We were pleased to be back to the company's departments and the test bench of Baschieri & Pellagri to talk with Gianluca Garolini about the cartridges most used by hunters in winter hunting, from waterfowl to wood pigeon, passing through small migratory game, with cartridges loaded in the classic way, that is with traditional wadding and lead shot such as the Mygra Colombaccio and a wide range of shotshells studied over time by Baschieri to offer reliable alternatives to lead that can be used in all contexts where it is prohibited. We field-tested the cartridges on several hunting days and on this occasion we also evaluates pattern distribution in the company's shooting tunnel.
Baschieri & Pellagri Mygra Colombaccio shotshells
Loaded with 36 grams of No. 5.5 graphite-coated white lead shot with 5 percent antimony, the Baschieri Mygra Colombaccio cartridge is designed to achieve a regular and tight pattern at long distances. The powder used is the classic and consistent F2 36, a lamellar powder typically suited to mid-season temperate climates where it proves fast and effective.
The load is standard for the 12-gauge: it's important not to exaggerate, also to ensure greater comfort during a hunt in which you may happen to shoot a lot. In contrast, velocity developed by the Mygra cartridge is remarkable, at 408 m/s. It features the Gordon System case developed by Baschieri, which from being a passive element, becomes a decisive element in providing the right feeling between the hunter and the cartridge, reducing the effect of felt recoil. Its components, such as the plastic wad with cup, make this shotshell an optimal solution for second barrels in still hunting, where cartridges with no cup or with felt wad and smaller diameter shot for closer range shots are usually instead used for the first barrel. It can be a solution in the first barrel when hunting in the field as well, where shooting distances are often greater.
Baschieri & Pellagri Dual Shock: copper and a double layer of shot
A double layer of shot of a different diameter ensures high velocity shots over long distances, with tight pattern distribution and increased penetration power. The material chosen by Baschieri for the Dual Shock range is copper, whose density is 9 grams per cm³, so much higher than alloys made of other materials, thus managing to maintain high residual energy over long distances. We have seen and appreciated the performance of these cartridges with which we have personally safely killed some mallards in waterfowl hunting. The shot pellets, smaller in the first layer at the bottom, have a galvanized finish to guarantee greater hardness and less deformation, while in the upper layer the larger diameter shot ellets have the task of "guiding" the opening of tight patterns that are extremely lethal in long distance shots. The ballistic result is a loading that can develop velocities of about 440 m/s.
Baschieri & Pellagri MG2 Tungsten: the best performing cartridge
Tungsten, used in loading the MG2 Tungsten cartridges, available in both 12-gauge and 20-gauge, is comparable to no other material is the specific gravity and hardness. For the same reasons and superior performance to lead in residual energy and long-distance shooting, tungsten also represents the most expensive material among those available. The hunting action completed by Gianluca Garolini and captured by our cameras with two shots and two kills made at more than 50 meters with the 12-ga MG2 Tungsten on gadwall when hunting in a humid area still remains etched in memory. Loaded with biodegradable green core wad and 35 grams of shot, it is available with number 7 - 6 - 5 shot for hunting resident game or waterfowl, to be used with steel shot proofed shotguns.
Baschieri & Pellagri Valle Steel
The cartridges in the Valle Steel line use iron and steel shot with different payloads dedicated to both waterfowl and small migratory game hunting, such as the most recent Valle Steel 28, a lightweight cartridge that has been devoloped by popular demand for migratory hunting enthusiasts who with any shotgun can find shot of different numbers, 8½ - 7 - 6 - 5 - 4, for waked-up hunting. Through intermediate loadings, we then gradually also come to high-performance cartridges that require the use of steel shot proofed shotguns such as the Valle Steel Magnum and the Valle Steel 32 Extra Velocity with 32-gram payload, loaded with M92S powder available with No. 5 - 4 - 3 shot and recommended for waterfowl hunting.
Baschieri & Pellagri Dual Bismuth: the best compromise for outdated shotguns
The Dual Bismuth is a cartridge available in 12 gauge and 20 gauge and takes advantage of the potential of bismuth that has seen its performance improve in shot pellet, from initial fragility to excellent performance achieved as a result of research and formulation work that has reached excellent levels. Today the penetration obtained from these more tenacious shot pellets is reliable, and the particularly appreciable feature is that they can also be used with ordinary non-steel proofed barrels and thus also with outdated shotguns already in the possession of hunters. The 12-gauge cartridge features a 34-g payload while for the 20-gauge the payload is 26 g. Both cartridges use the biodegradable Green Core wad. As in other cartridges, Baschieri & Pellagri offers double shot numbers to achieve consistent patterns in velocity and distribution, with the larger diameter shot placed in front to reduce air friction allowing the smaller shot to reach and compensate the target with still high velocity and residual power. Shot numbers available are 3/4 for 12 gauge and 5/4 for 20 gauge.
Baschieri & Pellagri Privilege cartridges
Tested on hunts in both the traditional version loaded with lead shot and the steel version, the Privilege range has proven to be well deserving of the many accolades it has won in Europe and beyond as a high-quality cartridge for hunting prized game. The Green Core wad is always found in these cartridges, as is the Gordon case. Available in 30-, 32-, and 34-g lead shot loads and 28- and 32-g loads of steel shot, the Privilege line meets the diverse needs of hunters engaged in different environments including humid areas. In shotshells loaded with lead shot, the white graphite surface treatment of shot pellets makes them smoother and faster for more effectiveness and accuracy. Privilege cartridges with steel shot, on the other hand, are intended for steel-proofed guns. As we said, the different versions also differ in felt wad for close shots and with biodegradable wad-cup for longer distance shots. The velocity that characterizes the Privilege line remains at consistently high values in the different versions of the cartridges, which on the test bench averaged more than 405 m/s. These 12-gauge cartridges are available in shot numbers ranging from 6 to 3.
For more information please visit the Baschieri & Pellagri website.