OK, here's a bit longer of a review:
The first time I took it out I shot ~75 rounds, and nearly did myself in! The stock recoil pad was not
up to that level of shooting - at least for me. As noted elsewhere, I'm a wimp when it comes to recoil. I ended up with a egg-sized, black & blue, well, "egg" in my shoulder pocket, and some serious pain in the shoulder on the last few shots. Not like normal recoil thumping, but serious "have I done some damage?" kind of pain. It may have been I wasn't seating the gun properly, a little more "inboard" than usual, due to the way the gun mounted, but I do put some blame on the stock recoil pad. The bruise and swelling took about 5 days to clear up.
So I put a Simms Labs "LimbSaver" pad on it. Found one of their prefit pads fit this gun with no alterations to the pad, though I did have to redrill the screw holes in the stock. (LimbSaver model #10001.) I'll be putting a note in the gunsmithing section about this in the near future, as I ran into a couple of things that other hobbyist-gunsmiths might be interested in. Went out Saturday and did 100 rounds with no problems at all. Gun performed flawlessly, shoulder is fine, no pain, no bruising. Couldn't ask for a better solution.
The gun's fit is flawless, with good wood to metal contact, even lines, and tight lockup. The whole gun was pretty tight when new, of course, but after almost 200 rounds is finally loosening up a bit. The vent rib and spacer between the barrels are both very solidly mounted, and made out of steel; In fact, I don't think there's any aluminum on this gun, which is great. The "two tone" brushed and polished stainless on the receiver is beautiful, and I really like the no-nonsense not-too-much-engraving look. Even the trigger is excellent. It uses Browning Invector-Plus chokes, and comes with an improved, modified, and full.
As a matter of fact, the gun is made by Browning, despite the Winchester nameplate. In fact, it's made by FN for Browning for Winchester, in some kind of odd relationship that reminds me of the similarly-schizoid lineage of my Jeep Cherokee.
On the down side, I was disappointed to discover that they really rushed the bluing process on this guns' barrels. I must've used a half sack of patches, steel wool, Scotch-Brite, and various cleaners to get the fine coating of RUST
off the exterior and interior of the barrels. You couldn't see it with the naked eye, but if you ran a patch over the barrels it would come back orange
. I had seen this once before, on a Ruger single action, and learned at that time that this is usually due to the bluing salts not being properly rinsed off, and the barrels not being treated properly after bluing. So basically, if their rush to get this gun to market, they didn't finish it. It was one thing on a little .22 pistol. It's another thing on an $1100 shotgun. I realize this is "nothing" in a world of $10K Perazzis, etc, but it happens to be the most I've ever laid out on a single firearm, and I was rather disappointed that the manufacturer couldn't have paid just a little more attention to my new prized possession. Ah well, such is the current state of the art in gun manufacture, it seems.
That said, I would still recommend the gun to others looking for a great O/U in the sub $1500 category. It's a great gun with lots of features for the price, and a great shooter. Apparently it's pretty much par for the course to have to clean up after the manufacturers these days.
For a pretty good "magazine" review of the gun check this link (PDF)