8 of the best cartridges for high pheasants

PUBLISHED: 11:05 02 January 2021

They may be high, but these cartridges will help you bring them down (highmountainphotography / Getty Images)

They may be high, but these cartridges will help you bring them down (highmountainphotography / Getty Images)

highmountainphotography

As the end of the game season draws closer, the birds get higher. Vic Harker presents 8 great cartridges to help you bag those high birds!

High pheasant shootingHigh pheasant shooting

What constitutes a high pheasant is very much open to debate, as is the ammunition required to down it. I would suggest 40 yards is more than enough for the average shooter. As for my cartridge selection, the cartridges below will be perfectly adequate, assuming the shooter is reasonably competent.

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1. Eley VIP Game

A cartridge developed with the knowledge and expertise of some of the most experienced game shooters in the UK. This expertise, together with state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, results in shotgun ammunition that exploits the shooter’s skills to its best advantage.

Available in 28,30,32,34,36g fibre and plastic wad, shot sizes 4,5,6 from £314 per 1,000.

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2. Eley Zenith

The message on the box says it all. Copper is electroplated to the lead shot charge, which ensures the absolute minimum of pellet deformation is retained on its flight down the shotgun barrel. The result is consistent, super-effective patterns with every shot.

Available in 30,32,34,36g fibre and plastic wad, shot sizes 4,5,6 from £359 per 1,000.

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3. Hull Pheasant Extreme

Developed with the help of experienced high pheasant shooters, whose expertise is apparent from your very first shot, these cartridges are fast, smooth and consistent. And the bespoke powders provide performance without undue recoil.

Available in 30,32,34,36g fibre wad, shot sizes 4,5,6 from £348 per 1,000.

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4. Hull Pheasant Extreme 20

With all the virtues of the 12g load, this 20-bore cartridge provides similar qualities for the 20-bore enthusiast.

Available in 28,30,32g fibre wad, shot sizes 5,6 from £321 per 1,000.

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5. Lyalvale Express Super Game

A cartridge for the shooter who requires maximum performance at long range. Incorporating a single base progressive powder ensures low recoil and ballistic consistency.

Available in 32,36,42g fibre and plastic wad, shot sizes 1,3,4,5,6,AAA,BB,SG from £307 per 1,000.

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6. Lyalvale Supreme Game Ultimate Power

To be used on only the highest game birds, whatever their breed. There can be no doubt as to the potential effectiveness of this cartridge. I can highly recommend them for the longest range and the most challenging conditions.

Available in 30,32,36g fibre wad, shot sizes 4,5,6,6.5 from £339 per 1,000.

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7. Fiocchi Golden Pheasant

Electroplated high-antimony lead shot provides unrivalled patterns in terms of pellet distribution and consistency. Both hard-hitting and humane, this cartridge comes highly recommended from a number of expert game shooters.

Available in 32g fibre wad, shot size 5 from £339 per 1,000.

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8. Fiocchi F3 Game

An Italian cartridge designed for the UK market, that’s also available in a 67mm case – ideal for traditional English guns. Carefully specified to provide a fast load with modest recoil, the F3 load has gained an enthusiastic following in a relatively short time. Merits serious consideration!

Available in 30,32g fibre wad, shot sizes 5,6 from £294 per 1,000.

It should be kept in mind that every kind of shotgun cartridge performs differently in any given gun. It is, therefore, important that every shotgun-cartridge combination should be tested on a pattern plate before it is taken into service. Be certain in your mind of the kind of pattern you require, and if adjustments are needed, consult a gunsmith as to the appropriate constrictions.

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