      a slight gust of wind is a good justification for the INSAS.

  • Kiwi

    Sweden have been using brass catchers for 100 years at least.

    • Richard

      The Finns made a nice one for the Valmet series.

      I think for them it was to avoid littering the forest with brass, no other reason!

      • roguetechie

        The Finn brasscatcher also is designed with passive anti spinback features

    • Moonman45

      the program should be canceled, poor islamic refugees need that brass


  • Martin Grønsdal

    Well, given that the Indian rifles too are improvised, what’s wrong with an impromptu brasscatcher?

  • RSG

    “Picture 2 shows the Navy’s Special Operational Force, Marine Commandos(MARCOS), the US NAvy SEAL counterpart”. BWAHAHAHA.

    • roguetechie

      I was thinking that exact thing…

      Maybe cub scout auxiliary militia counterparts buy only wolfs and bears because the webelows are way more HSLD than anything India has

  • datimes

    Is this about recycling or possibly reloading the empty cases?

    • Ken

      It’s likely about keeping soldiers from walking off with spent cases or live ammo.

      • FulMetlJakit

        Either way, it seems a fairly sound idea, brass isn’t free even if someone else is paying.
        Love that Japanese camo too, like a multi-cam/flecktarn love child

        • Ken

          Not when it impedes function though. It’s probably fine when qualifying or practicing on a static range, but will likely cause problems on field exercises. It isn’t about recycling every single piece of brass, but making sure that soldiers don’t steal ammo to do illegal things or steal brass cases to be reloaded into black market ammo. As mentioned in the previous article on the ROK military, they will stay out for many hours until every single spent case is accounted for.

  • Brett

    The thought of another long brass police call on Wilcox range still makes me shutter.