What are the best premium clay competition cartridges?


Gamebore Black Gold Dark Storm 28 gram No8 plastic wad

Gamebore is the only UK cartridge maker with its own shot making tower. It uses this to produce the ‘Diamond’ shot used in its premium cartridges. The pellets are highly polished with a silvery finish that looks like nickel, however the actual coating used is not revealed.

Coating or plating lead shot doesn’t make it harder but it reduces the surface friction of the pellets, which allows them to flow smoothly not just during loading but also when travelling through a gun barrel. The coating also helps prevent pellets sticking together, thus producing more dense and regular patterns.

Gamebore has extensive ranges of clay and game cartridges. Dark Storm is their flagship high velocity cartridge. It’s loaded into 70mm Baschieri & Pellagri black plastic cases with 20mm, nickel-plated steel heads.

The propellant used is Baschieri & Pellagri Generation II F2, which is known for its ability to produce high velocities at pressures well within the CIP rules.

Gamebore use a Gualandi plastic wad in the Dark Storm and generally use continental shot size designations, so if you want UK Number 7 shot size you should ask for 7.5. The shot is reasonably hard and very well graded for size.

Dark Storm are certainly fast cartridges, as the 413m/s lab report result shows. Patterns held up quite well considering this velocity, just about holding the nominal Imp Mod choke boring. Pellets were well distributed, the kills obtained couldn’t be faulted, and the speed felt impressive when shooting closer targets. Inevitably, recoil is high, so bring a full weight gun to help tame this.

Dark Storm are very crisp, they pattern well and certainly smash the clays.


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One comment on “What are the best premium clay competition cartridges?
  1. Ian Westlake says:

    They all seem excellent cartridges, but no prices.. As a regular clay shooter and pensioner, surely there must be very good clean shot out there at an affordable price!

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