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21 minutes ago, wymberley said:

Yep, but not at all costs. The small amount of effort required to make sure that your cartridge choice is capable and well suited to your needs (without overkill which means excess and usually unnecessary expenditure with no additional benefits) and its performance with a given gun pales into insignificance  compared to the confidence obtained from the knowledge that you've got it right.

 I rely on the cartridge manufacturers for selecting something capable, they helpfully call suitable cartridges names such as 'clear pigeon' or 'pigeon special', I reckon they know a lot more about cartridges than I do.

I am a simpleton when it comes to cartridges, I use 7 1/2 24g for clays and anything from 28 - 30g 6's for pigeon and game I think the rest is up to me.

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35 minutes ago, 243deer said:

 I rely on the cartridge manufacturers for selecting something capable, they helpfully call suitable cartridges names such as 'clear pigeon' or 'pigeon special', I reckon they know a lot more about cartridges than I do.

I am a simpleton when it comes to cartridges, I use 7 1/2 24g for clays and anything from 28 - 30g 6's for pigeon and game I think the rest is up to me.

Yep, Robert Lee said that the makers know more than anyone else, but then went on to add that it was their accountants that decided what they actually made. 

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2 hours ago, wymberley said:

Yep, Robert Lee said that the makers know more than anyone else, but then went on to add that it was their accountants that decided what they actually made. 

Accountants certainly have a role in any business but the cartridge market is highly competitive and if a company produces absolute rubbish due to cost savings it will not last long. A poor cartridge will also affect the reputation of all the other cartridges in their range so it is not in a company's interest to produce the sort of cartridge you are alluding to.

I well remember various French and Russian cartridges from the 70's that had some interesting features, including so much confetti that seeing a second bird could be challenging, they all killed pigeons though.

Over the years we have seen a steady increase in the cost of cartridges, if the price had remained stable then, for sure, cost corners would have been cut.

With many folk now owning a chrono with which they can check for themselves that the speed claimed is in the ball park, then going on to check the pattern I cannot see a compelling argument that a poor cartridge would not be quickly found out and the news splashed over social media with glee.

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1 hour ago, 243deer said:

Accountants certainly have a role in any business but the cartridge market is highly competitive and if a company produces absolute rubbish due to cost savings it will not last long. A poor cartridge will also affect the reputation of all the other cartridges in their range so it is not in a company's interest to produce the sort of cartridge you are alluding to.

I well remember various French and Russian cartridges from the 70's that had some interesting features, including so much confetti that seeing a second bird could be challenging, they all killed pigeons though.

Over the years we have seen a steady increase in the cost of cartridges, if the price had remained stable then, for sure, cost corners would have been cut.

With many folk now owning a chrono with which they can check for themselves that the speed claimed is in the ball park, then going on to check the pattern I cannot see a compelling argument that a poor cartridge would not be quickly found out and the news splashed over social media with glee.

I think that you might have hold of the wrong end of my stick. All I have said is that in my opinion, for me, none of the cartridges under discussion qualify as decent pigeon cartridges, but have conceded that all of them may well do so for other shooters.

Yep, some of the 70s offerings were entertaining to say the least. Now, as has been said, there are no bad cartridges. For my needs which are currently met by 1 oz of 7s, then those listed either have excessive grunt and/or the inability to offer the pellet count down-range that I prefer.

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On 22/03/2021 at 23:42, Lloyd90 said:

 

Fair play this took some serious counting. 
 

I was surprised to see that a 29g cart was one of the top performers. 
 

You’d think the 32g would pip ahead. 

 I have used the Fiocchi  Pigeon 32 for all my pigeon shooting for the past 6-8 years and been extremely pleased with them.  I use the same load on all my "average" pheasant days, but something a little larger on the really hi birds.

For interest the 29 gm Express Pigeon Power load  is actually a  # 5 (info direct from Express) and hits very hard.  Should show a difference in the penetration tests.  Same as Hull "Extreme" loads, all aprox 1 size larger than indicated on box, also the Gamebore Diamond shot.

