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Cartridges - tips and advice


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whenever my shotgun shooting drops off I go and do a few rounds of skeet. The targets are consistant unless it is very windy and so you can reliably compare scores and note improvement.

The targets are relatively close so you can use open chokes and any 12g cartridge size 7 or smaller so they might as well be the cheapest. My scores do not vary much whether using 21, 24 or 28g.

I would liken shooting skeet to learning your scales on a musical instrument. It is slightly on the boring side (apologies if you are an ardent skeet fan) but the repetitive practise is a good starting point whilst you are also getting a few lessons.

 

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On 23/09/2020 at 22:58, Vince Green said:

More lead in the sky is the way to break more clays. cheap cartridges with less lead are just that, cheap. One day you will understand

Can you elaborate on that?

Surely 1oz of lead is 1oz of lead at any price point, unless the cheaper cartridges purposely give you less than advertised?

If your saying the pellet count may not be as consistent as more expensive cartridges, would a novice notice a dozen pellets missing from nearly 400 anyway? A gust of wind probably removes more from the shot string at the kill zone.

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26 minutes ago, LeedsZeppelin said:

Can you elaborate on that?

Surely 1oz of lead is 1oz of lead at any price point, unless the cheaper cartridges purposely give you less than advertised?

If your saying the pellet count may not be as consistent as more expensive cartridges, would a novice notice a dozen pellets missing from nearly 400 anyway? A gust of wind probably removes more from the shot string at the kill zone.

 Novice?

Even George Digweed couldn’t tell if a dozen pellets were missing!

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On 25/09/2020 at 11:10, LeedsZeppelin said:

Can you elaborate on that?

Surely 1oz of lead is 1oz of lead at any price point, unless the cheaper cartridges purposely give you less than advertised?

If your saying the pellet count may not be as consistent as more expensive cartridges, would a novice notice a dozen pellets missing from nearly 400 anyway? A gust of wind probably removes more from the shot string at the kill zone.

When I used to help out in the gun shop one of the commonest questions you would be asked was "whats the cheapest cartridge you do?" and the cheapest cartridge was always far and away the best seller. So much so that the cartridge manufacturers were very aware of this fact and produced budget cartridges accordingly then offered the shops reasonable discounts for bulk orders.

The profit on cartridges was so slim and the customers so price sensitive that any form of discount for the shop was a lifeline. 

The point I was making was that almost invariably the special offer cartridges had a lighter shot load than the mid priced cartridges so like for like they didnt actually represent better value..

I cant really see a situation where less shot is better than more shot. When you spend all that time and money on your sport you want the best odds you can give yourself. 

Years ago the old 'gold standard clay cartridges like Winchester AA, Remington RXP, Eley Trapshooting or  Eley Skeet, and lots of others, were always 1 1/8oz

what has changed?

 

Edited by Vince Green
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I am always trying new cartridges when I get the chance. They all seem to smash the Clay's as good as the top of the range stuff.

The only thing i have noticed with some of the cheap ones is that the smell a little bit and leave more residue in the barrels. 

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On 26/09/2020 at 15:00, Vince Green said:

The point I was making was that almost invariably the special offer cartridges had a lighter shot load than the mid priced cartridges so like for like they didnt actually represent better value..

If you want to shoot 28g (which i would recommend to a novice), or even 24g, then surely the bargain hunter is benefitting from this model?

I would suggest that a novice should look for value in getting as many cartridges for their £, not as much shot in the cartridge. After all, if a shooter misses by 3 or 4 feet what is going to be more beneficial to them - an extra couple of gram worth of shot or an extra cartridge to try again?

On 26/09/2020 at 15:00, Vince Green said:

Years ago the old 'gold standard clay cartridges like Winchester AA, Remington RXP, Eley Trapshooting or  Eley Skeet, and lots of others, were always 1 1/8oz

what has changed?

According to CPSA rulings, the only disciplines you can use loads above 28g is Helice and FITASC for registered shoots. Maybe that changed the trend.

I know some grounds allow more for practice, but I'd say almost all shooters will still use 28g.

17 hours ago, TRINITY said:

The only thing i have noticed with some of the cheap ones is that the smell a little bit and leave more residue in the barrels. 

I notice recoil characteristics can vary depending on the quality of powder used, but apart from that you are spot on with how much I notice.

