Xtreme Game Cartridges
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- Last updated: 25/05/2021
I remember when Just Cartridges (JC) was a small tent at the CLA Game Fair, but one that was bulging with customers every day. The owner, Charlie Bull, got it right from the start, offering the shooting public a one-stop-shop for cartridges only – hence the company name! Sounds simple, but by concentrating on just one product type they can offer a huge array of different items and buy in bulk to give the customer what they want, and at a keen price too.
I use JC for my ammo tests as I can buy a box of any of the differing cartridge types, weights and styles from their huge selection. The trouble is, some of the staff do hide when they see me, as sorting 15 individual boxes from different lots is not the same as ordering a thousand of the same brand.
Recently, I was buying some new Eley VIP Eco Pro loads when I was offered some of JC’s own Xtreme Game cartridges to try. The ones that I took away were the 12-gauge, 30-gram #6 shot and 32-gram #5 shot (28-gram also available). I was also offered some in 20-gauge, which are available in #5 or #6 shot sizes and 28 or 30-gram loadings. I went for the 30-gram #5’s.
The cartridges are manufactured for JC by Gamebore, so offer a great game load at a decent price. The 12-gauge loads come in at around £280 per thousand and the 20-gauge £303 per thousand. Sensibly, all of the options are available in fibre wad only, which is what most game shooters want as they biodegrade, unlike standard plastic wads.
The Xtreme Game cartridges all use Diamond shot, which consists of lead pellets that are graded to produce the finest consistent shot. They are then polished to make them perfect spherical and to give them a shiny surface for perfect consistency down range.
The casings are all a genuine 65mm length, making them suitable for guns chambered in 65mm (2½”) or longer and showing a valid nitro CIP proof mark for standard or high-performance proof.
They all look very well made, with a regular good crimp closure, polished brass head and straight walls to the case. This means a more consistent ignition of the shot and better ejection and feeding, especially in finicky semi-automatic shotguns.
The brightly polished brass head is 16mm deep with a well-defined rim for those extractors to get a good hold of. The Xtreme’s have a progressive powder loading for velocity but wellmanaged recoil too, and you can feel that at the shoulder or not as the case may be. The external red case has all the relevant information regarding the load labelled in silver and the six-star crimp is nicely uniform in closure. The Diamond shot loading of either 30 or 32-grams showed no signs of pellets sticking together and each pellet was very uniform in roundness and brightly finished. This should mean more even patterns down range.
The 20-gauge cartridges are equally well made and are available in 70mm length and typical yellow plastic casing. This is more transparent than the 12-gauge as you can see the wad and shot. Again, a nice high 16mm polished brass head, which has Gamebore imprinted on it, not Just Cartridges like the 12-gauge Xtreme loads. Probably because of a lack of space. The side walls are uniform and marked up JC. The load information is in black and the quality six-star crimp closure is recessed and uniform.
For the test, I set up the 30” pattern boards at 30 yards and I used my trusty Browning 525 Black Shadow fitted with a ½ choke in the top barrel.
First up was the 12-gauge Xtreme Game 30-gram #6s, a traditional combination of shot size and weight. Felt recoil in the shoulder was well mannered and in terms of fouling, there was very little burnt residue left in the bore. I have to say that the patterns down range were excellent.
We had a total of 248 #6 pellets striking the board, forming a very dense, even pattern and in the 15” inner ring there were 88 pellet strikes!
The remaining 160 pellets appeared in the outer sectors. Overall, really good performance where it matters, down range, nothing will get through that!
The 12-gauge 32-gram #5s shot equally well, with a total of 209 pellet strikes. Again, we had a high central percentage of hits, with 79 inner strikes and the remaining 130 pellets appearing within the 30” circumference. A great hard-hitting load and a lot of centrally placed shots where you aim, always a good thing!
Finally, the 20-gauge did not disappoint. I used a Beretta Silver Pigeon 1 with ½ chokes. Here, the 30-gram loading of #5 shot evenly covered the pattern board, showing a total of 189 pellet strikes. The 61 hits in the inner sectors radiated out from the centre point, so no blown patterns, and there were a lot of hits right where the muzzle bead was pointing. The 128 outer hits were evenly spread to catch any flying game on the edge of the pattern. A mild cartridge to shoot from the shoulder but with excellent and lethal results down range.
Just Cartridges are your one-stop shotgun cartridge outlet. They are centrally placed near Witney, Oxfordshire and they also offer rifle ammunition, which really interests me. Their Xtreme Game cartridges, as you can see, shot really well in the field and are very competitively priced, what’s not to like?
Contact: Just Cartridges - www.justcartridges.com