PUBLISHED: 17:16 18 May 2012 | UPDATED: 15:05 28 November 2012
Shoot n Fibre
Vic Harker tests some fibre wadded cartridges that have more go than expected.
While plastic wads were undoubtedly a huge advance in shotgun ammunition technology, you can’t use them everywhere. Temporary shooting grounds, even some permanent ones, don’t want them or can’t have them on their land. The ammunition industry, aware of this problem, have upped their game significantly in recent years with regards to standards of manufacture and the quality of components used in ecologically acceptable cartridges. Here I take a look at three examples from British manufacturers.
Eley VIP Sporting Fibre
By the very nature of the game, Sporting clay competitions can be held almost anywhere without the need for permanent installations. In these cases plastic wads can often present a problem. This is where the high performance fibre wadded cartridge comes into its own, and Eley’s VIP load is an excellent example. For the purposes of this report, I used all the test cartridges with a John Jeffries long barrelled HPX Perazzi Sporter. My reasoning was to stretch the ammunition’s performance to its maximum by using a gun that’s designed for long-range shooting. This Eley 28g load broke targets as far out as I could hit them. I then employed a ‘Stig’ who can hit targets further out than I can, and even he gave up before the cartridges did.
Lyalvale Express HV Standard Fibre
Nothing standard about this high velocity load. I put my Trap stock on the HPX and with ¾ choke in both barrels broke Griffin Lloyd’s Olympic Trap targets most convincingly. The fast departing edge-on targets will test the best kind of ammunition but this Express load was up to it. When I patterned some rounds I could see why; even, well distributed patterns were printed well beyond the range I was smashing these OT targets.
Hull Cartridge Pro Fibre
Everything that comes from this maker always has the mark of quality right down to the packaging. The Bontofts have been making great shotgun ammunition for decades and their Pro Fibre 28g load is no exception. I would not expect any recoil from a one ounce load in a gun that tips the scales at 8½lbs, but this cartridge from Hull is particularly sweet shooting and yet seems to get the shot load to the target as quickly as any. Clean barrels after more than 100 shots fired — convincing evidence that these makers don’t have to rely on plastic to achieve excellent ballistics, which the pattern plate confirmed.
Careful matching of powder to shot load and high quality wadding is the recipe for success with all three of these high quality brands, all of which I can recommend with complete confidence.