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[ cartridge bags & belts ]
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Shotgun cartridge bags or cartridge belts are necessary equipment for 'Guns'.
Cartridge bags & cartridge belts are essential to all 'Guns' or shooting individuals - 5 of the 8 Guns on a shoot ran out of cartridges on one drive recently.  Cartridge bags and cartridge belts come in many designs and sizes so you can find one  to suit you .... though some Guns on big shoots carry two cartridge bags and may wear a cartridge belt too.

The ease of use of cartridge belts and cartridge bags is important.  'Guns' need to be able to reload quickly ..... or they stand a high risk of missing great shooting opportunities.

But it is not just the cartridge bag or cartridge belt that is important ... it is how it is used.  I was standing in the corner of an 'L' shape of Guns and I was able to watch all of them.  Some of them were superb, but most just did not appear to be aware of what they could have been doing to aid their shooting.  I watched Guns firing both barrels, then leaning forward to get their next two cartridges from a cartridge bag on the ground. 

This really is not good practice ....... as they bend over the barrels of their shotgun come incredibly close to the ground. In soft ground, they may find that the shotgun barrels fill with dirt. In snow it's even easier to get some in the barrels when bending over.  Firing a shotgun which has the barrels blocked is incredibly dangerous.  They may split or 'back-fire' ..... causing serious injury to both the 'gun' and anyone in the immediate vicinity.

Recently I watched a gun bend over to collect cartridges from his cartridge bag on the ground, but hold his shotgun pointing skywards.  None of the other Guns I have watched re-load have taken such care.

It also takes time to bend over and then regain balance on difficult terrain ..... in fact I have seen Guns take 14 seconds to reload.  In that time, they are looking in their cartridge bag, looking at their broken shotgun as they eject .... and looking at their shotgun as they reload and close it.  How many of those 'Guns' would look at their gear-stick in their 4x4's when changing gear?    So why do they 'need' to look at their shotgun when reloading?  They should be watching the sky .... and what is going on around them whilst their practiced  fingers do the work.  14 seconds doesn't sound a lot ....but just count it out, with your eyes closed.  It's a long time not to be seeing what is going on/approaching.

So the Guns may well do better by using the strap on the cartridge bag to hang it across their body, spend a bit of time on their reloading technique, or employ the services of a loader, or 'stuffer'.

However, just recently I was a stop on a drive and stood about 40 yards away from a Gun with his loader.  Both were at fault though the loader more so, as he should have corrected the Gun. Every time the Gun broke his shotgun and ejected the cases, the loader stuffed 2 more in and the Gun was looking at the breach, not at the sky!  The loader should have corrected him ... and should also have told him NOT to close his shotgun by lifting the barrels, which were pointed in MY direction each time! Argh!

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