Turkey hunters can be persnickety about their ammunition and usually give the side-eye at anyone touting something as the latest and greatest for thumping gobblers.

Downrange density is important, especially for hunters who encounter turkeys at 40 or more yards. Inside that is the magic zone for many older hunters who want to get ’em in as close as possible. And there’s a group of hunters who are stretching their ranges out to 60 or more yards. As with anything in the hunting world there’ll be a variety of opinions about these situations.

With spring turkey seasons on hand, laying stock with Winchester’s Long Beard XR ammuntion and providing solid competition data could sway a hunter’s decision on a purchase. Long Beard XR is specifically designed for turkey hunting with a combination of the shot pellets, hull, powder and primer engineered for performance.

The ammo was used during the National Wild Turkey Federation’s annual 2017 Still Target Championship, arguably a great proving ground for turkey loads. The Long Beard XR 12- and 20-gauge ammo was used to set records in October 2017, with both gauges in the popular No. 6 size.

When hunters ask whether they should buy Long Beard XR, you could tell them this:

  • Joseph Sloan shattered the record of 63 pellets in the 12-Gauge Open Class by filling his 3-inch target with 80 pellets, fired from a custom bolt-action shotgun.
  • Cody Waters set a record in the 20-Gauge Hunter Class, breaking the record of 23 pellets with 35. He was using a pump action 20-gauge.
  • Chris Scott broke the 20-Gauge Open Class record, shooting 39 pellets into the target with a specialty shotgun outfitted with a .555 constriction choke tube.

“We are fortunate to have Long Beard XR ammunition as the most technologically advanced turkey load in the industry. This competition truly showcases its capabilities for turkey hunters on the range and in the field.” said Matt Campbell, vice president of marketing and sales for Winchester Ammunition.  “Winchester is proud of its long-time association with the NWTF, the leader in wild turkey conservation across North America.”