CAR­TRIDGES:

Tackle those high fly­ers with Vic Harker’s se­lec­tion of the best mod­ern, hard-hit­ting loads which, when teamed with sound judge­ment and re­straint, will help to en­sure hu­mane kills

Sporting Shooter - - Contents -

Pheas­ant loads

There was a time not so very long ago when a 40-yard pheas­ant pro­vided the ul­ti­mate test for both the shooter and his car­tridges. The am­bi­tions of most shoot­ers have never stretched far be­yond that dis­tance, but ev­i­dence now sug­gests that with some mod­ern am­mu­ni­tion birds can be taken at sig­nif­i­cantly longer ranges.

This month’s cartridge se­lec­tion rep­re­sents those that the man­u­fac­tur­ers rec­om­mend for birds at longer ranges. It is, of course, the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the shooter in the field to judge and de­cide whether or not the shot they in­tend to take is both sport­ing and hu­mane.

As to the mat­ter of their own safety, they should check that the am­mu­ni­tion they pro­pose to use is com­pat­i­ble with the gun in terms of cham­ber length and proof­ing. If you have any doubts, I’d rec­om­mend you take a visit to the lo­cal gun­smith to put your mind at rest.

1. CLEVER GAME

For those shoot­ers with short-cham­bered guns look­ing for a cartridge with ex­tra knock-down power, Clever Game with a 2½" case and a 34g shot load could be the an­swer. Easy on you and your gun, and this load is a real game get­ter at the same time.

Avail­able in fi­bre wad 34g, No. 4, 5 and 6, £310 per 1,000.

2. CLEVER ROYAL GAME

A longer cartridge for pheas­ants at range, this 2¾" load with No. 4 shot is the per­fect part­ner for your long-cham­bered over-and-un­der or side-by-side.

Avail­able in plas­tic wad 36g, No. 4, 5 and 6, £317 per 1,000.

3. ELEY ZENITH

A cartridge that will put you at the top of your game, Zenith is an ideal high-bird cartridge. Its cop­per-plated shot en­sures ev­ery pel­let reaches the bird in per­fect shape for max­i­mum knock­down power.

Avail­able in fi­bre wad 30, 32 and 36g, No. 4, 5 and 6, £350-£418 per 1,000.

4. ELEY VIP

Top shots choose VIP when per­for­mance is very im­por­tant – which, of course, is ev­ery day! Those precious moments on the moor or at covert side are fur­ther en­hanced with this fast, clean, hard-hit­ting load.

Avail­able in fi­bre and plas­tic wad 28, 30 and 32g, No. 4, 5 and 6, £306.50-£347.50 per 1,000. A load for high birds that con­tin­ues to set a bench­mark for both per­for­mance and con­sis­tency that few come close to match­ing. With more than 70 years of meet­ing the re­quire­ments of the most dis­cern­ing sports­men, Hull’s High Pheas­ant Ex­treme con­tin­ues to main­tain the high­est stan­dards of man­u­fac­ture and per­for­mance.

Avail­able in fi­bre and plas­tic wad 32, 34 and 36g, No. 4, 5 and 6, £346-£398 per 1,000.

6. HULL CARTRIDGE HIGH PHEAS­ANT EX­TREME 20BORE

All the qual­i­ties of per­for­mance and con­sis­tency for which this maker is fa­mous, in­cor­po­rated in a 20-bore load that takes small-gauge per­for­mance to new lev­els of ef­fec­tive­ness.

Avail­able in fi­bre wad 28, 30 and 32g, No. 5 and 6, £318-£346 per 1,000. An­other Euro­pean man­u­fac­turer whose 32g load in a 67mm case and a high brass head is as ef­fec­tive as it looks. A nickel-plated shot load that holds its pat­tern at range, which is es­sen­tial to the high-bird shooter, it can make the dif­fer­ence be­tween an av­er­age day’s shoot­ing or one you will re­mem­ber.

Avail­able in fi­bre wad 32g, No. 5 and 6, £306.50 per 1,000.

8. FIOCCHI PHEAS­ANT EX­CEL­LENCE

An­other 36g load that, when used ju­di­ciously in suit­able cir­cum­stances, can be both ef­fec­tive and hu­mane – a cru­cial point that should al­ways be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion when dis­cussing am­mu­ni­tion for game shoot­ing – and then paired with sound judge­ment and re­straint.

Avail­able in plas­tic wad 36g, No. 5 and 6, £445 per 1,000.

9. LYAL­VALE EX­PRESS SUPREME GAME

A high-per­for­mance load from Ex­press, Supreme Game with its 65mm case pro­vides a hard-hit­ting cartridge which is very ef­fec­tive in short-cham­bered game guns. A su­perb load with a fi­bre wad com­bines an eco-friendly cartridge with game get­ting pat­terns. Avail­able in fi­bre and plas­tic wad 28, 30, 32 and 34g, No. 5, 6, 6.5 and 7, £296 - £371 per 1,000.

10. LYAL­VALE EX­PRESS SUPREME GAME UL­TI­MATE POWER

The fa­mous Mid­land maker’s new top-of-the-range car­tridges fea­ture a denser and thereby heav­ier shot, a ve­loc­ity of 1,480fps, and a pro­gres­sive pow­der with great en­ergy.

On the pat­tern plate, re­sults were im­pres­sive, and in the field even more so. I pre­dict we will be hear­ing a lot more about this cartridge’s per­for­mance dur­ing the sea­son. Avail­able in fi­bre wad 32 and 36g, No. 4, 5 and 6, £359-£412 per 1,000.

11. GAMEBORE BLACK GOLD GAME

An out­stand­ing game cartridge com­bin­ing a 28g shot load with a fi­bre wad and a muz­zle ve­loc­ity of 1,500fps, mean­ing your clas­sic English gun will pack a punch.

For those shoot­ers look­ing for both tra­di­tion and per­for­mance, this cartridge may turn out to be the per­fect choice. Avail­able in fi­bre and plas­tic wad 28, 30, 32, 35 and 36g, No. 4, 5 and 6, £310-£401 per 1,000.

12. GAMEBORE RE­GAL GAME

First in­tro­duced in 2014, this load is now a mar­ket leader among the game-shoot­ing fra­ter­nity. A com­bi­na­tion of clean, fast-burn­ing F2 pow­ders and nickel-plated shot en­sures well-dis­trib­uted pat­terns are con­sis­tently de­liv­ered to the bird. A 65mm case with a nickel head en­sures clean, fast ejec­tion for the next shot. Avail­able in fi­bre wad 28, 30 and 32g, No. 5 and 6, £299.75-£330 per 1,000.

5. HULL CARTRIDGE HIGH PHEAS­ANT EX­TREME What­ever your cartridge, it is your re­spon­si­bil­ity to only take hu­mane shots 7. FIOCCHI GOLDEN PHEAS­ANT

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