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Vermin cartridges review

It’s a bit like going cold turkey at this time of year if, like me, you get a buzz from game shooting.

But you don’t have to suffer the shakes – right now there are plenty of jobs to be done with a gun on the shoot getting vermin under control.

And this just doesn’t mean pigeons!

With no leaves on the trees or ground vegetation to talk about, it’s the ideal moment to get to grips with winged and four-legged predators in woods and hedgerows.

FOX cartridges

These might be beautiful animals, but they’re dangerously devastating, as my wife’s chickens will testify.

Make no mistake, shooting foxes with a shotgun can be very efficient if the drive is planned well – and as long as the fox is shot less than 30 yards away – any more than that and the animal deserves to be left to the rifle boys.

When using a shotgun we need to strike a balance between choosing shot that’s large enough to ensure a clean kill and which also retain enough pattern density to put enough pellets into the fox being shot at.

Express Super Game 42gm

Cost: £360.50 per 1,000 or £11.50 for 25

» Case Length: 70mm

» Shot Size: 1,3,4,5

» Powder: Vectan

» Muzzle Velocity: 1,375 fps

» Wad: Plastic

Express Super Game 42grm cartridges

Using very large SG shot is a bit of lottery because most 12 bore loads only contain nine pellets so anything further than 15 yards is at risk of not being hit at all!

Shot size AAA is better, but I prefer BB or No 1s as there are plenty of them.

My choice is a 42gm load but don’t be afraid to use a 3in 50gm magnum load if you wish – the more big pellets you can punch out there the merrier!

Any manufacturer that produces a load such as this will be suitable, but my own favourite is Express Super Game in a 42gm shot size 1.

Gamebore Mammoth Magnum 50gm

Cost: £442.50 per 1,000 or £5.70 for 10

» Case Length: 76mm

» Shot Size: BB, 3

» Powder: B & P

» Muzzle Velocity: 1,350 fps

» Wad: Plastic

Gamebore Mammoth MagnumCORVID cartridges

I hate magpies with a vengeance and perhaps if some of the ‘conservation’ groups out there did too then our countryside would be a far better place.

These scavengers are ruthless egg-pinchers and will also take chicks in the blink of an eye.

There are simply far too many of them around, to the cost of songbirds as well as game.

To be fair, they don’t take a lot of taking out but the problem is getting within range of these crafty little devils.

Any No 6 load will do the job so any normal ‘pigeon’ cartridge will suffice. Carrion crows are likewise ruthless killers, but take a bit more killing.

They are a larger and tougher bird than the magpie, so choose a 32gm load with 5 shot.

Hull Special Pigeon 32gm

Offer Price: £204 per 1,000

» Case Length: 70mm

» Shot Size: 6

» Powder: Nobel Sport

» Muzzle Velocity: 1,390 fps

» Wad: Fibre (Plastic not on offer)

Hull Special Pigeon cartridgesRio Super Game

Cost: From £203 per 1,000

» Case Length: 70mm

» Shot Size: 5,6

» Powder: Maxam

» Muzzle Velocity: 1,375 fps

» Wad: Plastic or Fibre

Rio Super Game cartridges

It’s all well and good shooting the corvids, but you also need to destroy their nests because others will move in and take up residence.

Magpie and crow nests are solid structures and take some beating, so use heavy loads to blast through the mass of twigs, destroying any eggs or chicks that might be at home – 36gms of 3 shot is ideal for this job and it may take several shots.

Express Super Game 36gm

Cost: £274 per 1,000

» Case Length: 70mm

» Shot Size: 3

» Powder: Vectan

» Muzzle Velocity: 1,375 fps

» Wad: Plastic

Express Super Game cartridgesRABBIT cartridges

Rabbits and pigeons are a farmer’s enemy but (thankfully) the job of keeping them under control invariably falls to us.

Any budget 30 or 32gm 6 shot load will kill pigeons cleanly, but they are not enough for rabbits unless at close range.

Fives are much MUCH better – especially in 32gm (1.1/8oz) offerings.

Along with the Rio Super Game already mentioned, Fiocchi’s PL32 is also well worth a try.

Fiocchi PL32

Cost: From £204 per 1,000

» Case Length: 67mm

» Shot Size: 4-6

» Powder: Nobel Sport

» Muzzle Velocity: 1,375 fps

» Wad: Plastic or Fibre

Fiocchi PL32 cartridges

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  • me, a farmer

    Mr Lawson, you obviously have very little understanding of farming.

  • DUNCAN OSBORNE

    hi when i am shooting crows or rooks i use the cawlin crow decoy anyone who hasnt got one of these in their decoy set should get them, i have one and put it out with 1/2dozen shell flocked decoys it runs on a set of aa batterries and once set get ready they soon find it and come so get ready http://www.pigeonshooter.co.uk or http://www.bushwear sell them

  • E John Lawson

    Hi i do agree with many of your comments as such,But a lot of the problems are fueld by greedy farmers who want every inch of the land for profits,where good farmers and there are quite a few are happy to share the land with wild life, four legged and birds and not rip out hedge rows to make larger fields for greater yields leaving very little of the right areas for these birds to nest and areas for our small animals to feed and live,and where preditory animals can hunt to find their food,if all farmers did this there would be no excuse for some so called sportsmen,that are no more than trigger happy morons that just want to kill any thing that moves,(I OWN A GUN FOR SPORT) and only shoot what i will eat,and not for killing sake. Every thing has a need to eat and a right to live,and as sportsman you should be preaching that not single out other species as the cause of the problem when our song bird and a animals like foxes are being forced out of the country side into our gardens through lack of food and habitat and if you single out the crow famliy what about sparrow hawks one breeding pair will account for well over 1000 small birds a year?