30 Patterns

I managed to get out to the fields with three cartridges today and shot thirty patterns which represented all of the testing I hoped to do with each of them. I’m still in the process of counting the patterns and analysing the data, but the Hull “High Pheasant” 19g/#6 loading and the Gamebore “Traditional Game” 9g/#7 loadings both gave somewhat disappointing performance.

I had high hopes for the Hull cartridge, but the patterns I produced today, although still impressive enough, did not match the performance of the initial testing done on the 24th September. It is undoubtedly an excellent 30-yard cartridge, but lighter chokings did not reveal the hoped-for 40-yard performance. In fact, it appears that the cartridge’s theoretical maximum range is somewhere in the region of 32 yards, which is 5 yards shorter than the initial testing suggested might be the case.

The Gamebore cartridge was never going to be a go-to hunting cartridge, but I was curious to discover whether it would be a slightly more effective alternative to the garden gun with a view to dealing with my relatives’ wood pigeon problem. Evaluated in these terms the cartridge is a disappointment. In spite of the larger shot charge, patterns are only marginally better than those produced by the Fiocchi #6 & #7½ (Italian) loadings for the 9mm. Furthermore, although, given the higher muzzle velocity, the individual pellet energy is undoubtedly higher, the muzzle blast is substantial compared to the garden gun, which is likely to prove irritating to the neighbours. I’ll need to compare the relative merits of the 9mm #7½ cartridge and an old air rifle in the back of the cabinet for that particular pest control job.

In the end, a pleasant, productive afternoon. I’ll get the counts for the other Gamebore cartridge – their “.410 Target” loading – done and the analysis for all three written up over the next few days.