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Just In Time for Hunting Season

If you are reading this blog, you are probably well aware of how difficult it is to find 2 ½” shotgun shells in the United States. Well, just in time for hunting season, we have new B&P Upland Classic 12g 2 ½” shotshells now available at the Westley Richards U.S. Agency.

This is very high quality ammo, tailor made for the vintage shotguns we all are so fond of, and it incorporates B&P’s innovative Gordon Hull system that also reduces recoil. That’s not only good for the shooter; your old shotgun will be thankful too.

I also suspect most of those reading this blog recognize the name, B&P, more formally Baschiri & Pellagri of Italy, one of Europe’s leading ammunition manufacturers and maker of some of the finest shotgun shells on the market today for both hunting and competition. B&P has always been an innovator in the gunpowder and shotshell industry and in the 1970’s began a series of patents and trademarks for shotshell components. The brand name Gordon System was registered in 1979 for a new type of shotshell case design that represented a major innovation in softening recoil caused by the energy generated when a shotshell is fired.

Most readers will also know, there are six components to a basic shotshell: the hull, the base of the hull, the primer, the propellant, the wad, and shot. The base is usually brass or steel and is a solid structure that holds the shotshell in the chamber and resists the shock of firing and extraction. The hull can be waxed paper or plastic and it contains the powder, wad, and shot. The wad is what separates the powder from the shot. The primer is seated in the base and when hit by the striker (firing pin), it sparks and ignites the gun powder. The gun powder instantly becomes a rapidly expanding gas, which builds pressure and propels the shot down the barrel as the gases try to escape out of the muzzle.

I barely qualify as a gun salesman, and I am certainly not a physicist, but my understanding is that recoil, the kick against your shoulder or hand when a gun is fired, is the direct result of the third law of dynamics, sometimes called Newton’s law…for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In your shotgun’s barrel, the pressure generated by the ignited propellant can only go two ways, forward into the shot and backwards into the shooters shoulder. As the shot is pushed by the expanding gas down the barre, it in turn creates an equal and opposite force in the shell casing that pushes against the breech of the firearm and, ultimately, pushes the gun against your shoulder. This is known as technical recoil.

Aside from technical recoil, there is also felt recoil, which is what the shooter literally feels when the gun kicks. While the energy from the technical recoil cannot be zeroed out it can, be managed to change how it is perceived through a combination of factors between the shooter, the gun, and the ammunition.

One way for the shooter to control perceived recoil is with good gun fit and a good shooting technique. Another way to control the perceived recoil is in the gun or rifle itself. The weight of the projectile being shot and the speed at which it is being propelled, is what determines the kinetic energy being generated by firing the cartridge. The weight of the gun opposes the energy generated when the gun fires. So, the heavier the gun, the more mass this kinetic energy has to move. Thus, heavy recoiling rifles or target guns used for shooting a lot of targets are on the heavy side.

The third way to control perceived recoil is in the cartridge. One can shoot a lighter payload of shot at a reasonable velocity to achieve this, even still, with conventional shotshell cases there is nothing to absorb the backward force of the gases, leaving the shooter’s shoulder to absorb all of the rearward force. However, B&P’s Gordon Hull cartridges minimize the recoil felt by the shooter with their unique design that incorporates two distinct dampening systems in two different sections of the cartridge.

The Gordon Hull has a distinctive internal base with a conical profile and a separate shock-absorbing spring-like wad that comes into action the moment the shot is fired. The impact of the gases in the direction of the shooter’s shoulder are partly absorbed by the Gordon Hull and in part by the springiness of the of the wadding, offsetting the energy and generating a smaller recoil effect. This benefits the shooter and the gun the shell is being fired in.

Additionally, this case design also optimizes the performance of the ammunition. Thanks to the wadding, there is less strain on the pellets which results in less deformation of the shot, resulting in more compact and uniform shot patterns and better penetration. So not only are these shells good for the shooter and the gun, but they also simply perform better down range, which is a win on all levels.

B&P is filling the gap in the market for shells safe to shoot in vintage guns with short chambers and, on top of that, offering a superior shell to anything that has previously been available.

For those of us who have had trouble finding ammo to shoot in our guns that have been in service for the better part of 100 years, B&P Classic Upland cartridges are a just what the doctor ordered.

Please call L.D. At the U.S. Agency for more information. Quantities are limited on this first run of ammo and it is first come, first served. So don’t wait too long!

L.D. McCaa, Manager, Westley Richards U.S. Agency (850) 677-3688 or

Westley Richards has an outstanding reputation for supplying a comprehensive selection of pre-owned guns and rifles. We pride ourselves on our in depth knowledge of the many sporting arms built over the last 200 years, placing particular emphasis on big game rifles, like the 577 Nitro Express, 505 Gibbs and 425 Westley Richards. Whether looking to grow or sell your collection of firearms, or simply require a trusted evaluation, our team from the sales department would be delighted to hear from you. To view the latest available, head to the used shotguns and used rifles pages, and for those interested in new firearms, explore our custom rifles and bespoke guns pages.

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