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Winchester SX4 Problems [& Solutions]

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The Winchester Super X4 is one of Winchester’s latest and greatest semi-automatic shotguns. With capabilities that include extended magazines and rapid cycling, the SX4 is one of the top shotgun options on the market.

However, like all firearms, it does sometimes exhibit several issues. Some of these problems are typical of semi-auto shotguns, and some are unique to the SX4. In this article, we will tackle what some of those issues are, and what solutions are available to you to solve them. Let’s get cracking! 

Cycling Problems 

A typical problem with auto-loading guns, powered by either gas or inertia, is cycling issues. The SX4 is a semi-automatic shotgun that’s gas-driven, meaning that the reloading and cycling process is powered by gas created by the firing of the weapon. While this is extremely effective and mostly reliable, there are possible complications with this type of action. 

One such problem is that when firing smaller or lighter loads, there sometimes isn’t enough pressure to cycle a new round into the chamber while ejecting the spent round. It’s also possible to have cycling issues with larger rounds because the chamber tube isn’t always big enough to accommodate larger shells. 

Regardless of which problem you have, there’s a solid solution in most cases that can remedy them both. 

Bottom of the Winchester SX4 Shotgun

Solution 

If your problem is larger shells failing to cycle through the chamber, the most likely cause are burrs on the shell stop or magazine tube that are snagging the shell. You should make sure that your gun is unloaded and the magazine is empty, then take it apart, clean it, oil it, and sand down any burrs. Burrs are an unfortunately common problem in shotguns that have a price point similar to the Winchester SX4. They’re great guns, but a few shortcuts are taken in their mass production to lessen the cost. 

Point of Impact is Off

Another issue that shooters of the Winchester SX4 run into is that the point of impact is off. Point of impact refers to where your shot ends up striking in regards to where you were aiming. Almost without fail, the point of impact is off high and to the left with the SX4, which is a major cause of concern with duck hunters. There’s not much point in paying good money for a shotgun and accompanying ammunition if the point of impact is off. 

Solution 

To fix point of impact issues, you have several options at your disposal. The first option with the SX4 is to have shims installed on your gun to alter the point of impact. If you don’t want to go this route, you can also re-pattern your shotgun or try using different chokes and barrels to see if this makes a difference. 

Another option is to have a magnetic sight installed on your shotgun to accommodate the altered point of impact. Finally, you can simply train yourself to aim and shoot your weapon differently to accommodate for the point of impact. However, none of these options are as good as simply having a gun that shoots where you’re aiming. Most duck hunters and skeet shooters won’t tolerate a gun with a faulty point of impact and will return their SX4 for a new one. 

Can be Heavy in the Front 

While the SX4 was designed to be lighter than its predecessor and auto-loading shotguns like it, it’s actually very similar in overall weight to its competitors. Not only that, but it’s very front-heavy for a semi-automatic shotgun and many people have trouble with consistency. The reason for the front-heavy design is because lighter and cheaper materials were used for the back half of the gun, while heavier materials were used for the barrel and magazine portions. 

Winchester SX4 Shotgun

Solution 

Short of rebuilding your gun to match the front weight with the back weight, there’s not a whole lot you can do. You can try finding a lighter-weight barrel, but these are typically more expensive and will defeat the purpose of trying to save money with the SX4. 

Internal Barrel Bore Marks

While this isn’t always a common problem with the SX4, it has been known to happen from time to time. Production and materials used to create the SX4 are cheaper than other types of shotguns, which means they’re more prone to burrs and bore marks. The barrel of the SX4, in particular, is a common victim of bore marks, which are unacceptable with shotguns. 

Solution 

The best thing you can do with bore marks on your SX4’s barrel is to return the gun to where you bought it and get a new one. Bore marks are a manufacturing error and no new gun should come with them on the initial purchase. 

Trigger Problems 

Along with a somewhat front-heavy design, the SX4 is also troubled with a heavy trigger. The trigger weight is right around 7 pounds which makes it on the heavy end, especially for rapid firing weapons like the SX4. 

Winchester SX4 Trigger

Solution 

Once again, short of installing a new trigger with lighter pull weight, there isn’t a whole lot you can do about this problem. 

Quicker Wear and Tear 

Another common theme of lower-quality but more affordable shotguns is quicker wear and tear. This is also a common theme with gas-powered semi-automatic shotguns thanks to the increased pressure of the semi-automatic reloading action. 

Solution 

The best way to prevent quicker wear and tear of your SX4 is to maintain and care for your weapon. By regularly cleaning, oiling, and servicing your SX4, it will enjoy a long and fruitful life. 

Our Analysis 

While there are several problems that the Winchester SX4 is prone too, it’s an excellent weapon overall. There are few semi-auto shotguns with the same price point as the SX4 that can compare to their quality, accuracy, and overall quality. If you’re looking to save money and purchase a solid shotgun for a good price, there are few options that compare with the Winchester SX4. 

Wrap Up 

Because most of the problems that are common with the SX4 are manufacturing issues, you can typically return your weapon for a new one if it’s under warranty. Bore marks, design flaws, heavy triggers, and material issues can usually be remedied with new parts or a new weapon. You can also learn to adapt and live with things you don’t like about the SX4s design if the gun is living up to your demands in most other areas. 

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