The American Legend brand is constantly innovating and making splash moves. Over the last few years, we’ve seen new calibers--.350 Legend and 6.8 Western--along with hot platforms like the XPR budget bolt guns, SX4 semi-auto shotguns, and additions to the longstanding western-style lever guns. But 2023 is a much quieter year at Winchester Arms. At a time when most companies are struggling to keep up with production on their existing lines, they’ve taken the safer route of catching up on current gun orders rather than introducing entirely new lines. 
 

New Rimfires from Winchester

 

The Xpert lineup isn't brand new for 2023 but there are some nice upgrades. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)


That’s not to say there’s nothing fresh from Winchester. In fact, they’re cataloguing a trio of new model variants on existing lines, all rimfires. Everything centers on the semi-automatic Wildcat and the related bolt action Xpert, both .22 LR long guns. 
 

Wildcat Sporter 

The ultra-lightweight, creatively built, more modern than traditional now takes steps to dress it for a more traditional audience. The Sporter uses a satin-finish wood stock with a slightly longer length of pull. This was a complaint with larger adult shooters using earlier synthetic variants. This version will have the 18-inch barrel, adjustable ghost ring rear sight, integral picatinny rail, ambidextrous magazine release and 10-round rotary magazine. 
 

Wildcat Sporter SR 

The SR version of the Sporter includes one notable upgrade--the threaded Suppressor Ready (SR) barrel. Done at 1/2x28, the threads are ideal for suppressor mounting. The Sporter SR maintains the same checkered wood stock and features as the Sporter but with a shorter 16.5-inch barrel. 
 

Xpert
 

The Xpert lineup got a major facelift for 2023. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)


To be fair, the Xpert was actually displayed at SHOT Show 2022, but here it is again listed as a newbie in 2023, albeit with more options and variants. The bolt action Xpert is a riff on the company’s semi-automatic Wildcat with more of a bent toward accuracy. There’s a precision Rimfire MOA trigger, button rifled barrel with a Bentz-style chamber and recessed target crown. The Xpert sits in a lightweight skeletonized polymer stock similar to that of the initial Wildcat. Versions on display at SHOT Show 2023 include a sweet carbon-fiber-look stock as well as a camouflaged example. 

Ammo Intros and Upgrades

 
Bigger news comes from Winchester’s Ammunition division. There are 11 fresh brands, updated offerings, and throwback packaging.

Big Bore 
 

New big bore ammo from Winchester in 2023. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)


This new handgun hunting line in bold snarling-bear packaging offers hunters a choice of four chamberings: .44 Magnum, 10mm, .357 Magnum, and .45 Colt. While the term “big bore” may be relative given the chamberings listed, the rounds are built for more serious business. The semi-jacketed hollow point design is intended for deeper penetration and more controlled expansion ideal for larger game like that pictured on the box.  
 

Bismuth


Winchester’s new-for-2023 family of shotgun loads pack the hard-hitting yet gun-friendly bismuth shot. There’s one 20-gauge offering alongside two 12-gaugers. They’re built as waterfowl loads, hitting harder than steel and using a two-piece wad system for a tighter gas seal. By and large, bismuth shot is safer in classic scatterguns due to its softer nature, and it’s nontoxic as well. 
 

Blind Side2

 

New for the blind. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)


Building on the company’s proven Blindside brand, version 2.0 uses “improved” stacked Hex steel shot. The company keeps its Drylok wad system, which protects gunpowder from moisture in the wet conditions most waterfowl hunters target. Hunters have a choice of five 12-gauge loads from 1-3/8-ounce to 1-5/8-ounce. There’s a single 20-gauge load in 1-3/8oz plated steel shot. 
 

Copper Impact
 

The nontoxic hunting line of ammunition expands with the addition of 7mm Remington Magnum, one heretofore missing from the laundry list of lead-free Copper Impact rounds. The 7mm Rem Mag load uses a 150-grain Copper Extreme Point projectile. 
 

E-Tech
 

The move towards environmentally friendly ammunition offerings continues to gain traction. Winchester debuted two eco-friendly environmental wad shotshell loads. Both are 12-gauge and use a bio-polymer wad instead of non-biodegradable plastic. The 2.75-inch loads use #7.5 shot ideal for target shooting. 
 

M1 Garand
 

Garand shooters rejoice. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)


The M1 Garand military semi-automatic classic holds a solid place with collectors and shooters alike. This new ammunition offering is exactly what it says--a .30-06 Springfield load tailored to Garand shooters. The 150-grain M2 ball ammo comes in patriotically packed boxes of 20 and is built to cycle smoothly and shoot accurately. 
 

Power Point
 

One of Winchester’s most longstanding brands adds a duo of new chamberings. Both .300 Blackout and .35 Whelen now find themselves atop Power Point’s long list of whitetail and big game loads. The Blackout will be tipped with a 150 grain projectile while the Whelen gets a 200-grain load, both obviously using Power Point bullets. 
 

Retro Artwork

 

We're digging the retro art vibes. (Photo: Kristin Alberts/Guns.com)


In addition to upgraded lines of ammunition, Winchester’s ammo division continues its transition to old-school packaging. The move began in 2022 and will roll through the current year. We’re big fans of the throwback boxes, which show off animal art, old-school lettering, and bolt colors. The designs can be found on hunting, target, and personal defense products. Company reps indicate the style will eventually encompass the entirety of Winchester’s ammunition lines. 
 

revolver barrel loading graphic

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