By Kent Danjanovich
Winchester introduced its new line of auto-loading shotguns, the Super X4 (SX4) in the spring of 2017. Its platform continues with many of its predecessor’s, the ever popular SX3’s features, plus a few great changes and modifications that make the new generation even better.
When the SX4 was originally introduced, only 12-gauge models were available. Now, by popular demand, eight new 20-gauge models have burst onto the scene in an effort to reach out to even more hunters and shooters looking for their perfect, go-to shotgun, suitable for any application.
The Sportsman’s News Team has had the chance to “Test Drive” a number of SX4’s since their introduction and we have loved the functionality and dependability they offer, especially the shotguns’ quick cycling and Winchester’s Active Valve Gas System that automatically self-adjusts to cycle a vast spectrum of scattergun loads. But, the SX4 and especially the new 20-guage models offer even more great features.
The most glaring change is its balance. With a more forward-heavy center point in its weight distribution, the balance point has been moved a little more toward the forearm, which was very evident the first time we took it to the range. And with the even lighter weight of the new 20-gauge models (compact models as lite as 6lbs 4oz) the swing-through is very smooth, allowing you to lock-in quickly on flushing birds or fast-moving clays.
Winchester’s SX4 has also incorporated a number of changes to help make its operation even better. The bolt handle, bolt-release button, trigger and safety have all been slightly enlarged, making it a little bit easier in real-time hunting situations for quick acquisition, especially on those cold days in the field or in your favorite duck blind. They also slimmed down the forearm and pistol grip, making it more compatible when using gloves and for smaller handed shooters.
With 20-gauge options in eight different SX4 models, you are bound to be able to find the gun just right for you. But the best all-around model just might be the Universal Hunter. If you are adhering to your budget requirements, looking for one shotgun that can cover all of your shooting needs, I just don’t know if you can find a better solution than this gun. It comes in Mossy Oak’s Break-Up Country camo that is suitable for a wide variety of environments and comes with Winchester’s Invector-Plus choke tubes to cover lead, steel and even slugs if needed.
Yes, Winchester’s SX4 is definitely a hit with the Sportsman’s News Team. I have always been a little partial to the 20-gauge side of things and when the news came down that the SX4 line was introducing it, I couldn’t wait to try it out! So, if you are in the market for a new shotgun, do yourself a favor and stop by your local Sportsman’s Warehouse to see for yourself how well the new SX4 20-gauge handles.