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 Post subject: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Hello fellow shotgunners,

I am a newbie to this forum and this is my first post. I am the proud owner of a new Winchester SXP Defender pump shotgun and love to brag about it. Here is my review.

At the gunshow a month ago, I handled about 2 dozen home defence shotguns and took home a new Winchester Super X Pump (SXP) Defender. 12 gauge, 5+1 capacity, fixed cylinder bore, 3" chamber, 18" chrome-lined barrel, aircraft aluminum machined receiver, 13 3/4" pull stock. It is an improvement on the Winchester 1200/1300 design (rotating bolt mechanism). I liked it because the stock fit me, the controls were the best, and it is light and well-balanced. The comb on a bead-sighted Remington 870 is too high for me. The comb on the SXP is just right and the slightly shorter 13 3/4" pull also fits me better. The comb has very little rise for less cheek slap on recoil. The recoil pad is very soft and energy absorbing.

The slide release is behind the trigger guard (like a Mossberg), so you can activate it with the middle finger of the trigger hand without shifting your grip on the rear stock (unlike an 870). The safety is on the front of the trigger guard (the best possible place since this is the natural ready postion of the trigger finger).

The bolt has rotating locking lugs that engage the barrel extension directly, whereas most other pump shotguns lock up with the receiver or only one part of the barrel extension. It is like an AR-15 bolt lock up on steroids. This contains the energy of the shot and allows a less-stressed lightweight aluminum alloy receiver. The inertia of firing a round delay rotates the bolt and unlocks the action, aiding in extraction, decreasing manual cycling effort, and shortening cycling time. Follow up shots are thus faster compared to other pump shotguns. The nickname of the Winchester 1200/1300 was the "Speed Pump" as it claimed to be the fastest cycling pump-action shotgun. Some call it an Auto-Pump action.

The gun is designed by Winchester but is manufactured and imported from Turkey. That might bother you if you must buy American. Turkey has a long history of gun manufacture and the quality of this gun is excellent. I also own a high quality Turkish Stoeger Cougar 9mm pistol.

Because it is an import, the magazine is restricted to 5 rds. The mag tube is solid and one piece. Inner dimples at the end of the mag tube retain the mag spring retainer, so a mag tube extender will not work unless the dimples are removed. If you did that, the retainer will go flying everytime you unscrewed the mag cap. I have no problems with the 5+1 capacity. In fact, the set back of the one piece mag tube is probably less likely to be damaged.

The build quality is very solid with no slop at the barrel/receiver interface with a lightly hand-tightened mag cap. The dual slide arms are made from one piece of metal, eliminating forearm slop and making disassembly a breeze. Mossberg 500/590 forearm wobble feels cheap by comparison. You can tell how well designed and executed this gun is by its close fit, solid feel, and easy of disassembly/reassembly. I can disasseble it to the level of the firing pin in less than 20 seconds. The SPX is a handsome gun with good lines and even finish. The forearm has deep groves for excellent control when working the action.

Price: $309

Downsides: 6+1 capacity would have been better, no aftermarket accessories (new model), safety won't work well for lefties (the Mossberg thumb safety would work better for them), top of receiver not tapped for optics.

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Winchester Super X Pump (SXP) 12g 18" Defender Model




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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Location: The Great State of Texas
The safety is where is supposed to be, right where Thomas Johnson wanted it. :D :D


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:34 pm
Posts: 1338
Location: Louisiana
Stroker wrote:
The safety is where is supposed to be, right where Thomas Johnson wanted it. :D :D

Well said! Thankyou Stroker. {hs#


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:07 am 
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Please excuse my ignorance, but who invented the "Speed Pump" inertia bolt in the Winchester 1300/SXP? Was it Thomas Johnson? He is hard to Google because his name is so common.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:18 am 
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 10:51 pm
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Location: The Republic of Texas
:lol: :lol: :lol: Thomas Johnson designed the famous Model 12 a little more than 60 years before the Model 1200/1300/Speed Pump were introduced and he did put the safety in the right place. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:34 pm
Posts: 1338
Location: Louisiana
WildRice wrote:
Please excuse my ignorance, but who invented the "Speed Pump" inertia bolt in the Winchester 1300/SXP? Was it Thomas Johnson? He is hard to Google because his name is so common.

