Winchester Shot-Lok Provides Tight Patterns Near and Far


Winchester Shot-Lok Provides Tight Patterns Near and Far

One of my favorite things I discovered on SHOT Show 2015 Range Day was Winchester’s new Shot-Lok ammo. This stuff provides tight patterns both near and far, as I saw for myself.

When shotgun shells are fired, some of the shot at the rear of the shot column is deformed, even when buffer is used. You know buffer–that white powdery stuff that sometimes leaks out of the crimps of your turkey shells.

Well, Winchester has begun something new. After a shot charge is in place, liquid resin is poured to encapsulate the shot. When it dries, the resin is transparent and holds the once-loose shot together as one unit.

When the shell is fired, the resin breaks apart and exits the barrel with the shot, but not before it protects the shot from deformation and helps hold it together.

I fired two rounds of the turkey load, Long Beard XR: one at 60 yards and one at 20. Both resulted in patterns that would have killed a turkey deader than dead.

Conventional wisdom would say that if it patterns that well at long range, the pattern will be so tight at close range that you might miss a bird. Well, that wasn’t the case on the range. Both shots produced patterns that were plenty dense to kill a turkey, but not so tight that a little wavering off-target by a hunter would have caused problems.

(Photo: Winchester)
(Photo: Winchester)

Winchester uses Shot-Lok in two new lines of ammo: Long Beard XR for turkeys and Rooster XR for pheasants.

I’m anxious to try this new ammo in my old shotgun because I hunt turkeys (and just about everything else) with Dad’s ancient over/under 12 gauge with 3″ chamber, choked full and modified. I plan to put my hands on some of these new turkey loads and see if I can extend my range. Currently, 30 yards is my max with that gun, using full choke.

Update: See my range report on Winchester Shot-Lok Longbeard XR.

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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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