Beretta 486 Parellelo

Beretta 486 Parallelo shotgun reviewed: a ‘little cracker of a gun’

At first glance, this month’s shotgun – the Beretta 486 Parallelo – may appear to be one for the diehard traditionalists – but look a little harder and you may be in for something of a surprise. Beretta 486 Parallelo is a little bit different Sitting as it does within…

Sustainable ammunition day

Why sustainable ammunition days are a superb introduction to steel shot

As the five-year transition to non-lead shot for live quarry shooting continues, BASC has taken the initiative and organised a series of Sustainable Ammunition Days around the UK. These workshops aim to provide accurate, honest and practical experience of lead-free ammunition for your shotgun on a simulated game layout. Shooters’…

Benelli Rafaello Academia Limited Edition 12 Bore

Benelli Raffaello Accademia semi-auto shotgun review

What makes the Benelli Raffaello Accademia semi-auto different?  The words ‘beautiful’ and ‘semi-automatic’ don’t get used together very often. Most semi-autos are plain. None of them would turn heads on the looks front. For example, the Benelli M2 is the workhorse of many gamekeepers because it offers rugged reliability, but…

Steel shot for pigeon shooting

Best steel shot for pigeon shooting: what’s recommended?

Some of the most highly experienced pigeon Shots I know of were discussing their preferred steel shot for pigeon shooting loads and their opinions blew holes in some of the received wisdom that we have in the public domain. There was no mention of bismuth nor any of the derivatives…

Eley VIP Steel Pro Eco

Steel shot vs lead – why I switched a while ago

Steel shot vs lead I suspect that most shooters realise that lead is dead. It’s only a matter of when. I am not going to reiterate the arguments for steel shot vs lead, they have been done to death. The inexorable tightening of the legal noose around lead was widely…

end of high birds

Is this the end of high birds?

Could the ruling on lead mean the end of high birds? In the early 1990s, when we had a voluntary phase-out of lead for shooting over wetlands, my old mate Charles Nodder and I had a little try with some steel cartridges out on the Medway mud. Being young and…

shotguns for under £1000

20 of the best shotguns for under £1000

Finding a gun at the right price can be tough. We’ve listed 20 shotguns for under £1000 here that we think are well worth a look, both new and second-hand. It’s also worth reading our advice on buying a shotgun second-hand where you might pick up a real bargain. If…

Eley VIP Steel Pro Eco

Eley VIP Steel Pro Eco – tested by Sporting Gun magazine

My expectations were not high when I tested the new Eley VIP Steel Pro Eco. But I was floored when I found that they were every bit as good as cartridges with lead shot.   I tried to be scientific about testing the new eco cartridges and used a pattern…

ATA SP 20-bore Steel

ATA SP 20-bore Steel £599

Our verdict on the ATA SP 20-bore Steel Industry disruptors in the gun trade are few. In the past century only a handful have successfully taken market share and established their brand. Those that have succeeded have not done so through technical innovation but by copying or even plagiarising an…

side by side shotgun

Can I find a steel-proofed English spec side-by-side?

Q: Much has been said about the steel shot debate and it looks inevitable that many old, and often hand-made, guns will be scrapped or become obsolete ornaments. While there are a huge number of steel-proofed over-and-unders, does anyone make a steel-proofed side-by-side to an English specification for less than,…

Shooting in field

What are the choices available if you’re looking for lead-free ammunition?

Like many people, you may be considering trying some steel shot for your game shooting this season. But with so much misinformation available online, how do you know where to start? Moving towards lead free ammunition We must begin by realising 
that what is right for somebody 
on Facebook may…

pheasant shooting

Why biodegradable shot cups are the way ahead for shooting

As we move inexorably towards a brave new world of shooting without lead or single-use plastic, I wonder how we will look back. I shall keep my powder dry on the lead issue. I have written before about my own positive experience of using steel for game shooting in my…

wildfowling

Steel yourself

Twenty years ago, when restrictions on the use of lead shot on the foreshore came in, the steel shot cartridges commercially available to wildfowlers were not good enough. Steel shot performance has been playing catch-up ever since and still struggles to slough off its poor reputation. But there was a…

Testing steel shot

Testing steel vs lead shot on pigeon

British shooting has been divided in recent months by the announcement on the withdrawal of lead shot within five years. While many view the decision to phase out lead and move towards alternatives such as steel as 
a strange route to go down, I see it as 
a potentially positive…

Steel shot marks

Will my shotgun be safe with steel shot cartridges?

I would like to try steel shot for wildfowling in my 2.5in chambered gun, but I have been told by some of my friends that I cannot do so unless the gun has been especially proofed to take it.

move away from lead groups

Shooting and rural organisations announce move away from lead ammunition

A group created from fieldsports and rural bodies is calling for a move away from lead ammunition within five years. The members include: The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) British Game Alliance (BGA) Countryside Alliance (CA) Country Land and Business Association (CLA) Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT)…

shooting with a dog

Steel-proofing for a Spanish side-by-side

  Anyone with even a vague interest in live quarry shooting will be aware that there is an ongoing conversation about the continued 
use of lead shot. The centre of gravity of this debate has recently shifted away from lead’s toxicity when scattered into the wider environment. This is because…