Pick of the shells
We have new Winchester Long Beard shells in. From what we've seen, they may be the next big hit in the turkey hunting world. From our tests, they put up numbers like HTL loads. Keep in mind they are LEAD. This is one thing that worries me about the shell. With the patterns it puts up, I just hope you don’t get a false sense of security. As long as you don’t push the shell past the ethical kill zone, the shell should be okay.
The components of the Long Beard are different from others. They have a roll crimp on this shell.
The new shot Winchester has some type of resin to help hold it together. I had my concerns about this at first. From the testing we've done, it looks to break up as it enters the taper of the choke. It travels 10 to 15 feet and almost looks like a Black Powder gun when fired.
The wads look like they have exited the chokes in a good even manner. You can see the lines run all the way to the end of the wad and with the color of it, looks to have stayed in complete contact with the bore and choke. I was a little concerned with this load in the smaller bore type guns (Beretta MC, Benelli, Stoeger and Franchi). The wad in the big bore (835/935) traveled around 20 feet. The wad in the Remington and Beretta OP traveled around 55 feet. In the Beretta MC (small bore) the wad traveled around 90 feet.
New Long Beard 3½ inch 5’s (Mossberg 935)
Old 3 ½ inch HV 5’s (Mossberg 935)
I can say this shell got my attention with the Mossberg 935. Both targets above are only at 30 yards because I wanted to see the complete pattern. In the past our chokes never patterned a Winchester shell very good in the Mossberg (835/935), but all other shells did. The only thing we could figure was with the smaller and harder wad. I think this shell with the resin in it helps keep the wad solid and in contact with the bore. It does seem to be letting a little pressure off because the wad is dropping so much faster than in other smaller bore guns.
Target was at 40 yards with temps in the 65 to 68 rang 3 ½ inch 6’s. Gun was a new Remington 20 inch barrel 870. SumToy 665.
Target was at 40 yards with temps in the 65 to 68 rang 3 inch 6’s. Gun was a Beretta 391 OP bore 26 inch barrel. SumToy 665.
Target was at 40 yards with temps in the 65 to 68 rang 3 inch 6’s. Gun was a Beretta 391 MC bore 28 inch barrel. SumToy 665.
SBEII 665 choke 40 yards 31/2 6's. Temp 50. Dirty barrel that has been in duck blind all year.
This is 20 yards with the shell to just see how it looks.
From the testing, I would give this shell the SumToy approval. I think the shell will give the turkey hunter the opportunity to have a shell that puts HTL patterns at lead prices. I think that we have to be careful to not push the shell past the effective rang.