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Game shooting cartridges review

Game shooting cartridges review

If you’re looking for a fresh game shooting cartridge to try, then hopefully there’s one hot off the press here to tempt you.

24gm game shell imported by Shooting Star. This loader already has stonking 1 oz 28-bore load to its credit but it has 24gm plastic wad only cartridge to range, in continental shot sizes 5, 6 and 7 (UK equivalent 4½, 5½ and 6½).

Game shooting cartridges

These are ideal sizes for types of game and compares better to the industry standard Winchester – but at less than half the cost!

These are very high performance cartridges, but I suffered no ill effects after firing more than 200 clays the other day.

I was also lucky enough to let a few off at some early season grouse and I can vouch for their killing power. This is about as good as it gets for 28-bore ammo and reasonably priced at £269 per 1,000.

» Wad: Full plastic cup
» Muzzle velocity: 1400fps
» Powder: PSB 2
» Case length: 70mm (2¾in)

Eley’s research and development team has had its nose to the grindstone and come up with a couple of new 20-bore options. For a number of years the company’s 30 and 32 gram VIP cartridge has only been available with a photodegradable plastic wad.

 Game shooting cartridges

They’re now also available with fibre wad in shot size 5 only. This is obviously aimed squarely at the high-bird shot looking for extra performance and I would agree that a shot size 5 is the way to go for this type of ammunition.

My guess is this new fibre option will now significantly out-sell the existing plastic wad variants and rightly so for most UK game shoots. Expect to pay £222 for the 30gm and £245 per 1,000 for the 32gm.

» Wad: Fibre (Eley Kleena)
» Muzzle velocity: 1450fps
» Powder: Maxam
» Case length: 70mm (2¾in)

Eley has also revamped its popular non-toxic Bismuth range under the new (extended) branding of VIP Bismuth Evo III.

 Game shooting cartridges

This replaces all existing Bismuth ranges with new improved shot and better performance.

This one is loaded in an eye-catching gold case with massive 25mm brass head so there is consequently little room left for all the writing, particularly on the genuine 65mm (2½in) cases.

The good thing about Bismuth is that unlike steel and various other non-toxics, it is totally gun and eco friendly.

Popular loads are available with a genuine fibre wad (others with a photo plaswad), making them suitable for use in all guns without fear of damage.

More importantly they offer a truly eco friendly non-toxic alternative to lead where applicable.

Thankfully prices remain virtually unchanged, so a box of 25 in the popular 32gm load will cost about £24 (can’t imagine you are going to want to buy a lot more!)

» Wad: Fibre/Plastic/Photodegradable
» Muzzle velocity: 1400-1450fps
» Powder: Maxam
» Case length: 65mm – 75mm (2½, 2¾ &3in)

From time to time I get asked for subsonic game loads, usually from pest controllers looking to minimise noise and disturbance to neighbours in sensitive areas.

 Game shooting cartridges

All the major British manufacturers make 20-bore subsonic clay loads, but nothing suitable for game or pest control – until now.

Gamebore now quietly make such a thing in the form of the Hushpower 30gm (1.1/16oz) fibre wad shot size 5 only – ideal!

Being subsonic, you don’t get a supersonic crack as the shot leaves the barrel and with a silenced shotgun, the noise will be even further reduced.

And if you are flinching at sticking a 30gm load up your 20- bore, don’t forget that subsonic also means less recoil.

Not a massive market admittedly, but for those who need them, expect to pay in the region of £228 per 1,000.

» Wad: Fibre
» Muzzle velocity: 1020fps
» Powder: P&B
» Case length: 70mm (2¾in)