“Best in class” just about says it all. It announces to the world that you stand head and shoulders above your peers. To those companies whose products are featured herein, we say, “Welcome to the ‘best’ class.”
Ammo of the Year: Winchester Shot-Lok
For years, shotshell pattern density was controlled with choke tubes, proprietary wads and even the shot itself. Then Winchester introduced another factor: the medium that holds the shot.
Shot-Lok, a proprietary resin Winchester found in use in another industry, is poured around a shot column during manufacture then hardens to fill every nook between pellets. Upon firing, Shot-Lok shatters into dust, becoming a micro-buffer protecting pellets from deformation, largely eliminating fliers by preserving tight patterns at longer ranges. In 2014, Winchester introduced it in Long Beard XR, a turkey load. AH Associate Editor Jon Draper reported impressive results (“Hardware,” March ’14): “With Long Beard XR you can comfortably extend your range beyond 40 yards. The new loads produced 75 holes in a 10-inch circle with No. 5’s and an astonishing 147 holes with No. 6 shot at 50 yards.”
Turkey hunters aren’t the only ones who benefit: Now Shot-Lok is sold in an upland load (Rooster XR) and a predator load (Varmint X). This is innovation at its finest.
Editor's Note: Winning products must be tested by the editors, meet or exceed expectations on innovation, and provide hunters and shooters with value for their money. NRA Publications will present the annual Golden Bullseye Awards at an invitation-only breakfast during the 2016 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Louisville, Ky., May 20-22.