If you reload for auto pistol’s, I am certain that you are familiar with the hassles of tracking down your spent brass after it has been launched into the upper edge of the exosphere. This article will take an in-depth look at the latest version of brass catchers from Sherwood Akuna.
The Akuna Brass Catcher (ABC) is attached to the pistol via standard accessory rail, and can be locked into place by (gasp) bending the lower-front bar into the retaining notch.
The brass collection basket is supported by dual, coated metal rods and a tension wire.
The collection basket is made of a coated synthetic mesh, with a detachable collection pouch.
The collector covers both the top and side of the ejection port.
The field testing of the ABC revealed some strengths and some weaknesses. The first thing I noticed about it (before I even set foot on the shooting range) is that the rubberized coating was flaking off all over my hands and my gun. I can’t imagine that the coating will last very long with heavy use if it is coming off from merely installing the unit. As a result of the brittle coating, there were a couple of spots where the metal rod beneath was exposed… and this was right out of the box.
The next issue I had with the Akuna Brass Catcher was the fact that I had to bend the metal bar in order to get it to lock into place on the Weaver rail notch. Over time, tightening and releasing this lock bar will most likely work-harden the metal, causing it to become brittle and break off… sort of like bending a paper clip back and forth until it breaks. On a positive note, the unit attaches pretty firmly even without engaging the lock bar. So, it will stay in place with lighter recoiling target loads even if you do not bend the bar into the retaining notch. However, when I fired some 10mm max loads without the lock bar engaged, the recoil moved the ABC out of position after just a handful of rounds.
The final issue that got to me was the fact that the ABC only caught about 40% of the brass I fired. The rest hit the rim of the basket and fell to the ground at my feet… still better than ending up in the next zip code, which is where my 10mm brass usually ends up.
As it stands, the current level of design and materials do not coincide with the substantial price tag of $80. Ideally, this device would have a frame made of injection-molded polymer, with an easily-engaged lock mechanism, such as those you would find on a tactical light/laser combo. That way we could reduce the weight, bypass the messy rubber coating and questionable lock system, and simultaneously tame the excessively high price tag.
Unfortunately, small businesses have difficulty affording the massive up-front design and tooling costs of injection-molded parts, and instead rely on tedious, hand-fitted wire bending, and baths in mystery rubber. Despite all of it’s shortcomings, this is actually one of the better units currently available. That says a lot about the massive void in the status quo of this niche market.
I can only hope that Mr. Akuna chooses to reinvest his sales earnings into creating a molded unit. He is on the right track with the basics of the design concept, but really needs to address the critical issues above to create an item of value. Until then, the search for the ideal pistol brass catcher treads forth.
For more info, go to http://www.sherwoodakuna.com/