Average Score-4.5 stars out of 5
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(AmmoLand.com) You know the old saying; “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.” This timeless phrase couldn’t be more fitting for the new Winchester Long Beard XR turkey load from Winchester Ammunition.
At first glance it pretty much looks like any other shot shell and has some of the same features as other shot shells. On the inside of the shell it uses copper plated lead pellets, and has a standard wad. But what helps the Long Beard XR stand above other shells is the Shot-Lok technology. Shot-Lok is a resin that holds all of the shot together in the wad. Once the shot has been fired, the resin turns to powder resulting in a more consistent shot pattern down range.
So how does this work and why is it better? The Shot-Lok resin helps prevent shot deformation so nearly every pellet keeps its shape and has a better chance of hitting the target down range. The resin keeps the shot from pressing against the wad and preventing pellets from deforming.
Winchester Ammo designed this round to not only have better performance but it is also very affordable. The Long Beard XR will cost you around $22 for a box of ten where their Extended Range Hi-Density shells will cost about $40 for a box of ten.
I tested the Long Beard XR 3 inch 5 shot using a Winchester SX3 with an Invector Plus Extra Full Turkey Choke. Shooting it at 10 yard increments from 20-60 yards I was very pleased at the performance. Obviously at 20 yards the pattern was nice and tight. At 30 and 40 yards the pattern opened up beautifully and I would have no problem shooting a turkey at those yardages. At 50 and 60 yards, you could kill a turkey, but I will let you decide your shooting limitations. I was impressed with the downrange performance of this shell.
At 40 yards I shot a Double X 3 inch 5 shot and a 2 ¾ inch 5 shot Xtended Range Hi-Density at 40 yards. The Long Beard XR out performed the Double X at that distance. In all fairness I didn’t have a 3 inch Xtended Range on hand to properly compare, but the 2 ¾ inch performed like an Xtended Range shell should.
Make sure to watch this video to see the shots in action.
At half the cost of Xtended Range Hi-Density Shells, the Long Beard XR exceeded my expectations. Right now it’s the Missouri Fall Turkey season; I think it’s time to head to the woods for further testing.
Quality: They are well made shells that performed consistent shot patterns downrange.
Reliability: I don’t have any doubts that this shell will help me roll over a few turkeys in the near future.
Price/Value: For the performance, you can’t beat the price. This is an affordable option if you want a high performance turkey load.
Referability: If you are a turkey hunter, check these out. Before you go buying up a case of this ammo, make sure to test it through your gun and choke tube set up to make sure it patterns the way you want it to.