Semimagnum Flakes of 42 Grams, Our Review
As just a woodland pigeons hunter, I was seeking for an ammunition that would be useful in hard hunting scenarios. On the advice of my gunsmith, I started in December 2017 to try the Fiocchi Semimagnum 42g, obviously in 12 gauge, in the 7, 6, and 5 lead variants.
From that moment, it has become for me an indispensable cartridge that all hunters should know: high performance, practical, usable, and adaptable to many contexts. So, when Luca asked me in September which cartridge I would like to review during the latest hunting season, I had no doubts about choosing it.
Packaging, Cost, and Availability
On the market, Fiocchi Semimagnum 42g is available in packs of 10, which enhances it and makes it enjoyable. For some uses, it can be an adequate packaging, but, for example, those who use it for the wood pigeon, on the luckiest days, must resort to a good number of boxes, which could also make us think of suggesting a double version of 10 and 25 pieces. But so be it.
When the package is open, the cartridge immediately appears in all its power, although little room is left for the pure aesthetic factor. Type 5 case back, dark green plastic case on which the number of pellets contained, and the image of a pair of mallards in flight are printed in gold ink.
It is a trendy cartridge, made to be used and not collected. Its availability is vast, and the cost varies according to the armories, around 6.5 euros per pack.
The Composition of Fiocchi Semimagnum 42g
We Come to the Composition of Fiocchi Semimagnum 42g:
- 27mm Fiocchi type 5 case back, for a total length of the cartridge contained in 70mm
- 2 grams of Baschieri and Pellagri M92S progressive powder declared
- Wad container Baschieri and Pellagri type Z 15mm
- 42 g of lead shot containing 2% antimony in the numbering ranging from 4/0 to 8
The muzzle velocity, equal to 405 m / s, is significant as it is a semi-magnet. The developed pressure of 920 bar is equally vital although well within the safety standards of any modern rifle.
The Group Tests
For the group tests, I used a Beretta S55 with 71 cm barrels and one and 3-star chokes, which, given the wide diffusion, I consider a reasonable term of comparison for many hunters. I chose to carry out the tests with lead number 5 at two different distances, 25 and 35 meters, measures that widely cover the range of use of this cartridge. I used reactive targets with a diameter of 30 cm, carrying out several tests for each distance and discarding the best and worst results to count the average number of pellets hit in the remaining tests.
At 25 meters, the shots that hit the 30 cm circle were on average more than 185 for the 1-star barrel and 102 for the 3-star barrel, with very dense and relatively balanced shot patterns.
25-meter Groups With 1-star (Left) and 3-star (Right) Barrels
At 35 meters, on the other hand, the average was 46 shots per target using the 1-star choke and 32 with the 3-star barrel. In this case, the shot patterns were understandably more open and inhomogeneous but still lethal for a medium-sized game.
How It Behaves on the Hunting Field
In the hunting I practice the most, I have used it in all contexts, with cold, humidity, strong wind, and its effectiveness on wood pigeons have been impeccable. My experience with this ammunition is made up of many variations: I used it to pull firmly on the top of the throw trees, with shots also covered by vegetation that reached 40/45 meters.
I used it on shotguns with 76cm barrels – 1 star, with the classic Beretta over/under (also used for group tests) with 71 cm barrels – 1 star / 3 stars to cover a wide range of possibilities, I used it on the pigeon stage with the semi-automatic Benelli Anniversario with barrel 65 cm – 4 stars, this configuration with which I brought the Semimagnum in the lead four also to the hare.
In all conditions, the Fiocchi Semimagnum has always proved to be a reliable and effective cartridge on the critical game, which does not fear the most challenging weather conditions, which penetrates well on closed wood pigeons placed in December and cleanly kills pigeons in flight, crows at the edge of the helpful shot, and hares running. It is a cartridge which, except thrushes from the shed and post to the boar, I always want with me in all other circumstances.
In the face of these data, it must be said that the impact on the shoulder is undoubtedly relevant; it is a vigorous cartridge, which also allows you to shoot from the air and, in general, to moving targets given its 405 m / s velocity at the muzzle. But which inevitably makes its energy felt, which perhaps makes it suitable for use in semi-automatic shotguns that cushion the shot more in those types of hunting where replicating the shot in a quick sequence is essential. Instead, it can be used in swing-action shotguns where the required shot is challenging but generally unique.
A small note deserves a speech that not only applies to this ammunition but concerns all types of magnum and semi magnum. These are extraordinary uploads, able to make a difference, but in the face of this, they are pretty exasperated and not immediate management.
My advice is to take some practice and understand with which rifle and in what context it is best used because it has nothing to do with speed, recoil, detection, and effects on the animal of an average 32 / 34 grams of all hunting use. It is necessary to get carried away with its use to avoid unwanted effects such as frying pans, empty second shots, destroying prey that is too close or too little resistant, or sore shoulders after 20 or 30 shots. But if put into its challenging game, it will be great.
Who I Recommend It to
Given these characteristics and the comprehensive experience of use on hunting fields, I would like to recommend this ammunition to all those who practice demanding hunting, with the resistant game and in difficult climatic conditions, first of all, cold and humid.
In the various numbering of pellets ranging from fox and hare with the numbers 3 and 4, to 5 and 6 for wood pigeons, crows, and perhaps aquatic pigeons, up to lead seven usable from the stage for wood pigeons and perhaps as a second rod for those who practice hunting with the dog.
With a low cost, a long history of Italian production, and an almost uniform availability, it is a cartridge capable of entering among the must-haves in 12 gauge.