By Austin Manelick
When people talk about ammunition performance on big game animals, there’s no better place to test the reliability than Alaska. From brown bears to blacktail deer and everything in between, Alaska puts the “Big Game” in the Winchester Expedition Big Game Long Range lineup.
The past two hunting seasons, I’ve used the 300WSM XPR and Expedition Big Game Long Range with great success. In 2017, the 180GR Accubonds performed as imagined: bear, deer, mountain goat, sheep and caribou — they all fell to the single cartridge.
The following year, Winchester outdid themselves and released the 190GR offering in Long Range. My mission was to test this new load in Alaska’s vast landscape on big game animals.
Deer hunting blacktails on Kodiak means you may potentially run into the famed brown bears that roam the island, more popularly called “The Rock.” The 180GR would work on a brown bear and would definitely be better than a sharp stick. When Winchester released the 190GR offering in Expedition Big Game Long Range, I knew I found my end-all Alaskan load. A load that would not obliterate a deer but do its job at close and long ranges. A load that, if your life depended on it, would perform and protect. A load that would work on species as big as moose yet not overkill for deer. Winchester found the sweet spot on ballistics, controlled expansion for long range and short
range, and lethality, not to mention flat trajectories and knockdown energy power of 31-44.
Here’s what I found out: This bullet is true to its name. The tough, deep-penetrating Accubond performed flawlessly at extended ranges. The controlled expansion design penetrated thick hide and bone on moose and bear while not sacrificing on close-range performance on smaller
animals such as dall sheep and blacktail deer. The perfect combination of range, knockdown power and lethality.