• Review: Winchester SX3 Shotgun

    Winchester SX3 Shotgun Review

    The Winchester Super X3 (SX3) Composite shotgun is the model preferred by many hunters because of its trim dimensions that feel and balance perfectly in your hands.
    The self-adjusting Active Valve gas system and proprietary next generation In flex Technology recoil pad reduce felt recoil as much as 50% over that of inertia-operated auto loaders for faster follow-up shots and prolonged shooting comfort.










    COMPANY FACTS:

    It is the fastest semi-Automatic shotgun in the market.


    Technical Specifications


    Category: FIREARMS - SHOTGUNS
    Make: Winchester Super X3 ( SX3 )
    Action : Gas operated Semi-Automatic
    Gauge :12
    Barrel Length :28 inches
    Capacity :4 + 1
    Chamber :3"
    Weight :7 lbs
    Chokes: 3 chokes included
    Stock :Synthetic
    Finish :Gunmetal Grey Perma-Cote Ultra Tough, Dura-Touch armor coating.


    Packing

    The SX3 comes in a not very impressive cardboard box, which includes the following with the gun:
    5 SHIMS
    2 SPACERS
    3 Choke tubes (Full, Modified and Improved Cylinder)
    Gun lock
    Sling swivel studs.


    Finish & Looks

    A gunmetal gray Perma-Cote UT (Ultra Tough) surface finish is applied to external metal surfaces for extreme corrosion protection, while the bolt is plated with electrolytes nickel for reduced friction and added corrosion resistance.
    The composite fiber model has a very bold new dashing look. I personally don't like the looks of the wooden model.


    Grip, Stock, Cast and Drop
    Dura Touch Armor Coating provides a sure grip during wet weather conditions.
    Inserts/Spacers (4 come in the box) can easily be added or removed between the stock to adapt your gun to your exact measurements. Length can be adjusted from 349mm to 375mm (14 inches to 15 inches ).
    Shims (5 come in the box) fit between the butt stock and receiver, allowing customized adjustments to the comb and heel.





    Action & Barrel
    The Barrel of the Sx3 is Back-bored which enables you to obtain perfect shot patterns.
    Back-boring ensures that there is less friction between the shot and the wall of the barrel. Less friction means more of the energy generated by the gunpowder is used hence resulting in increased velocity of the load.






    Balance and Recoil

    It has a reliable Active Value Gas operated system, which is adjusted automatically and significantly reduces recoil.
    The design of the grip and fore-end contribute to the excellent handling of the gun.
    SX3 is not a soft shooting gun but the feel and balance make up for the recoil. After a good day of shooting you would notice less fatigue with the SX3.


    Sights

    Front Sight: Metal bead.


    Magazine & Chokes

    The Magazine capacity is 4+1. Magazine extension tubes are also available that can increase the shell capacity to up to 10+1.

    The gun comes with 3 In vector+ chokes ( F,M,IC ). These are long sized chokes especially for Back-Bored barrels.



    Safety Mechanism

    The shotgun has a cross-bolt type safety and is placed behind the trigger. The safety is reversible for right or left handed operation.



    Reliability

    I found the gun to be pretty reliable in both water fowling and upland hunting. There were shell jams initially but I guess it was due to the Break in period.

    It rained continuously for 3 hours during the last duck shoot and the gun fired flawlessly.


    Maintenance

    Maintenance is not an issue with the SX3. The gun can be easily stripped apart and cleaned. However the gas piston is complicatedly built and needs time and effort to be cleaned.

    Price
    The gun is currently selling under 170k.



    Pattern Test:
    I have lost the 2 other chokes so could only pattern test the weapon with the modified choke.

    A little about patterns first.

    Pattern test is conducted to check the shot density, which is very important.

    We need to determine the range at which we most often take, or would like to take, our game and go for the optimum pattern at that range.


    During the pattern tests, The SX3 performed well and displayed good hunting level patterns.

    Pattern test Details:

    Shooter.....................Kakar
    Shotgun:...................Winchester SX3
    Ammo:......................Shaheen # 4, #6 Super, BB & SG
    Choke:......................Modified
    Distance:..................20, 30 & 40 Yards
    Technique:................Standing
    Target:....................Chart paper ( 44'' x 30'' )



    Pattern #
    Ammo:..........................Shaheen # 4
    Choke:......................... Modified
    Distance:......................20 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.......200
    Pellets in 30'' circle:.........196
    % of pellets in 30" circle...98%

    At this 20 yards distance the pattern very concentrated with 98% pellets in the 30” circle. The pattern is capable of taking down any large, medium or small bird but there is high probability of the the game meat being destroyed.
    Read pellet count as 196 instead of 210 in the pic.