Google "Thomas Crossley Johnson" or T.C. Johnson.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:40 am 
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T.C. Johnson died in 1934, well before my time. He invented the model 12. But who invented the "Speed Pump" bolt system of the 1200/1300/SXP? Just curious.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:49 am 
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Location: The Republic of Texas
It was designed by a team of Winchester engineers. They started in 1957 and the first guns, the Model 1200 pump and the Model 1400 auto were offered in 1964. David F. Butler was part of that team and wrote a book named: THE AMERICAN SHOTGUN, in which he has detailed chapters on the development of the Models 1200 & 1400.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:17 am 
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For $100 extra, Winchester sells an SXP Camp/Field Combo version. 12G, 5+1 capacity, sporter style forearm, 18" cylinder bored Defender barrel, and your choice of 26" or 28" ribbed and choked sporter barrel. Same excellent controls and "speed pump" rotating bolt. Barrel swap in 10 seconds. They say, "Beware the man with one gun, because he surely knows how to use it."

http://www.winchesterguns.com/products/ ... mid=512257
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Image

The advantages are obvious but I will mention them anyway: cost savings of two guns in one. No change to to rear stock needed (unlike rifled/smooth bore combos), same sight line. Sporter forearm (borrowed from the SX3) looks better with long barrel and allows option of holding pump closer to ones body so you can be more square to target. Barrel wear shared over two barrels. Adds choke versatility to HD shotgun. No compromise of having a too short sporting gun and too long HD gun. Controls mastered when shooting thousands of skeet and huntin rounds will train muscle memory for home defense. 10 second barrel swap without tools.

This is a new offering or 2011, as it is not in the 2010 Winchester catalog. You may have to special order it through your local gun shop. Kind of wish I had known about the combo bedore buying my single barreled Defender. If I buy this combo, I will have a whole other dedicated sporting shotgun and a spare 18" HD barrel for either shotgun. I can convert my sporter into a home defense in 10 seconds, so my wife and I will each be armed with HD shotguns, should things go bad ala Cairo. It is not like SXPs are expensive either. I may just go for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 5:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:40 am
Posts: 18
Location: San Diego County, California
Few questions on the sxp. One, will a tacstar side saddle fit on the sxp? Two, probably my most naive question, will the back bored barrels fire slug?, I heard not. And lastly, does anyone know what other models are in the workings?


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:31 pm
Posts: 1
After a lot of online and instore research, I decided, like Wildrice, on an SXP Defender. The 870 and 500/590 are more popular and most recommended, but overall, the SXP appealed to me more than the others. Not to say that it's perfect, there are some drawbacks but I think it has a lot to offer. All of the owner reviews I read/viewed of the SXP were very positive and a lot of those owners had the 870 or 590 in mind when buying, only to end up with the SXP.

One thing that I love (in any firearm) is a nice, smooth action. The Winchester had the smoothest of the three. The 590 had the roughest with the 870 in the middle. Anyone that picks up my SXP comments how smooth the action is.

Although the 870 is the most popular, I can't get around the position of the slide release. It makes no sense to me, and never has; having to move your hand to reach it! The 590 had the best controls with it's tang safety and the Winchester has the second best positions. Both the SXP and 590 controls can be reached without much shifting of your hand.

The finish on the 870 and SXP were both nicer than that of the 590. Not so important but the "black chrome" finish on the SXP looks nice! Remington did a nice job with their Parkerizing.

