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 Post subject: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:49 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:16 am
Posts: 108
Hey guys,

My daughter’s boyfriend (Jordan) is looking to purchase an auto loading shotgun for some light hunting and clays. He will likely use the gun more for clays than hunting, but he wanted a gun suitable for both, as he will likely hunt with me whenever he gets the opportunity. He knows I research items thoroughly before making a purchase, and came to me for help on deciding what gun to purchase for himself.

I’m not loyal to any brand, shotgun or otherwise. Rather than just telling him what gun to buy, I told him I’d gather as much information as I can on the guns that are available in his price range, and try to find a way for him to shoulder and fire each one. I’d rather give him all the information and experience with each gun he’s interested in, and let him make his own informed decision.

I noticed, while doing research for myself last year, how there really isn’t much out there pertaining to facts about the guns I was researching. There are plenty of “reviews”, but most are just biased opinions from gun owners who are loyal to the brand, or writers who are nothing more than paid ad men/women. So I decided that I would document some of the research that Jordan and I have done while helping him choose his own auto loader.

These are by no means “reviews” of the particular shotguns we are looking at, but rather side by side comparisons of guns we get to spend some time with. I will try to stick mostly to facts about each gun, such as: what loads they will or won’t cycle; time it takes to disassemble/reassemble them for cleaning; total parts once disassembled; trigger pull weight (just purchased a Lyman digital trigger scale); total weight of the gun; features of each gun that sets it apart from the others; price; ergonomics; etc.

I know others will be interested in some subjective information as well, such as: felt recoil; how the gun “feels” when mounting it; etc, but those will be my own experiences. Just because a gun fits me a certain way, doesn’t mean it will fit others exactly the same. Jordan and I are both of average build. I’m 5’11” and 210 lbs, while he’s 6’1” and around 215 lbs, so most guns will likely fit us pretty well off the shelf. I’ll try to keep the subjective comments at a minimum, as I have no intention of trying to sway anyone else to purchase any gun over the others.

My goal here is to simply provide others with the same kind of information I was looking for while trying to find an auto loader for myself. I also realize that some will want photographic proof of my findings, however, I’m not the most computer literate person. I’ll have to rely on Jordan to assist me with posting photographs. I will add more posts about the guns as I spend more time with them.

Lets get to the comparison. I was able to borrow a black synthetic 3.5” SX4 from a friend and coworker this past weekend, and he’s allowing me to keep it as long as I want it. I already own a max 5 Camo A300 Outlander, so that’s why we are comparing these two particular guns. I realize this isn’t exactly an apples to apples comparison, but I doubt there is a substantial amount of difference in the way a 3” SX4 operates and feels.

The first thing I did when I had both guns in front of me was disassemble them for cleaning. Hopefully, Jordan will be able to help me post a photo of both guns disassembled later. I’ll also time myself disassembling and reassembling each gun. I disassembled both down as far as I would on a normal cleaning. I did not remove the stock and return spring, as that is something I won’t do, unless I begin having cycling issues. I held both and inspected them for any indication of poorly fitted parts. Both looked to be well put together. Neither had any felt slack at the forearm, or where the trigger group mounts into the receiver.

First I broke down the SX4. I removed the nut, forearm, barrel, piston, gas sleeve/pusher, spring, charging handle, bolt assembly (2 parts), 2 trigger group pins, and the trigger group. Total parts including receiver/stock 13.

Outlander: removed the nut, forearm, barrel, piston, charging handle, gas sleeve/ operating rod, bolt assembly (2 parts), trigger group pin, and the trigger group. Total parts including the receiver/stock 11

I found both of them to be easy to disassemble and clean. I won’t post the time it takes to clean each, because there are many different methods of cleaning, so there really isn’t a standard for the time it takes to clean an auto loader. I will say that neither was what I’d consider difficult to clean. I can’t be sure how many rounds had been fired through the SX4, but knowing my friend, I’d say I gave it the first cleaning it’s had since he purchased it. I do know that the Outlander had gone 1015 rounds since I’d cleaned it last. I intended on shooting it until it began having failures, but I decided I’d just start over.

Jordan and I had purchased several different types of ammunition to shoot through each gun.
Kent light target 2 3/4 1 oz #8 1300 FPS
Winchester target 2 3/4 1 oz #8 1350 FPS
Winchester super target 2 3/4 1 1/8 oz #7.5 #8 1145 FPS
Federal game and target 2 3/4 1 1/8 oz #7.5 #8 1165 FPS
Winchester universal 2 3/4 1 1/8 oz #7.5 #8 1200 FPS
And 40 rounds of Remington nitro 3” 1 7/8 oz #5 1210 FPS turkey loads

The turkey loads were to get a good idea of felt recoil. We each had 20 rounds to fire through the guns. I also called another friend to come shoot with us, and he brought his A400 Extreme plus. It’s not a gun Jordan or I are looking at, as its out of his budget, but we wanted to see if there was any noticeable difference in a gun with a kick off.

