American Hunter | {Hardware}: Winchester XPR Renegade Long Range SR

Shooters always want accurate rifles, but the definition of “accurate” has evolved over the years so almost any bolt action, regardless of its price, is likely to shoot 1-inch groups. Custom aiming rifles – or expensive hunting rifles – are expected to exceed this standard. A fact that we occasionally forget is that shooters are not machines. On-site shooting conditions can play a role in accuracy, as can the rifle itself.

For example, many hunting rifles can perform excellently from a bench where variables and heart rates can be better controlled. However, there’s a reason target rifles carry stronger supplies, heavier barrels, and sturdy action: in general, they’ll be easier to fire well with a wider variety of ammunition because they’ll stay stable and consistent.

Knowing this, Winchester created a new rifle platform based on everything it has learned and developed over the past century. The result is the XPR Bolt Action Line (eXtreme Performance Rifle). One model, the XPR Renegade Long Range SR, is a target / hunting hybrid rifle that combines a premium barrel, receiver, trigger, and third-party targeting stock to deliver a rifle capable of groups by half an inch or better from the bench while remaining practical enough to be carried in the field and heavy enough to shoot accurately from field positions, even at great distances, as any flaw in the shooting form worsens .

“The main factor in accuracy is the run,” said Winchester engineer Nick Schafer. “We started with a chrome-moly blank, pierced it with a button gun, relieved it, added a targeting crown and then attached it to the receiver with a barrel nut.”

The Renegade has a medium-contour tube that maintains its 0.75-inch diameter throughout. (The .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08 Rem. And .308 Win. Chambers are 22 inches, while the .270 Win., .300 WSM and .300 PRC chambers are 24 inches.) The “SR” denotes Suppressor Ready. The mouth is therefore provided with a thread (⅝x24).

The run itself is only part of the accuracy equation. It has to be firmly embedded and perfectly connected to the recipient in order to realize its potential. This is the exact reason why Winchester chose a barrel nut fastening system and a custom Grayboe stem. A traveling nut system that can increase or decrease headspace until it is precise is a superior method for mass producing precise rifles, but it also offers more.

Winchester XPR Renegade long range SR action close-up

“A barrel nut enables us to eliminate a jammed recoil loop, ensures that the surfaces of the barrel and receiver are square, and enables us to control the airspace very closely and consistently,” said Schäfer.

What does a traveling nut have to do with a recoil eye? Usually a recoil loop – or the metal tab on the bottom of the receiver that is embedded in the shaft to keep the action from moving back and forth under the recoil – is attached to the receiver between the barrel and the action. However, because the traveling nut design allows for a consistent relationship between the receiver and the stem, engineers can create a type of return nose that has a steel eyelet permanently embedded in the stem so that its top fits into a machined recess on the bottom of the receiver. It prevents the action in the shaft from moving, but always ensures that the nose is perfectly bedded.

Grayboe shares are admitted to full free float. It has a target style beavertail front end that is issued right after the receiver. The buttocks have an under hook design that allows the archer’s supporting hand to pull the shaft into the shoulder bag. It’s clever.

Winchester XPR Renegade Long Range SR Grayboe Stock

The effect of this XPR is made from a solid piece of rod material for maximum rigidity. The bolt has vertical fluting to reduce friction, while the bolt head of the same diameter has three large locking lugs and a hybrid extractor with controlled feed and a piston ejector. The Renegade has a short 60-degree bolt throw and an oversized bolt handle. I used to ignore the benefits of a short bolt throw until I discovered that some of my long range rifles could not accommodate various scopes that I wanted to mount on them because the bolt was blocked by the scope. Problem with the XPR averted. There is a tension indicator on the back of the bolt. The lower “metal” of the rifle is made of polymer, as is the detachable three-round magazine with a stack.

The next trait required to match a rifle’s accuracy potential is its trigger. Winchester has been developing its MOA trigger for years and it’s almost wonderful. It uses a simple lever system that gives a 2: 1 mechanical advantage over the Sear. I’m here to review the company’s claims that there is no creeping or running over. It came out of the box set at 4 pounds, although it felt less because of its crispness. Despite an adjustment screw, the screw hole has been filled with epoxy so it cannot be easily adjusted. After clogging it, I found that it was set as easily as possible. While a crisp 4 pound trigger is fine for a hunting rifle only, I was disappointed that it couldn’t be dialed down to 2½ or even 3 pounds.

Winchester XPR Renegade Long Range SR Trigger

The security of the trigger is a simplistic thing of beauty. It’s a two position side mount switch that is quick and satisfactory. Immediately in front of this is a bolt release button that can be used to unload the chamber while the weapon remains in safety.

Even if all of the components are of the highest quality, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a rifle will shoot. But my XPR Long Range test model has no more light. I used it to spread an average of 0.75 “groups over four types of ammunition and found a factory load that shot down a 0.30” group. I also shot a couple of sub-inch groups at a distance of 300 meters. Equally important was that the rifle could be easily fired from sticks, by hand or lying down from a bipod or backpack. It did not throw flyers when the barrel heated up like many light hunting rifles do. Aside from accuracy, I love the matte Teflon finish of the rifle and the black and green color of the stock. With my AB suppressor attached, this XPR quickly became my favorite long-range deer rifle for stands where a 300 yard shot was possible.

When I used the rifle during deer season I found a few things that I would change however. First, I wish the trigger could be easier. Second, the Grayboe stock on a hybrid hunting / targeting rifle like this would be better suited with an adjustable cheek piece so that the fit can be perfected for any shooter. And third, while the magazine is simple and reliable, if Winchester had been just a few millimeters larger it might have picked up a fourth round.

Overall, however, the XPR Long Range SR is characterized by its properties, its accuracy and the fact that it is easy to fire sub-inch groups even from field positions with several hunting and aiming loads. This is an indication of a high quality, well made rifle that can be used with great precision on the range or in the field where long shots are required. Plus, it’s great value when you factor in its real price, which is less than $ 1,000.

Winchester XPR Renegade Long Range SR Accuracy Chart


Technical specifications

• • Type: Bolt action rifle
• • Caliber: .243 Win., 6.5 Creedmoor (tested), 7mm-08 Rem., .308 Win., .270 Win., .300 WSM, .300 PRC
• • Barrel: 22 “(tested) or 24”, ⅝x24 threaded finish
• • Magazine: Polymer detachable box, 3-rnd. capacity
• • Trigger: MOA, single stage, adjustable 4 pounds. Draw weight (tested)
• • Tourist Attractions: none, drilled and provided with tapped holes for telescopic sight mounts
• • Safety: Two positions with bolt release button
• • Camp: Grayboe target with beavertail front end and undercut buttocks; adjustable LOP
• • Metal surface: matt black Teflon
• • Equipment: Three LOP spacers, hard case, trigger lock
• • Overall length: 42 “-44” depending on the barrel length
• • Weight: 8 lbs., 8 oz.
• • MSRP: $ 1,069; winchesterguns.com

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