The Field - - Letters -

I thor­oughly en­joyed Dr John New­ton’s ar­ti­cle [Pi­geon guns that are per­fect for pheas­ants, Novem­ber is­sue] and, boy, they are es­pe­cially good with some choke. And, of course, mod­ern car­tridges will fit the older guns, too.

This, how­ever, got me think­ing that there seems to be a dis­con­nect been mod­ern gun­mak­ers and car­tridge man­u­fac­tures, es­pe­cially no­tice­able when shoot­ing at long ranges. The prob­lem seems to be the fad for mod­ern, over-bored barrels and 3in cham­bers (steel proofed) and fi­bre wad, 2¾in car­tridges that must lose ob­tu­ra­tion at the cham­ber (¼in) and then again in the over-bored barrels, of­ten bored at 18.7+ when the cor­rect bore for a 12 is 18.4.

I no­tice that The Field’s ‘high bird’ spe­cial­ists tend to use ei­ther older side-by-side shot­guns (live pi­geon guns) or over-and-unders, where cor­rect bores and cham­bers are matched to their car­tridges. Per­azzi makes game guns with this spec­i­fi­ca­tion, which is why so many peo­ple use these guns on high birds or older Brown­ings or Mirokus and some of the older English guns.

With the plas­tic wad on its way out, is it not time for shot­gun and car­tridge man­u­fac­tures to be­come more aligned and en­sure that they make guns and car­tridges de­signed to de­liver the op­ti­mum pat­tern to the quarry we hunt in the green­est way pos­si­ble (that is, fi­bre not plas­tic wads)?

Fi­nally, how can we jus­tify fir­ing thou­sands of car­tridges a sea­son and then throw away the plas­tic cases? Why can’t we find a way to re­cy­cle or reload the used cases that would make our sport look a tad greener in the eyes of those who crit­i­cise us? Surely our car­tridge man­u­fac­tures need to do more?

Peter Sch­w­erdt, by email

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