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On 27/03/2021 at 06:29, TIGHTCHOKE said:

I presume you've taken the "Top Pigeon Cartridges" title and are now offering opinion on cartridges for clays as you mention "your respect for the quarry" and that Eley Olympic Blues come in various charges and shot sizes although the largest is 7.5.

 

On 27/03/2021 at 09:12, the hitman said:

No sure what you mean by “respect for the quarry” steering away from cheap as possible mentality clay cartridges for pigeons? 
I have shot more pigeons with clay cartridges than any other cartridges.

I begin using Winchester trap 100’s, in the 80’s then Eley Olympics . In recent times I have used Primas, trust & Joker cartridges all 28g no 7 or 7.5 - don’t be too quick to dismiss clay loads for pigeons.

I have been using a 30g no 6 load recently and I have to say that I prefer the clay loads for decoying.

Hitman.

no its just a fact that heavier loads of 6 hit harder than 28g of 7.5 thats just physics. what im saying is their has to be some merit to using clay loads IF you shoot allot of clays with a specific cart and gun combo chances are youre going to be more consistant in terms of range/lead estimation and shot placement than a game cartridge that you may not be as familiar with. making arguably more humane kills and less wounding with clay loads. however a few have stated above, "use whatever is avalible and cheapest". 

how is just chucking any old cart up at the birds regardless of, shot load, shotsize, speed , pattern, consistancy or familiarity as long as its saving a few quid remotely respectful of quarry?.

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1 hour ago, Sweet11-87 said:

 

no its just a fact that heavier loads of 6 hit harder than 28g of 7.5 thats just physics. what im saying is their has to be some merit to using clay loads IF you shoot allot of clays with a specific cart and gun combo chances are youre going to be more consistant in terms of range/lead estimation and shot placement than a game cartridge that you may not be as familiar with. making arguably more humane kills and less wounding with clay loads. however a few have stated above, "use whatever is avalible and cheapest". 

how is just chucking any old cart up at the birds regardless of, shot load, shotsize, speed , pattern, consistancy or familiarity as long as its saving a few quid remotely respectful of quarry?.

No, as ever it's horses for courses. Clays slow down, game doesn't and one pellet will 'kill' a clay. Naturally, you can use a clay cartridge at a limited range but the target has to be treated for what it is. Additionally, it is not too hard to show that 28g of 7&1/2s can hit harder than 32g of 6s. What is undeniable is your last paragraph. Well said.

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1 hour ago, Sweet11-87 said:

 

no its just a fact that heavier loads of 6 hit harder than 28g of 7.5 thats just physics. what im saying is their has to be some merit to using clay loads IF you shoot allot of clays with a specific cart and gun combo chances are youre going to be more consistant in terms of range/lead estimation and shot placement than a game cartridge that you may not be as familiar with. making arguably more humane kills and less wounding with clay loads. however a few have stated above, "use whatever is avalible and cheapest". 

how is just chucking any old cart up at the birds regardless of, shot load, shotsize, speed , pattern, consistancy or familiarity as long as its saving a few quid remotely respectful of quarry?.

Yes I completely agree with your last paragraph- I think anyone who has been shooting pigeons or clays for a number of years will know which perform best and are capable of clean kills- I would not use anything less than ounce load for pigeons.

I would never advocate chucking any old cartridge at pigeons- however I have yet to find an ounce load trap cartridge that didn’t kill pigeon, regardless of price.

I was had a similar discussion with a friend who was really a game shooter rather than a pigeon shooter, and he used 32g no5 Sipe for decoying pigeons. When I suggested a cheaper lighter alternative- he replied that he had more respect for pigeons to use anything else. My own experience is that I have more runners with heavier loads - perhaps I am inclined to take longer shots than I normally would with a lighter load. 
 