I grabbed the SX4 and practiced mounting it before loading. The gun mounts very different from the Outlander, due to the high rib. I did find it easy to get a comfortable sight line after shouldering it a few times however. It’s very apparent when you pick this gun up what it was designed for. The oversize charging handle, oversize bolt release, oversize safety, and narrowed grip were clearly designed with the cold weather waterfowl hunter in mind. This gun was designed to be shot comfortably with gloved hands.

Another thing that’s noticeable is the balance of the gun. The weight is more towards the front of the shotgun than the Outlander. Some may prefer it, some may like a more equally balanced shotgun. I really didn’t have a preference either way. The forward balance didn’t negatively affect my ability to control the shotgun at all. I am used to the safety being on the front of the trigger guard on My Outlander, so I practiced taking the safety off on the SX4. Even though it’s on the rear of the trigger guard, I noticed that I could hit the over sized safety off with the inside of my index finger while my finger was on the trigger. It was very easy to do, and I didn’t have to alter trigger finger placement when shooting.

The only real negative I could find while handling the SX4 was when I loaded shells into the magazine. I found that I had to manipulate the shells a bit to get them to line up and slide into the magazine. Loading wasn’t nearly as smooth as loading the Outlander. This may be due to the fact that the SX4 we were shooting is a 3.5” gun, and the largest shells we shot were 3”. I cannot be sure, as I have not shot a 3” SX4. I also noticed that the shell carrier has a deep groove at the end, where as the Outlander has a slight crescent shape. This caused a problem for Jordan, as his thumb got caught between the shell carrier and the receiver. My thumb is wider than jordan’s, so it was not an issue for me. However, I did get the tip of my thumb pinched the first few times I loaded the Outlander, as there is a gap between the end of the shell carrier, and the receiver just wide enough for my thumb to fit between. I quickly learned how to load it with only the tip of my thumb, and keeping it straight in line with the carrier. I haven’t had an issue since. Jordan has never gotten his thumb pinched while loading the outlander. The SX4 has a fiber optic tube at the end of the barrel, where as the Outlander has a brass bead. I know some prefer one over the other, but I didn’t notice either of them while shooting. Neither distracted me from focusing on the target.

I’ve already posted my impressions of the A300 outlander on another thread, but I don’t have any complaints with it. It’s exactly what it was advertised to be. The LOP of the stock is easily adjustable, and it comes with plenty of spacers and shims to customize the fit of the gun to the owner. The trigger is crisp, and the safety location is in a good place. Especially for those of us who have a lot of experience shooting handguns. The rib is much lower than the rib on the SX4, but I can mount it comfortably as well.

Jordan and I shot both shotguns well. Neither of us could tell any significant difference in recoil. Twenty rounds each of the turkey loads was all either of us wanted to shoot, no matter what gun we shot them through. Neither of us could tell any substantial improvement in recoil from the A400 extreme plus over the other two either. We shot several rounds of the low brass ammunition mentioned above through the SX4 and the Outlander. Both guns cycled every round without any issues. The outlander has a shell release button at the base of the shell carrier, so live rounds can be removed from the chamber without loading another from the magazine. The SX4 doesn’t have a magazine cutoff, however, I found that I simply had to lift the shell carrier slightly with one hand, while ejecting the round out of the chamber with the other. Both guns were easy to make safe should someone need to pull a round out of the chamber to cross a ditch or fence.

I asked my 5’4” 120 lb 16 year old daughter to work both guns and attempt to shoulder them. She does shoot Jordan’s Smith & Wesson 20 gauge model 1000 when she goes shooting with us. Both guns were too long for her, but I knew they would be. Each had their advantages. She could work the oversized controls on the SX4 much easier, but it doesn’t come with the LOP adjustment capabilities that the Outlander does.

I ordered a Lyman digital trigger scale, and it came in today. I used it to check the trigger on each gun 10 times, and got the average trigger pull for each. I also used the scale to weigh each gun.

