There’s one do-all, affordable pump shotgun that likely doesn’t get the attention it deserves due to the foreign stamp on its barrel: That’s Winchester’s Super X Pump.
The SXP is the offspring of one of the most iconic guns of any genre, Winchester’s “Perfect Repeater,” the Model 12. In 2009 Winchester launched a new-and-improved version of the 1300 (a descendant of the Model 1200) called the Super X Pump. Since, it’s been offered in over 40 models. Most cost under $400.
The SXP Field is a 6 3/4-lb. pump-action shotgun with a 7075 aluminum receiver, 3-inch chamber and a 4- or 5-round magazine depending on its 12- or 20-gauge chambering, respectively. Its 26- or 28-inch barrel is back-bored and threaded for Invector Plus choke tubes. Its wooden furniture features effective 18 LPI checkering and an industry-best Inflex recoil pad that’s both cushy enough to mitigate recoil yet not so mushy that it snags during the mount. This SXP’s stock dimensions are closer to that of the Model 12 than many newer shotguns on the market. As such, it shoulders and points intuitively. But the feature that differentiates the SXP “Speed Pump” from most other pumps is its inertial, rotating bolt that provides the initial rearward movement of the slide.
If you’re looking for a do-all, affordable, fast and supremely reliable shotgun, do not discount Winchester’s SXP. Although it may not own the same blued-steel, made-in-New Haven nostalgia from your past, it’s actually much closer to perfection than the Model 12 ever was.