I have been desperately looking for a high quality brass catcher that will work with a side charging AR because I was tired of losing my 6.8 brass!!. I also wanted something that was small and compact because I use my ARs for hunting.
I found the perfect catcher.
reb8600 makes a FANTASTIC catcher which fills all of my requirements. It is compact and extremely well designed. It is ideal for hunting as it is made of thick material which will not catch or snag on all our nasty desert plants.
The design of the catcher allows it to sit perfectly over the side charging handle without interfering. Be it wonderful accident or ingenious design, the arch created by the pocket lifts the backing over the handle. In fact, you can't even tell it is a side-charger with it on.
Because it is laid across the top, it also does not inhibit charging. A simple reach under the catcher for for easy access to the handle. It falls right back into place after charging. I added a small magnet to the pouch and a strip to the magwell to hold the catcher from flopping around while shouldering on hikes. This add-on is not needed, but I thought I could improve it(I didn't).
The only thing that I think would make it better is a more stout strap. But that is just me. Nothing wrong with the current one, just a preference thing.
I know he didn't design it for a side-charger, but in truth, I don't know that a better one could be designed. I find no faults with it.
If you need a catcher for a side-charger( or ANY ar for that matter!) I HIGHLY recommend that you get a hold of reb8600.
Reb sent me a larger version of his brass catcher for testing on my larger AR-10 platform. I also have the original version designed for the smaller AR-15.
After trying both of them on this rifle (Remington R-25 in .243) my recommendation to reb was to simplify and sell the original version for both platforms!
The original smaller unit seemed a much better fit and outperformed the larger one hands down. I was able to fire multiple 5 round groups without a single empty hitting the ground or bouncing back into the action.
There was some trouble with 8-9 rounds in the catcher at once, likely due to the sheer volume the larger .243 brass takes up in the pouch. This is a total non-issue for me as the catcher was never really designed for capturing large amounts of brass, and I would rarely if ever fire more than 2-3 rounds in a hunting situation anyway.