Outlander average trigger pull: 4lbs 6.9 oz; much better than some have claimed it to be.
Outlander gun weight: 7lbs 8 oz

SX4 average trigger pull: 6 lbs 8.9 oz; a bit heavier, but didn’t negatively affect accuracy.
SX4 gun weight: 7lbs 1.9 oz

Best prices I could find for each gun:

Black synthetic A300 outlander $613.99 at grab a gun + $7.99 shipping
Realtree Max 5 Camo Outlander $688.99 + $7.99 shipping at grab a gun
Wood Outlander $703.99 + $7.99 shipping at grab a gun
All three are 28” barrel
The A300 Outlander comes with a 3 year warranty

Black synthetic 3” SX4 28” barrel $627.15 + $10.95 shipping at locked loaded
Realtree Max 5 3” SX4 28” barrel $834.16 + $10.95 shipping at locked loaded
Wood 3” SX4 28” barrel $723.63 + $10.95 shipping Locked Loaded
The Winchester SX4 has no written warranty

I didn’t price any 3.5” SX4s as Jordan isn’t looking for a 3.5” gun. I will try to add photos later, but that’s all I have for now. I hope this helps anyone who is in the market for a 3” autoloader in this price range. I hope to get a Remington V3 this year as my birthday/Christmas gift. At least my wife has indicated that I may expect one. Once I get it in, I plan on doing the same comparisons. There is a lot of false and negative information about these guns being put out on Shotgunworld. Statements such as heavy trigger pull, visible mold lines, parts breaking; not understanding why a company changed the ergonomics of a new model from the previous model. Those are all just unsubstantiated claims. I’ve proved some to be false here, and there is no proof provided to back up the rest of the claims made about poor quality. Once the guns are looked at objectively, one can see that both are quality firearms. Again, this post is by no means an attempt to sway anyone to purchase one gun over another. It’s just some actual facts about each gun from someone who’s put rounds down range with both.

Thanks to those who read this entire post. Lol




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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:25 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:16 am
Posts: 108
I have taken some photos with my phone, but the photos seem to be too large to post. I will try emailing them to my laptop. Maybe I can post the photos from it. We shot again today. It was a little cold, so we didn’t shoot as much as we normally would. We shot Winchester super target 2 3/4” #7.5 1 1/8oz 1145 fps rounds, and Estate 2 3/4” 1oz #8 1290 FPS rounds.

We had two cycling issues with the SX4 in 50 rounds. Both were failures to feed with the Winchester rounds. I also had an issue when shooting the 3rd shot with the SX4. I pulled the trigger, but it wouldn’t pull. It was as if the safety was engaged. I checked it, but the safety was off. I pulled the trigger again, and it fired. I don’t know what caused it, but it happened twice. The cycling issues may be due to the SX4 being a 3.5” gun, and we were shooting light loads through it. I know 3” guns handle low brass rounds better. I am curious what caused the trigger pull issue though. It must be operator error. Maybe I didn’t ease off the trigger enough for it to reset or something.

We put another 100 rounds through the Outlander without any cycling issues. It has now gone over 1,400 rounds without any issues. 350 rounds since I cleaned it last.


Last edited by SHughes on Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:23 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:26 am
Posts: 169
Location: NC
Nice job, this is excellent. I think these types of comparison are helpful to a lot of folks. I look forward to seeing your review of the V3 when you get it.


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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:18 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:16 am
Posts: 108
Thanks. I know I wanted this kind of information when I was researching for myself. I still haven’t finished. I’m trying to get the pictures to load, but haven’t had any luck. If jordan can’t figure it out, I’ll have to see if my brother can figure it out


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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:47 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:16 am
Posts: 108
I realized that I never posted about the time it took me to disassemble, and reassemble each gun. I had to give the SX4 back to my buddy today for turkey season. I didn’t want to send the gun back to him dirty, so I disassembled it (including removing the trigger group) and cleaned it. I didn’t remove the recoil spring in the stock. The total disassembly/reassembly time was exactly 4 minutes and 4 seconds. I will post the time it takes me to disassemble/reassemble the Outlander when I get a chance.

I’ve only taken a browning gold/ SX series shotgun apart a handful of times over the years, and this gun was the first one I’ve had apart in 10 years or more. It was very easy to do. Overall, my experience with the SX4 was mostly positive. I did have a couple of cycling issues with 1 oz loads, but it is a 3.5” gun. I doubt many 3.5” shotguns will cycle 1 oz loads reliably. I also noticed that it wasn’t as smooth when loading rounds into the magazine as the Outlander was. We spent enough time with it for Jordan to determine that he prefers the A300 Outlander over the SX4. I’m still considering a 3.5” SX4 for myself.


