We might earn income from the merchandise obtainable on this web page and take part in affiliate packages. Study Extra

Duck looking is an costly pursuit. Simply discovering a spot to hunt could be pricey in the event you don’t have entry to good looking on public land. You additionally want all types of drugs—a truck, boat, trailer, decoys, and so on.—to successfully hunt waterfowl. It’s an enormous funding. And the final place you wish to skimp on is your shotgun. As a result of with no dependable firearm, there’s not a lot sense in heading to the blind. That’s why the Winchester SX4 is such a fantastic alternative. It’s an ultra-reliable, gas-driven semi-auto for lower than $900.

There are higher duck weapons than the SX4, however when it comes to worth, Winchester’s auto-loader is unmatched. It’s a 3½-inch shotgun with probably the greatest working methods (Lively Valve) one can find, and tons of of {dollars} cheaper than a Beretta A400 Xtreme Plus, Benelli Tremendous Black Eagle 3, or Browning Maxus II. And also you get the identical reliability from the SX4 that you’d from these three weapons. That’s why the Tremendous X4 gained the good purchase award in our current assessment on the perfect duck looking shotguns.

So, in the event you’re occupied with a sturdy duck gun that gained’t drain your checking account, however will operate if you want it to, right here’s is a extra in-depth take a look at waterfowl’s finest worth in an auto-loader: the Winchester Tremendous X4.

Winchester Tremendous X4 Specs and Options

These are the usual choices included within the Winchester Tremendous X4:

  • Gauge: 12 (examined), 20
  • Motion: Semi-auto
  • Capability: 4+1
  • Chamber: 3½-inch (examined), 3-inch
  • Barrel kind: Chrome-plated
  • Barrel Size: 24-, 26-, 28-inch (examined)
  • Choke: Invector Plus (F, M, IC)
  • Entrance sight: Pink fiber-optic
  • End: Black artificial, Woodland, TrueTimber Prairie, Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Habitat, Bottomland, Realtree Timber, Max-5, Depraved Wing (Cerakote barrel/receiver with camo inventory/fore-end)
  • Size: 49½ inches
  • LOP: 14¼ inches
  • Set off pull: 5.9 kilos
  • General weight: 7.1 kilos
  • MSRP: $899

The Tremendous X Sequence Has At all times Had a Dependable Fuel System

Active Valve is on of the best gas systems you will shoot.

Winchester is on its fourth era of the unique Tremendous X, which was launched within the Seventies. The SX1 was chambered for 2¾-inch shotshells, like most of the auto-loaders and double weapons of that period. It was additionally a tank (8½ kilos) as a result of its all-steel development. That made it sturdy, however costly to provide. Winchester stopped making it in 1981 as a result of the SX1 struggled to compete with Remington’s 1100, which had a cheaper price tag.

In the present day’s SX4 appears a lot totally different than the SX1. It’s nearly 1½ kilos lighter than the SX1 and sleeker than its predecessor. They’re each gasoline weapons, however the SX1 utilized a gasoline piston that traveled simply far sufficient to set the bolt in movement after which relied on momentum to complete the method of ejecting a spent shotshell.

The SX2 extra intently resembles the SX4. You can purchase a 3½-inch model of that gun and it was obtainable in an artificial mannequin, identical to the SX4. The SX2 operated barely totally different although. It used a gasoline tippet system borrowed from the Browning Gold.

In 2006, Winchester debuted the SX3 with the Lively Valve gasoline system. It carried out so properly they saved it within the SX4. The one distinction one can find within the Winchester Tremendous X4 is a brass ring on the base of the piston, not a black rubber O-ring.

Lively Valve runs as clear as any gasoline working system there may be. I’ve used an SX4 for my principal duck gun the final two seasons and shot it on spring snow geese with a seven-round journal extension affixed. The gun has by no means did not cycle. It has slowed down when soiled, which lets me realize it’s time for a cleansing.

