Are Eley jumping the gun a bit by naming their cartridge Superb? I mean, it’s a bold name to use, especially if your product falls short of its title. The truth is though, that there are a host of reasons why this shell deserves its namesake.

Drennan testing the Eley Superb 28g cartridgeI shot the Superb way back when it was first launched into the UK market as a mid- to top-level competition cartridge. I said then that it performed well and thought it would become very popular, which it has.  

It’s had a few face lifts over the years with different box designs and case colours. To be honest, back in the 90s, Eley’s artwork on its clay busting cartridge boxes was, in my opinion, brilliant. I can still clearly see in my mind’s eye a Trap shooter in decal format on the box – at the time, it was a piece of artwork unrivalled by any other manufacturer.

Eley Hawk Superb cartridge packagingOn the subject of packaging, hats off to Eley for the way in which they have designed and manufactured their outer boxes (the ones that hold the 10 boxes of 25 cartridges). Along with the labelling, telling you what’s in each slab, there is also a little cutout viewing window so you can see which cartridges are inside. And it doesn’t stop there… Eley’s brilliant system for opening that outer packaging features a pull strip which effortlessly “unzips” the top section of the box, so you are left with a neat half-box to hold your boxes of 25. The system is so simple and leaves many of its competitors standing still, and I can’t for the life of me think why others both here in the UK and abroad aren’t doing the same.

Eley Hawk Superb cartridge packagingI like simple stuff, because most of the time, simple just works! The colour coding system for the different shot sizes, another simple but effective design feature, means that if you’re shooting different disciplines, ranges or target types on a Sporting course, you can mix your cartridges up in your bag and still be able to identify each shot size by the different colours printed on the solid silver grey case (shot sizes available are: 7, 7 ½ , 8 and 9).

Eley Hawk Superb cartridge Eley’s blend of powders has produced a cartridge with such a rounded softness of recoil that you could be fooled into thinking this is a cartridge that will underperform when it comes to lethality, but you wouldn’t be further from the truth. I shot it on a variety of targets, from chondelles to battues and some driven clays, including some long-range stuff that frankly would test the legs of any cartridge, and it killed them exceptionally well… particularly for a cartridge with such a soft recoil. This is what makes it special – lethality combined with gentle recoil. When shooting pairs, it allows you to get onto the second target in double quick time. If you’re a Trap shooter, and second shots are required, you’re going to be locked on and locked in, probably faster than you’ve ever locked in before.

In conclusion, it’s a real clay smoking shell that covers many if not all of the disciplines, and yes, it absolutely is Superb! 

SRP: Approx. £293 per 1,000

Tech specs

Eley Superb 28g
Gauge: 12
Case: 70mm
Head: 16mm
Load: 28g / 1oz 
Wad: Plastic
Shot size 28: 7, 7 ½ , 8, 9
Muzzle Velocity 28: 411mps, 1350fps
Material: Lead shot, high antimony