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Our detailed triple test has something for everyone, with a closer look at Sellior & Bellot’s Skeet 28 Super, Trap 28 Super and Parours cartridges for shooting Trap, Skeet and Sporting
It’s no surprise that nearly every shotgun or rifle shooter in the UK has heard of Sellier & Bellot (S&B) ammunition. They are the oldest ammunition manufacturer in the world, so they do know a thing or two about how to put ammunition together.
I even started my shooting career using Sellier & Bellot’s purple paper case 12g – it had a somewhat colourful reputation, but nonetheless, it left its mark on those of us who look back with a grin all these years later, reminiscing about how those paper case BOMBS behaved before Sellier & Bellot disappeared from our shores.
But Sellier & Bellot are back in the UK with a range of different cartridges that are rather impressive. We have Paul Sanders of Staffordshire to thank for bringing this brand back to our shooting grounds. Paul is a shooter himself with a desire to put S&B products in the hands of the shooting fraternity; a man with a crystal-clear vision and a no-nonsense attitude. He bundled a range of cartridges into the Range Rover for me to give them a whirl, and I wasn’t disappointed with the results.
credit: Drennan Kenderdine
SKEET 28 SUPER I started with the Skeet 28 Super on ESP, but before I started this test, I looked these cartridges up on the Sellier & Bellot website for some technical data. There’s something quite daunting about the number of medals these Skeet loads have won! Put it like this; you’d need a CAT mining truck to transport the medal haul Sellier & Bellot have racked up with this shell, both in their native home land and on the world stage.
So, pulling out some much-needed intrepidity, knowing this is all down to me and not the shell, the challenge began. And it wasn’t long before this party popper proved why it’s such a collector of silverware. With less than 1,400fps, the distinctive lack of recoil is observed with the first shot, and the delight only increases as you continue around the stations. The kills are like a supernova, and that always sits well with me and makes sure my ego is stroked. The one and only downside I found with this cartridge was with the cycling of my semi-auto; it just didn’t like it. It had ejection problems throughout the test (I eventually did find the problem, which I’ll explain in a bit).
I dropped over to a Caesar Guerini Invictus, with no issues at all. So, something to consider if you are a semi-auto user, though most shooting Skeet are probably wielding an over-and-under anyway. S&B’s simplistic approach, making this only in a plastic wad and No.9 shot, communicates that this baby is purely for this discipline. That shows confidence from S&B, and it’s justified – this cartridge is an absolute Skeet creamer!
TRAP 28 SUPER Second on the list was the Trap 28 Super – a very distinctive looking red case that screams “get a load of me!”. I’m always wary of cartridges that look glitzy – my experience tells me that this might be all show and no go, but I still get proven wrong now and again.
I was a little surprised to see this only comes in an English size No.7, and it’s got a lot to prove, considering the 7s loaded over here by our GB manufacturers in the Trap department are rather tip-top. A speed of 1,378fps should hold the pattern together longer whilst delivering a thunderbolt to the bitumen disks. And, by Jove, it did precisely that!
Out of the three cartridges on test, this was the one that I loved the most. Why? Well, the softness of the recoil, whilst delivering such ferocious lethality to the targets, is an absolute chemical marvel. I had no feed jams, the best kills anyone could wish for and, hand on heart, I could shoot these all day; they’re that comfortable and pleasing. In the hands of a Trap professional, these are easily capable of 100/300.
PARCOURS This one has certainly already gathered some interest in the Sporting world, especially when Nick Hendrick rocks up a 100-straight at Orston Shooting Ground, Nottingham, on a CPSA-registered Sporting event. You can kind of just park that there and let it do all the talking, as the shells clearly work. But it’s my job to give these very bright blue cartridges a spin myself, and deliver an informed opinion.
With a selection of shot sizes ranging from No.9 to 6½, you should have any Sporting course covered. When a Sporting shooter has a 6½ in the cartridge bag, the target they’re hoping to see is the most perverse the course setter can throw at them – just so they can prove they can handle the setter’s most twisted efforts by grinding it into a kazillion pieces. Let me tell you, these 6½s do just that!
There’s nothing these clay snotters can’t handle with regards to range, angle and speed. The 8s... well, I could go on and on and on about these, but I’ll sum them up in a few words: there is nothing to fault, just things admire. Want something to put the most twisted course setter to bed? These are the ones for you!
CONCLUSION There are a couple of downsides that must be noted, and top of the list has to be the Skeet shell’s cycling issues. The Trap and Parcours never jammed once, and to prove my gun was working I put some 24g shells through the old girl and she worked perfectly. So, what could it be then?
At a glance, you would be forgiven for thinking that all three cartridges are the same, and the only difference is the colour of the casing and the ingredients inside... but you’d be wrong. Using my trusted vernier, I can see that the lip on the ferrel of the Skeet shell is different to that on the Parcours and Trap. The thinner-walled radius allows for the ejector claw to slip off, causing the extraction to fail sometimes. To be honest, I’ve had this with many brands over the years; it is something that comes and goes, and semi-auto users are the ones affected by it the most.
Second on the list, and it’s nothing to do with the performance, is the boxes. The construction of the boxes is bob on, but I do wish that the colour or image for each discipline was different, so some separation between the three was more easily visible.
Overall, I’m impressed. These are suitable, reliable cartridges at a very, very good price at the time of writing this. The quality and finish of the casings are excellent, even with the slight issue of the ferrel lip on the Skeet load, but those did function perfectly through an over-and-under. All of them proved their worth in the disciplines they are intended for, and I would have no qualms about using these again and recommending them to both beginners up to the professionals.
All three loads come in 28g with plastic wads. Skeet 28 Super available in No.9; Trap 28 Super available in No.7; Parcours available in No.9, 8, 7 and 6½.
RRPs: All £190 per 1,000
UK CONTACTSNorth: Mike Pearson | Email: blacklioncartridges.co.uk | Tel: 07768 510782South: Paul Sanders | Email: email@example.com | 07581 471146
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