American Rifleman - July 2014 - 40

TECHNICAL

FROM THE BENCH

Winchester Elite Long Beard XR Turkey Loads
BY AARON CARTER, MANAGING EDITOR

D

edicated turkey hunters
are an intransigent group;
there's neither compromise
nor consensus on the "best" equipment for delivering that all-tooimportant first shot. Why? Success
is, by and large, determined by
the initial shot, as seldom does
a tom afford an opportunity for
redemption. Further complicating the task at hand is the small
target area-head and neck-and
the distances at which the boisterous birds tend to hang up. The
Holy Grail of turkey loads, then,
would produce patterns with cores
amassed with pellets at beyondnormal distances. Winchester's
new Elite Long Beard XR turkey
loads appositely fit the aforementioned description.
Extending the effective range
of a shotgun/shotshell combination via concentrating the shot
pattern requires innovation on the
part of ammunition manufacturers, as choke constriction can only

40 J

ULY

2014

AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG/LONGBEARDXR

improve pattern density so much.
The methods, and technologies,
utilized to undertake this challenge
vary from one company to another;
however, there are commonalities, including unconventional wad
designs, buffering, and magnum
(high-antimony) or plated (copper
or nickel) lead shot, or any combination thereof.
In its Elite Long Beard XR load,
Winchester Ammunition found it
unnecessary to deviate from its
traditional wad design in which the
four petals of the shotcup "blossom" to slow the wad's forward
momentum and release the payload. There is a separate gas seal,
too. Instead, Winchester uses what
it coined "Shot-Lok Technology,"
which essentially encompasses
an application of void-filling resin

after the shot charge is dropped
during the manufacturing process.
Once hardened, the resin locks
the pellets in place and creates
a single unit. During setback,
however, the fragile resin fractures
into a "micro-buffer" that protects
the shot from deformation during
acceleration and while traversing
the forcing cone and choke. That
is important because misshapen
pellets migrate to the fringe of the
pattern, which is undesirable in a
turkey-specific load.
As for the payload, Winchester
elected to use copper-plated lead
shot. The hardness of said shot
reduces the instances of pellet
deformation, thereby minimizing
"flyers," and it enhances penetration, too, as the smooth surface
continued on p. 42
Photo by Forrest MacCormack


http://www.americanhunter.org/LONGBEARDXR http://www.AMERICANRIFLEMAN.ORG

American Rifleman - July 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2014

Contents
American Rifleman - July 2014 - Cover1
American Rifleman - July 2014 - Cover2
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 1
American Rifleman - July 2014 - Contents
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 3
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 4
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 5
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 6
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American Rifleman - July 2014 - 33
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American Rifleman - July 2014 - 37
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 38
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American Rifleman - July 2014 - 40
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 41
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 42
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 43
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American Rifleman - July 2014 - 45
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 46
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American Rifleman - July 2014 - 48
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 49
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 50
American Rifleman - July 2014 - 51
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