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The best cartridges for shooting DTL

PUBLISHED: 11:46 11 May 2017

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Vic Harker tells us which are the best cartridges for shooting DTL... consistency and hard hits are the name of this game!

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DTL (Down the Line) is the longest established and still the most popular form of Trap shooting in the UK. It is also the most competitive clay target game of all. A DTL shooter can’t afford to miss a single target and even a second-barrel kill can represent disaster for those at the top of the game. Choice of cartridge is therefore critical since consistency is crucial, and if your performance is as consistent as any of the cartridges reviewed this month you are almost certainly a champion.

1. Hull Cartridge Pro One High Performance DTL 300

The people at Hull Cartridge well understand that for DTL, pattern is more important than speed and, though DTL 300 is more than fast enough, it delivers a pattern that guarantees a kill if you are on target. Incorporating components that are carefully matched, it delivers ultimate consistency for a game that demands just that. Available in plastic wad 28g 7.5 and 8, £249.50 per 1,000.

2. Hull Cartridge Pro One 
High Performance

This cartridge, selected as a training load for GB Olympic shooters with its downrange velocity of 1,500fps, is right up there with some of the best performing target loads in the world. For those DTL shooters who strive for excellence, this is a cartridge that delivers just that, at a relatively modest cost. Available in plastic and fibre wads 24 and 28g 7, 7.5, 8 and 9, £238.50-£260 per 1,000.

3. Lyalvale Express Super 
Comp DTL

From a manufacturer whose cartridges won an Olympic gold medal, this company has produced a special formula to meet all the exacting demands of the DTL shooter. Fast, smooth and easy on the shoulder, with the minimal amount of muzzle flip, this cartridge retains well-distributed patterns at Trap-shooting ranges. For the kind of shooting where you can’t afford to miss, Express Super Comp DTL delivers. Available in plastic wad 28g 7.5, £258 per 1,000.

4. Clever Mirage DTL Competition

Italians love Trap shooting. Indeed, for most of them it’s the only game, no matter what form it takes. This cartridge is specially formulated for American Trap and the UK’s domestic form of Trap. With a velocity of 380mps it’s a long-range Trap cartridge for the Americans who shoot handicap by distance. With this load you won’t be handicapped at any range. It’s a superb single-barrel cartridge but two of these cartridges are even better. Available in plastic wad 28g 7.5 and 8, £187 per 1,000.

5. Clever Mirage Grand Italia

This is one of Clever’s most popular Trap loads. Introduced in 1952, it has been constantly developed over the years for optimum performance. With a huge medal haul to its credit at the highest levels of Trap shooting, the DTL shooter can be confident that, in terms of consistency and performance, this cartridge ticks all the boxes. Available in plastic wad 28g 7, 7.5, 8 and 9, £206-£281 per 1,000.

6. Eley DTL Gold

The great British cartridge maker has consulted with some of the UK’s top Trap shooters and come up with DTL Gold. Featuring low recoil with dense patterns at long range and minimal muzzle flip, on the pattern plate DTL Gold reveals evenly distributed patterns that will ensure success in GB’s favourite Trap shooting discipline. Available in plastic wad 28g 7.5 and 8, £231 per 1,000.

7. Eley VIP Trap

This cartridge really is the ‘best of British’, with a fast powder and super-hard shot. This load has had the benefit of a lot of development over the years, with all the advantages of an integrated manufacturer that makes its own components, all of which adds up to effective and consistent performance. Available in plastic wad 24 and 28g 7, 7.5, 8 and 9, £256.50-£273.50 per 1,000.

8. Fiocchi FBlu

This is a clay target load with a double base powder where nitro-glycerine is blended with nitro-cellulose. Fiocchi claims that this type of powder has a higher energy content and so a slightly smaller charge can be used. The benefit of this is greater stability in varying climatic conditions. For certain, FBlu is a fast and clean burning load, and the benefits of this are immediately apparent on the Trap range. Available in plastic wad 24 and 28g 7.5, £183.50-£189.75 per 1,000.

9. Fiocchi Golden

A truly top-class Trap load with carefully matched, high-quality components. This cartridge in the guns of Trap shooters around the world has won medals at the highest levels of competition, and comes highly recommended. Available in plastic wad 24 and 28g 7.5, £236-£242 per 1,000.

10. Gamebore Platinum Trap

A top-of-the-line Trap load developed with the assistance of GB’s Olympic Trap team manager, Ian Coley. This cartridge combines the best possible components, which include the CX2000 primer noted for its reliability, together with the recoil reducing Gordon System case that incorporates base wad with the case head, reducing recoil by up to 15%. Available in plastic wad 24 and 28g 7.5 and 8, £256-£268 per 1,000.

11. Gamebore DTL Elite

A new Trap cartridge designed specifically for DTL. Gamebore enlisted the assistance of top Trap shooter Lee Kirby in the formulation of this load. The specification includes the CX2000 primer, Vectan powder and Gamebore’s 
unique wad. On the pattern plate this cartridge delivers a well-distributed pattern, which on the Trap range translates into confidence building results. Available in plastic wad 28g 7.5 and 8, £226 per 1,000. n

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