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Eley 12g Hushpower Cartridges

Eley 12g Hushpower Cartridges

Who doesn’t like a bit of peace and quiet? I love my subsonic rifles and similarly enjoy the various subsonic shotgun cartridges on offer.

Shot with or without a sound moderator, the lower noise subs are less intrusive to the neighbours and aid the concealment of your position so that a second or third shot may be taken.

Eley’s Hushpower 12-gauge cartridges combine hard-hitting performance with velocities below the speed of sound. Typical prices are £443 per 1000 (Justcartridges).


Eley lists the Hushpower as a 32-gram No 5 load with a fibre wad system. They also make a 28-gram No 7.5 load with a fibre or plastic wad. Both show a 2 ½” casing, making them good for older type side by sides if you like, but they will also work in your regular 2 ¾ or 3” chambered gun.

You have a typical Eley red casing with a very good six-star crimp system to prevent moisture ingress and to aid with correct powder burn. All the salient load data is printed in black on that casing and the cartridges are finished off with a 12mm brass head.

Eley’s all-weather primers deliver reliable ignition under any shooting conditions and they are manufactured to the highest quality and consistency so that the cartridges are as uniform as possible. The primer ignites the CBS powder payload, achieving a fast and clean burn to ensure a very consistent and precise ignition. This makes the cartridges ideal for clay shooting or as light game loads.

Next is the fibre wad (no eco wad on this, yet), which is a single component that delivers excellent obturation and patterning due to its non-disintegrating nature.

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The plastic wad has a full cup and collapsible rear section that helps to achieve tighter, more uniform patterns than the fibre wad.

All the offerings use lead shot with a bright finish and uniform spherical shape.

In the field

Without a moderator, the sub-1000 fps velocity means that recoil is reduced, as is the volume when compared to the harsh report and rolling echo produced by standard cartridges.

If you fit a Saddlery & Gunroom 12-gauge moderator or use a Hushpower fully suppressed shotgun, the muzzle report is instantly reduced to a dull thud and a “thong” noise that echoes from the moderator tube.

Pattern-wise, with a full choke, at 30 yards, the 28-gram fibre wad load produced a total of 286 pellet hits on the board, with 190 hitting around the edge and 96 striking the central regions. So, good density and an even spread, which is exactly what you want for an effective pattern down range.

The heavier load of 32-grams of No 5 shot had the muzzle report of a deadened, low-frequency whoosh as the pellet column cut through the air. There were a total of 226 strikes, with 118 in the outer sectors and 108 within the inner 15”. Overall, there was a slight upward bias but also a really good density to the pattern.


These Eley Hushpowers live up to their name. They are superbly quiet when moderated and powerful enough for both clays and game shooting. However, they do not function in a semi-automatic 12-gauge.


Eley Hawk - www.eleyhawkltd.com
Justcartridges - www.justcartridges.com
Saddlery and Gunroom – www.saddleryandgunroom.co.uk

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