CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Sporting Shooter today CLICK HERE

Heavy shells – help or hindrance?

PUBLISHED: 15:41 16 October 2014 | UPDATED: 15:41 16 October 2014

It is likely that most people will be using standard 28g shells

It is likely that most people will be using standard 28g shells


A friend of mine was talking about a big shoot he is hoping to enter next year that has no restrictions on the type of cartridges that can be used. He seemed to be quite excited at the prospect of using some really heavy shells... does it really give a big advantage?

DON BRUNT replies: They can be both a help and a hindrance. Even though the shoot may not have a cartridge restriction the chances are that most people who are going to shoot it will be using standard 28g shells and as such it’s highly unlikely that the course setter will put on anything that can’t be broken with a well placed shot from a ‘normal’ cartridge. There may well be a few extreme targets and these may well warrant a 32 or even a 36g load if, and it’s a big if, changing to a monster cartridge will actually help you put more X’s on your card. Big heavy loads tend to run at slower speeds than the modern high performance clay load so you may well end up putting a massive pattern out there but find that it arrives later at the clay than you expected which might end up costing you targets. Similarly all of that extra weight translates to added recoil which causes fatigue; just ask any of those people who have been to the USA and shot themselves into oblivion with 32g shells, (which are still legal for sporting there) ending up with sore shoulders, splitting headaches and a scorecard that looked like a game of noughts and crosses and most will say that switching to heavy shells doesn’t deliver the benefits you might think. Of course there can be a psychological benefit to using them if it gives someone bags of confidence but always think carefully before going down that route.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sporting Shooter visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sporting Shooter staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sporting Shooter account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Most Read

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

SSA Membership

SSA Membership


Browse our galleries for our latest shooting images. We have posted photos from beating to wildfowling for everyone to enjoy…


Visit our online shop and get the best deals on magazine subscriptions, shooting DVDs and books…