Winchester fans rejoice! Winchester is introducing a model that is an improvement on the bread ‘n butter SX3, and it is aptly named the SX4. To start, they will only offer 12 Gauge configurations, but 20 Gauge is to surely follow. The difference between the new SX4 and the older SX3 is going to be in the little details, but lets look at their similarities first.
Both the SX3 and SX4 utilize a “Back Bore Technology” chamber to ensure tighter patterns. They also share the “Active Valve Gas System” that is self-adjusting for shells from 2 3/4″ to 3 1/2″ in size. You can use Invector-Plus choke tubes in both models as well. The chrome plated chamber and bore of the SX3 carries over to the SX4, too. A drop-out trigger group assembly for easy cleaning and the “Quadra-Vent” forearm which vents gases for less cleaning also overlap. Basically, a lot of the features you have come to know and appreciate about the SX3 are carried over with the newer SX4.
Now, here is what is NEW and may entice you to give this a shot! [<—gun puns]
The SX4 now has a larger bolt handle and over-sized bolt release button. This is a nice addition for waterfowlers who may hunt in inclement weather and do gloved shooting. Keeping that in mind, Winchester also increased the real estate on the ambidextrous safety. The SX4 also has a larger trigger guard opening for the same reason.
A trend with a lot of new shotguns are fiber optic, front bead sights and the SX4 will be no different. Whether you are an older shooter, it is overcast, or you just cannot pull up a brass bead very well, a fiber optic sight can be a blessing.
Winchester also looked to reduce the recoil on the SX4 so they went to work on the buttpad. The standard SX3 uses “Inflex Technology” to tame the recoil, but the SX4 takes it a step further. The buttpad now has a greater surface area when pressed into your shoulder to greater disperse the recoil.
Probably the most noticeable change from the SX3 to the SX4 will be the weight and feel. Winchester trimmed the weight by 1/4 to 3/8 of a pound in their various configurations. They also moved the balance point of the shotgun further forward. This should improve one’s ability to swing and quickly point the shotgun. The pistol grip will also have a more ergonomic, slim feel to boot.
At this time, there is mention or hint of discontinuing the SX3. In regards to photos or promo materials so one could actually see an SX4… hopefully that comes sooner than later as well.
For now, we know there are 4 main configurations and you can look to just purchase a 12 Gauge. Those models, specifications, and tentative prices can be seen below.