The weather finally allowed me to briefly make it to the range to evaluate the new 20 Gauge Winchester Long Beard (WLB) turkey loads.

These new shells are loaded with 1.25 oz of either #5 or #6 shot with a muzzle velocity of 1000’ per second. They have the same roll-crimp with an over-wad as their 12 gauge predecessor.

I had only small window of shooting time before the rain started again, so I only fired 3 of the shells with #6 shot.

Here are the details: All shots were 40 yards from the muzzle of the shotgun.

Gun Used:   20 gauge Remington Express with 28” barrel
Cleaning Process:   I cleaned the bore and the choke prior to the first shot only, with no cleaning between subsequent shots.
Choke Used:   Swarm .555

Elevation: 791’
Temperature: 59°
Humidity: 75%
Pressure: 29.97 falling
Wind: SW 9 mph

SWARM      10”       2” gaps

Target #1     169      0
Target #2     169      0
Target #3     140      0

This of course is a very limited evaluation of the 20 gauge WLB shell but the results were quite impressive. Patterns were dense and no gaps of 2” or larger were in any of them.

I plan to make another trip to the range soon to complete this evaluation with the #6 shot and also with the #5 shot load.


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About the Author Anton Scharff

Anton is a hunting expert who respects nature. Ask him anything about large game. Lover of the great outdoors.

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