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Best clay cartridges for Trap and Sporting picked out by Steve Scott

Olympian Steve Scott recommends his pick of best cartridges for Trap and Sporting

Steve Scott in shooting glasses

Steve estimates that each year he shoots in excess of 30,000 shells at Trap targets through his beloved Perazzi. Then there’s the Sporting clays he takes out with his Krieghoff. Who better to ask for recommendations of the best cartridges for Trap and Sporting? (Read Steve Scott shares his shooting routine – could it help you?)


RC 4 Red Shot Supernik 28g

I use these cartridges for Sporting because they carry higher kinetic energy. When presented with a 45-yard crossing target the additional pellet count in a 28g load can make a significant difference to your kills. These 28g RC 4s give me plenty of range and great pattern density for that target when using ¾ to full chokes.

Gauge: 12 Case: 70mm Head: 20mm Load: 24g, 28g Shot size 24g: 7, 7.5, 9.5 Shot size 28g: 7.5 Muzzle Velocity 24g: 415mps, 1361fps Muzzle Velocity 28g: 410mps, 1345fps Material: Nickel coated

RC 4 Champion Excellence 24g

These are outstanding cartridges for Trap, but they’re also a favourite for a more practical reason – availability. During my shooting career I’ve shot in more than 56 countries and you can get these shells anywhere. If I’m shooting an international competition then I want a supply of cartridges that are a known quantity to me. Many of British brands are harder to get overseas. Within 20 to 30 yards these shells turn the target inside out.

Gauge: 12 Case: 70mm Head: 20mm Load: 24g, 28g Shot size: 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9.5 Muzzle Velocity 24g: 415mps, 1361fps Muzzle Velocity 28g: 410mps, 1345fps Material: Tempered lead shot

Eley Hawk Titanium Strike

This cartridge oozes quality and is really consistent. When you shoot the number of cartridges that I do, you can feel the characteristics of a quality cartridge and the Titanium Strikes are with the best.

These are nickel coated for superior patterning and I find both the 24g and 28g shoot softer than the RCs. They also look fantastic, very elegant!

Gauge: 12 Case: 70mm Head: 25mm Load: 24g, 28g Shot size 24g: 7.5 Shot size 28g: 7.5 Muzzle Velocity 24g: 455mps, 1495fps Muzzle Velocity 28g: 455mps, 1495fps Material: Nickel coated, high antimony, lead shot

Fiocchi FBlack

These are phenomenal cartridges and amazing value for money. In my opinion, the 28g version is a very under-estimated shell, and one that I’ve used successfully for Sporting to kill some extreme targets.

For some reason, I find that they work better with my Krieghoff than with my Perazzi, which favours RCs. I have no doubt that some cartridges partner better with some guns than others, so I recommend experimenting with a number of brands before settling on the one that works best for you and your gun.

Gauge: 12 Case: 70mm Head: 16mm Load: 24g Shot size 24g: 7.5 Muzzle Velocity 24g: 410mps, 1345fps Material: Lead shot

Hull Sovereign Fibre

A few years back, when I was shooting Double Trap, there were some Hull cartridges that I just couldn’t get on with. I was shooting 24g Pro One shells and I found their recoil had me suffering when moving on to the second target. They were just a little bit too bumpy for me.

But I found their 28g Sovereign Fibre shell to be possibly the best fibre Sporting load I’ve ever experienced. I’ve shot some really long-distance targets with them and the consistency was outstanding. Honestly, I haven’t come across a better fibre cartridge, they shoot that well.

Gauge: 12 Case: 70mm Head: 16mm Load: 28g Shot size: 7, 7.5, 8, 9 Muzzle Velocity: 457mps, 1500fps Material: Lead shot, 5% antimony

Gamebore White Gold

Gamebore’s 28g Sporting shells are, without doubt, out of this world. I think Gamebore has a lot of potential in the Trap world too, but in my opinion their shells, such as the Platinum Trap line, need a bit more development. They need to shoot softer, more smoothly.

A few years back, George Digweed was very generous to me and used to hand me boxes of White Gold to try. These 28g shells are brilliant cartridges for Sporting. Black Gold is a fantastic shell too, but the White Golds are more reasonably priced, which is an important criterion for many people these days.

Gauge: 12 Case: 70mm Head: 16mm Load: 28g Shot size: 7.5, 8 Muzzle Velocity 28g: 422mps, 1450fps Material: Diamond shot

Clever T4 Pro Extra Evo Mirage 24g

The kills I’m seeing shooters like Matt Coward-Holley and Nathan Hales achieve with these cartridges are incredible. Just like the RC shells, these are widely available worldwide too.

Apparently these shoot very cleanly, leaving little residue in your barrels. I have had bad experiences with cartridges that haven’t been stored correctly and may have become damp.

Improperly stored cartridges can shoot poorly and tend to be dirtier, so my tip is to keep them away from moisture and extreme temperatures. Don’t leave them in your car for three days…

Gauge: 12 Case: 70mm Head: 22mm Load: 24g, 28g Shot size: 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9.5 Muzzle Velocity: 423mps, 1391fps Material: Carbon/Quartz lead shot