You additionally gained’t have any points taking pictures totally different dimension hundreds by means of the SX4. A gaggle of Out of doors Life and Discipline & Stream editors (myself included) examined this gun in Sept. 2021, at Pintail Looking Membership in Texas. We shot gentle 1-ounce goal hundreds and heavy 1 1/8-ounce duck ammo on bluewing teal with the SX4. It cycled all of them with out difficulty. I additionally shot a number of turkey hundreds by means of my private SX4 to interrupt it in after buy. It had no drawback gobbling them up.

Winchester Constructed a Gentle-Taking pictures Shotgun

The SX4 manages recoil quite well.
Usually, the lighter the gun the more severe the recoil. That’s not the case with the SX4. Stephen Maturen

Beretta’s A400 shotguns are well-known for his or her recoil mitigation system, known as Kick-Off. It’s a sequence of springs within the inventory that softens the blow to your shoulder as soon as the set off is pulled and the power of the shotshell cost is shipped backwards. The SX4 solely depends on Lively Valve and an Inflex recoil pad (a chunk of rubber that’s 2 inches thick). However the recoil you expertise with the Winchester is barely barely heavier than the Beretta, which is to say it’s extremely manageable.

None of our testers in Texas may inform a lot of a distinction between the A400 Xtreme Plus and the SX4 when it got here to recoil. The Inflex pad was constructed to direct recoil away from the shooter’s face. But it surely additionally cushions the “sting” your shoulder feels when taking pictures magnum 3- or 3½-inch duck hundreds by spreading the power over a bigger space. The SX3 didn’t do this as properly, as a result of its Pachmayr Decelerator recoil pad was not as superior. It’s spectacular when you think about the SX4 is a full pound lighter than the A400. Usually, the lighter the gun, the more severe the recoil. However that’s not the case with the Winchester.

A Look Contained in the Winchester Tremendous X4’s Chamber

The SX4 is a reliable and functional gun.
The creator’s SX4 has by no means did not cycle or fireplace reliably. Joe Genzel

One of many issues I had concerning the SX4 earlier than shopping for it was the standard of the bolt. Fuel weapons sometimes price extra to fabricate than their inertia-driven counterparts as a result of there are extra shifting components to them. I used to be skeptical Winchester may pull off a gun that cycled shotshells reliably at such a low value level. I’ve shot the SX3 loads and was impressed with its performance, however Winchester lowered the worth on the SX4 by $200, and my thought was: “that price reducing needed to come from someplace.” (Only a facet observe: I used to be impressed the SX4 cycled in addition to the SX3, and it has higher ergonomics and total match and really feel).

The SX4 bolt has the identical easy two-piece design because the SX3. It has functioned flawlessly in all of the SX4s I’ve shot. You pull it again to open the bolt and press the bolt-release button to close it. There isn’t any button beneath the service to press earlier than manually opening the bolt, such as you would with a Beretta or Benelli. There’s additionally no rotating bolt head, which ensures higher lockup when the shotshell is pushed into battery.

The firing pin has been dependable as properly. Generally pins on cheaper weapons will put on out quick, and gained’t strike the shotshell primer deep sufficient to set off the cost. I’ve by no means had that difficulty with any SX4 (a few of these have been the weapons of pals who hunt 100 days a 12 months and put 1000’s of rounds by means of their SX4s).

Winchester Improved the Really feel of the SX4

You already know the SX3 and SX4 are comparable weapons. Each have the Lively Valve gasoline system and the identical inventory design, which comes with two ¼-inch spacers to regulate size of pull. However the SX4 has an upgraded set off guard that’s bigger than the older model, so you’ll be able to shoot it extra simply with gloves on. The protection can also be bigger and sq. as an alternative of a circle. It’s a lot simpler to search out when geese are within the decoys. If you happen to’re a left-handed shooter, it’s easy to change the security to the opposite facet.

There’s additionally an outsized bolt deal with on the Winchester Tremendous X4 so you’ll be able to load and unload it with chilly fingers or gloved arms. The bolt-release button is bigger on the SX4 as properly. Each are protected by a nickel-Teflon coating (as is the service) to inhibit corrosion, which saltwater and brackish water duck hunters will recognize.