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I think a decent 28gm mid range cartridge between £200 to £225 per 1000 will do for everything and if you miss it's you, not the cartridge. My go to cartridge costs me £197 and breaks in second barrel shots on all the trap disciplines.

If I do a bit of sporting I always take a box or two of 21gm or 24gm which I pay £180 . I use these on the close range stuff and they are more than adequate.

I have tried all the super dooper top of the range stuff but they dont break anymore Clay's than my go to cartridge and on the whole are between £50 to £70 more expensive.

My conclusion is that cartridge price is more about marketing than performance

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5 hours ago, TRINITY said:

...if you miss it's you, not the cartridge...

...cartridge price is more about marketing than performance

That sums up my thoughts on the subject.

A novice should pick the cheapest, readily available cartridge and concentrate on pointing the gun in the right direction.

Just out of interest, what is your go to cartridge, @TRINITY?

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On 25/09/2020 at 11:10, LeedsZeppelin said:

Can you elaborate on that?

Surely 1oz of lead is 1oz of lead at any price point, unless the cheaper cartridges purposely give you less than advertised?

If your saying the pellet count may not be as consistent as more expensive cartridges, would a novice notice a dozen pellets missing from nearly 400 anyway? A gust of wind probably removes more from the shot string at the kill zone.

 

 

I believe the point was, some people will buy cartridges with less than 1oz of lead, simply because they are cheaper. They will buy cartridges with 21g 7.5's, instead of buying the same cartridges with 28g of 7.5's, because the 21g's are lower cost and they will walk into the gunshop and say "what's the cheapest clay cartridges you sell?" going off the advice to get the cheapest cartridge and shoot a lot until you notice the difference ... I think a lot of novices aren't always aware about different payloads in cartridges. I had to point out to one bloke that the reason he got such a bargain on his cartridges was because they were 21g's and not 28g's of shot. 

They will do this just to save a few pounds, but then wish their scores were better... an easy way to get better scores, at least as a complete novice, is to put more lead in the air, with a fairly open choke. 

 

 

1oz is 1oz ... but some clay carts are 21g or 24g etc etc ... Now if you have someone who's particularly recoil sensitive, then that's another issue, and 21g carts may be just fine for what they're looking for. 

 

I have found that hull comp X in 28g's break clays very well, are very reasonably priced, and give very little recoil compared to some of the more pricey brands. 

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It’s all very subjective really.

Some will say a particular cartridge is rubbish, but what they really mean is they tried them once and didn’t shoot well, so the cartridge gets the blame. 
I have my favourites, probably because I shoot well with them, but it’s all in the head really. 
For clays I will use any well known brand which is available at the time I want them, but for game I tend to stick to one make and load....purely because I shoot well with them, they instil confidence and they hit hard. None of that means I hit everything I aim at! 
If you miss, chances are it won’t be the choke, but it definitely won’t be the cartridge; you’re either on them or you’re not. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Scully said:

It’s all very subjective really.

Some will say a particular cartridge is rubbish, but what they really mean is they tried them once and didn’t shoot well, so the cartridge gets the blame. 
I have my favourites, probably because I shoot well with them, but it’s all in the head really. 
For clays I will use any well known brand which is available at the time I want them, but for game I tend to stick to one make and load....purely because I shoot well with them, they instil confidence and they hit hard. None of that means I hit everything I aim at! 
If you miss, chances are it won’t be the choke, but it definitely won’t be the cartridge; you’re either on them or you’re not. 

 

Very true Sir. Good post.

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11 hours ago, Lloyd90 said:

I have found that hull comp X in 28g's break clays very well, are very reasonably priced, and give very little recoil compared to some of the more pricey brands. 

This.

Ask what your gun shop stocks in 28g, if in doubt go for the above.  Tend to leave less crud in the barrels too, and I've always paid less than £200/1000

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3 hours ago, London Best said:

Cartridges are like diesel/petrol. If everybody only bought the cheapest the prices would come down.


And yet there are untold number of people who report using BP or other big names fuel their car runs better and their MPG number improve a lot when compared against supermarket fuel. 
 

My focus went from 50mpg to 55mpg from using BP fuel 🤷‍♂️

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27 minutes ago, Lloyd90 said:


And yet there are untold number of people who report using BP or other big names fuel their car runs better and their MPG number improve a lot when compared against supermarket fuel. 
 

