first published on April 29, 2021 by Josh Brooks[mashshare]
If you’re looking for a new deer rifle that won’t break the bank, we have exactly what you’re looking for. The Winchester XPR is a modern day hunting rifle that can be purchased on a budget. While it’s certainly not in the price range of your teenage son’s first hunting rifle, it’s not a rifle that will have your wife asking you to return it because you broke the bank account.
The XPR is touted as Winchester’s new work horse hunting rifle. We put that to the test courtesy of our friends at Guns.com, and had a really good time shooting this rifle. We’ll get more in-depth on the specifics down below, so I’ll just jump right into it.
Even if you’re from the middle of nowhere Scandinavia, chances are you know who Winchester is. Winchester is a name that goes hand-in-hand with American firearm ownership. They have a storied 150+ years of firearms innovation behind them. As a result of this time in the industry, they are a company that truly knows how to make a rifle. No one can question this.
Oliver Winchester established the Winchester Repeating Arms company in 1866 to produce the finest, and most technologically advanced firearms and ammunition. The rest of their story is literally woven into American history, and today that still shows true with all of their products. With Winchester, you can buy in confidence. It doesn’t matter if it’s a budget firearm, or a collectors piece. You will get a quality product from Winchester.
Winchester says that the XPR is their new workhorse. It’s meant to be an upgrade from the Winchester Model 70, and is designed for the next generation of Winchester hunting enthusiasts. If you’re familiar with the Winchester Model 70, than the XPR won’t be too much of a stretch from you. The primary differences between the XPR and the Model 70 have to do with the manufacturing process itself, which is what makes it so that the XPR can be purchased for less than $700 in most cases.
The primary features of the Winchester XPR are a black polymer stock, Inflex Technology recoil pad, an M.O.A. trigger system, a bolt unlock button, nickel Teflon™ coating on the bolt, and a detachable box magazine. You can read more about the specifications of the Winchester XPR down below.
Before we get too much further into this review though, you should check out this video on the XPR from Guns.com.
The Winchester XPR is a very solid rifle, and one that shouldn’t be super hard to find. That said, we are living in crazy times and we received our rifle from Guns.com, and it’s thanks to them that we were able to complete this review. At the time of this writing, there are 59 results for the Winchester XPR on Guns.com, and purchasing from them will probably be both the fastest and easy way to acquire one of these rifles.
On top of Guns.com being the fastest way for you to find an XPR, it also allows you to do a bit of price searching. If you go to your local sporting goods store, they may only have one model of the XPR, and it may not be in your preferred caliber or at the price-point you want. With Guns.com, that’s not an issue. You can easily filter the rifles by your preferred caliber. You can also easily sort the rifles by price with their webpage’s filtering tool.
One more quick note on buying a firearm through Guns.com. Normally, when you make an online firearms purchase, you have to go through the headache of getting your FFL’s information, and jumping through several hoops. With Guns.com, that’s not an case. You input your address, and they do the rest of the leg work for you.
Our day at the range with the Winchester XPR took place in literally middle-of-nowhere Wyoming. I have Paul Markel from Student of the Gun to thank for that, as he was able to lock us on fantastic range facility. Our ranges for shooting the XPR were between 100 and 500 yards, and we used a Leupold VXL optic. Weather was mild, but slightly inclement due to the elevation, wind and temperature. We also used 30-06 of the Remington Core-Lokt variety. Same as with our testing of the Browning X-Bolt.
Overall, the rifle performed extremely well. In-fact, Paul Markel didn’t believe me when I told him the average price-tag for the rifle was between $500 and $700. He was positive that the rifle was more towards the $900 to $1,100 range. That entire conversation was a bit of a surprise to me, because Paul is something of a long-gun connoisseur and generally knows his rifles pretty well.
Brand new, out of the box with an optic slapped on it, we were able to get the rifle zeroed in on target after ten rounds and some bore-sighting. While we didn’t exactly toss the thing down a mountain, you could also tell from the build that the rifle was incredibly sturdy. I have no doubts that this thing could stand up to some pretty rugged foot movements.
This thing is a monster. I’ve held cheap rifles in my hands before, and I can tell you that the XPR is not that. Through and through, the XPR is a solidly built rifle, and will hold up to any abuse you put it through. Doesn’t matter the weather you’re hunting in, nor the terrain you are traversing with the rifle. I am incredibly confident in the XPR’s ability to take some serious abuse, and still hold zero. I’m not sure how Winchester did this. I will not lie. Some how they managed to make a mostly-Marine proof rifle for under $700.
On top of the durability of this rifle however, I want to give a special mention to the trigger system in this weapon. The XPR has a fantastic trigger. It’s crisp and clean, with a solid break-point with very little overtravel. As a result of the outstanding trigger in this rifle, it was very easy to hold a sub 1/4″ group out to 100 yards.
In my opinion, the Winchester XPR is too easy to recommend. It’s a budget bolt-action with a clean trigger, and it’s mad by Winchester. If you were a Model 70 shooter, you can buy in confidence here. If you’re looking for a budget friendly deer gun that won’t make your wife mad, you can buy in confidence here. Buy in confidence with the Winchester XPR. It will not disappoint you.
As always though, this is just the opinion of one shooter. If you have had a different experience with the XPR, we want to hear from you. Are you a Model 70 shooter? We’d love to hear from you too. Together as a community we can always come together and make strong purchasing decisions. We also try to be as active as possible with our comments section. So, feel free to leave us a question as well.