Let’s start with the Eley Grand Prix. Here’s a load that has been doing sterling service on the game field since I don’t know when and you can expect it to do exactly what it says on the tin.
Needing no further introduction, expect to pay (after of course, the dreaded recent price increases) in the region of £183 per 1,000.
Advancing years? Need something a little faster?
Then try the higher performance VIP which at 1,450fps is a truly high performance game shell coming in at around £196 per 1,000. Two other products from Eley – Hi-Flyer and Grand Prix High Pheasant – are also more than suitable for the game we’re likely to encounter.
Hull’s two offerings are also well known across the game shoots of Britain. High Pheasant is this company’s higher performance product with a velocity to match Eley’s VIP – with a £195 price tag.
The equally renowned Three Crowns from Hull is a slightly softer cartridge with a slightly cheaper price tag of £183.
Lyalvale Express has two contenders in what I consider to be the bench mark cartridge sector. It is, of course, the Supreme Game in 30gm fibre 6 mode. Most people will recognise the trademark black case with long brass.
It includes my favourite three prerequisites for a good cartridge, namely performance, consistency and most important of all, comfort. I have to say I think it is about time Express improved the packaging. The cartridge is – and looks – the business but the box it comes in looks dated and dowdy. Brilliant though this cartridge is, it does not come cheap at around £209.50 a 1,000 but its performance obviously shines through as sales continue to rise.
Special Game is the little sister with only marginally lesser performance but with a more economical price tag of £183. Gamebore has virtually revamped its whole range over the last couple of years as far as I can see and with obvious success. The range looks good and performs well and packaging is top of the range.
At the lower end of the scale we have the ever popular Super Game High Bird with more than adequate performance in economical no frills but smart packaging at £179 a 1,000.
Mid-range performance comes in the shape of the revamped and very well known Pure Gold F2 loaded in a snappy new gold case; this is no slouch thanks to the new F2 powder and costs around £200.
The brand new Black Gold Game (as reviewed in October) tops the range with fantastic packaging, performance to match and the added advantage of being loaded in the Gordon Recoil System case.
This will be a serious competitor at the top end of the market and specifically for Express’s Supreme Game, priced at £207 per 1,000. Take note, this is the only one of these cartridges loaded in a 70mm case, so is not suitable for 2½ in chambers. Bit of a shame, but that is the only downside of using the GRS case.
So there we are, classic English game loads for classic English shooting. All of the above are suitable. Try some yourself and enjoy the season!