The fore-end of the SX4 was redesigned in order that shooters have a greater grip on the gun within the disagreeable climate. There’s a reduce out on both sides of the fore-end your thumb and fingers will naturally discover. There’s additionally a checkered texture so you could have one thing to carry onto. The SX3 didn’t supply that on its waterfowl fashions. It was a clean, blocky fore-end that turned slick within the rain or snow. A couple of buddies that owned them put taking pictures tape on the fore-end to make sure the gun wouldn’t slip from their arms.

Winchester Tremendous X4 Versatility

The SX4 is gentle (7.1 kilos), making it a tremendous alternative for walk-in duck hunters. The 20-gauge model of the gun is barely 6 kilos, 12 ounces, and is an excellent higher possibility for waterfowlers who pheasant hunt or are run-and-gun turkey hunters. Winchester makes the SX4 in a compact mannequin with a 13-inch size of pull as properly. And there are turkey- and deer-specific fashions too.

Winchester, and sister firm Browning, have cornered the market on shotgun trims. The SX4 is obtainable in 20 totally different artificial, camouflage, and a mixture of camouflage and Cerakote finishes known as Depraved Wing. Browning provides most of the identical choices in its A5 and Maxus II.

The place the SX4 Got here Up Quick

The SX4 was built well.
It’s powerful to search out something mistaken with the SX4. Stephen Maturen

It’s a must to be nit-picky to search out one thing mistaken with the SX4. The outside just isn’t on par with costlier auto-loaders, however once more, you’re not paying as excessive a value for this gun.

The bolt reliably cycles, but it surely does take some power to tug again. It sticks a little bit when closed—particularly within the chilly—and requires some muscle to open. The loading port additionally will get torpid. There’s by no means a feeding difficulty if you end up taking pictures, however when loading and unloading the gun, it could possibly take a number of additional seconds to put the shotshell within the journal or take away it.

How Does the Winchester Tremendous X4 Shoot?

Since we examined so many weapons (17) in Texas, we picked one distance (35 yards) to sample every gun from. The trade customary is 40 yards, however we wished to showcase the patterns at a extra sensible yardage for duck hunters. Plus, your common hunter ought to hold taking pictures distances inside 35 yards. When you get out to 40 it takes extra ability, and the chance of crippling birds goes up.

We patterned every gun with Federal Velocity Shok 3-inch, No. 2s with a muzzle velocity of 1,550 fps and a cost weight of 1 1/8 ounces.

The Winchester Tremendous X4 was probably the greatest patterning shotguns in our take a look at—not shocking because it makes use of the confirmed Invector Plus choke system, which many Browning weapons have utilized for many years. Its finest sample totaled 124 of 140 pellets (89 %) contained in the 30-inch circle, which was solely matched by the Franchi Affinity 3.

The SX4 shot better than most the guns in our test.
The SX4 shot among the finest patterns in our take a look at. Stephen Maturen

As you’ll be able to most likely inform by the customized Cerakote end on this take a look at gun (which is my private SX4) there have been some aftermarket modifications made that you simply gained’t discover on a manufacturing facility SX4. I did have the forcing cones lengthened contained in the .742-inch bore to extend sample density. However I’ve additionally patterned and shot a handful of different SX4s on geese, snow geese, and clay birds. The one efficiency benefit I’ve seen within the area or on the clays course was after I wanted to make a shot past 40 yards. My customized gun paired with a Rob Roberts T3 choke does shoot higher at distance. Inside 40, which is the place we should always all be taking pictures geese and geese, I’ve by no means seen any distinction.

The SX4 shot 60 % above and 40 % under point-of-aim, a perfect gun for duck hunters who cowl up the chicken and fireplace. The pellets did shade barely to the left facet of the goal, however there have been no holes within the patternboard giant sufficient for a duck to fly by means of.

Closing Ideas on the Winchester Tremendous X4

Throughout our Texas shotgun take a look at it was clear from the primary morning’s hunt that the SX4 was a favourite to win finest purchase. No different mid-level shotgun challenged it for lengthy. Solely Franchi’s Affinity 3 and Beretta’s A300 Ultima rivaled the SX4, however each are 3-inch weapons that price about the identical because the Winchester. There have been higher shotguns in our take a look at, however you’ll pay a premium for them. In order for you a value level gun that doesn’t reduce any corners, it’s powerful to go on the SX4.



No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *