CAR­TRIDGES:

Skeet loads

Sporting Shooter - - Contents -

Sport­ing clay tar­gets pro­vide en­joy­ment for the expert and begin­ner alike, but for the lat­ter, Skeet shoot­ing – in the form de­vised by the Clay Pi­geon Shoot­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (CPSA) in this coun­try or the Na­tional Skeet Shoot­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (NSSA) in Amer­ica – is still hard to beat. Why? Well, for a num­ber of rea­sons. Firstly, there is a con­stant vari­a­tion of range and an­gle but none is too dif­fi­cult. Se­condly, a missed tar­get, if prac­tis­ing with a friend, is eas­ily re­peat­able. And, most im­por­tantly for the begin­ner, whether in prac­tice or com­pe­ti­tion, progress is eas­ily mea­sured be­cause the tar­get’s flight re­mains con­stant.

This is a se­lec­tion of Skeet car­tridges from six out­stand­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers and if, as a begin­ner or expert, you miss the odd tar­get, I can guar­an­tee that you won’t be able to blame the am­mu­ni­tion.

1. CLEVER GRAND ITALIA

Es­tab­lished in the 1950s Clever car­tridges have gained an en­vi­able rep­u­ta­tion at the high­est lev­els of Skeet shoot­ing. Clever loads have won seven Olympic gold medals be­tween 1960 and 2016. Skeet cham­pi­ons who choose Clever car­tridges in­clude Italy’s Chiara Cainero and Diana Ba­cosi, Va­leriy Shomin of Rus­sia and Swe­den’s Tore Bro­vold.

Avail­able in fi­bre wad 28g 9.5, £214 per 1,000.

2. CLEVER COM­PE­TI­TION

Among Ital­ian clay tar­get shoot­ers who shoot a great deal and look for a value-for-money car­tridge, Clever Com­pe­ti­tion is legend. A car­tridge with bal­lis­tics that can cope with Olympic dis­ci­plines Trap and Skeet, as well as Double Trap, this fa­mous maker’s ex­per­tise is built into all three in­di­vid­ual loads. Avail­able in plas­tic wad 24 and 28g 9.5, £204-£206 per 1,000.

3. HULL CAR­TRIDGE PRO ONE

A su­perb clay tar­get load from this fa­mous Bri­tish man­u­fac­turer, which has just cel­e­brated its 70th birth­day. As a Skeet car­tridge, Pro One has few ri­vals for con­sis­tent per­for­mance and, most im­por­tantly, the plate re­veals ex­cel­lent pat­terns at Skeet ranges.

Avail­able in fi­bre and plas­tic wads 24 and 28g 7, 7.5, 8 and 9, £238-£241 per 1,000.

4. HULL CAR­TRIDGE COMP X

A pre­vi­ous win­ner of the Clay Car­tridge of the Year award, Comp X pro­vides per­for­mance with an un­beat­able price/qual­ity equa­tion. With a com­bi­na­tion of speed and mod­er­ate re­coil, Comp X is an all-day load that breaks tar­gets, not the bank.

Avail­able in fi­bre and plas­tic wads 21 and 28g 7.5 and 9, £182-£205 per 1,000.

5. ELEY SU­PERB

With a shot load that in­cor­po­rates 5% an­ti­mony, the pel­lets keep their shape down the bar­rel and out to the tar­get. With­out pel­let de­for­ma­tion, an ef­fec­tive pat­tern is main­tained, which is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant in open-bored Skeet guns. In a game like Skeet, when ev­ery pel­let counts, this car­tridge is in­deed su­perb.

Avail­able in fi­bre and plas­tic wads 28g 7, 7.5, 8 and 9, £231-£238 per 1,000.

6. ELEY SE­LECT

An ex­cel­lent choice for the club­man Skeet shooter who wants both per­for­mance and value. The pat­tern plate re­vealed good pel­let dis­tri­bu­tion, demon­strat­ing there is much to be said for fi­bre wad­ding at Skeet ranges.

Avail­able in fi­bre and plas­tic wads 22, 24 and 28g 7.5, 8 and 9, £179.75-£198 per 1,000.

7. FIOCCHI TT2 SKEET

An ex­cel­lent-qual­ity Skeet load from this fa­mous Ital­ian maker, the sam­ples I tested were 24g loads with 9.5mm shot size. For the Skeet shooter with am­bi­tions di­rected to­wards the Olympic form of Skeet, he or she could hardly do bet­ter than this fast, con­sis­tent car­tridge.

Avail­able in plas­tic wad 24g 9.5, £187 per 1,000.

8. FIOCCHI OF­FI­CIAL SKEET

For Skeet shoot­ers who aspire to ex­cel­lence this car­tridge is a good choice, and the fact that

it’s the pre­ferred load of Italy’s team mem­bers rather says it all. It’s made from qual­ity com­po­nent parts that are care­fully matched. From your lo­cal club to the Olympic podium is a long way, but this car­tridge will get you there if you are good enough.

Avail­able in plas­tic wad 24g 9.5, £212 per 1,000. 9. GAMEBORE EVO A Skeet car­tridge that com­bines high qual­ity with mod­er­ate prices, Evo com­pe­ti­tion loads are ex­cel­lent value for money. The Skeet load with no.9 shot is a win­ner at any level.

Avail­able in fi­bre and plas­tic wads 21, 24 and 28g 7.5, 8 and 9, £197-£221 per 1,000. 10. GAMEBORE BLUE DI­A­MOND For those who shoot a lot of Skeet tar­gets, this car­tridge en­sures it’s all plea­sure and no pain. In­cor­po­rat­ing the Baschieri & Pel­la­gri Gor­don re­coil-re­duc­tion wad sys­tem, it’s a hard-hit­ting car­tridge that doesn’t pun­ish your shoul­der.

Avail­able in fi­bre and plas­tic wads 24 and 28g, 7.5, 8, 9, £216-£240 per 1,000. 11. LYAL­VALE EXPRESS POWER BLUE A hard-hit­ting clay tar­get load that’s easy on your pocket. This bud­get-priced car­tridge with no.9 shot will take you round the Skeet lay­out at min­i­mum cost and with max­i­mum suc­cess. The lat­est pow­der de­vel­oped by the No­bel Group com­bined with a fi­bre wad pro­vides an ex­tremely ef­fi­cient load.

Avail­able in fi­bre and plas­tic wads 28g 7.5, 8 and 9, £201-£210 per 1,000. 12. LYAL­VALE EXPRESS POWER GOLD A car­tridge that has quickly gained a rep­u­ta­tion as a pre­mium load at rea­son­able cost. In Skeet mode, it pro­vides good down­range speed with min­i­mum re­coil and well-dis­trib­uted pat­terns. If Power Gold is al­ready good news for Sport­ing shoot­ers, with no.9 shot, now Skeet shoot­ers can also ben­e­fit from its ex­cel­lent per­for­mance.

Avail­able in fi­bre and plas­tic wads 24 and 28g 7.5, 8 and 9, £218-£233 per 1,000.

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