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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Red stag

Finding the perfect calibre for deer

The UK is blessed to have a selection of deer species, both indigenous and introduced — and vitally important management of deer creates sporting opportunities all around the country. However, with species ranging from red stags weighing up to 190kg to a 10kg muntjac, having a suitable rifle for all…

24g shotgun cartridges

Best 24g shotgun cartridges: top picks for lightening the load

Most of us would be better off shooting 24g shotgun cartridges. The advantages of a lighter load are often underrated and misunderstood. In addition to costing less and producing lower recoil they give you better patterns. This is due to less damage being done to the pellets during ignition and…

small bore shotguns

Small bore shotguns: threatened by the demise of lead?

For the majority of us, our shooting journey is punctuated by different bore sizes. It is perhaps an accurate representation of our growth and development through life; we tend to strive to achieve bigger and better until old age sets in and we retract to comfort and contentment. Many young…

fleur-de-lys and CIP marks

Steel shot in old shotguns: time to make a decision?

I’m sure that by now most of you will have read at least one article regarding the demise of lead shot and its replacement with steel and other alternatives. And you will certainly have heard many opinions about the change, a change that is under way whether we like it…

shotgun cartridges in different bores

Shotgun cartridge safety rules

Every responsible shooter should be aware of the all-important cartridge safety rules. You must NEVER  mix cartridges of different calibres. To do so is exceptionally dangerous, and could result in serious injury or even death, not to say the needless destruction of your gun. If you are going to have…

Shot pheasants

Non-lead ammunition works well

A few weeks ago, I said I would report back from a day I had been invited on where most of the Guns had decided to use non-lead ammunition. (Read more on non-toxic shot.) I am happy to report that everything went exactly as planned and that the steel shot…

lead shot deadline

Why the lead shot deadline should be extended

One lesson most of us learn pretty early in life is to not make promises we can’t keep. Doing so risks credibility and trustworthiness. Failing to deliver on a personal assurance is always bad enough but nowhere near as bad as stupidly making one for other people. Yet that’s exactly…

Sustainable ammunition day

Why sustainable ammunition days are a superb introduction to steel shot

As the five-year transition to non-lead shot for live quarry shooting continues, BASC has taken the initiative and organised a series of Sustainable Ammunition Days around the UK. These workshops aim to provide accurate, honest and practical experience of lead-free ammunition for your shotgun on a simulated game layout. Shooters’…

air rifle

Best airgun pellets – our list of tried and tested picks

Airguns are known to be notoriously fussy about the ammunition you put in them, so how can you find the best airgun pellets for you and your purposes? It’s really a matter of trial and error and experimenting. Luckily airgun pellets aren’t particularly expensive and putting some time in to…

shotgun cartridge wads

Shotgun wads explained – here’s what you need to know

Besides checking our shotgun cartridges are loaded with the correct shotgun wads type to comply with the rules of the ground we are shooting on, it’s likely we don’t give much thought to that small item between powder charge and shot load. Prior to the introduction of plastic, all wads…

air rifle

Which lead-free airgun pellets would you recommend?

Q: After all the talk about shotgun shooters moving away from lead shot, I feel inspired to try using lead-free pellets in my airgun. Are there any brands you can recommend, and should I expect them to perform differently? A: Many of the best airgun pellet manufacturers, such as JSB,…

lead free bullets

Non-lead rifle ammunition put to the test

Oh, the joys of moving to non-lead rifle ammunition. No, I’m not being sarcastic. I had forgotten how much fun testing new ammunition can be. Especially when it goes well. Testing non-lead rifle ammunition I have been trying out some new stuff for my 7mm-08 deer rifle. First, I searched…

Eley VIP Steel Pro Eco

Steel shot vs lead – why I switched a while ago

Steel shot vs lead I suspect that most shooters realise that lead is dead. It’s only a matter of when. I am not going to reiterate the arguments for steel shot vs lead, they have been done to death. The inexorable tightening of the legal noose around lead was widely…

best clayshooting cartridges

We looked for the best clay cartridges around – here’s what we found

Nowadays there is a whole selection of cartridges designed specifically for clays. Some are general-purpose, some for specific disciplines like trap and skeet and some are dedicated competition cartridges for 12-bore, 20-bore, .410 and even 28-bore. The golden rule for finding the best clayshooting cartridges is to pick the one…

fibre wad cartridge

Fibre wads – it’s time to ditch the plastic

Plastic pollution is a major cause for concern these days and as shooters we have to do our bit to protect the environment and show that we are behaving responsibly. So does that mean we should turn our back on plastic wads and make a wholesale switch to fibre wads?…

small calibre cartridges

All about small calibre cartridges

Q: Do you have any information on the .14 or .12 calibre cartridges? I would like to rebarrel a rifle in one of these calibres but what’s your advice on small calibre cartridges?  A: There are some worthwhile small calibre cartridges around. The .14 is a unique calibre and a…

slug airgun ammunition

How to choose the perfect airgun pellets for your rifle

Having the perfect airgun pellets for your particular gun can make the difference between hit and miss. So how can you decide? Read through the following and you’ll be in a good position to make the right purchase – and make that all-important difference to your shooting. You can find…