Vic Harker looks at cartridges for the close-to-home shooter

I have been an enthusiastic clay target shooter for most of my life and I have always travelled to competitions that were some distance from my home.

That was because the kind of shooting I preferred was rather specialised and could only be found at the big, established grounds scattered in small numbers around the country. I was therefore never a ‘club man’ in the truest sense, but years ago the local club was the backbone of clay shooting.

Perhaps it still is, but the problems of planning, noise and most of all an ever-increasing rural population ensures there are fewer local clubs than before. I travel far less than I used to and I now miss the opportunity of being able to drive just a couple of miles for a shot on a Sunday morning. There are, however, still enough club men and clubs around to hold regular competitions, even if they are now not exactly on your doorstep. There are also inter-club events that are fiercely contended by club men who may not wish to travel far, but are as keen and as competent as you will find anywhere. Here are some cartridges for them.

Caledonian Cartridge Company Club

The 28g load – 21 and 24g are also available – patterned well in both my Perazzi Trap gun and a Browning Sporter. It’s a cartridge I’d be confident shooting anywhere, and you can because there is a fibre wad option, essential now for many small shooting grounds.

Load: 28g

Shot sizes: 7.5, 8, 9

Case length: 67mm

Price: Plastic £174, fibre £183 per 1,000

Hull Cartridge Comp X

A value for money cartridge from the great northern producer whose standards of manufacture and presentation never vary, right down to the box they come in. Available in 28 and 21g. I’ve used the 28g cartridge through a variety of guns and on the pattern plate they were reassuringly consistent. With a 65mm case length, the club man with the older side-by-side gun will find it particularly appropriate.

Load: 28g

Shot sizes: 7.5, 9 – fibre 7.5 only

Case length: 65mm

Price: Plastic £170.50, fibre £179.50 per 1,000

Eley First

A budget-priced cartridge that never fails to impress. Available in 21, 24 and 28g. While I will always go for the biggest load the rules allow, when it comes to shot load the 24g is particularly impressive. It has first-class components and a performance that will put you first on the prize list.

Load: 28g

Shot sizes: 7.5, 8, 9

Case length: 70mm

Price: Plastic £170, fibre £180 per 1,000

By Vic Harker.

Prices correct at time of publication.