What's the deal? And how are shotgun cartridges affected by cold weather?
Q: I know that I have to show my shotgun licence when buying cartridges. Someone has told me that if I give another person permission they can buy them for me. As my girlfriend works in the next street to the gun shop, it would be handy if she could pick some up for me on the way home, but is this allowed?
The law on buying shotgun cartridges
A: Subsection 5(2) of the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1988 covers this. Sub-subsection c) provides that the person purchasing the cartridges “produces a certificate authorising another person to possess such a gun together with that person’s written authority to purchase the ammunition on his behalf”.
All you need to do is give your girlfriend your shotgun certificate — not a copy — together with a letter to the gun shop owner saying that you give her authority to buy the cartridges for you. The authority can be given without date, so that she can keep you topped up with cartridges throughout the season.
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Do I have to notify the firearms department if I move my gun cabinet to another part of the house?
Is cartridge performance reduced in cold weather?
Cartridge performance is reduced when the powder gets very cold, and this does often cause it to burn with rather more residue than normal.
In fact, some of the muck in your barrels was probably partly-burned powder residues.
If you keep the cartridges you are to use on a very cold day in a cupboard in a heated room of your house, then carry them in your coat pockets rather than in a cartridge bag. They won’t get frosted and should deliver normal performance.