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Home / Community home / Advice / The best steel shot cartridges...

The best steel shot cartridges for UK shooters

With the potential ban on lead ammunition looming, shooters will have to start shopping for alternative lead-free cartridges as soon as possible. Many big cartridge companies have begun to produce steel shot models in preparation for a future without lead.


Here are some of the most proven and popular steel shot cartridges on the UK market right now, that you can start to think about trying out for yourself…


Hull Steel Game Extra - High Performance Steel


Hull Steel Game Extra


Load weights: 28gm or 32gm

Gauge: 12

Shot sizes: 3, 4, 5 or 6

Wad material: Plastic

Price: 250 cartridges for £123

Quarry: Duck or Goose


Although the Steel Game Extra is recommended for larger quarry such as ducks or geese, many expert shooters have had good success with pigeons too. This is a 12-gauge cartridge and shouldn’t be used with any bigger than half choke - as with most other steel shots. This is a very affordable option at just over £2 a cartridge and one of the most popular lead alternatives in the UK. 


You can explore a wide range of Hull Cartridges available at High Peak Sporting Guns.


Lyalvale Express Precision Steel Game


Lyalvale Express Precision Steel


Load weights: 32gm

Gauge: 12

Shot sizes: 3, 4 or 5

Wad material: Plastic

Price: 250 cartridges for £112

Quarry: Waterfowl


Staffordshire based manufacturer Lyalvale Express offer you unbeatable value for money on their high-quality Precision Steel cartridge. It’s available in a 3,4 or 5 shot size, allowing you flexibility for different choke tightness and quarry types.

Lyalvale Express has conducted itself admirably over the past 2 years in response to HSE’s proposed lead ban. Whilst standing firmly against the proposal, Lyalvale continue to invest a lot of time and money into the production of lead-free cartridges and has pledged to continue to do so to protect our sport(s).


Eley VIP Steel - Pro Eco Wad


Eley VIP Steel


Load weights: 32gm

Gauge: 12

Shot sizes: 3 or 5

Wad material: Pro Eco (water-soluble, compostable)

Price: 250 cartridges for £144

Quarry: Waterfowl


Eley has propelled itself to the top of the shotgun market in recent years and has produced some of the most popular cartridges across the nation. This VIP Steel model takes things to the next level in terms of environmental friendliness; it’s an absolute game changer.

The cartridge features Eley’s ‘Pro Eco Wad’ which has been developed using zero plastics and has won numerous awards for sustainability. The wad is both water-soluble and compostable which allows shooters to fire as many rounds as they like without leaving a trace. The wad will dissolve in water within 24 hours and less than 3 months in natural rural environments.


You can shop for Eley cartridges on our site here!


Gamebore Silver Steel Bio Wad


Gamebore Silver Steel


Load weights: 32gm

Gauge: 12

Shot sizes: 4

Wad material: Bio-Wad FSC (fully degradable)

Price: 25 cartridges for £17.90

Quarry: Waterfowl, Pheasant and Upland


A slightly more expensive option that comes with excellent performance ratings. The Silver Steel by Gamebore is another fully degradable cartridge thanks to the ‘High Velocity BIO-WAD’ engineered by Gamebore - the first ever fully degradable steel cartridge. This one only comes in a 32gm 4 shot option, but is packed with technology to make it an exceptional shot. 


There are a huge number of dealers across the country stocking Gamebore cartridges, you can find your local here.

Archie Davis
Gunstar Chief Editor
Published on 11-05-2022
Archie has been on the management team at Gunstar UK since June 2018, and has since then been working to integrate the business with the shooting community. A skilled writer and self-taught country enthusiast, Archie has conducted numerous investigations into many of the industries unanswered questions to try and unify shooters all in one place; the Gunstar blog.