    Pattern # 2
    Ammo:..........................Shaheen # 4
    Choke:......................... Modified
    Distance:......................30 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.......200
    Pellets in 30'' circle:.........168
    % of pellets in 30" circle...84%

    At this 30 yards distance the pattern is wide open with a good percentage of 84% pellets in the 30” circle and is capable of harvesting all duck sizes out to the 40 yard mark. The high pattern count would make it particularly effective on small and medium sized ducks.





    Pattern # 3
    Ammo:..........................Shaheen # 6 Super
    Choke:......................... Modified
    Distance:......................30 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.......340
    Pellets in 30'' circle:.........198
    % of pellets in 30" circle...58%

    At this 30 yards distance the pattern is wide open with a few pellet free areas but we should not be overly concerned about them as long as they don’t dominate the overall pattern picture. The pattern is capable of harvesting small and medium sized birds. This combination is not advisable for large birds as the pellets of load # 6 are small and won't be able to penetrate to the vital areas to make a kill and would just injure the large bird.





    Pattern # 4
    Ammo:..........................Shaheen # 6 Super
    Choke:......................... Modified
    Distance:......................40 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.......340
    Pellets in 30'' circle:.........72
    % of pellets in 30" circle...21%

    This is a very blown pattern at 40 yards and is not recommended for any challenging hunting situation. With only 21% pellets in the 30” circle added with the small pellets of load# 6 and longer distance of 40 yards, the combination is highly undesirable.





    Pattern # 5
    Ammo:..........................Shaheen # BB
    Choke:......................... Modified
    Distance:......................30 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.......76
    Pellets in 30'' circle:.........70
    % of pellets in 30" circle...92%

    At this 30 yards distance the pattern is wide open in the middle with only a few strikes around the edges of the 30”circle. The pellet percentage of 92% is pretty good and the combination is capable of harvesting large size ducks. However, the relatively low pellet count does not make it a good choice for small and medium ducks.





    Pattern # 6
    Ammo:..........................Shaheen # 4
    Choke:......................... Modified
    Distance:......................20 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.......200
    Pellets in 30'' circle:.........196
    % of pellets in 30" circle...98%

    This pattern has been discussed above. A teal duck has been placed to show a real type situation. A duck of this size if hit by this combination ( modified + Shot # 4 + 20 Yards ) will take approximately 25 to 30 pellets and as mentioned above, will damage the game meat.
    Read pellet count as 196 instead of 210 in the pic.





    Pattern # 7
    Ammo:..........................Shaheen # 6 Super
    Choke:......................... Modified
    Distance:......................40 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.......340
    Pellets in 30'' circle:.........72
    % of pellets in 30" circle...21%

    This pattern has been discussed above. A teal duck has been placed to show a real type situation. A duck of this size if hit by this combination ( modified + Shot # 6 + 40 Yards ) would most probably fly away with taking 1 or 2 non-fatal pellets. There are a lot of pellet free areas and the energy of small pellets of shot # 6 at 40 yards is quite little.





    Pattern # 8
    Ammo:..........................Shaheen # BB
    Choke:......................... Modified
    Distance:......................30 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.......76
    Pellets in 30'' circle:.........70
    % of pellets in 30" circle...92%

    This pattern has been discussed above. A teal duck has been placed to show a real type situation. This combination ( modified + Shot # BB + 30 yards ) should be avoided on small size ducks as the chances of misses are high due to the low pellet count. Having said that it can easily take down a small bird with a single hit pellet.





    Pattern # 9
    Ammo:..........................Shaheen # SG
    Choke:......................... Modified
    Distance:......................30 Yards
    Pellets in loaded shell.......9
    Pellets in 30'' circle:.........9
    % of pellets in 30" circle...100%

    At 30 yards the pattern with 100% pellet percentage is evenly balanced. The combination is capable of taking down a wild boar, deer, hog deer size animal instantly with pellets hitting the head, chest and back.





    Mistakes generally made by new shot gunners:

    Choosing more choke ( e.g modified instead of Cylinder ) than is actually required for a specific application is the single most common mistake made by those who are new to shotgunning.
    It is best for a beginning shot gunner to start with less choke than he/she thinks he/she needs and then work up to tighter chokes as required.

    The two most common mistakes inexperienced shot gunners make are lifting the head from the stock as they fire and stopping the swing as the trigger is squeezed. Keeping your cheek glued to the stock as the gun fires is an absolute must as failing to do so will usually cause you to shoot over the target. Stopping your swing just as you pull the trigger will cause you to shoot behind the target.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Review: Winchester SX3 Shotgun started by Kakar View original post