Ammunition is one of the core elements of the shooting experience.

Choosing the right load is key – and will depend on the gun being used, the level of shooting expertise, the quarry, the terrain and the target.

Is it best to buy online or visit a specialist supplier? Online is convenient but talking to somebody experienced could make a big difference to your shooting.

What are the laws on lead shot and steel shot? When should each be used?

Here our team of experts at Shooting UK give you the latest information on choosing and using the right ammunition, whether shotgun cartridges or air rifle pellets, with tips on storing, wearing and maintaining it safely.

We talk you through the best choices for clayshooting, gameshooting, pigeon shooting, wildfowling and stalking. What’s new on the market and which are the tried and tested favourites.

Being a responsible shooter also means being a safe shooter so we cover the safety rules when using ammunition too.

Shotgun cartridges | Clay cartridges | Air rifle pellets | Ammunition reviews | 

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testing rifle ammunition

How to match ammunition to your rifle using a chronograph

Every one of us wants to be able to produce nice tight groupings when we shoot. However, even if you invest in a top-of-the-line rifle and couple it with the best optics you can find, your money will have been wasted if the ammo you’re using doesn’t suit the gun.…

steel shot

Why I’m finally giving steel ammunition a proper test this season

Biodegradable shotcups suitable for steel ammunition have been available for a while. Gamebore has some 76mm wildfowling loads with its Silver Steel Bio-Wad fibre shotcup, while Eley Hawk has recently launched a range of 70mm steel loads with its new starch-based Pro Eco shotcups. These will, they say, protect shotgun…

Black powder cartridges

Where can I get 12-bore black powder cartridges?

I have been left an old side-by-side which was part of a collection and has not been shot for many years. A gunsmith tells me it has only black powder proof. However, I am assured it is safe to shoot. Where can I get 12-bore black powder cartridges?

Black powder ammunition

Black powder licences … what you need to know

Q: Is it difficult to get black powder licences? And what conditions do I have to meet regarding its storage? I have two lovely old Damascus barrelled guns – including a bar-in-wood Purdey, that I would like to use game shooting, but I daren’t put them through the proof house…

What’s the best shot size?

Lewis Potter tests pattern sizes and shot counts of different bores to establish their comparative effectiveness in the field. The results dispel some myths

shotgun cartridges

Are you using the right cartridge?

You’ll need to think about a variety of considerations to be using the right shotgun cartridge. Chamber length The cartridge you use needs to match the length of your shotgun chamber or be smaller. If you use a cartridge with a longer chamber length than your gun you are likely…

lighter loads

Would a lighter load improve your shooting standard?

Having taught hundreds of new and experienced shooters over the years, I’ve seen lots of examples of how excessive and unnecessary recoil can adversely affect some people. In many cases (particularly with long-term shooters) these can often go unnoticed or, worse, become accepted as part of the sport and a…

Ampleforth College Shoot

Will coated cartridges make you a better Shot?

It is the latest trend in cartridge production for both clay and game shooting. Coated cartridges — or, to be more accurate, lead shotgun pellets that have been coated with copper or nickel — are today headlining the cartridge manufacturers’ billboards. Are coated cartridges new? Well, no; as far back…

cartridge safety rules

Cartridge safety rules

Reloading your shotgun cartridges is popular in places like America but nobody in the UK (with the possible exception of a few wildfowlers) seems to bother. Why is this?

.308 Win cartridge

What’s the right cartridge for red deer?

Deer stalking: I plan to get involved in deer stalking on my father’s farm and two neighbouring Estates where there are Roe, Fallow and a few Sika. Can you recommend a calibre that will cope equally well with all three species?

checking a scope

How to check your scope

As the bullet is the last thing to have contact with the barrel as it leaves and is the first thing that hits your quarry, the uniformity of the projectile is paramount in achieving good, consistent accuracy.

.22 long rifle

Is the rimfire .22 long rifle cartridge the top seller in the UK?

However an intelligent guess is that the rimfire .22 Long Rifle is leading the way. And, to do a bit more guessing, subsonic variations on the Long Rifle theme must be the most popular. The reason? Subsonic ammo for competition is more accurate than supersonic, and pinpoint accuracy is desirable…

pigeon flying

Will Garfit on cartridges for pigeon shooting

A recent question from a reader asked what cartridges I used for pigeon shooting. The answer is simple: Gamebore Velocity, 28gram loaded with No.7½ shot. But the explanation for my choice is more complicated and requires some explanation. A miss is a miss I am no cartridge or ballistics geek…