Instant Kills Past 50 Yards?

Winchester's Supreme Xtended Range HD Shotshells

It is not often that I'm ready to call a product "Best of Breed" or the best that's ever been. Well, Winchester's Supreme Elite HD loads are the best I've ever tested or seen, by no small margin.

Lots of shotshells can kill birds; but just killing a bird is hardly the point. Hunting is time consuming, and expensive. When we spend endless hours training dogs, practicing our wingshooting, patterning, putting gas in our vehicles and food in our tummies . . . the cost of a shotshell becomes moot on a hunt. That's just speaking for myself; hunting wild pheasants out of Illinois ditches. If you travel to hunt, the cost of shells with the bag limits in place becomes meaningless. It might be just a few miles of walking, it might take all day . . . but, it all comes down to two shells and two roosters. It is less yet if your hunt and your quarry equates to one shell and one turkey. The value of a shotshell that doesn't do its job is nil-just a waste of time, effort, and game.

The only interaction that takes place between the hunter and a wild rooster is in the form of a pattern. If we don't take the time to develop an effective pattern at the ranges we intend to hunt at, we are just shooting blind . . . a very rough way to cross the street. A wild cock pheasant is a magnificent bird; any wound that we create that does not result in 100% game recovery is a complete waste-we are just feeding the coyotes. One pellet in the back of a pheasant removes that pheasant from the food chain permanently, the most important food chain being our dinner tables. If we want 100% game recovery, we absolutely need a 100% chance to break a wing and a leg on an adult pheasant. With pattern quality that good, they most often fall dead from the air-and, so be it. A running pheasant after the shot is abject failure of the hunter as far as I'm concerned. We need both pattern quality and pellet penetration to assure instant one shot kills. If you are with me so far, you might understand why I'm so excited about these Winchester HD shells.

Taking pheasants past 50 yards flying with absolute confidence takes a competent gun, choke, and shell. Half a football field is a long ways, with a strong wild pheasant pumping his wings not just 50 yards out, but perhaps another 20 yards or so up in the air. When a crafty rooster hits the air at forty yards, we sure don't have much time to get on him and get him in the bag.

The patterning results at 40 yards with the Winchester Xtended Range HD loads were spectacular, but 40 yards does not always indicate what pattern performance will be farther down range. Using a Beretta Urika 2, still with an eighteen thousandths contriction George Trulock extended choke tube, the next batch of pattern testing began at a Leica-verified 52 yards.

Despite the modest constriction, these loads turned in better than full choke performance at 52 yards-I'm smiling for good reason! The Winchester HD loads gave better patterns at 52 yards than any other tested load could manage at 40 yards.

At 40 yards, several very costly no-tox loads did not have sufficient penetration to make it through quarter inch plywood; denting the wood and bouncing off. Some loads managed to stick in the face of the wood, none crushed it with authority. Number five lead did better than most of the alloy loads at 40 and 52 yards.

Setting up at 52 yards with fresh posterboard on both sides of the plywood, the Winchester HD loads blew through the wood like it wasn't even there, with 100% of the holes in the posterboard behind the wood as in the matching posterboard in the front. Of all the factors in wounding ballistics, nothing possibly can compensate for inadequate penetration. Winchester HD loads have it, to a level that is astonishingly good.

I doubt that few people could be more nauseated with some of the reckless "ad-brags" any more than I am. "Innovative," "best," and "revolutionary" are carelessly tossed about with all the care and caution of horseshoes and hand grenades-except that both need to be a lot closer to their targets than ad copy.

I'm delighted to be able to say that Winchester's Xtended Range Hi Density loads are the real deal; they are the last word in 2007 shotshell performance. Everything else I've seen or tried is just second-best by comparison.

Winchester HD shells, Trulock PH choke, Beretta Urika 2 Gold, and opening day of the 2007 pheasant season proved to be an effective combination.

Copyright 2007 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.




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