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.

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