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Drennan Kenderdine conducts a triple cartridge test with a Sporting load, a Trap load, and a Trap/Skeet load from Italian manufacturer Fiocchi; our new triple cartridge tests have something for every clay shooter, no matter what discipline you shoot...
Italy is well-known for its fashion industry, fine cuisine, cars to die for, and mother earth’s best cartridges. If there’s one cartridge company in Italy that’s the ‘Italian Job’, it is without hesitation Fiocchi. With a mastery second to none, Fiocchi has managed to combine beauty, grace, and lethality into one. This is reflected in their medal haul, which is rather vast.
Fiocchi has manufacturing plants in the USA, New Zealand, Argentina, and their home in Italy; it also has around 70 distributors worldwide, including Fiocchi UK.. This allows Fiocchi to reach every country wanting to purchase their shells, with a global network spanning our planet.
It takes a lot to impress me; I’ve been doing this job since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, but occasionally I’m stopped in my tracks and have to acknowledge to the almighty that something extraordinary just happened, and most recently, that something was the three Fiocchi cartridges I’ve been testing.
There have been many phasings of the moon since I shot Fiocchi way back when I was with the boys in blue from Staffordshire Police Gun Club (civilian), but I managed many a win with them. The most memorable outing using Fiocchi cartridges was shooting off the back of a Townsend Thoresen ferry going from Portsmouth to Cherbourg in France (clays, not seagulls as some nugget once asked me). If you’ve never done this and they are still running these trips (now through P&O), trust me, it is a bucket list shooting event.
credit: Drennan Kenderdine
Fiocchi 4HV Sporting testI’ll start with their Top of the Range 4HV Sporting. I’ve mentioned many times about some cartridge boxes being art masterpieces. Some manufacturers like to use psychology to evoke certain feelings such as loyalty, strength and trust. Yet the cartridges they visually exclaim to be the bee’s knees are nothing more than party poppers from the Uncle Bens Rice Range. Well, this isn't the case here. The 4HV box is plain, bold and to the point, which is a display of confidence. The cartridge boasts a 22mm silver ferrel with a white plastic case, and it just looks like a total clay thrasher before it’s even gone in the gun.
With shot sizes of No.7, 7.5 and 8, they’ve got Sporting pretty much licked. The shot has 5% antimony added, and Fiocchi has gone one stage further and coated the shot with one of its bullet technology coatings – copper.
Velocity is around 1,400fps, but feels faster. They are a crisp, smooth shell with low recoil, and recoil dissipation is exceptionally quick, allowing second shots to be accurate and as swift to acquire as you can pull the trigger.
The patterning and delivery of the shot is as good as you’re going to get. Yes, there are quicker shells, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find the combination the 4HV has with low recoil, fast speed and lethality that builds confidence in abundance. I took this shell to Coniston Cole Shooting Ground and Oakedge. They annihilated everything when I put the shot in the right place. RRP: £295 per 1,000
New Official Rossa 24g Trap test You’ve got to take a bow to Fiocchi when it comes to their marketing and art team; some of their boxes are pure Piccaso! The New Official Rossa is no exception, but following ‘Dren’s Law’, looks can and often are deceptive. So, let’s not get carried away until we’ve taken a closer look.
When you open the Rossa box, you’re presented with a shell offering quality and strength. The Rossa part translated from Italian to Blighty means ‘red’, and they are red... but not as you know it. It’s more of a reddish purple, which is a clever mixture because it gives the impression of strength combined with comfort, which is precisely how they behave.
I’m a fan of 24g cartridges and continually prove that a 24g shell will keep up with their bigger 28g brother and, in many cases, give the 28g a spanking.
According to Fiocchi, the 24g Rossa is Officially even more Official, which means it’s just extra extra fab, and I can’t disagree. Loaded in just one shot size of No.7.5, but with that phenomenal shot mixture of 5% antinomy, and, this time, Fiocchi’s bronze bullet coating technology, they slam dunk clays with the speed and impact velocity of a meteorite.
The recoil is so minimal there’s no wonder these rack up medal after medal. You can shoot hundreds of these a day and never get fatigued. RRP: £265 per 1,000
Fiocchi Official 24g testI’ve never done this in public, but behind closed doors, I have at times told cartridge manufacturers that I disagree with their sales statements; well, there comes a time when you have to be open and say to the world that, on this occasion, I’m not going to keep my opinions to myself....
Fiocchi states on their website that this shell is for the following disciplines: Trap, Double Trap and Skeet. Well... Fiocchi is wrong. Why? I managed to wring the neck out of Oakedge using these cartridges, dropping just two clays on the whole course... which incidentally, is a Sporting course through and through. So, in my opinion, Fiocchi should add Sporting to the list of disciplines that this cartridge is made for.
They also performed just as well at Coniston Cole Shooting Ground. Now, I know there will be many who will state that what I’m about to say is down to the fact that I shot out of my skin that day. I did, but hand on heart, this 24g cartridge is absolutely sensational. And what is more surprising is that out of the three shot sizes (this shell comes in No.7.5, 8.5 and 9.5), my favourite was the 9.5.
The speed of the shot is 1,400 fps, and its speed out of the barrel to delivery on the target needs to be measured with an atomic clock. Fiocchi uses conventional shot with 5% antinomy for its 7.5, 8.5 and 9.5 shot i this load.
It’s staggering just how this cartridge behaves, with recoil more akin to that which you’d get from an air rifle. This isn’t just a brilliant cartridge; it’s actually god-like. RRP: £255 per 1,000
Visit Fiocchi to view the entire range and to locate a dealer
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