Hitman

 

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It simply doesn’t matter what cartridge anyone uses; all are capable of clean humane kills, but then we add the human element, which is subject to poor shooting, egotism, chancing its arm and simple indifference. 
The old adage ‘you’re either on ‘em or you’re not’ applies equally to all cartridges designed for shooting, otherwise all those birds shot with .410’s would be pricked rather than cleanly killed. 
It really doesn’t matter which cartridge you use, they’re all more capable than we are, we just have to shoot within our own capabilities. 

If you’re missing or wounding, it’s NOT the cartridge. 
 

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3 hours ago, Scully said:

It simply doesn’t matter what cartridge anyone uses; all are capable of clean humane kills, but then we add the human element, which is subject to poor shooting, egotism, chancing its arm and simple indifference. 
The old adage ‘you’re either on ‘em or you’re not’ applies equally to all cartridges designed for shooting, otherwise all those birds shot with .410’s would be pricked rather than cleanly killed. 
It really doesn’t matter which cartridge you use, they’re all more capable than we are, we just have to shoot within our own capabilities. 

If you’re missing or wounding, it’s NOT the cartridge. 
 

I don't think that we're talking solely about the cartridge itself, more the cartridge and the affect that the gun has upon its performance.

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9 hours ago, wymberley said:

I don't think that we're talking solely about the cartridge itself, more the cartridge and the affect that the gun has upon its performance.

Fair enough, but the thread is about the ‘top’ pigeon loads, which is basically just a popularity contest because there are just so many variables at work here. 
They could all be tested in lab’ conditions to determine which gave the best pattern through a particular choke at a given distance on ballistic gel, ( and my money would be on there not being a whole lot of difference ) but then we add all the variables I’ve already mentioned which renders much of it irrelevant. 
My absolute favourite cartridge on live quarry is SIPE 32g 5’s. It doesn’t mean I don’t have an ‘off day’. I stick with them because I know that if I do my bit they fold stuff dead in the air, having an off day doesn’t see me blaming the cartridge, or for that matter the choke or gun, which in my experience is enough reason for some folk to start swapping things about. Therein lies the road to madness! 🙂
People get too hung up or bogged down in technicalities, whereas in reality the only technique you need to master is your mount, and my advice is that once you’ve mastered this just get out there and shoot. It isn’t the gun, nor the choke, and it isn’t the cartridge....it’s us. 

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27 minutes ago, Scully said:

Fair enough, but the thread is about the ‘top’ pigeon loads, which is basically just a popularity contest because there are just so many variables at work here. 
They could all be tested in lab’ conditions to determine which gave the best pattern through a particular choke at a given distance on ballistic gel, ( and my money would be on there not being a whole lot of difference ) but then we add all the variables I’ve already mentioned which renders much of it irrelevant. 
My absolute favourite cartridge on live quarry is SIPE 32g 5’s. It doesn’t mean I don’t have an ‘off day’. I stick with them because I know that if I do my bit they fold stuff dead in the air, having an off day doesn’t see me blaming the cartridge, or for that matter the choke or gun, which in my experience is enough reason for some folk to start swapping things about. Therein lies the road to madness! 🙂
People get too hung up or bogged down in technicalities, whereas in reality the only technique you need to master is your mount, and my advice is that once you’ve mastered this just get out there and shoot. It isn’t the gun, nor the choke, and it isn’t the cartridge....it’s us. 

Good post!

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On 27/03/2021 at 09:12, the hitman said:

No sure what you mean by “respect for the quarry” steering away from cheap as possible mentality clay cartridges for pigeons? 
I have shot more pigeons with clay cartridges than any other cartridges.

I begin using Winchester trap 100’s, in the 80’s then Eley Olympics . In recent times I have used Primas, trust & Joker cartridges all 28g no 7 or 7.5 - don’t be too quick to dismiss clay loads for pigeons.

I have been using a 30g no 6 load recently and I have to say that I prefer the clay loads for decoying.

Hitman.

I also use clay cartridges for decoying through extended full choke with great success 🙂🙂

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