Capacity is an area where both the 870 and 590 do better. The SXP is limited to 5 rounds compared to the high capacity competition. With a lack of aftermarket accessories available for the SXP, extending it's capacity is currently out of the question. The only advantage to the smaller round count is less weight up front making it a quick handling firearm.

Despite the awkward position of the slide release on the 870, I came close to buying it. It felt nearly as nice in my hands and in shouldering as the SXP. The 590 felt a little "clunkier", not scientific, but it just didn't fit me as well as the others.

The SXP is made in Turkey and both the 870 and 590 are made in the States. Do I wish the SXP was too? Of course, but, the SXP is surprisingly well made and solid. Fit and finish is excellent and as Wildrice pointed out, there is no slop.

After buying the SXP, happy as I was, I still had a nagging doubt... should I have chosen the 870? So, with a borrowed 870, I went to the range. I found that the recoil pad on the SXP soaked up a bit more felt recoil than the 870's did. I did have one failure to eject on the 870 (no, not failure to properly rack the slide!) .

I don't think that you could go wrong choosing the 870, 590 or SXP. Though some (a lot) might argue in favour of the higher capacity, more accessories and made in USA that the 870 and 590 offer, I liked the smooth action, quick handling nature of the SXP. I'm very impressed with the feel, fit and finish and quick shooting that the SXP offers.

This Winchester has me looking at other Winchesters now....


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:10 pm 
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If you're happy with the gun and it's functioning with reliability, it's all good.

My own "tactical" shotgun is a Rem 870 Police Magnum. Surprisingly nice wood, nicely blued and I like the pad. It's 4 +1, and at home I just leave the pipe empty, four in the mag tube and have the fifth all by itself on a buttstock holder. I find I can reach the slide release easy enough with middle (bird) finger.

Very simple, very easy for me to operate. I've got bird guns that go 6 or 7 times its cost, but I'm rather fond of the little sucker.

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"The Dude abides."


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:31 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:52 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Lakeland, FL
I've been looking at HD shotguns a lot lately (Mossberg 500 and 590, Maverick, and others). I came across info on this one today and researched it. The SXP Defender is surely interested, and I'm tempted to go that direction.

Question - Are the forend stocks on these interchangable? I like the forend on the hunting style shotgun better than the one that comes on the SXP Defender.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:11 am
Posts: 122
I have the SXP Defender and I have to say the action is smoother than my 870, but if you are planning to go tactical with the SXP forget it. Very few if any accessories are available.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:31 pm
Posts: 23
I bought the SXP Defender from Gander MNT for $230 bucks. My Brother, a gunsmith balked at the purchace. After putting hundereds of rounds through the SXP We were forced to admit the Defender is a faster & smoother cycling shotgun than our beloved 870's with less felt recoil. As far as accesories go for the SXP I installed an ATI HALLO Heatsheild with two 2" Picatinny rails that mount right on the HALLO for My lasser sight & flash light. My opinion of the Defender is that it is just as dependable of a Home Defence Shotgun as My 870 is.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:56 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Mascoutah, Illinois
I bought a winchester SXP about a year ago. Used it for summer skeet league. Got over 1000 rounds through it now. Works great!


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:49 pm
Posts: 2
i've just bought a winchester sxp defender model...i'm from england but can't indulge in this hobby there due to the laws we have there and bought in a country in asia. the gun i have is 8 shot and has a optic fibre sight too. from the winchester website and google searches i simply can't seem to find the model i have. please can anyone shed some light as to how i've got this model. the dealer i bought it from had a 2 versions-one was the one i've seen on the net which is the 6 shot and also had the one i purchased. i'm just so confused!


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:13 am
Posts: 2
harry_uk wrote:
i've just bought a winchester sxp defender model...i'm from england but can't indulge in this hobby there due to the laws we have there and bought in a country in asia. the gun i have is 8 shot and has a optic fibre sight too. from the winchester website and google searches i simply can't seem to find the model i have. please can anyone shed some light as to how i've got this model. the dealer i bought it from had a 2 versions-one was the one i've seen on the net which is the 6 shot and also had the one i purchased. i'm just so confused!



