Winchester’s “Long Beard XR” Turkey Killer
It’s new, and it’s lethal. Winchester describes it as “Lok’d & Lethal.” Their new “Long Beard XR” loads are like nothing you’ve ever seen before, and they should be on your dealer’s shelves in time for turkey season.
Available in 12-gauge only at this point and offered as 1-3/4 ounce 3-inch shell and a 2-ounce, 3-1/2-inch magnum loads in No. 4, 5 and 6 copper-plated lead shot, Winchester hints in their literature the patterns delivered by the new loads are so tight and well distributed that turkeys can be turned breast up at 66 yards.
The secret? The shot is lightly bonded together in some type of buffered mastic and surrounded by a frangible, transparent, almost dried liquid, shot cup molded around the shot. Winchester claims several primary advantages: the shot load is delivered on target without any pellet deformation and the cost to the consumer is much less than competivite “heavier-than lead” loads.
Winchester’s Long Beard loads (above) deliver killer turkey patterns at affordable
prices. The secret to the “Lok’d & Lethal” loading is a shot column (below) lightly
bonded together with a buffered mastic.
Along with test samples came a set of attractive “Long Beard” patterning targets so it was off to the range to test out this new wunderkind with a tight turkey tube screwed in the barrel of my Winchester SuperX2.
The targets were set at 40 and 60 yards. At 40 yards, shooting the 3-inch shell with 1-3/4 ounce of No. 5, I almost cut the target and the turkey’s neck in half. I’ve never seen tighter patterns at that range. They tell the hunter that if he’s shooting an ultra-tight, turkey tube, he better have good optics on his gun because this load will turn his scattergun into a rifle.
On the second set of targets set at 60 yards, the killer patterns were remarkably tight and well distributed. I didn’t push Winchester’s claim the “Long Beard” load might be efficient for a 66-yard kill. I just don’t think you need or should be shooting at Tom’s beyond 40 to 50-yards with even the best ammunition available to secure a humane kill.
Winchester’s “Lok’d & Lethal” lead shot technology gives the turkey hunter every advantage in the field with a superior load at an affordable price. It will be interesting to see what Winchester does with their new technology across their whole spectrum of shotshells.
By Holt Bodinson
600 Powder Mill Road
East Alton, IL 62024