My focus went from 50mpg to 55mpg from using BP fuel 🤷‍♂️

🙂 Indeed, but the same doesn’t apply to cartridges; if you aren’t on target you won’t kill the bird, no matter what type, load, brand or cost. 

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4 minutes ago, Scully said:

🙂 Indeed, but the same doesn’t apply to cartridges; if you aren’t on target you won’t kill the bird, no matter what type, load, brand or cost. 

 

Don't disagree with that mate. 

What I did find with some budget cartridges, sometimes I would pull the trigger and it would be like someone set off a party-popper... confetti cartridges. 

Other times I would shoot the best scores I ever had with the exact same cartridges. 

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3 minutes ago, Lloyd90 said:

 

Don't disagree with that mate. 

What I did find with some budget cartridges, sometimes I would pull the trigger and it would be like someone set off a party-popper... confetti cartridges. 

Other times I would shoot the best scores I ever had with the exact same cartridges. 

I found Gamebores White Gold to be like that; loads of little flecks of soot drifting around and really sooty bores! 

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11 hours ago, Scully said:

🙂 Indeed, but the same doesn’t apply to cartridges; if you aren’t on target you won’t kill the bird, no matter what type, load, brand or cost. 

However some cartridges regardless of cost will produce poor patterns in some guns/choke combinations.  This where testing your choice comes in hard for a novice to do. 

Edited by welshwarrior
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8 hours ago, welshwarrior said:

However some cartridges regardless of cost will produce poor patterns in some guns/choke combinations.  This where testing your choice comes in hard for a novice to do. 

Which is why I said it’s all subjective.
There are so many variables to consider that it just isn’t possible to state which cartridge you should buy for that make or model through whichever choke.
Shooting capability plays a major part also, which is why I said if you ain’t on ‘em you’re not going to kill ‘em, regardless of cartridge or choke combination. 
It’s a minefield for a novice who is seeking a short cut or an ‘edge‘.....there aren’t any. 
He can be having a bad day and someone suggests he uses such and such, so he does, and for a spell does well, then the wheels come off and he sees someone he considers a good shot uses such and such, and so on and on it goes. Next time the wheels come off he starts questioning his gun, nevermind his cartridge choice, and on and on it goes. In time he may come full circle and realise it was never the cartridges, his chokes or indeed his gun, it was him. Meanwhile he’s spent a small fortune seeking that ‘edge’. 🙂

Edited by Scully
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You get up in the morning, possibly foregoinging the prospect of a day's work/overtime. You drive a number of miles, in my case often hundreds. You pay a lot of money for your shoot. Then you take you place on the peg/stand with the best shotgun you could afford and a load of carp ammo because it was 50p a box cheaper.

Where is the sense in that?

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8 minutes ago, Vince Green said:

You get up in the morning, possibly foregoinging the prospect of a day's work/overtime. You drive a number of miles, in my case often hundreds. You pay a lot of money for your shoot. Then you take you place on the peg/stand with the best shotgun you could afford and a load of carp ammo because it was 50p a box cheaper.

Where is the sense in that?

Vince, calm down, this is the Clay Pigeon Shooting section, it's not like it matters, they are only clays.:rolleyes:

 

I regularly have a clear out of old odds and **** and today being wet was a perfect day to use up some old shells.:good:

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All we have to do is, get the lead in the right place at the right time.

Two of my coach's favourite sayings were, "The worse cartridge is better than the best shot, and, I've never heard of a clay/bird outrunning lead shot."

As an aside, I'm going to start calling my gun, "She" or "The wife." Because if I miss, it's NEVER  her fault......it's always mine.

 

 

 

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On 30/09/2020 at 12:04, Lloyd90 said:


And yet there are untold number of people who report using BP or other big names fuel their car runs better and their MPG number improve a lot when compared against supermarket fuel. 
 

My focus went from 50mpg to 55mpg from using BP fuel 🤷‍♂️

My van wont run on Sainsbury's diesel, after about a week the engine light come on and it starts going into limp mode. Then you have to take it for a blast up the motorway.

I run it on Shell and its fine. It took me quite a while to realise that it only happened when I filled up at Sainsburys 

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1 hour ago, Vince Green said:

My van wont run on Sainsbury's diesel, after about a week the engine light come on and it starts going into limp mode. Then you have to take it for a blast up the motorway.

I run it on Shell and its fine. It took me quite a while to realise that it only happened when I filled up at Sainsburys 

Something else is wrong there.  Get it checked.

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