I think it has some thing to do with importing there is a shell limit for imported shotguns in the usa (THAT IS WHAT I WAS TOLD)
I am thinking about a sxp my self for waterfowl 3 1/2 in


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:09 pm 
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Posts: 1
First post. I had researched the Winchester Super X Pump (SXP) Defender, including reading this review. It sounded like a great gun and I had found very little to discourage a purchase. Some people on YouTube had some issues with the pump cycling rounds, but I figured it may be their fault or because of using cheap ammo. Anyway, I went out and purchased one. One of the only guns left in stock at a local store and I felt I had been lucky to find one. Just to foreshadow, the store has a ALL SALES FINAL, NO RETURNS policy.

Here is part of the letter I composed to Winchester (but did not send, keep reading):

###############################################
It was purchased on Thursday. It was Saturday before I could read the instruction book and do an initial thorough inspection, disassembly and clean.

The gun was never fired. I took it apart per instructions. The trigger-group retaining pin would not go back in per reassembly instructions.

On Monday I was able to call Winchester support, and explained the problem and that there seemed to be a wire in the channel where the trigger-group retaining pin was to be inserted.

The Winchester rep said the wire was likely the pin retaining wire and that I should use a mallet to try to hit it in. I did so, and tried repeatedly. The pin would still not fit, although it looked like the wire might have broke or have been moved.

Despite continued effort, the pin would not even go through the channel when the trigger group was not in the gun, so it does not seem to be an issue with alignment of the trigger group and the gun.

I called back Winchester and spoke to another rep. This rep said to send it back and then stated it would be several weeks for a turnaround.
###############################################

I ended up driving a really long distance to another gun store and showed it to the gunsmith there. They had a few more guns in stock than the place that had sold me the Winchester. The gunsmith looked at it, toyed around with it, worked at it, and said it was defective out of the box. I now really had no desire to keep the gun; all faith in it was lost and I was now skeptical about the "next thing" that might go wrong. While there, I got to pick up and handle an 870. There is an immediate and obvious difference in quality. The 870 felt sturdy, robust, but had a nice balance and pull to shoulder. In comparison the Winchester felt like a cheap toy.

I weighed my options and looked down the line for what I wanted in a shotgun and "bit the bullet" and asked for a trade on the unfired Winchester. The gunsmith said that he really did not want to inherit the problem but would consider it if he could get the pin back in. After about 30 minutes he came back out and said he had got it to fit. I simply looked at the gun with disgust, wondering how many more times there would be a problem with the trigger group pin, or something else, then asked how much I could get for the trade. The trade was fair - as far as trades go. I was ticked off by the money lost, but am extremely happy with the 870. So, learned some lessons:

1) Don't buy from a ALL SALES FINAL, NO RETURNS store
2) Do research and then some more, and at least be able to do a side by side comparison of models being considered.
3) Buy as much quality as you can afford.

Hope this helps someone.


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 Post subject: Re: Winchester SXP Defender Review
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:06 pm
Posts: 1
bigcountry427429 wrote:
I bought the SXP Defender from Gander MNT for $230 bucks. My Brother, a gunsmith balked at the purchace. After putting hundereds of rounds through the SXP We were forced to admit the Defender is a faster & smoother cycling shotgun than our beloved 870's with less felt recoil. As far as accesories go for the SXP I installed an ATI HALLO Heatsheild with two 2" Picatinny rails that mount right on the HALLO for My lasser sight & flash light. My opinion of the Defender is that it is just as dependable of a Home Defence Shotgun as My 870 is.


I want to add an ATI Halo heatshield to my sxp, but the ATI customer service said they don't have on that fits. I was thinking the one for the 1300 defender would fit. Is that what you installed on your sxp?




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