Early season (September/October) partridges need little more than 28 grams or possibly 30 grams of No. 6 shot. The only exception being those high bird partridges found in hilly areas which usually benefit from going up one shot size to a No. 5.
As the season’s progresses and Pheasants appear as the main quarry species, then No. 5 shot is the preferred shot size either in 30 gram or later into January with up to 32grams. The Blue Lightning 31 gram 5 ½ shot is an excellent cartridge for this stage of the season.
On Higher bird shoots, typically found in the West Country, Wales, North Yorkshire, the Scottish Borders and elsewhere, 32 grams either in 5 shot or even 4 shot is recommended. For most English game guns, 30 gram of No. 4 shot is a good compromise of weight of cartridge in a lighter gun for these sorts of extreme range bird, as few side by sides will handle any heavier loads. For even the highest birds right on the limit of a shotgun’s range, we would not recommend going beyond 34 grams of 4 shot – not least because it is very hard to find a cartridge larger than this without plastic wads. In addition, such cartridges tend to be far less forgiving for the user in terms of “kick”, particularly with any volume of shooting.