February 06, 2024
- Check out what’s new from Winchester for waterfowlers in the video above, with Game & Fish's Adam Heggenstaller and Winchester's Nathan Robinson at SHOT Show 2024 in Las Vegas.
Winchester has been at the forefront of developing high-tech, lead-alternative loads for waterfowl hunters since the non-lead mandate of the late 1980s. That reputation continues to this day, with more innovation geared at waterfowl hunters.
Among the new-for-2024 gear from Winchester are Blind Side 2 shotshells and an addition to the Bismuth line-up. Here’s a look:
Winchester Blind Side 2
Winchester turned heads years ago with its Blind Side loads, and now Hex shot is putting attention on its new Blind Side 2 shells. Each pellet has six flat sides and rounded edges. If that sounds unusual, it is. But Winchester’s testing has revealed that the pellets fly and pattern well with lethal penetration thanks to a tumbling effect created by the Hex shot. Winchester’s patented Drylok wad keeps water from ruining the powder while the nickel-plated head resists corrosion.
New this year in the Bismuth line is a 3-inch, 28-gauge load with 1 ounce of No. 5 shot at 1,300 fps. Bismuth loads have a special buffer to protect the pellets and provide denser patterns. The company says the Bismuth line “shatters performance expectations with a premium, uniform shot, which is tin-plated to produce the smoothest, roundest bismuth shot in the industry.” From its testing, Winchester says Bismuth puts 90 percent of its pattern on target. It also says any choke can be used. It has Winchester’s familiar components: Drylok wad system and primer, and proven buffer to assist with pellet flight and pattern expansion. Also in the Bismuth line, the 3-inch 12-gauge will have 1 3/8 ounces of No. 4 shot (ducks) No. 1 shot (geese). Bismuth 20-gauge will come in 3-inch offerings with 1 1/8 ounces of No. 4 shot.
Winchester Expands 28G Offerings
Winchester has added 3-inch 28-gauge offerings for upland and waterfowl hunters. The company says growing demand for sub-gauge hunting loads is an exciting prospect as it provides a softer recoil option for those that may have avoided hunting and sport shooting due to the higher recoil of 12 and 20 gauge. The new shotshells, with increased payloads, are offered in the Winchester Xpert Steel and Super Pheasant lines, along with Bismuth.
Click here to learn more about Winchester’s shotgun loads
- Alan Clemons contributed to this report.