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Cheap shotgun cartridges review!

Cheap shotgun cartridges: We’re all looking for cheap shotgun cartridges because, as if you hadn’t noticed already, money’s a bit tight at the moment and likely to remain so for a while yet.

There has been a lot of talk in the sporting press recently about what we can do to soften the blow to our wallets when we want to go shooting.

Much of the advice is based on plain commonsense. But with cartridges being a major expenditure in this hobby of ours, what exactly can we do to keep costs in check?

Over the past year we have talked about the use of steel shot and light load 21gm cartridges as a viable alternative, but these might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

I last wrote about the price of cartridges in the Spring of 2007 when the price of lead hit the dizzy heights of £1,000 per tonne.

Little did we know that it would more than double the following year. So let’s take a look at what is going on in the world markets now the recession is in full swing and assess the implications on cartridge prices.

The market price of lead is a major factor and is priced in US dollars.

From an all time high of over $4,000 in October 2007, the price of lead has now come back to around $1,000. You would have thought that that would be a drop of about 75% but sadly, because it is priced in dollars, you have to take into account the exchange rate.

In £s then, the cost at its height was around £2,000 when the pound was worth nearly two dollars, however as we all know, you currently only get about $1.50 to the GBP, so the current cost in sterling is just under £700, instead of the £500 you might have been expecting.

It is also worth noting that most manufacturers buy their lead forward by about three months, so this can have a significant impact after the price of lead has come down.

We have all noted that the price of lead has dropped considerably but we also need to take in to account the value of the £ against the Euro, which is currently not looking so hot.

It is in fact so poor that some importers of continental products are already talking about an imminent price increase of 9% or 10%.

With the GBP at virtual parity with the Euro this means that over the last year the costs to importers have risen by about 30% – a severe increase that cannot be offset even against the drop in lead and oil prices.

That’s the bad news, but there is some good news too. Firstly, Mr Brown in his infinite wisdom, decided to reduce the VAT rate by a massive 2.5% and cartridge retailers should have altered their prices accordingly.

Not a major reduction I’ll grant you, but a couple of quid is a couple of quid and in the words of Mr Tesco: “Every little helps!”



Now enter Gamebore, a company that’s something of a pioneer in the field of offering value for money. It was Gamebore that introduced steel shot clay loads at sensible prices before anyone else and their 21gm fibre lead load is still the most competitive on the market.

So what’s new, you ask?

Gamebore’s Kent Velocity brand, that’s what.

This is a standard clay load without the perceived disadvantages of steel shot or lighter loads. The 28gm cartridge is available with both fibre or plastic wads in shot size 7½ only.

The muzzle velocity of around 1,400fps makes the load suitable for most disciplines and the best thing about it is the unbelievable price.

You should be able to buy the plastic version at £125 per 1,000 (at least £6 less than the nearest competitor) and the fibre version at £135, again, a fiver cheaper than the best of the rest.

Gamebore tell me that this is not a limited run special offer, so it should be freely available at this price right through the clay season.

SMALL BORE CHALLENGE

You may remember me waxing lyrical in this column recently about the capabilities of the diminutive 28-bore against high driven birds.

Last month the friend I mentioned took his 28-bore on an extreme pheasant day alongside high pheasant specialist, Dave Carrie and I thought you might like to hear the outcome.

By coincidence Dave had just been quoted in another sporting magazine as saying extreme birds need the heaviest of 12-bore loads, long barrels and plenty of choke.

My friend, however, had 45 witnessed pheasants killed (that’s killed, not picked up half a mile back) for 231 shots from the 28-bore.

That’s a ratio of just over 5:1 – pretty respectable on that sort of stuff.

In my view therefore, I stand vindicated. Answers on a postcard, please!

  • george goode

    it is a really good sport to do and i am going shooting soon

  • luke

    Does anybody know where these cheep clay catridges can actualy be bought? Cheapest i can find around yorkshire are £133/1000 7.5s at euroguns.. Thanks!

  • Tony Satchell

    With reference the cost of cartridges. Why when the price of lead was at it’s highest Gamebore, Express and a few other manufactures to keep your business and to stop you trying other cheaper makes all brought out a very reasonable priced load one size only plastic wad 7.5 at £119 per 1000 and now when the price of lead has gone down the cost of all these cartridges has gone up to approx £139 per 1000 ? Seems to me the retail shops are forcing the price up as we all realise these cartridges are as good as anything on the market and the deep brass plated tin base is just a marketing ploy to convince us to spend more, and as we cut back the shops put the price up ? Even steel has gone up and there is less demand for the raw material ?

  • sam

    how much is it per 1000 of these cartridges

  • Robert Minnock

    hi there, i have been shooting for quite a while nuw and i use gamebore veolcity cartridges and i find they are excellent and have a great spread also,i have tried other cartridges but i alway found myself coming back to these so i would econmend them to any keen shooter,looking forward to the duck and phesant season put them right to the test!

  • Max Whitehouse

    Having shot a 28bore for many years as a teenager and having some great results duck shooting (in the days of lead)and being the second placed 28 bore in British side by side chapionships a few years ago I have no doubt of the 28 bores ability. Having shot most of my life on an extreme high bird shoot however I can say that there are limits. The chances of pricking a bird increase hugely with smaller bores. Great when you get one though it maybe, surely its better to do the job properly rather than trying to show off! A good bird shot is still a good bird shot whether you use a 12 or a 28! In a world that wants to ruin our sport by saying its cruel lets not add fuel to the fire by trying to be to clever. Just for the record I adore shooting my 28bore light nimble and fast its perfect for most shooting.. but on exteme birds put your pride away and get your 12 out!