Winchester is one of the oldest brands in the world of shooting so it’s no surprise they’ve been behind some of the biggest innovations in that world.
But it isn’t a company satisfied to sit on the strength of past successes, and in fact, continues to redefine how we as hunters and shooters continue to excel behind the gun. As evidenced by their 2015 product line-up on display at the recent Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas (SHOT), many of Winchester’s biggest game changers have come in just the past few years.
Following are five innovations that have changed the way we shoot:
- Deer Season XP (2015) — A load built specifically for deer hunters? Get out of here! Some innovations seem like they should’ve been obvious but remain hidden until genius shines a light on them. With deer hunters among the largest segments of shooters in the United States, a dedicated deer load just makes too much sense. With it’s new Extreme Point bullets with a wide diameter and radical new polymer tip for massive trauma upon impact, the new Deer Season XP, which will hit store shelves later this year, will be on the short list of many whitetail chasers come this fall.
- Long Beard XR (2014) — Looking to that other large segment of North American hunters, turkey hunters, Winchester redefined the previously standard effective maximum 40-yard range of the turkey load. With it’s new Shot-Lok Technology, which fills the air spaces between the shot, eliminating shot deformation upon ignition and maintaining a tight column of shot upon exit from the muzzle, Long Beard XR generates tighter patterns for twice the number of pellets over a standard turkey load at 60 yards. In most shotguns, Long Beard XR is a legitimate 60-yard gobbler killer.
- W Train & Defend (2014) — With self-defense such a big concern and concealed carry a driving force behind increased firearm ownership in America, it only made sense to give today’s shooters a line of ammo that provides ballistically matched full metal jacket training loads with hollow point defend loads so that the load a person may count on to defend their life will perform the exact same as the loads they train with. In a threatening situation is not when you want to discover the load you are shooting performs radically different from your handgun.
- AA Tracker (2013) — Wingshooting and clay shooting are two shotgun sports that attract legions of participants. But hitting a flying target with regularity can be a challenge for many as they struggle to determine where their shot flies in relation to the target. With AA Tracker’s colored wads (orange for dark backgrounds and black for light colored backgrounds), designed to track reliably with the shell’s shot column, shooters and shooting coaches can better observe where a shot flies for much quicker adjustments to lead on subsequent shots making for better shooters everywhere.
- 17 Win Super Mag (2013) — Rimfire shooting remains among the most popular among target and varmint shooters, yet it receives so little focus among many ammo companies. Not Winchester. In 2013, they redefined performance in rimfire loads by creating the 17 Win Super Mag, at 3,000 fps, the fastest rimfire load ever. With this new load, varmint hunters could get centerfire performance for rimfire costs.