Paganini is Eley's distributor in Italy, and at the HIT show we stopped at their stand to ask the company's technical staff about the famous Eley hunting cartridges. It is a story that began almost two hundred years ago in 1828; a story of great competence, quality and coherence, a success story which continues to this day. At the Paganini stand they tell us quality controls are performed regularly throughout the production process to guarantee consistent quality throughout every production batch. Cartridges are taken at random from each batch to test their accuracy, consistency and velocity in a test gun.
The origins of this long-standing tradition are clear from the box, which is illustrated with pictures of wild fowl and typical hunting scenes. First, let's talk about the Purdey, cartridges that still use one ounce of lead, or exactly 28.5 grams; the same weight of lead that has been used in fine English firearms since the days of old. Cartridges with a paper casing, featuring high velocity and optimal distribution of the shot pattern thanks to the felt wad. Ideal for your first barrel on a game shoot.
Let's continue with the Alphamax, another classic, available in different lead loads from 32 to 36 grams, both with a felt wad. These two versatile cartridges provide consistent results for a variety of different types of hunting and game, from small migratory game to larger sedentary game. Pheasants are shown in flight on the Eley Grand Prix box; 32 g cartridges, extremely high velocity offering the highest performance, again with a felt wad.
The Eley research & development team has been developing cartridges for years with alternatives to lead, to use for hunting waterfowl and in damp areas where the use of lead is prohibited. The Eley Alphamax with bismuth alloy pellets has been developed for just this purpose; 36 g cartridges with a plastic wad and a bismuth/tin alloy load, the weight of which is similar to that of lead although it has a lower density, so more shot can be packed into the cartridge. The Grand Prix HV 32 g cartridge also contains bismuth alloy shot and has a felt wad.