Clay pigeon shooting
Fibre? Well, yes – I?ve yet to come across any clay shoot at these weekend-long affairs that doesn?t stipulate the use of fibre wad only.
In my experience all game fairs these days insist on fibre wads because most are held on country estates where livestock reside for the rest of the year once the party is over.
To my mind, fibre wad cartridges will always be left a little wanting in the performance stakes when compared to plastic, but that doesn?t mean we should feel compromised, as everyone will be in the same boat.
They will do the job!
To illustrate this point I was shooting a FITASC Sporting competition with a friend recently who was using Gamebore?s Kent Velocity (fibre) and he was regularly hitting the longest targets on the layouts.
If nothing else this just went to prove what I have always said: if you put the shot pattern in the right place, it will do the job. The other thing it proved, too, was that you don?t have to spend a king?s ransom to hit the mark consistently, either.
I reviewed the Kent Velocity recently in Sporting Gun and the best thing about it was the price – just £135 for 1,000.
But what else have we got out there to choose from?
The mid-range market for fibre clay cartridges is an interesting place as they sell better than their plastic counterparts, something which doesn?t happen with the top of the range products.
All in all, there is a considerable choice out there in terms of performance and price.
One of my firm favourites is the 28gm Viri Viper which has more than enough continental performance packed inside the shell and represents truly exceptional value at £151.50 in all popular shot sizes.
Another outstanding performer is the effervescent Blue Diamond range from Gamebore, which is available in 24 or 28gm with a variety of shot sizes loaded into the Gordon Recoil System (GRS) case.
This is one of the best selling mid-range clay shells on the market because it delivers plenty of performance on the competition circuit, it?s consistent and that GRS case helps make it comfortable on the shoulder too. It costs £160 odd for 1,000 and this represents good, competitive value.
A couple of other mid-rangers worth a mention come from Hull Cartridge Company and the Cypriot-made Victory.
Hull?s Intercomp is a good quality cartridge that won?t let you down when the competition starts hotting up and it comes in plenty of sporting shot sizes, starting at £153.50 per 1,000 for the 24gm version.
Victory?s 480 Felt is also good value for the Sporting layouts. It?s only available as a 28gm (1oz) load but it comes in all the common shot sizes and offers great ballistics at £165.
If you are really serious about winning the cups or cash, you may be interested in some of the more potent fibre wad cartridges available out there.
In this category you will find a pack that offer blistering performance but I?ve got to say the Eley VIP Sporting Fibre at £170 represents the best value of all. In fact the price rather puts it in a league of it?s own.
Hull?s Sovereign Fibre is also no slouch and hugely popular at £188.50 while the new kid on the block from Gamebore – Black Gold – not only wins the prize for sexiest packaging, it also packs a punch in its GRS case. Expect to pay £189 per thousand.
Finally (and for the really macho amongst you) there?s World Cup Fibre from Express. There is only one word I can use to describe this and that is ?Fierce? – note the capital F, it?s there for a reason.
This cartridge doesn?t chip away at clays it obliterates them, smashes them to smithereens and leaves you in no doubt about its intentions and pedigree. Like that well-known snack, it?s a bit of an animal, but it does come at a cost mind – £190 per thousand.
While this cartridge will not be everyone?s cup of tea, it is easy to see why it should be top of the high fibre list.
Quite simply, it does the business.
Fibre wadded loads will always be more expensive than those with plastic shot cups because they take a little longer on the trip through the loading machines and the material used for the wad costs more than plastic.
Fibre cartridges usually come loaded with 7 ½ or 8 shot to cope with the usual array of Sporting targets but quite a few of the makers mentioned here also offer loads containing 6 ½ shot for use on those really long birds that pop up from time to time.
All that remains is for me to wish you good luck with the silverware this year and offer the hope that our weather is kinder to all the fairs and shows than it was last summer!
Clay pigeon shooting