Tip Off

I received a tip off from an acquaintance yesterday: that the Fiocchi #8 (or #7½, depending on who you ask) cartridge I was to test this morning would perform well with the “full” choke of the Yildiz, on the basis of his own experience with that gun, cartridge and choke.

Naturally, I was curious about this suggestion, so before I set off this morning, I put the 0.025″ choke for the Yildiz and the choke key into my bag with the plan that, if the paper hadn’t run out when I’d finished working through the list of patterns required, I’d shoot a few patterns using that choke to see how it behaved.

Not entirely surprisingly, given my previous experience with the Fiocchi cartridges, the experiment proved a disappointment, with what my gut instinct would call “acceptable” patterns at 30 yards and rather poor patterns at 40. On the positive side, I did discover that the Lyalvale 14g/#6 cartridge responds well to the extra choke and gave what appeared to be good, solid patterns at 30 yards (before disintegrating completely over the next 10).

The actual counts and analysis will bear all this out, of course, but it was a couple of hours, pleasantly spent, albeit without a single opportunity to shoot a wood pigeon.

I did, however, manage to take some photographs with my decrepit camera phone (after more than a year of pattern testing) just to erm… prove that I’m not making all this shit up.

Working from the back shelf of the vehicle is often the most convenient way of patterning. The “range” is set out behind the car making packing and unpacking a very straightforward proposition.


People always say to me that “40 yards is a long way” implying that folk most often talk about shooting birds which are far closer than they’d like to think. The patterning paper in this picture is a little larger than one meter square and is standing at a measured 40 yards (observe the line on the ground). Perhaps it’s just the perspective, but 40 yards doesn’t look very far to me – which possibly explains the bad habit that started all of this .410 rigmarole off: shooting at 60-yard birds…