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Some guys are car fanatics, some are sports nuts, and I am a gun guy. To me a gun is rich in history, cemented in the foundation of this country and dripping with the essence of freedom. I am also a hunter, a clay target shooter and an IDNR certified shotgun instructor. To sum it up; I am a shot gun guy. So when I heard that Winchester was adding to their already reliable and highly sought after SX lineup I was more than curious to see what the new offering was.
Enter the SX3 Black Shadow. When I first saw this SX3 the sleek lines of this model looked fast even though it was sitting still! The aluminum alloy, anodized black finish is a flat no glare surface. The barrel has a ventilated rib with a matte blue finish that is a compliment to the gun. Of course its gas operated with the impressive Active Valve system. It also has an ambidextrous safety which is fantastic for a left handed shooter like me. The stock is black composite and has textured grip panels. This gun fit me so well; it literally felt like an extension of my arms as I shouldered it to break a fleeting clay target.
The SX3 comes with 3 invector plus choke tubes (F,M,and IC) Inflex Technology recoil pad and a white bead front sight. This model can handle 3/12 inch shells and my Black Shadow has a 28 inch barrel. The longer barrel, for me, makes target acquisition even easier and the sight picture is wide open with this model. The gun only weighs 7.2 pounds but without question is the softest shooting gun I have ever shot. I'm extremely impressed with how fast this gun cycles 3 or 3 ½ inch shells. The SX series has a strong reputation and it's very easy to see why. I got news for you, if any of you shoot an inertia style gun, don't shoot the new SX3 Black Shadow, because the bottom line is, you will want one. Having shot and owned both styles of guns, there is a major difference and it will be obvious with in the first shot! The SX3 Black Shadow has less felt recoil and will get you back on target quicker and with a more solid sight picture to acquire your next target.
The Active Valve system automatically self-adjusts, allocating the exact gas pressure necessary to fire a wide range of loads - critical for any autoloader used in real life hunting or target shooting. When firing the heaviest magnum loads in 3 1/2" models, gases vent upward and a portion of the gases are vented forward out of the Quadra-Vent ports in the forearm, further regulating bolt speed. 3" models fire everything from light, 1 1/8 oz., 2 3/4" target loads to 3" magnums, while 3 1/2" guns handle everything from 11/8 oz., 2 3/4" field loads up to heavy 3 1/2"magnums. After putting numerous rounds through this gun I will testify that not only is this exceptional waterfowl gun, breaking clay targets with the Black Shadow was a heck of a lot of fun. With the 28 inch barrel, I'm taking this gun to the skeet range!
Overall and as you have all probably realized I was overly impressed with this newest offering from Winchester. There are a lot of guns on the market and everyone has their favorite. Some folks will only shoot 'one' gun because of brand. If you're a shotgun fan as I am, shoot this gun. Winchester has a reliable and productive reputation when it comes to providing some of the most reliable guns on the market today. If you miss out on the new SX3 you will bypass an incredibly well made and precision firearm. I highly recommend the new SX3 and challenge you to find out what THE SHADOW KNOWS.