Cleaning The Brass Goat Shell Catcher for an AR

Cleaning The Brass Goat Shell Catcher for an AR

Our Brass Goat is revolutionizing the joint art and science of catching brass. It’s one of the top shell catchers for ARs on the market and is easy to use, compatible with a wide range of cartridges, and won’t jam, melt, or catch fire. That’s just to name a few of its beneficial attributes.

Something else the Brass Goat offers you is just as important. It keeps your brass clean and off of the ground, which is a big bonus for reloaders.

Of course, other shell catchers for ARs do the very same thing. The difference is that the Brass Goat is easier (much, much easier) to clean than most if not all of its competitors, saving shooters that use of money and time.

Why You Need to Keep a Shell Catcher for an AR Clean
We haven’t come here to tell you why you need to keep your rifle clean. You can go elsewhere for that. If you need a justification for cleaning an AR, maybe you shouldn’t be shooting.

But the brass catcher? How much of a difference could that really make?
Well, you clean your brass, don’t you? Reloading dirty brass is a recipe for chamber damage and diminished cartridge lifespan. At the very least, it is a recipe for inconsistent loads, inconsistent ignition, and obviously, inconsistent accuracy.

shell catchers for ARs

It makes sense why you need to clean brass during reloading. It removes fouling from inside the cartridge that can interfere with ignition as well as with the pressures generating during deflagration of the powder charge.

Just as importantly, cleaning brass helps to extend its usable lifespan by diminishing stress on the casing. Shooting clean cartridges also prevents excess grit from getting in your chamber, which can “rough up” the chamber walls and interfere with extraction.

Just like you need to keep your rifle clean to keep it operable, you need to clean your casings before reloading. Now let’s shift the focus to the brass catcher itself.

The brass catcher captures the ejected brass, right? It prevents hot brass from landing around your shooting area - but that brass is also dirty, right? You just fired it and there’s probably fouling all over the outside of the cartridge as well.

Obviously, some of that dirt, grit, and fouling will transfer itself onto the inside of the brass catcher. What some mesh bag brass catchers got right was including a convenient zipper at the bottom of the mesh bag to facilitate emptying.

What they got wrong was making their shell catchers for ARs out of mesh in the first place. It works great for some things, and one of them is serving as a magnet for powder fouling and residue.

The thing about nylon mesh is that it has a lot of surface area, much of which is hard to reach. Worse, it is absorbent, which means it will soak up oil and grease like a sponge, attracting fouling and dirt.

Mesh is difficult, nearly impossible, to clean, and doing so is labor-intensive and aggravating. It would take a real force of nature to get a dirty mesh bag clean.

This is one of the main ways in which the Brass Goat design is optimized over mesh bag shell catchers. We didn’t necessarily have cleaning in mind when we designed it, that just came as a bonus.

Made of hard, molded ABS resin, the Brass Goat and its detachable hopper are both a joy to clean when compared to nylon mesh brass catchers.

How to Clean the Brass Goat
Keeping the interior of the Brass Goat clean is easy, and keeping it clean will in turn help keep your fired brass clean too. More importantly, you may not need to clean it after every trip to the range. Only clean as needed.

shell catchers for ARs

All you really need to clean a brass goat is a warm, wet rag and some soapy water if there’s a lot of powder fouling in there.

Take your Brass Goat off of the receiver and remove the hopper. Wipe down the inside with warm water to remove the fouling. You can use soap if you feel the need. The fouling will come off black or brown. When it stops coming off on the rag, you’re clean.

We would like to offer this word of caution. We do not recommend using any solvents like Hoppe’s #9 or even rubbing alcohol to remove fouling or residue.

While these substances are highly effective at dissolving oil and powder fouling, they can potentially be harmful to the ABS resin from which the Brass Goat is made.

Hoppe’s #9 is often encountered in a plastic bottle, but it can potentially dissolve some polymers. We do not recommend using it.

As for rubbing alcohol, you might have thought it safe for use with plastics, but even though it doesn’t cause immediate damage, over time exposure to alcohol will cause the premature breakdown of plastics and polymers. Don’t use it to clean your Brass Goat.

Think of it like a muzzleloader; you can clean it the old way with soap and water. That’s all you need to keep it clean.

Also, make sure you have allowed your Brass Goat and hopper to dry completely before reattaching them to your firearm’s lower receiver magwell.

Check Out Our FAQs or Contact Us
Keeping your Brass Goat clean will help keep your fired brass cleaner in turn. As a part of routine firearm maintenance, break down your firearm and clean your shell catcher for your AR as well.

If you have any questions about Brass Goat compatibility or maintenance, please feel free to consult our Brass Goat FAQ page where we offer some helpful tips and observations on care and use.

You should also feel free to contact us directly if you have a specific question that you don’t see answered on our FAQ page. Get in touch with us by phone at 1-833-MAGWELL or by email at and we’d be happy to help answer your questions.

Trust Guard Security Scanned