First Impressions: Lyalvale Express “Supreme Game” 16g / #6

The contents of the Lyalvale Express “Supreme Game” 16g / #6 cartridge.

The Lyalvale Express cartridges contain an average of 167 pellets. They contain a plastic obturator which sits above the powder to seal the bore in front of the propulsion gases, followed by a short fibre wad on top of which the shot sits. They are crimped with a roll crimp and thin paper card. The case is a standard 2½” parallel tube plastic case, supplied in red with Lyalvale branding printed in black.


The recoil of the Lyalvale cartridge is as light as any 3″ cartridge thus far tested. Whilst no commercial .410 loading will produce excessive recoil, the difference between the Fiocchi “Magnum” cartridge (which, to date, has the highest advertised muzzle velocity of any of the catrtridges mentioned on this site) and the “Supreme Game” cartridge is obvious, in spite of the Lyalvale cartridge having a muzzle velocity only marginally lower and a shot weight marginally lighter.

The author’s suspicion is that the removal of a couple of grams of shot allows the inclusion of a higher-volume, slower-burning powder, which reduces felt recoil to some degree. The SmallBoreShotguns team will unload some more of these cartridges to try to measure the actual powder volume in future.


The performance of the Lyalvale cartridge has been, compared to other 3″ loadings, poor. The patterns printed by the cartridge during initial testing have been wildly inconsistent and of low quality: to date, no single pattern has achieved the author’s “bare minimum” pattern quality threshold of 120 pellets in the standard circle at 40, or even 30 yards, through any choking.

Regrettably, the author appears to be have been mistaken in his belief that this cartridge was available in a size #7 loading, which suggests that unless ranges could be guaranteed to be extremely modest, that there will be no ethical justification to attempt the shooting of live game with any version of this cartridge.