Vic Harker looks at the latest offerings for the challenging sport grouse shooting represents, and the newest developments in non-toxic loads for duck


Lyalvale Express Supreme Game

Few game cartridges match the quality of this Midlands manufacturer’s premium grade load. With decades of experience their technical management have produced the ideal cartridge for the best of British game shooting. Supreme Game enjoys an enviable reputation on the grouse moor and the covert-side. Suitable for both 2½” and 2¾” chambered guns, Supreme Game delivers equally good quality patterns in both traditional English game guns and those manufactured on the Continent. Available in 28, 30 and 32g loads with shot sizes 5, 6, 6.5 and 7 and case length 65mm. Price per 1,000: plastic or fibre from around £260-£305.

Hull Imperial Game

Produced by a family dynasty of knowledgeable manufacturers who are constantly testing their own products in real life conditions, the Hull Cartridge Company know what they want from a game cartridge and what their customers need. Their Imperial Game load represents the result of their endeavours to produce the ideal cartridge for British shooting conditions and you can be certain they and their customers will be enjoying the fruits of their efforts from 12 August onwards. Available in 26, 28 and 30g loads and 65mm case length in shot sizes 5, 6 and 7. Price per 1,000: fibre from around £267-£280.

Eley VIP

With the much publicised approval of some of the finest grouse shooters in the UK, Eley’s VIP cartridge is almost as famous for quality of performance as the shooters who use them. From a company that has been at the heart of British game shooting for over 150 years, for many their cartridges are still the natural choice when the season begins. This is not just a matter of habit or nostalgia, standards of manufacture supported by technical know-how born of a vast experience ensure Eley VIP will continue to be found in the guns of some of the best game shots in the country come the Glorious Twelfth. Available in 28, 30 and 32g and 67mm case length in shot sizes 4, 5, 6 and 7. Price per 1,000: from around £260-£294.


Hull Cartridge Steel Game Extra

A steel load that really inspires confidence. Last season 32g of 4 shot provided one of my friends with three left and right on duck at well over 50 yards. That’s enough for me and would be for most people. Price per 1,000: £244.

Eley VIP Steel

A 32g steel load makes a good all-round choice when a non-toxic load is a must. For inland shooting around the flight pond, after a day shooting pheasants, if you have the right gun, it’s a real duck-getter. Available in 32g load in shot sizes 3, 4 and 5. Price per 1,000: £212

Lyalvale Express Supreme Steel

A steel load is now in Express’s premium range and it’s another non-toxic load that really delivers. In 4 shot it’s the load to have in your pocket around the flight pond after a pleasant day, but it’s equally effective on the largest birds to be seen on the foreshore. Price per 1,000: £224.

So whatever your early season sport, British manufacturers can provide the ammo you need.