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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:12 pm 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:47 am
Posts: 3509
Location: Dallas, TX
My friend has shot his A300 (wood) for about four years now and it's been very reliable. No down time I can remember. He's put close to 15,000 rounds through it with just no issues. It's hard to think a gun could be more reliable than that. Only thing that's been replaced was a small white plastic cap inside the receiver behind the bolt. I think it was there to protect the receiver if the bolt went back too hard. The part was $6 at Brownells, the original fell out one day while shooting, but we never missed a shoot because of it.


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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:53 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:16 am
Posts: 108
I’ve been impressed with mine as well. I have several other auto loaders in my wish list. I hope to eventually own them all. My daughter will most likely confiscate my A300 once I get another auto loader his year, seeing as how easy it is to shorten the LOP. Lol


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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:46 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:46 pm
Posts: 480
Both are reliable guns, but they fit very differently, the SX-4 fits me out of the box, but the A300 does not have enough drop at comb which is typical of Beretta shotguns. If one of these guns fits properly the other one usually does not. I have been using an SX-3 as my go to waterfowl gun for about five years, and it has been flawless. Comparing the SX-3 to the SX-4, I prefer the SX-3, as I prefer the stock and fore end better. The SX-4 fore end flexes a lot, and I don't like the shape of either the stock or fore end as much on the SX-4. The trigger guard on the SX-4 appears to be plastic, while the trigger guard on the SX-3 is metal.


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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:37 pm 
Field Grade

Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:39 pm
Posts: 43
Location: Cleveland
I have an A300 that I shoot as well as my SP1. Great gun for the money.

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Home club: Hill n' Dale
Beretta SP1 Sporting 12
Beretta A300 12
Orvis Fabarm 20


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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:15 am 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 7:20 pm
Posts: 481
Location: round bouts Texas
Good review SHughes

Just bought a A300 sporting for a target gun / backup hunting gun. I was impressed with the quality from day one after the initial brake down for cleaning. The wood stock and forend has nice grain to it and the metal finish is flat black, which I prefer over a glossy shiny look.

I installed a Briley bolt handle and release button on it and took it to the range for a test run. I shot a couple rounds of 5 stand and all was well with no malfunctions. A keeper thus far.

The only thing I think the gun needed was the 2 items from Briley I added but I will admit to being spoiled to these devices from earlier shooters.

Don't have any experience SX4.


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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:15 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:16 am
Posts: 108
That’s great! I’ve read where the briley bolt handle rubs the receiver. I was thinking of getting one for my A300 to make it easier for my daughter to load, but mine is Camo. I’m concerned it would wear the coating off. Will you let me know if you have this issue?


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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:44 pm 
Limited Edition

Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 7:20 pm
Posts: 481
Location: round bouts Texas
Yes, I'll update if I see any rub.


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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:01 am 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:16 am
Posts: 108
I’m bumping this thread, because I have recently purchased a Versa Max sportsman. Duck season will be over after this weekend. Once it is, I plan on getting the SX4 from my friend again, and borrowing my other Buddy’s A400 Extreme plus. I plan on doing a side by side comparison of all three 3.5” guns just as I’ve done with the outlander and the SX4 and create a post of the results.


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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:04 am 
Crown Grade

Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 2:34 pm
Posts: 2409
Location: Nova Scotia,Canada
Looking forward to your new report.

Just wondering if your friend who has the SX4, ever had any concerns about the gun not firing on the last shell ,like you did?From your report, I tend to believe you are right when you said it happened because you did not ease off the trigger enough for it to reset.

Were you wearing gloves when this happened?

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 Post subject: Re: SxS comparison of the A300 Outlander and the SX4
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 3:04 pm 
Tournament Grade

Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:16 am
Posts: 108
28 gauge wrote:
Looking forward to your new report.

Just wondering if your friend who has the SX4, ever had any concerns about the gun not firing on the last shell ,like you did?From your report, I tend to believe you are right when you said it happened because you did not ease off the trigger enough for it to reset.

Were you wearing gloves when this happened?



I was not wearing gloves. I am in law enforcement and we carry Glock service weapons. When we fire multiple rounds, we are trained to only ease off the trigger enough to allow it to reset. There’s not a lot of travel before it resets. My buddy has never complained of having the issue. I believe muscle memory was creating the issue with the SX4. I will be certain to pay closer attention to it when I compare it to my versa max. I took the versa max out hunting on the last weekend of duck season here and dropped a female woody at 50 yards with my first shot. It swung very well, and I had a successful weekend with it. It will be a couple of weeks before I can do the comparison. I took it to my lgs to get the barrel cerakoted in patriot brown, and the furniture dipped in realtree timber.




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