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Nobel Sport Sub-gauge’s For Hunting and Target Shooting

Over the past three years there have been a number of different lines of shotshells being brought into the country because of the exchange rate on the dollar. Most of the different brands are rather limited in the selection of shot shells available in terms of their speed, amount of shot, shot sizes, variety of gauges offered and other qualities such as low recoil shells. Most of the lines being brought in are shells that were developed in Europe for European shooters. All that has changed since NobelSport has been brought into the country by Zanders Sporting Goods of Baldwin, IL. They offer the most complete line of shotshells being brought into the country that rivals the selections of the three major shell manufacturers in the U.S.

Most European shotshell manufacturers want to sell what they produce for the European market to the U.S. market, but that isn’t the case with NobelSport. All the different shotshells offered here in the United States by NobelSport were specifically formulated for this market. Special care was taken in selecting clean burning powders and having soft shooting shotshells that both men and women could shoot all day and not feel any adverse affects. In some cases, special wads were developed to produce low recoil shotshells. They even developed the first photodegradable wad for their sporting clays line of shotshells, which will disappear a lot faster than the biodegradable wads currently being used by other manufacturers. Special care was taken with each component selected for the American market line of shotshells. Even the primers used in the shotshells are identical in every way to the Winchester 209 primers. Dimensionally, they are the identical. The burn rate and pressures developed are identical. And in the real world of shooting they burned all the powder as clean as the Winchester 209 and the speed variations were in the 4 to 6 FPS as were the Winchester 209 reloads. The only real difference is that they are substantially less expensive.

All the shells brought into the U.S. by Zanders are produced by NobelSport-Martignoni located in San Giuliano, Italy. They have been making shotshells since 1830 and are now known as NobelSport Italy or NSI. They have three different plants in Italy; one for producing primers, a shotshell hull production plant, and finally the shotshell loading plant. All these plants were remodeled a few years before they entered into discussions with Zanders for production of shotshells for the American market. All three of the plants are as modern, efficient, and safe as any of the top facilities in the U.S., which translates into high quality production for the demanding American market.

Having shot and tested all their competition loads and some of their hunting loads I can tell you I came away impressed with the consistent quality in patterns, and velocity along with the clean burning properties of their powders. All their shells were comfortable to shoot and I especially liked shooting their paper skeet and trap loads along with their low recoil loads. Their shotshells rival anything produced here in the U.S.

What also impressed me was the extensive line they were bringing into the country. In 12 gauge they have 30 different loadings and in the sub gauge they have 34 different loadings for target shooting and hunting. In sixteen gauge they have four different loads at 1 1/16 oz. in Nr. 4, 6, 7 ½, and 8. In twenty gauge, they have three hunting7/8 oz. loads in Nr. 6, 7 ½, and 8, and two target loads with Nr. 8 ½ and 9 shot. And in 1 oz. hunting they have 6, 7 ½ and 8 in high brass and low brass. In twenty-eight gauge hunting, they have three ¾ oz. loads with Nr. 6, 7 ½ and 8 shot and six 1 oz. loads with Nr. 4, 5, 6, 7 ½, 8, and 9 shot. In target shooting the have two loadings with ¾ oz., 8 ½ and 9 shot. In 410 bore for hunting, they have two loadings with ½ oz. of Nr. 4 and 7 ½ shot and five loadings with 11/16 oz. of 4, 5, 6, 7 ½, and 9 shot, and two target loadings of ½ oz. of 8 ½ and 9 shot. All the 28 and 410 loadings are Max. loadings.

Having been out hunting pheasant, chukars and sage hen with my favorite 28 gauge I can attest to the knock down power of their shotshells. With 1 oz. of 7 ½ or 8 shot, every pheasant went down with a single shot, while some of the chukars needed a second shot. The much larger sage hens went down with a single shot of 1 oz. of 5’s in most cases. If the shot string is placed in the right place, these shells will do the job wonderfully. I’ve been shooting skeet, trap and sporting with all the sub-gauges and they have preformed well. I particularly like shooting their sub-gauge loadings in 8 ½ size shot because you can use them for trap, skeet and sporting clay shooting. They’ll get out there and break 50 and 60 yard targets just like the big boys, and they’ll smoke any target at closer ranges.

One other shell they are bringing into the country is an English 2 ½ inch 12 gauge low recoil shell. They offer it in a 1410 FPS of 1 1/16 oz. of 6, 7 ½ and 8 and a 1365 FPS of 1 oz. of 6, 7 ½ and 8 shot. They also offer a very complete line of 12 gauge selections for hunting and target shooting. To find out who your local dealer or distributor is and where they are located give Zander’s a call at 1-800-851-4373 or contact them at:

Zanders Sporting Goods
7525 Highway 154
Baldwin, IL 62217

Author:
Jerry Sinkovec
photojournalistjerry@juno.com