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Clever Shotgun Cartridges

Clever Shotgun Cartridges

We are all familiar with the normal mainstream cartridges available on the market, but it is often nice to try a few lesser known loads, especially if they are cheaper, yet still pattern well.

Garlands are now distributors for the Clever range of 12-gauge cartridges. These emanate from Verona, Italy and can be viewed on their website www.clevervr. com. I had three 12-gauge cartridges to test, Game load, a Trap load and felt wad Clay load too. Each had its own unique blend of statistics and all shot well on the boards.

Mirage Game £7.80 or £248.00 per 1000

This is a 2½-inch or 67mm cartridge with a dark blue plastic case and high brass rim. The head is marked Clever 12g Mirage and you have a six-star crimp at the closure with a weld type seal closure. The name on the box is ‘Game’ but the stamping in black on the case is ‘Mirage High Pheasant’. I had the 30-gram fibre wadded load of No. 6 shot size.

I used a Browning Liberty Light to pattern this load with a ½ choke fitted to the upper barrel. Recoil was manageable, even with the light gun configuration and the 30-gram load shot some nice repeatable even patterns on the boards set up at 30-yards.

I had a healthy total of 165 pellet hits on the pattern board. We had a tad sparse 33 pellets within the inner 15-inch circle and the remaining 132 pellets to the outer sectors.

This load would, as it states, be a good Pheasant load with a group spread of pellets and strikes and also a nice roost shooting load too.

Mirage Competition £6.75 or £222.00 per 1000

This is a 70mm or 2¾inch case, made from a bluish/ green colour with high brass rim and star crimp like the Game but this time with an eight-star closure. This allows a smooth transition between pellets and cases on firing, as well as even pressures. It also reduces recoil.

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Marked on the side walls with ‘Mirage T2 High Performance High Speed Competition’ and also ‘Trap’; they certainly like to mark these cases!

I had the 28-gram load with No. 7.5 shot size with a plastic wad called the Maxi Wad to reduce recoil and maximise velocity.

Really nice load to shoot again, they seem mild but actually have a good turn of speed, indicated by the almost instant shot and pellet strikes.

I had a total of 260 pellets hits with an overall dense and even spread. Of these there were 94 inner 15-inch radius strikes, which is superb and the outer regions had 166 pellets, so no clay would pass through this.

Mirage Felt Wad £7.60 or £244.00 per 1000

This cartridge has a 2¾-inch or 70mm case length, with dark blue plastic casing and six-star crimp closure. The markings are in gold and read ‘Mirage Fibre’. I had the 28-gram loading with No. 8 shot size.

You have a fibre wad, in fact a felt wad system which is not only environmentally friendly but also allows the shot column to spread more and evenly. This means a high pellet ration to shot weight, great for skeet or close-range vermin.

On the 30-yard pattern board, the Browning Liberty shot 223 pellets within 30-inches, of which 72 clustered into the inner portion and well distributed and 151 pellets to the outer sectors. Very few holes and easy to shoot well.

Conclusion

I always take an open view to any cartridge testing, be that rifle or shotgun. I have learnt not to judge a book by its cover, and if a cartridge and gun like each other, they will shoot well regardless of the cost. The Clever range has an odd name and a bit presumptuous but do not be put off, as from the pattern boards can be seen they shoot very well. Offering an alternative from the main-stream cartridges is a good thing.

gun
features

  • Name: Clever shotgun cartridges
  • Prices: Mirage Game: £7.80 or £248.00 per 1,000 Mirage Competition: £6.75 or £222.00 per 1,000 Mirage Felt Wad: £7.60 or £244.00 per 1,000
  • Contact: Garlands UK www.garlands.uk.com

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