Brass Mower

Brass Mower

So a few weeks back, I came home from the range with muddy boots, muddy and grass stained jeans, and hands bright pink from cold and wet. There has to be a better way to pick up brass I was thinking as I tossed my jeans in the wash.

I recall seeing something on the intrawebs about a device that looked like a giant cylindrical hair brush that rolls across the grass to pick up shotgun shells, then deposits them in a basket. Pretty cool idea if it works…at least till I saw the price. Plus it didn’t look like it really recovered brass very well.

A lot of searching later, and I found the Brass Mower. Under $100, and as simple as falling out of bed in the morning. Basically it’s a wire basket under tension, that’s attached to an adjustable handle. When you roll it over brass, the pressure of it rolling flexes open the wire basket slightly allowing the brass to get captured inside.  Sounds too good to be true, but for the price, I figured I’d give it a whirl.

On arrival the Brass Mower came with the wire basket in it’s own little box, and the mount and handle separate. It’s clear the handle is just an off the shelf part (probably painting isle in the hardware store), that was drilled and tapped for the mount. Not terribly impressive, but nothing wrong with it. The basket on the other hand is a work of craftsmanship! The mower basket is weighty and solid feeling, and the wires themselves look like a quality steel solidly mounted to the hub, with a slight spiral that I assume aids in the tension that keeps it’s shape. It took all of 60 seconds to assemble and I was immediately dumping brass across the livingroom carpet to pick up! I have to say, I was like a kid with a new Fisher Price toy giggling madly as the mower sucked up the brass in seconds, dumping the brass out and doing it again (simple minds and all that). It worked!

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Next came the real challenge, .223, .308, .45, .40, 9mm, and even .22LR in grass and gravel. So the next outing which happened to be our “Mosin Nagant Day”, I brought the Brass Mower to the range and in between sighting in our rifles and show-and-tell I gave the Brass Mower it’s first real world trial – 7.62×45 in gravel. And I’ll be damned if it didn’t pick up every piece, no fuss, no muss…and especially no kneeling in the dirt and rocks! It was fun to see everyone’s faces when they realized what this funny wire basket on a stick was for and how well it was working. In short time everyone wanted a try. We gave it a spin in dirt, gravel, and thick un-mowed grass. It picked up all calibers quickly and easily.

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A couple tips/caveats: Large brass fills the basket up quickly. The Brass Mower doesn’t discern brass from steel (obviously), nor rocks for that matter. While it didn’t pick up a lot of rocks, any that were about acorn sized were bound to get trapped in it’s wire clutches. Pistol brass picked up quickly and easily from any angle, but long rifle brass has to be approached on it’s width so it could get caught up in the wire. While we were working in the long, thick spring grass, we found that “mowing” in one direction then going perpendicular would reveal and pick up brass we didn’t know was there! While the mower did pick up plenty of .22LR (we recycle any brass we can’t reload!), it struggled with .22LR in gravel because, really, the gravel was bigger than the brass! On dirt or tamped down fine gravel or grass,  the .22LR was quickly mowed up! Impressive! And a great way to clean up a field after an Appleseed me thinks.

I came home with about a gallon of brass in a 5 gallon bucket. A few months of pickups like this, and the Brass Mower easily pays for itself (literally). Not to mention saving me from the wear and tear on my knees and jeans and frozen hands! Speaking of 5 gallon bucket, the Brass Mower includes this nifty wire spreader that fits on the rim of the bucket allowing you to quickly open up the wire basket and empty it out with a quick shake. That was really helpful when we were filling up the basket so quickly with big rifle brass. I’d have to say the Brass Mower was a pleasant surprise to me and a great purchase.




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