After being announced in 2008 and cataloged in 2009 it appears that the Winchester SXP (or Super X Pump) Defender is finally becoming available to the gun buying public in mid 2010. I have no idea what has been holding up the availability of the SXP, but I’m a Winchester fan so any new offering from them, whether it’s made in the USA or not, is eagerly anticipated. Adding to my anticipation are the TV commercials with Patrick Flanigan doing amazing feats with an SXP:
Field & Stream’s Phil Bourjaily made these comments about the SXP field model in the Spring of 2009. (I’ve still not seen any evidence that the field model is available yet):
Winchester’s 1300 was an underrated pump gun: light, cheap, and very fast-cycling, with a rotary bolt similar to the Benelli Nova. The 1300 is back, now called the “SXP.” It’s now made in Turkey but it’s the same design although now it comes only in matte black. Currently, 26-inches is the shortest barrel you can order, but for an MSRP of $359, you can lug a few extra inches of barrel around. Winchesterguns.com
Since the F&S article was written, the MSRP on the field model has risen to $399 and the defender to $349. Still in the budget shotgun category but no longer in NEF Pardner Pump or Stoeger P-350 territory. As I’m typing this there are several SXP Defender models on GunBroker with a ‘buy it now’ price around $280. Add shipping and FFL fee’s and you’ll be a few bucks under MSRP.
Some will lament the fact that the SXP is made in Turkey instead of the good old USA. I certainly understand the sentiment, but I also understand the reality of our global economy. For what it’s worth, I am favorably impressed with the current offerings coming out of Turkey…. the fit and finish on a Turkish made Charles Daly shotgun that I have is outstanding. For those that strongly favor products made in the US there is still the Remington 870 Express and Mossberg 500 in the same general price range as the SXP.
The SXP certainly has some features that I really like including: black chrome finish, back-bored barrel, easily removable trigger group, Invector chokes (on the field model, the defender model has a fixed open choke) and eye catching lines.
Until I’m able to get my hands on an SXP at one of my gun shops, I’ll be watching the various gun forums for initial user impressions and reviews.