First Impressions: Bornaghi “Extreme” 14g / #7½ (Italian)

The contents of the Bornaghi “Extreme” 14g / #7½ cartridge.

The Bornaghi cartridges contain an average of 171 pellets. They contain a short plastic wad with long skirt, but a short cup. The wad is essentially the same shape as a child’s diabolo toy and the skirt / cup apparently equal in length. They are crimped with a 6-point star closure. The case is a standard 2½” parallel tube plastic case, supplied in red with Bornaghi branding printed in black.


The cartridges produced hardly any recoil and are very pleasant to shoot, even in a lightweight gun. What recoil was noticeable was a smooth shove rather than a sharp kick – a small-ish child could fire these cartridges comfortably.


In terms of absolute pellet count, the best pattern the author has yet achieved with this cartridge contained 91 impacts within the standard circle at a distance of 30 yards using the test gun’s 0.020″ choke, implying a usable range of between 20 and 25 yards.

In percentage terms, a 40-yard pattern shot with the 0.015″ choke which contained 60 pellets probably represents the best performance achieved with the cartridge, implying a slightly higher percentage of the shot in the standard circle at 30 yards than the pattern described in the previous paragraph.

Patterns shot with the 0.025″ choke in this gun at 30 and 40 yard ranges have been essentially non-existent – likely blown – and the degree of variability in performance between shots taken with the same choke is high.

This is, then, a short-range, inconsistent cartridge – at least in the available test gun – and for that reason, the author has not attempted (and does not intend) its use on live game at the time of writing.