Chasing the sky-darkening flocks of migrating snow geese means one thing for hardcore waterfowlers—high-volume shooting. In the past, the majority of such hunters turn simply to whatever high-brass, fast-moving steel hunting loads they could find. Modern ammunition manufacturers, however, are recognizing the demand for specialty rounds among dedicated hunters — enter Winchester’s Snow Goose.
Meet Snow Goose
New in 2019, Winchester’s Xpert Snow Goose ships in 12-gauge only, but with some intriguing blends of shot. We used both the 3.5-inch rounds loaded with 1-3/8 ounces of blended #1 and #2 shot. We also tried the 3-inch load of the same blended shot size in 1-1/4 ounces moving.
The loads are hot and heavy, moving at advertised velocities of 1,550 and 1,475 feet-per-second, respectively. In addition to the 1+2 shot mix, both of the sizes are also available loaded with BB shot.
Winchester builds on its proven Xpert line of Steel Shot hunting loads. Snow Goose makes use of the tight-patterning Diamond Cut Wad used in the company’s Blind Side rounds for extended range hunting. The difference with Snow Goose is the payloads being tailored to that specific quarry.
Taking that one step further on aesthetics, these new loads use what the company calls a “low visibility hull and wad” which means a gray tube and black wad. Though the wad certainly stands out in a snowy field the hull goes incognito, concealing well in plowed or barren terrain.
Both the 3-inch and 3.5-inch shells patterned very well through our Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus and the CZ Model 1012 autoloaders – running with complete reliability through both guns. Make no mistake, these are some hot loads but were no match for the autoloaders. We wouldn’t hesitate to take them out in the field on the next Snow Goose bonanza.
If you’re a serious waterfowler who prefers American made ammo, the Winchester Xpert Snow Goose rounds are a strong contender. The rounds ship 25-rounds per box or 250-rounds per case. Prices hover around $14.99 per box for the magnums and $12.99 for the 3-inchers.