Wigan TSC Eley Edge Testing Weekend 11 / 12 February

Over the weekend of 11 / 12 February, Martyn Buttery (Eley Business Development Manager) and Jordan Farrow (Eley Test Range Manager) again came up to Wigan TSC with the mobile test rigs to provide testing for Eley Edge ammunition. This is the third such event, the others being in January and November 2016.

You may wonder why test the same type of ammunition? Well, each batch of the ammo is slightly different – different velocity, different brass for the cases, different lead alloy for the bullet heads, different powder, different primer compound. You may think that all the powder they use will be exactly the same from year to year but this isn’t the case. If they buy powder now it may be slightly different from that they bought last June and will be slightly different than that they buy next December, even with the same type of powder. It’s only a slight difference but it will make the ammo slightly different as well. It’s the same with all the other constituent parts of the ammo. So each batch of ammo will have its own characteristics, which may or may not match your barrel.

Martyn and Jordan arrived at the range on the Friday evening and set up the test rigs on the 50m range to get a good start on the Saturday. The test rigs are heavy, aluminium bench rest tables, with a large ‘machine vice’ to hold the barrel. The barrel is bolted into a ‘holder’ the same as the bedding section of a rifle stock which is clamped into the vice. The recording of each shot is done by an electronic target at the end of the range and the analysis is done by software on a laptop. You can watch the group forming with each additional shot and it’s quite exciting waiting to see where the next shot will land!! They brought 12 different batches of Eley Edge for us to test.

The first ‘customer’ was booked in for 10.00 on the Saturday, testing continuing until about 4.00. On the Sunday it was a 10.00 start again and there were 8 ‘customers’ on that day. Shooters from several different clubs in the area attended. It was interesting to see the different results from each barrel tested and how the different barrels performed differently with the same batch of ammo. One shooter’s barrel gave a 15.9mm group with one batch of ammo, a brilliant result!!

Each shooter brought a box of the ammo they were currently using, to shoot a comparison group. Then they shot a 10 round group with each of the batches of Edge. Martyn or Jordan looked at the results and chose the best 5 or 6 batches and a further 2 10 shot groups were fired with each of these batches (as well as the ‘comparison’ ammo). The shooter then chose the best ammo for their barrel and most bought at least 2000 rounds, enough to keep them going until the next test session in November.

There was no charge from Eley for testing, we asked for a donation of £3 each from the shooters to cover the range running costs and no one quibbled about that as they’d shot over 200 free rounds each in their test session. Orders for 41500 rounds of ammo (830 boxes!!) were taken, some shooters ordering 5000 rounds. This brought in £415 in ammo sales to the club, not bad for a couple of days!! In all, a very successful weekend all round.


Martin Lowe