What are the best premium clay competition cartridges?


RC Hyperfast 28 gram plastic wad

RC is another top Italian cartridge brand. It has also accumulated a magnificent array of European, world and Olympic successes; a true testament to the brand’s commitment to excellence.

Hyperfast were introduced to meet the demand for high speed cartridges. New, consistent powders were developed, which are claimed to provide “exceptional ballistic characteristics.”

In our tests, this propellant burned very cleanly and gave velocities in excess of the magic 400m/s, combined with breech pressures under 600 bar.

The plastic wad used is from renowned Italian maker Gualandi. The shot cup is precision moulded with four well defined petals, which are lightly linked for reliable machine loading but fold back readily upon emerging from a muzzle.

RC know the importance of good shot. Pellets in the Hyperfast are well graded for size, truly round, well polished and lightly graphite coated. Shot size is marked as 7.5 / 2.4mm diameter, which equals UK 7. Actual pellet count fell between UK 7 and 7.5, which is actually a useful compromise – plenty of pellet energy with more to fill the pattern!

A crush test result of 24% proves the pellets are very hard, with a high antimony content. This increased the Imp Mod choke’s performance to virtually Full Choke pattern density, despite the load’s high velocity. Such patterns, combined with very close grading for size, are ideal for producing a short, dense shot string that’s effective at long range.

With velocity this high, recoil is a concern, so Hyperfast will feel best through full weight competition guns. They feel very quick into the target and can give confidence with the way in which long, tricky targets can be very efficiently crunched.

Ideal for second barrel ABT and distant sporting crossers.



It’s clear to see that the premium cartridges featured here provide higher performance than any budget load. Most noticeable is the ability of premium cartridges to achieve a higher pattern percentage at 40 yards. It can be seen that high pattern density results have been achieved even with cartridges that deliver their load at extremely fast velocities.

The common factor between all the premium loads is the quality of their shot, with shot hardness a key essential. This is proven to be vital to producing tighter, more consistent, longer range patterns.

There is more to it than just pattern density though. We don’t have space to fully explain why here, but the factors that enable premium loads to pattern more tightly also help keep the shot string shorter, and hence more effective at longer range. That is why top shots rely on premium cartridges for the most demanding targets, be they very distant English and FITASC Sporting targets or those at any of the international Trap competitions.

Whenever targets are distant, fast and showing a smaller ‘edge on’ profile, a premium cartridge will come into its own and provide a level of performance to meet the challenge. So yes, premium cartridges are certainly more than a pretty case. Keep a box or two handy and then, when you are faced with a seemingly unbreakable clay, they could put those extra targets on your card that could make all the difference.


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Posted in Advice and tips, Ask the Experts, Features, Products, Reviews, Technical
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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