New for 2024: Winchester 28-Gauge Upland & Waterfowl Shotshells

posted on January 25, 2024
Winchester 28 Gauge Shotshells Lead

Sub-gauge shotguns have gained a huge following over the last few years, and with good reason; they are much easier on the shoulder, and modern shotshells make them nearly as effective as the 12-gauge, but in a lighter, handier package. I started hunting small game with a Savage/Stevens/Fox Model BSE side-by-side in .410-bore, and more recently I've adopted a Stevens 555 stack barrel in 28-gauge. While I find my darling old .410 to be my favorite cottontail rabbit gun, the 28-gauge might be the most underrated shotgun yet; it punches well above its weight class.

Winchester Bismuth shot shell box with cutaway shell exposing Bismuth.

New for 2024, Winchester brings a trio of excellent shotshells in 28-gauge to the table, giving both waterfowlers and upland game hunters great new options. In the Xpert shotshell line, Winchester offers waterfowlers a 3-inch steel load, featuring ¾-ounce of No. 4 shot, at 1350 fps. If the idea of using steel shot doesn’t appeal to you, Winchester offers a non-toxic option in the Bismuth line, with a 3-inch load stuffed with one ounce of No. 5 shot, leaving the muzzle at 1,300 fps. I personally prefer the terminal performance of Bismuth over steel, as it retains more energy downrange than steel does.

Winchester Xpert and Super Pheasant shot shell boxes.

And for the upland crowd, Winchester brings a 28 gauge option to the Super Pheasant shotshell line. Using a 1⅛-ounce load of copper-plated No. 5 shot, cradled in a wad designed to optimize the shot pattern, the Super Pheasant load will allow fans of the 28-gauge to ruin many a rooster’s day. At 1200 fps, the 3-inch, 28-gauge Super Pheasant load will hold distant birds, without punishing the shooter’s shoulder.

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