Hot Brass Safety


How many of you are familiar with the “Hot Brass Dance”? If you aren’t then you don’t shoot enough. Anyway, while this is more of a safety item, I think it also ties into our basic training. For example, as much as that hot brass can hurt, we must be sure to maintain proper muzzle control, trigger discipline, and general safety. While keeping the gun pointed down range, get that finger off the trigger and put down the gun BEFORE you start tearing at your shirt. Train yourself to maintain this discipline. Also, with summer coming soon, please remember to wear appropriate clothing to the range, and advise any new shooters of such as well. I have had to have a couple of slightly awkward conversations with friends on this one, but it is important to do so. Even with proper shirts and jackets, I have had hot brass slip into my clothes.

Does anyone else have any hot brass stories or advice?


I watched a woman in the next stall doing the hot brass dance on the range with a loaded gun in her hand and her finger on the trigger. She swung the gun wide to the right (90+ degrees) and was practically aiming at the range officer (who had his back to her helping another shooter) when I grabbed her arm and all but threw her hand to down range.

After the fact I apologized for scaring her, but wasn’t sorry I did it. I work at that range (my second fun job) and I told the owners about it. They were happy I stepped in.

Do I think she would have shot? I doubt it, but if you would have asked me if I thought she would have swung a loaded gun so far with her finger on the trigger, I would have said no to that as well.

Better to piss one person off for the safety of all…


I got hot brass from a hot gun down my vest, and it settled on my lower neck in Iraq once. The brand is now faded to a slight scar. That wasn’t pleasant.

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I have had hot brass go down my shirt - even with my sweatshirt zipped all the way up. I’m willing to bet most women who shoot a lot have at least one little scar in the same general area where brass settles. :confused:


I’ve grabbed guns during our sight in clinic, and to be honest, I get pretty nasty about it.


I should probably be a little nastier, I’m so conditioned in customer service that I am firmly kind about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I hold my own and let them know somethings not right, but I’m pretty dang kind about it.

The mom in me comes out: How would you feel if you had accidentally shot someone because you were more concerned about a little scar on your chest? You don’t think it happens? There’s a guy in Florida who accidentally killed as the guy tried to get the hot brass that went down the back of his shirt…


One of the guys was loading his AR, and pointed it sideways at the guy in the next stall. I grabbed the barrel, slammed the rifle down with the barrel pointed down range and asked “do you do stupid stuff like that everyday and go to bed happy with yourself?” I’m normally a happy, and nice person. I used to have to talk to clients all the time when doing tree work, but when somebodies life is on the line, I flip a switch.


If I am with an inexperienced shooter at the range, I basically square up right behind them and watch the gun and their trigger finger. If that gun starts to come back at all, I grab them and say “Keep it downrange”. When a new shooter hits that first target or bullseye, they get so excited and try to immediately turn a 180 with the gun still in hand to point out what they did. Just another thing to keep in mind.


This made me think of that scene from Black Hawk Down where the helo was overhead and the spent casings from the minigun RAINED down on the solider below. I’ll never complain about a hot brass at the range again.


Same with Matrix:


That’s right! I forgot about that scene


I was actually looking for the scene you were talking about and this one came up! Love that there’s a gif of it!

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That’s scary! Hopefully your reaction will help her to keep better control the next time it happens.


I did it once when a hot brass went down the back of my hoodie. Bent over quickly, shaking my hoodie with my free hand, and suddenly found the barrel of my gun pointing directly at my foot. Quickly adjusted downrange, set my weapon down, and took a deep breath. Have been very mindful of it since.

Coached a first timer. The casing bounced into her safety glasses and got lodged in the corner of the arm and front piece. Burnt her eyelid a little. Anticipated her reaction before she even moved, and had her arm secured before she could turn too far. She felt good knowing I had made that mistake once. Once. Hopefully she remembers that lesson.

I use it as a teachable moment, stressing that in a real scenario, unanticipated moments will happen to distract you. One must remain singularly focused.


I refer to this story when I recommend, crew collars and long sleeves. When I first started shooting, a case ejection bounced off the stall. Came back and stuck to my face on my right cheek. It stuck to my face and instantly blistered. I kept the muzzle down range, shook my head left and right and was able to shake it off my cheek. It then fell off my face and down the opening my tucked in polo shirt across my chest and stomach. I put my pistol down and pulled my shirt out from being tucked letting the case fall out. It was one of those you’ve got to be kidding me moments. The thing just would let go.


Are you recommending long sleeves and crew collars for range training, or every day wear? I would argue that one shoots and trains the same way they dress and carry every day, to work through all the eventualities. In the end, you either adapt your behaviors or your dress code.


Hey there @AAlan new/first time shooters. Like a boxer wearing head gear once they’ve been knocked around a bit the head gear comes off.

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Excellent. I was hoping that was your answer.


As an RSO, this happens to me so much that I don’t even pay attention anymore. Between hot brass, and flack that comes back from shooting steel, it’s become a normal. The worst one for me was at a USPSA match, I was shooting a stage that was a run and gun with a lot of shots on target, a piece of hot 9mm brass bounced off a piece of hard cover and landed behind my glassed, i shook my head but it wouldn’t budge, I stayed on target and finished the stage, they asked if I wanted a redo, but I was happy with my time so I kept it. I’ve seen a lot of women that wear a low cut shirt, get one stuck in their cleavage, ouch.


I found out not to wear a hoodie at the range! The round bounced off the wall and down my hoodie landed on my neck leaving a nice mark then down my tucked in shirt! I did the jiggle wiggle lol but tried to keep my composure not knowing the whole event was being video taped I got to see it afterwards and was like wow i was actually pretty controlled about the whole thing