The Fiocchi cartridges contain an average of 100 pellets of polished #6 (Italian – 2.7mm) shot. They are loaded with a three-quarter length plastic wad and are crimped with a roll turnover, sealed with a thin cardboard overshot cart of approximately 1mm depth. The case is a standard 2½” parallel tube plastic case, supplied in red with Fiocchi branding printed in black.
The “GFL36″ loading produced moderate recoil in the context of 2½” .410 cartridges, which is to say that it was light and perfectly manageable, but more noticeable than some other cartridges of its class (e.g. the Eley “Fourlong” and Lyalvale “Supreme Game” brands).
To put it bluntly, this cartridge should be considered inhumane under any circumstances. Full pattern testing of this cartridge is still to be completed at the time of writing, but the collective opinion of the SmallBoreShotguns team is that this loading is incapable of providing the performance required to cleanly take birds or ground game at any reasonable (i.e. > 10 yards) range.
Initial field testing – and it was of brief duration – resulted in three birds wounded for three shots, the third of which was an aimed shot at a stationary wood pigeon inside a decoy pattern. Two further aimed shots at short range failed to dispatch the injured bird, after which readers will be reassured to know that it was quickly dispatched by hand.
Furthermore, the SmallBoreShotguns team strongly believe that at least some of the other birds attempted were covered by the pattern area, but that no pellet connected with the bird. We fully expect pattern testing to support this assertion.
We finally observe, once again, that it is wholly unbalanced loadings such as these which give the .410 a reputation in some quarters as a “wounder of game”. It does not have to be so, but in this case, it is certainly true.