It’s taken me a while, but I finally got the remainder of the analysis from the pattern testing I did two Sundays ago written up. Perhaps the best result to report is that we finally found a version of the the Fiocchi “Magnum” cartridge which would pattern adequately at 30 yards, though this isn’t saying much. They are very much a “middle of the road” loading, though perhaps not quite as awful as earlier testing of the (Italian) #7½ and #6 shot sizes suggested.
After more than a year’s testing of over 20 cartridges, I suspect that the best choices for use in the Yildiz are the Eley Trap 19g/#7½ and the Eley Extralong 18g/#7 which have been well known and – surprisingly – Hull’s High Pheasant 19g/#6 which is the very unexpected addition to the “candidates” list. Admittedly, pattern density runs out more quickly with the latter cartridge, but as a 30-33 yard cartridge, it’s unassailable. I suspect that the overall winner of this now-long-running “competition” will only be determined by rigorously field testing whatever the best two or three cartridges turn out to be.
It’s only the end of November, but I’ve come to the point, as far as this website goes, where I’m ready to wrap things up for the year and start afresh in 2018. Of course, that’s not to say I won’t be thinking about life with a .410 or posting here when I think I’ve got something of interest to say, but, having exhausted the supply of cartridges for testing and – to some degree – myself with this and other projects, it’s time to take a break, take stock and think about what I want to achieve next year rather than ploughing on regardless.
This year’s 1st January patterning trip notwithstanding, winter is never the best time for (effectively) erecting a paper sail and shooting at it, given the wind and the rain which tend to obtain, so I’ll spend the time between now and starting up again in February or March shopping and find, if I can, some new brands and varieties of cartridges to test and think about some of the experiments it might be worth doing next year. I’ll also be spending some time actually going out shooting and catching up on some much-needed relaxation.
I’ll add more thoughts as and when they occur to me.