Clear Machine Not like many cheap bolt weapons, the XPR is immaculate. All the things is tight and works easily.
Let’s start with the actually vital stuff: XPR doesn’t formally stand for something. I checked. The individuals at Winchester wanted a reputation for his or her new rifle and relatively than “Ralph” or “Cynthia” or “uMgugundhlovu,” they picked “XPR.” Having lately shot it, I can let you know what the X ought to stand for, however we’ll get to that. No matter its title, the XPR is a Twenty first-century rifle, as completely different from its Twentieth-century ancestor, the Mannequin 70, as your iPad is from the 1947-vintage household leisure console of my youth, which coated a complete wall and featured a 7-inch black-and-white TV, a phonograph, and a radio.
An angular, streamlined bolt motion, the XPR incorporates a heavy tubular receiver with a smallish ejection port, an enormous three-lug bolt, an especially stiff artificial inventory, and an excellent set off. Winchester was very intelligent right here. Whereas the receiver is a circle in cross–part, which makes it inflexible, the surfaces which might be bedded are flat, which retains it from twisting and squirming. This goes to the very coronary heart of contemporary rifle accuracy: Should you design in rigidity, concentricity, and lack of stress on any one of many parts; when you make the rifle in order that it can’t twist, torque, bend, or flex; it’s going to shoot. Winchester did, and the XPR does.
The XPR lists for $550, which places it within the low to medium worth vary. Lately, there’s no scarcity of rifles within the $300 to $600 bracket. None are masterpieces of the gunsmith’s artwork, however some look as if their makers couldn’t wait to get them out the door. They’re tough and crudely assembled, with gaping areas all over the place, mediocre to poor set off pulls (regardless of loud bellows on the contrary), and a common air of shoddiness. Just a few, nonetheless, just like the Weatherby Vanguard, are immaculate. And so it’s with the XPR. There are not any toolmarks, no egregious gaps; all the things is clear and works easily.
There are additionally little touches the place Winchester may have saved a couple of bucks however selected to not within the curiosity of creating a greater rifle. They integrated the present Mannequin 70’s M.O.A. set off, which isn’t an inexpensive piece of equipment. On my test-model XPR, it offers a pull that’s just about excellent—no take-up, no discernible motion, and a 31⁄2-pound weight that feels lighter than it truly is.
A phrase is so as concerning the unique Mannequin 70 set off, which was admirable however flawed. It was a mannequin of sturdiness, however getting a good pull from it required each time and ability with a hone, and when you didn’t apply each, it might be an actual horror. The M.O.A. set off is extra complicated, however it eliminates the time and the stone. All you want is a screwdriver or two and a few minutes, and also you give you a pull that will have an old-style Mannequin 70 whining and snarling with envy.
The XPR’s push-feed bolt is coated with an electroless-nickel and Teflon compound that makes it glide forwards and backwards within the receiver and likewise renders the half fairly effectively rustproof. The bolt itself has three lugs relatively than two, and a brief 60-degree raise because of this.
The receiver is drilled and tapped for 8/40 screws, that are a lot stronger than the usual 6/48 screws that normally serve.
A two-position security allows you to unload the rifle with the set off locked away from the sear, if unloading the rifle bothers you terribly.
The gun feeds from a three-round, -single- stack removable journal that works simply fantastic even when it’s zero levels exterior. I can say this as a result of the primary time I went to the vary with the rifle it was zero levels exterior, and the journal labored fantastic, though my fingers didn’t after only some minutes.
It’s a Ringer
I examined the XPR in .30/06, and I put in one of many new Zeiss Conquest 2X–8X scopes, which value greater than twice what the rifle does. (Should you don’t break your funds shopping for a rifle, you might be able to afford a pricey scope, which makes a great deal of sense when you concentrate on it.)
Regardless of fearful chilly and excessive winds, the XPR shot extraordinarily effectively. My common three-shot group at 100 yards, based mostly on three teams from 5 completely different masses (see sidebar), was slightly below an inch. The perfect common group from a single load was .693. And this can be a light-weight, undiddled-with searching rifle, for heaven’s sake. Possibly the X is for “X-ring.”
Proper now, the XPR is available in .270, .30/06, .300 Win. Magazine., and .338. Weight is 7 kilos within the first two calibers and 71⁄4 within the magnums. You may get a camo inventory for an additional $50. Barrel lengths are 24 inches for the usual rounds and 26 for the magnums, and if it have been me, I might take my brand-new XPR to the gunsmith and have 2 inches lopped off the magnum barrel, as a result of all that metal out entrance makes for an unhandy rifle, and also you certain don’t want it.
However that’s simply my opinion. What will not be a matter of opinion is that this can be a superb searching rifle and, contemplating what you get for its modest worth, a terrific worth as effectively.
In zero-degree temperatures, with a 10-mph wind sometimes gusting to 30, I shot three three-shot teams at 100 yards utilizing every of the 5 rounds under. Listed here are the common group sizes:
• Federal Match Manufacturing facility 168-grain Sierra: .952″
• Winchester Deer Season 150-grain SP: 1.181″
• Hornady 180-grain SST handload: 1.177″
• Lapua Scenar-L 155-grain handload: .693″ (!)
• Hornady 165-grain SST handload: .873″