New Rifle Load: Winchester Deer Season XP

Deer Season XP, as you may be able to guess, is designed specifically to drop deer, and is tailor-made for those who favor rapid expansion for thin-skinned critters. The key feature is the bullet's polymer tip. In a word, it's big. And when that big tip disintegrates on impact, the part of the bullet that smacks your deer is fat—fatter than that of other pointy bullets. In essence, you've got a big, fat wadcutter bullet with polymer-tip flight and rapid expansion designed to drop deer where they stand. Which is exactly what it did to the two deer I shot with it on a trip in which another eight or 10 deer fell also to this round. All that were hit well went pretty much nowhere, and that seems to have been the case on several other hunts where it was tested.

All of that is very impressive, but here’s the real kicker: Deer Season XP, which will be priced within one dollar of the company’s popular Power Point brand, will be one of, if not the, most affordable polymer-tipped centerfire rounds anywhere. (Available in .243 Win, .270 Win, .270 WSM, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .30-06 Spr, .300 Win Mag, and .300 WSM, starting in April.)