The Lyalvale cartridges contain an average of 136 pellets of polished #6 (2.6mm) 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 Lyalvale branding printed in black.
The recoil of the Lyalvale cartridges was as light and as smooth as any cartridge the SmallBoreShotguns team can recall testing. In combination with the report generated by the powder and the fact that this is a particularly heavy loading for a 2½” .410 case, we strongly suspect that these cartridges are subsonic. They will be comfortable to shoot in even the lightest, folding, single-barrel gun.
Initial field testing of the Lyalvale cartridges showed mixed results. Used over decoys, approximately three-quarters of the shots which connected resulted in clean kills, but we suspect that pattern insufficiency may be an issue beyond 20-22 yards. It was particularly noticeable that none of the several attempts to shoot low, incoming birds at ranges between 20-30 yards were successful, in spite of the presentations of the birds generally being easy. It was possible on almost every occasion to hear the “thwack” of pellets hitting feathers, as it was to see those feathers falling from the bird, but the “thin” profile of a wood pigeon approaching in this manner appears to have saved those particular birds from the bag: no fatal pellet strike occurred.