by Simon Lusk

My shot requirements are quite specific. I want 5s for pheasants that flush in open country where I know there are no quail. I use 6s for pheasants in the tighter stuff and where I know I could hit a quail at any time.

I like 8s for quail shooting, but often end up with 7 1/2s because I also need shells that are a different colour for quail and pheasant shooting. Carrying both in my vest means they get jumbled up and their markings get rubbed off them, and if they are not a different colour I can’t tell the difference between them.

For Pheasants I use Eley Alphamax. Depending on where I am shooting I use 5s or 6s. The fives are for more open country, where the birds can often run and then jump, and I was surprised at how much more knockdown power these shells have. I only started using 5s in the 2012 season, and was consistently knocking down long birds that I probably would not have shot at with 6s.

Eley have discontinued the Alphamax and replaced it with the Alphamax+. I’m not sure of the difference and I still have a heap of Alphamax left from last season so I dont need any more.

For Quail I liked Eley Firsts 8s, which were a black cased shell, so did not get mixed up with the Alphamax in my vest. Unfortunately these are no longer imported into New Zealand so I am looking for a new 8.


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