All are high performance loads producing identical muzzle velocities of 1,450 fps, but each come in different case lengths: Imperial Game at 65mm (2.1/2in), High Pheasant 67mm and Sterling Game 70mm (2.3/4in).
I’ve always been a little sceptical of the value of a 67mm case because if you have a gun with 65mm chambers, use a 65mm cartridge for heaven’s sake!
Why choose 67mm unless your product of choice was only available in this length?
That’s my opinion, and maybe I am missing the point because when all’s said and done Hull’s (67mm) High Pheasant range is easily their best selling game line!
GOING TO EXTREMES
Here’s a valuable new addition in the shape of Sovereign Extreme Game in 36gm (1.1/4oz) 4 and 5 shot fibre wad only for the high bird merchants.
Three or four years ago no British loader produced specialised high performance high bird cartridges, and I said as such in print.
Since then all of ’em have filled the void and this new one from Hull slots in nicely above its existing Sterling Game 34gm loads.
With a muzzle velocity of 1,400fps this is a proper high performance shell in its class and while I think it should have been called Sterling rather than Sovereign Game (which to me conjures up visions of Hull’s flagship clay load), it certainly caters for a specific market.
First up is a 30gm (1.1/16oz) extra to the Imperial Game range and it’s a worthy newcomer in my view because this payload – in a genuine 2½in case – has been the UK’s most popular weight of game load for many a year.
Imperial Game has always been a good seller but until now only available in a 26 and 1oz (28gm) load.
This new cartridge then will definitely fill a gap in the market for those with old English shotguns and it’s available in 5 or 6 shot with a fibre wad only – very sensible if I might say so.
Next is a new Sterling Game load in 30gm and this is the one I struggle to understand.
High Pheasant (easily the most popular remember) is already available in a 30 and 32gm load and you can also buy 32 and 34gm Sterling Game loads.
The only difference I can see with this baby is the case length but if you can already get the same product (ballistically) in a 67mm case, why on earth would you choose to change to the same product in 2.3/4in (70mm) shell which is going to cost you a tenner more?
With the greatest respect, I can’t see a huge market for shooters using a semi auto in this marketplace – which is about the only reason I can come up with.
Finally we have a substitution in the company’s delightful team of 16-bore loads. Out goes the original Three Crowns HP and in comes the fibre wadded High Pheasant with 28gm (1oz) of 5 or 6 shot.
The advantage with this newcomer is one of speed – good old Three Crowns had a top speed of 1,410fps whereas the new boy tops out at 1,450fps.
This will be a valuable addition to Hull’s already extensive 16-bore range, one that sees the original 26gm load keep its place, and rightly so in my opinion!
TO SUM UP
Hull Cartridge are continuously evolving products and the company tell me they will consider dropping cartridges from the range if long term sales warrant it.
My point is that there’s currently an unnecessary choice and they should consider dropping the less good sellers when new products of the sort we’re seeing now are introduced.
If I was a betting man, I would consider the new Sterling Game 30gm the ‘ugly duckling’ but maybe I will be proved wrong.
Hull Cartridge – complete with Royal Warrant – are renowned for loading cartridges of the very highest quality and these new premium game shells exactly match the performance we’ve come to expect.
It also needs to be said that Hull’s prices are very competitive when compared to similar proprietary products from other makers.
Finally, I like the new, fresh and innovative top quality packaging, especially the flash of cock pheasant plumage on all the boxes.
And then there’s the sinister black cases, with a suitably long 20mm brass heads and eerie silver writing on the Sovereign Extreme Game loads – very Hammer House of Horror.
High pheasants should be afraid, very afraid! Available now.