12 of the best eco-friendly cartridges
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The spotlight is on green! Why not choose an eco-friendly cartridge when there are so many great loads available? Vic Harker presents 12 great eco-friendly cartridges
Whether plastic-wadded cartridges develop better ballistics may be a matter of debate, but the fact remains that some landowners just don't want them. The other option is, of course, fibre-wadded cartridges that in terms of performance are getting better all the time.
For those shooters wishing to go the biodegradable route, my cartridge selection this month represents the very best of what's available and which, in terms of quality and performance, continue to improve. With constant improvements in standard of manufacture and the materials employed, the ammunition industry goes from strength to strength.
1. Lyalvale Express High Velocity Fibre Wad
The load has been in this manufacturer's line since 1986 and has established a large and loyal following. Exceptionally well put together with carefully matched components, High Velocity is, as its name suggests, fast but equally consistent, as many customers will confirm. As for versatility, this load is compatible with 65mm short-chambered guns.
Available in plastic and fibre wad 24g and 28g No.7.5, 8 and 9; £197-254 per 1,000.
2. Lyalvale Express Power Blue
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A hard-hitting load in a 2¾" case with a non-toxic wad. It's another shoot-anywhere cartridge from Express that ground owners welcome and shooters choose for its speed and low recoil.
Available in plastic and fibre wad 28g No.7.5, 8 and 9; £203-214 per 1,000.
3. Eley Olympic Blues
A legend of its time, this Grand Prix winner is also environmentally friendly with a degradable pad. The choice of champions, Eley Olympic Blues just get even better.
Available in plastic and fibre wad 24g and 28g No.7.5, 8 and 9; £194.50-209 per 1,000.
4. Eley Select
For the clay shooter who needs a cartridge he can use anywhere, Eley Select is the answer. Combining a fibre wad with a 67mm case length, Eley Select is a great option for anyone who shoots both clays and game.
Available in plastic and fibre wad 21g, 24g and 28g No.7.5, 8 and 9; £184-205 per 1,000.
5. Hull Cartridge Profibre, High Performance Fibre
This established manufacturer is increasingly able to provide an appropriate load for the shooter who wants to use a short-chambered gun for Sporting. Pro Fibre is a great load for the shooter who takes his gun to less formal clay shooting events.
Available in fibre wad 28g No.7.5 and 8; £263 per 1,000.
6. Hull Sovereign, Extended Range Fibre
A 28g load for Sporting that really packs a punch at long range. With a 70mm case length, this is a full-blown Sporter load that provides a specification suitable for Sporting clays at their most challenging.
Available in fibre wad 28g No.7, 7.5, 8 and 9 at £276 per 1,000.
7. Gamebore Evo
A great British cartridge manufacturer with an enviable reputation for consistent high quality. The maker's Evo load represents this and at the same time pricing is relatively moderate. At the pattern plate, the fibre-wadded option delivered a consistency that would impress the most discerning shooter.
Available in plastic and fibre wad 21g, 24g and 28g No.7.5, 8 and 9; £189-224 per 1,000.
8. Gamebore Hyper Velocity
Designed for competition and training, this cartridge represents excellent value for money and is available in a 26g fibre-wadded high-velocity load. I found this cartridge to be particularly fast with very low recoil.
Available in plastic and fibre wad 26g No.7.5; £188-193 per 1,000.
9. Fiocchi F Black Sporting
For the sporting shot who seeks ultimate performance with an environmentally acceptable specification, F Black provides the answer. A high brass case with a 70mm case and a high quality fibre wad; the Sporting shot need look no further.
Available in fibre wad 28g No.8.5; £242.50 per 1,000.
10. Fiocchi TT Two
Italian cartridge makers are always pursuing extra speed and ever better patterns. Fiocchi TT Two provides both and at a good price. Not only that, a high quality load with a 67mm case length that is compatible with your favourite English game gun.
Available in fibre wad 28g No.7.5; £200 per 1,000.
11. Cheddite Trap Oro
This well-made fibre-wad cartridge has an impressive performance with 5% antinomy-washed shot that hits harder and at greater range. For the shooter looking for more performance at distance, Trap Oro provides just that.
Available in plastic and fibre wad 28g No.7.5 and 8; £249-262 per 1,000.
12. Cheddite Smart Strike T3
A well-made load for clay targets, this cartridge represents outstanding performance at a very competitive price. On some fast Ball Trap targets, I found this cartridge particularly effective. High performance at a low price and with a biodegradable fibre wad, Smart Strike T3 represents great value.
Available in fibre wad 24g and 28g No.7.5; £225-231 per 1,000.