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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lead-free bullets

Can you tell me more about lead-free bullets?

Q: I see CCI now makes lead-free .22LR ammunition. Can you tell me more? A: The debate about the eco-friendliness of non-toxic ammunition continues. Lead-free .22LR ammo makes a lot of sense because a vast quantity of lead ammo is shot every year. The trouble is the alternatives to lead…

Shooting the .243 calibre

Choosing a calibre

I am a keen deerstalker and use a Sako .243. I intend to invest in another rifle with a larger calibre and was thinking of .270, 30-06 or .308. I want it for red deer, the odd fallow and hunting trips abroad. What calibre would you suggest?

lead shotgun cartridges

We need to talk about lead shot

Calls for game shooting to push ahead with finding alternatives to lead shot are growing louder, both inside and outside of the sport. 
Rob Yorke offers a personal view on the subject. How lead shot became popular One hundred and fifty years ago, wild meat was harvested, without the use…

shotgun cartridge history

The evolution of the shotgun cartridge

I am going to concentrate on shotgun cartridge history and how it got to be what it is today — the cheap, waterproof, reliable, effective, safe and consistent item on which we all rely to deliver success, whatever target we engage. After all, a gun, however expensive and sophisticated, is only…

lead shot to steel

Is it time to move away from lead shot to steel?

We were deep in a ditch on the Orkneys. There was a tumbling grey northern sky above us and an icy wind. The peninsula’s greylag goose population was not playing ball. They went to the right 
of us, they went to the left, they landed on the barley 100 yards…

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…