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As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, we should all be looking forward to some relaxed practice at clays and maybe even a simulated day or two. Whilst there is plenty of choice out there for the serious clay shooter, I thought we would look this time at products suitable for the more relaxed day at pigeons of the clay variety.

Particularly if you are looking forward to a simulated day, you may expect to fire somewhere between 300 and 500 shots and may be even more if you are especially sharp… With a standard 28gm load you are really going to suffer and if you are blatting away keenly, there is obviously going to be the odd miss mount. And this will lead to some painful bruising to the shoulder and upper arm area and probably your cheek also. Not pleasant when you are supposed to be enjoying yourself!

The way round it is to use a lighter load of course. A lot of people these days are using a 24gm load or even lighter in the form of a 21gm load. The advent of the 21gm loads started about 10 years ago with Hull’s Comp X when the price of lead started to go through the roof, as a way of reducing cost. However it soon became clear that as well as keeping the price down, they had the added advantage of being extremely light on recoil with no impact on ballistic performance. Patterns are arguably better than the heavier loads, having less pellets and being of a similar speed to other products, they will still break clays at range. The point being, that even the most ardent of competitors should not feel undergunned by using a lighter load.

All manufacturers make such a thing and now also in 20 gauge, so there is plenty of choice. We even do our own CSP Lite in 21gm for 12 and 20 bore as they are such good sellers and have the added advantage of also being the best value, starting at £179 per 1,000 for the 12 gauge option.

So don’t beat yourself up! Use a lighter load and enjoy the day as simulated days in particular are great practice for the real thing which is now only a matter of four months away. It always comes round quicker than you think…