Winchester Long Beard XR Turkey Loads

posted on April 4, 2014
image0013.jpg

Diehard turkey hunters are a fickle crowd; constantly changing equipment (shotgun, choke, and shotshells) in an effort to improve external and terminal ballistics, and willing to pay premiums for even modest performance gains-typically calculated in yards. Such actions are understandable given that: seldom does one get a redemption shot; shot distances can vary greatly, especially for those birds that “hang up”; and the turkey’s head and neck represent a relatively small target. That being said, a hunter doesn’t necessarily have to pay exorbitant prices to get top-notch performance; case in point, Winchester’s new Elite Long Beard XR turkey loads, which sell at MidwayUSA for about $1.60 per shell.

Elite Long Beard XR differs from its counterparts in its use of what Winchester calls “Shot-Lok” technology; essentially, the premium, copper-plated shot are encapsulated (i.e. fully surrounded) by a hard resin that, upon setback/acceleration, fractures and creates buffer that cushions the pellets, thereby preventing deformation. Misshapen pellets migrate to a pattern’s fringe, so maintaining pellet roundness is key to extending a load’s effective range. That’s exactly what Shot-Lok does.

According to Winchester, when compared to traditional-type loads, Elite Long Beard XR offers “twice the pellets in a 10” circle out to 60 yds.” Limited to 50 yds., I tested the 3”, 1¾-oz. No.4 Long Beard XR (and a similar competitor’s load) in a Savage Model 24 fitted with an extended, extra-full turkey-specific choke and topped with Burris 3-9X ShortMag riflescope at that distance. Whereas the competitor’s load scored 23 hits in a 10” circle, Long Beard XR tallied an amazing 82 impacts-incredible, to say the least. In addition to improved patterns, one can expect increased penetration due to the minimally- or non-deformed, copper-plated shot. For 2014, Winchester Elite Long Beard XR is available in 12-ga. 3” and 3½” lengths, featuring 1 ¾ ozs. or 2 ozs., respectively, of No. 4, 5, or 6 shot. Look for additional testing in a future issue of American Rifleman magazine.

Latest

Two Million In Grants
Two Million In Grants

MidwayUSA Grants $2.3 Million To Help Youth Shooting Teams

The MidwayUSA Foundation recently announced the payout of more than $2.23 million in cash grants to 612 youth shooting teams.

Review: Bond Arms Roughneck

The Roughneck derringer from Bond Arms is an entry-level option in 9 mm Luger, but don’t let that fool you, as the quality of its materials and craftsmanship rival those of the company’s top-end variants.

Book Review: The US M3/M3A1 Submachine Gun

Michael Heidler, no stranger to writing about firearm history, has produced a most impressive volume on one of this author’s favorite World War II firearms, the M3 “grease gun.”

Sniping In Korea: 1950-1953

When U.S. forces rushed to stop the North Koreans from overrunning South Korea in 1950, there were almost no American snipers. As the battle lines stabilized, that would change, and the war would become ideal for the employment of well-equipped and well-trained snipers.

Preview: Archangel Mosin Nagant OPFOR

Greatly improve the ergonomics and versatility of your old Russian workhorse with the Archangel Mosin Nagant OPFOR—one of the few replacement stocks on the market compatible with most variants of the storied bolt-action.

The Armed Citizen® September 20, 2021

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.