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Winchester SXP Defender Shotgun

41852 Views 46 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  MAK
At the gunshow this weekend, 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 trigger finger 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. 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. 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.

Winchester Super X Pump (SXP) 12g 18" Defender Model
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Sounds like a nice upgrade!
I have the 1300 and enjoy it very much. One of the particulars to the 1200/1300 that I wan't aware of prior to buying, was the capability of handling the 1.75" "minishot" shells without modification.

Does the new SXP Defender accept them as well?

Aguila Minishell Ammunition 12 Gauge 1-3/4" #4 and #1 Buckshot 11 Pellets Box of 20 - MidwayUSA
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I don't have any 1.75" minishot shells to try, but I did see some mini snap caps at the gun shop. When I get a chance I will see if the SPX will cycle those.

Here is a close up of the barrel extension and chrome-lined chamber. The rotating bolt locks directly to the barrel, not the receiver. Very similar to the AR-15 rifle system. Note: this is the barrel of an SXP sporting model with a ventilated rib. The SXP Defender model does not have a rib.

Winchester SXP Black Shadow Field (26" or 28" barrel)
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the 1300 Defender was a great shotgun.

Winchester seems to be cranking out really good stuff again.
Fastest pump-action shotgun

The Winchester SXP shotgun is the fastest current production pump-action shotgun. Like the Winchester 1200/1300, it has a rotating bolt/barrel lock up with inertia assist in opening the action after a shot. If the pump hand lightly pulls the rear stock into the shoulder when shooting (like you would a rifle), the inertia of the bolt performs the ejection stroke of the pump for you. Just flick the forearm forward and you are ready for a very qucik follow up shot. This shot gun has been timed at firing 3 rounds in 0.56ths of a second. There is also video of a non-profesional shooter firing 8 rounds from a 1300 Defender (7+1) model in 2.8 seconds. No slam firing or trigger tricks, just good handling and timing.

The old name for this gun was the "Speed Pump". Its nickname was the "Auto Pump". One may not need to shoot this fast, but the gun is capable of very high performance.

Add the ideal location of the slide relase and safety, solid feel and construction, and light weight, and you have a mighty fine shotgun.

The SXP is mechanically improved from the 1200/1300. The former three-piece action sub-assembly (dual action bars and bridge) are now one solid piece of steel. This eliminates slop and potential wear. It also greatly simplifies disassembly. I can take this shot gun down to the firing pin in 15-20 seconds. It reassembles just as fast. The machined alloy receiver is now higher quality.
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Speed Pump Action Video: 8 rounds in 2.8 seconds

Here is a video of a Winchester 1300 Defender owner shooting 8 birdshot rounds in about 2.8 seconds. The 1300 has 7+1 capacity and the SXP Defender has 5+1. Both have the "Speed Pump" inertia mechanism. I am not saying I am capable of shooting that fast (my rate of fire is more like the slow motion version). But the shotgun is capable of shooting very fast in the right hands.
I'd like to see a video of a guy cranking out some slugs at rapid fire.
Thanks for the write up Wild Rice..
I've been wanting an HD shotty for some time.
My auto 3 shot Beretta bird gun does not really seem adequate for HD..
I like the position of the saftey and slide release.
I like the price too..
I'll check that out..
I know this thread is a month old, but I've been eyeballing an SXP Defender at a LGS for a while. They're asking 300.00 for it. It is quite comfortable for me. Still tempted to buy it.
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I have shot my SXP Defender a lot and have not found anything wrong with it. What sold me was comparing the controls to other HD shotguns. The Winchester controls are right were they should be for intuitive handling. The chrome barrel/chamber, fast rotating bolt, and smart take down design were icing on the cake. For only $100 more there is an even better option, the Winchester SXP Camp/Field Combo which comes with an 18" home defense barrel as well as a 26" or 28" vent ribbed sporter barrel.

SXP Camp/Field Combo, -- Winchester Repeating Arms -- Product Model
I would like to handle one of these to make sure it fits me well. Camp / field combo sounds great - get an 18" for the house and a 28" for some clay birds! Only thing I noticed is then the fore-end is a different style than the deeply grooved defenders version...wild rice do you really like the grip that provides or do you think it wouldn't really make a difference?
I like the short, ribbed forearm on the SXP Defender, but I am sure the forearm on the SXP Camp/Field Combo is nice too (since that longer one is used on the other sporter models). The longer forearm looks better when matched with a long sporter length barrel. You can compared the two styles of forearms by looking at the photos at the Winchester web site. The longer forearm might get in the way of a receiver mounted side saddle shell carrier (I don't use one myself) when pulling the action back. If you don't anticipate using a side saddle, I don't think the forearm would be a deal breaker. All SXPs have the one-piece dual action arms which make the forearm much firmer feeling than an 870 Remington or 500/590 Mossberg (which are sloppy feeling in comparson).
I know this thread is a month old, but I've been eyeballing an SXP Defender at a LGS for a while. They're asking 300.00 for it. It is quite comfortable for me. Still tempted to buy it.
Well, I caved in and bought it. LGS knocked off a little more off the price. Couldn't resist. I'll let you know how it functions when I've had a chance to shoot it.
While I'm more of a Mossberg guy, you picked up a very nice shotgun.
While I'm more of a Mossberg guy, you picked up a very nice shotgun.
Thank you sir! I have always held Mossberg pumps in high regard for their solid design. Plenty of aftermarket accessories for the Mossys.

I would like to find a magazine tube extension for this SXP. Not sure if one is available. I'm going to do some research. Any ideas?

I noticed this is your first post Ragnar. Welcome to the forum from out here in the middle!
As I am fairly new to shotguns, what are peoples thoughts on using this shotgun for deer hunting? I don't really have a full-time use for a deer shotgun (maybe 2-3 times a season) but really want an HD shotgun. I usually hunt up north where I use a rifle, but can only hunt locally with a shotgun.
Jtx I think I read somewhere that since it's made in Turkey they limit the mag tube to the 5 for import purposes. I might be confusing it with all the other junk I've been reading but I think it either has the dimples that would have to be grounded off or something with the quick cap system they have on the end of that tube makes it a little more complicated to extend. I'm sure if you put your mind and wallet into it though it can be done. Looks nice!
Jmac check out the combo version you could get an 18" barrel for HD and either a 26 or 28" for hunting. Pricing is about $100 more which I think seems worth it for the second chrome line barrel and gives that much more utility out of the same stock and receiver.
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