CAR­TRIDGES FOR CLAYS

Spring will soon be in the air, so why not add a dust­ing of clay and a sprin­kling of shot to the mix, with Vic’s choice of car­tridges for clay shoot­ers

Sporting Shooter - - Contents -

As the evenings grow lighter, the all-round shooter’s thoughts turn to clay pi­geons. For him, his shot­gun will not be gath­er­ing dust in the spring and sum­mer months. In­stead, he will be hon­ing his skills on some high pheas­ant, spring­ing teal, and the bolt­ing rab­bit, all launched from a clay pi­geon trap. This is not to men­tion the Trap and Skeet dis­ci­plines; they will also be re­ceiv­ing his at­ten­tion.

As I was test­ing some of this year’s car­tridge of­fer­ings from the UK’s lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers, it oc­curred to me that the great Bri­tish car­tridge just keeps get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter, so I would highly rec­om­mend try­ing some of the lat­est loads from their spring col­lec­tions.

1. ELEY HAWK OLYMPIC BLUES

This com­pany has been mak­ing clay tar­get car­tridges for the Bri­tish shooter since the be­gin­nings of the sport in the UK. That’s more than a cen­tury ago and so it has a firm grasp of shoot­ers’ re­quire­ments.

Olympic Blues were a Trap shoot­ing win­ner in the 1970s and are still go­ing strong. An earl­y­sea­son out­ing with some of these car­tridges re­minded me how clean burn­ing and hard-hit­ting these loads are, and they are to be rec­om­mended for com­pe­ti­tion at any level. There has been more than one shooter who be­gan as a club­man and even­tu­ally found him­self at the Olympics. Eley Olympic Blues share this pedi­gree, de­vel­oped for the most test­ing form of clay tar­get shoot­ing at a very af­ford­able price. Avail­able in plas­tic and fi­bre wads 24g and 28g 7.5, 8 and 9, £174.50-£188 per 1,000.

2. ELEY HAWK DTL GOLD

A fine Trap load but its qual­i­ties can be utilised for any kind of clay tar­get com­pe­ti­tion; both on the pat­tern plate and at the shoot­ing ground this smooth, fast car­tridge ex­cels. This year ex­pect to see DTL Gold shoot­ers in the prize money at nu­mer­ous com­pe­ti­tions. A ded­i­cated Trap load this car­tridge may be, but it’s equally ef­fec­tive for any kind of clay tar­get com­pe­ti­tion, just what the club­man or­dered then: ver­sa­til­ity with the qual­i­ties re­quired for a game where you just can’t af­ford to miss. Avail­able in plas­tic wad 28g 7, 7.5 and 8, £210 per 1,000.

3. FIOCCHI F3

This Ital­ian car­tridge pro­vides per­for­mance com­bined with know-how from Italy’s long­est es­tab­lished am­mu­ni­tion man­u­fac­turer. With a long his­tory at the high­est lev­els of clay tar­get shoot­ing, the F3 utilises com­po­nents in­cor­po­rated into car­tridges used by the Ital­ian na­tional team. The F3 per­forms and is price com­pet­i­tive, so why not in­tro­duce some Latin ex­ot­ica into your club, af­ter all the warm days will soon be back. Avail­able in plas­tic wad 28g 7.5, 8 and 9, £194 per 1,000.

4. FIOCCHI TT ONE

Although the TT is an en­try-level clay tar­get load, it has been de­signed ex­pressly for new­com­ers to the Olympic dis­ci­plines, and doesn’t lack

per­for­mance. You may not have an Olympic Trap lay­out at your club yet, but in the mean­time the TT will make mince­meat of DTL tar­gets and they are a real eye-opener on Sport­ing tar­gets too. Avail­able in plas­tic and fi­bre wads 24g and 28g 7.5, 8 and 9, £156-£169.75 per 1,000.

5. GAME­BORE VE­LOC­ITY PLUS

This is a car­tridge with a price/qual­ity equa­tion few can equal. Top-qual­ity com­po­nents com­bine Vectan AS pow­der and Game­bore pre­ci­sion-made shot. The pat­tern plate re­vealed a well-dis­trib­uted shot load that trans­lated into very con­vinc­ing breaks on a va­ri­ety of Sport­ing tar­gets and were equally ef­fec­tive on the Trap range. Avail­able in plas­tic and fi­bre wads 28g 7.5, £177-£191 per 1,000.

6. GAME­BORE EVO

The Evo is a car­tridge with a per­for­mance that can hold its own in any com­pany, but which still rep­re­sents great value for money. Avail­able with plas­tic and fi­bre wads, bal­lis­tic con­sis­tency with ei­ther is im­pres­sive, as is the value for money this car­tridge rep­re­sents. Avail­able in plas­tic and fi­bre wads 21g, 24g and 28g 7.5, 8 and 9, £173-£201 per 1,000.

7. HULL CAR­TRIDGE PRO ONE

A car­tridge cho­sen to train the UK’s Olympic clay tar­get shoot­ers, Pro One com­bines tech­ni­cal ex­cel­lence with an un­beat­able price. Like the best of shoot­ers it is both smooth and quick, and for the club­man with the am­bi­tion to shine at the high­est level of com­pe­ti­tion, he could hardly do bet­ter than this car­tridge. Avail­able in plas­tic and fi­bre wads 24g and 28g 7, 7.5, 8 and 9, £224£243 per 1,000.

8. HULL CAR­TRIDGE SU­PER FAST

As a 27g load this is a car­tridge that punches above its weight. As its name sug­gests, it’s fast and this ex­tra speed works very well in semi-autos too. For the club­man who has no time or money to waste, Su­per Fast is the per­fect op­tion. Avail­able in plas­tic and fi­bre wads 27g 7.5, £179.75-£191.50 per 1,000.

9. LYAL­VALE EX­PRESS POWER GOLD

This Mid­lands am­mu­ni­tion man­u­fac­turer with a his­tory of suc­cess in the Olympic Games puts gold in the hands of the club­man. Its Power Gold car­tridge with a 70mm case and Vectan pow­der pro­vides a ve­loc­ity of 1,425fps and is more than fast enough to catch any tar­get. So, if you want to make the podium at your lo­cal gun club, go for Power Gold! Avail­able in plas­tic and fi­bre wads 28g 7.5, 8 and 9, £202-£211.25 per 1,000.

10 LYAL­VALE EX­PRESS POWER BLUE

Ex­pressly de­signed for the club­man with a fi­bre or plas­tic wad, Power Blue pro­vides per­for­mance at a mod­est cost. Com­bin­ing the lat­est No­bel pow­der, the lead shot is man­u­fac­tured to the com­pany’s unique spec­i­fi­ca­tion. De­liv­er­ing per­for­mance with con­sis­tency, with this car­tridge you can win at club­man level and well be­yond. Avail­able in plas­tic and fi­bre wads 28g 7.5, 8 and 9, £179-£189 per 1,000.

The spring and sum­mer months pro­vide the op­por­tu­nity for shoot­ers to hone their skills in prepa­ra­tion for next sea­son

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