I peered through my Leupold scope at the buck, his black nose gleaming in the evening light. He faced me, antlers a bit wider than his ears, tines tall and curving. My crosshairs twitched rhythmically over my heartbeat, finally steadying on that black shiny nose. I squeezed.
“Hohh! Hey look at that, check it out through the spotting scope. I just shot a one-hole group!” I spoke to everyone and no one in particular as I stared at the bucks’ forehead through my riflescope, three shots forming one ragged hole through the paper. Oh, yeah, I neglected to mention that the buck was made of paper. Not having a proper target to perform accuracy testing on I was making do, using that shiny nose as a precise aiming point.
That was the best group I got, but almost every 100-yard group I shot with the Winchester XPC was under an inch. I had no caliper with which to precisely measure an average group size, nor did I have multiple ammo brands and types to test. But the load I did have – Winchester’s XP 125-grain Deer Season – grouped very well off of a sleeping bag rest and the pine needle-covered forest floor that served as my shooting station. The gun was fast and fun to shoot with its over-sized bolt knob, modular stock, and short barrel.
A bit of a departure from Winchester’s classic line of rifles, the XPC is a member of their XPR family of bolt-action long-guns. It’s currently offered in .308 Win, .243 Win, and 6.5 Creedmoor (as tested). While not a firearm that I personally would choose for a big game rifle, it adeptly answers today’s call for modular precision firearms. Heavy it is, but steady also, aiding in rock-steady shooting from a variety of positions. The rifle is well suited for precision shooting, varmint and prairie dog hunting, and distance work.
- Cartridge: .308, 6.5 CM, .243 Win.
- Capacity:5+1; 10+1
- Barrel length: 20 in. (.308); 24 in. (6.5 & .243)
- Overall length: 44 in.
- Length of Pull: 13.75 in.
- Weight: 10 lbs.
- Stock: Composite
- Receiver Finish: Matte blued
- MSRP: $1,599
***Check out the Cartridge Showdown — Does .30-’06 suck?***
The foundation of the Winchester PRC (the “C” stands for chassis, by-the-way) is the machined alloy chassis frame. A fully Cerakoted MagPul Gen 3 PRS stock supports length-of-pull as well as comb adjustment, making the rifle easy adjust to match to personal fit and style. The barrel is factory threaded for a suppressor or other muzzle device and features button rifling and a black Permacote finish. The receiver itself is steel, also finished with black Permacote, and drilled and tapped for scope mounts. Speaking of scope mounts, the rifle comes standard with a 20-moa rail factory mounted atop the action. A full-length Picatinny rail extends along the top of the forearm, making it easy to mount accessories.
The M.O.A. trigger system on the rifle is clean and crisp. My trigger gauge was 855 miles away during testing, so I can’t say exactly what the trigger broke at. My guess would be about 3.5 lbs. The action is smooth, and the large bolt handle makes for fast cycling. The bolt itself is large, features three heavy-duty lugs, a 60-degree bolt lift, and a smooth nickel Teflon finish. I did have a couple misfeeds, where the bolt failed to pick up a fresh cartridge. I don’t know the cause (perhaps a magazine issue?) but it’s likely an easy fix.
According to Winchester’s spec sheet (the rifle didn’t come home with me, so I can’t verify the specs), the XPC weighs in around 10 pounds, with an overall length of 44 inches. Barrel length on my rifle was 20 inches, and twist rate varies according to caliber. The magazine you use determines capacity; the rifle comes with a 5 and a 10 round magazine. MSRP comes in at just under $1,600.
The Winchester XPC is an accurate, smooth functioning, modular rifle well-suited to today’s demographic of precision shooters. With all the new introductions at SHOT of detachable-magazine shotguns and chassis rifles, the Winchester XPC is well-suited and priced to be on a lot of hunters and long-range shooters wishlist.
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