NRA American Rifleman calls the Winchester XPR a “Next Generation Deer Slayer.”

Reviiew of article in NRA American Rifleman magazine. Review by Winchester Repeating Arms staff writer Scott Engen.

The old hunting adage of “Your rifle’s gotta shoot and your bullet’s gotta kill” is perfectly embodied in the latest XPR bolt-action rifle and Deer XP ammunition. Winchester Repeating Arms and Winchester Ammunition have teamed up to provide this new potent rifle/ammo combo that’s perfect for today’s value-conscious and performance-oriented hunter.

For the cover story in September 2015 issue of the NRA American Rifleman, editorial director John Zent explored the two new breakthrough offerings in great detail. First up is the XPR bolt-action rifle from Winchester Repeating Arms.

“With web pricing currently running in the $50 to $500 range, the Winchester XPR isn’t the (affordable modern bolt-action) category’s least expensive, but it is the only one that comes with brand equity going back to the Model 1894 lever-action, an affordable deer rifle in its own right,” noted Zent. “Like a lot of the current bolt actions at the low- and medium price points…the XPR is built on a round bodied receiver joined to the batter by a barrel nut. This design…requires fewer machining or hand-fitting steps to regulate the critical headspace dimension… .”

“…The Winchester XPR…is the only (rifle) that comes with brand equity going back to the Model 1894 lever-action…”

“Another trendy touch is the (XPR) action’s stout bolt…,” continued Zent. “The new thinking is that these smooth-riding fat bolts, especially when equipped with a short-lift, three-lug lockup like the XPR’s, make it that much quicker and easier to stroke the action.”

“…These smooth-riding fat bolts…make it that much quicker and easier to stroke the action.”

“Winchester states the XPR barrels are the same as those found on today’s Model 70, …button rifled and ‘thermally stressed relieved to ensure accuracy’,” explained Zent. “Also premium is the firm’s MOA Trigger…it is solid fast and controllable. Our test rifle’s trigger broke at a consistent 4 lbs., …a perfect example of why clean breaks are more beneficial than super-light pulls in an exciting encounter with game.”

“…The firm’s MOA Trigger…is solid fast and controllable.”

“I think these two high-value components are key to the rifle’s accuracy,” Zent continued. “…It also deserves high marks for the solid two position safety and the adjacent bolt-release tab that allows the shooter to work the action with the gun on safe.”

“…These two high-value components are key to the rifle’s accuracy,..”
Accuracy of the XPR/Deer Season XP combo was impressive. The NRA test with the 130-grain loading in 270 Winchester produced an average of 1.23 inches for five consecutive 5-shot groups at 100 yards, while the smallest group posted a sub-MOA measurement of just .93 inches.

“It’s tough to predict if the recent wave of affordable bolt guns will become the new normal for deer hunters,” concluded Zent. “As Winchester’s entry, the XPR…certainly appears to have all the necessary features.”

To read the full article on the XPR/Deer Season XP combo by John Zent, visit

To learn more about the XPR bolt-action rifle, stop by your local Winchester Repeating Arms dealer today and discover for yourself all the outstanding features that make this rifle your next deer rifle.