Police patrolling waterways generally use shotguns for a variety of roles. Shotguns can fire less-lethal (think warning shots) as well as lethal anti-personnel ammunition that will not penetrate hulls when engagement distances are less than 50 yards. These sorts of units need weather-resistant weapons because of the omnipresent saltwater conditions. As author Andy Massimilian found out in the February 2014 issue of Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, Winchester’s newly introduced SXP Marine Defender 12 gauge is up to the task.

The SXP Marine Defender utilizes Winchester’s inertia-assisted action. According to the company, “As the gun recoils and accelerates rearward, the chamber pressure keeps the bolt closed until it is at a safe level. Then, as your body slows the gun down, the bolt continues rearward, ejecting the shell.” Massimilian goes on to relate more of its qualities: “The Marine Defender has a rust-resistant finish on all steel parts, and the hard chrome plating of the chamber and bore also extends its barrel life. The exterior of the barrel, magazine, magazine cap and operating rods are chrome-plated with a matte finish while the bolt, bolt carrier and internal parts are finished in black chrome. Black chrome is slightly more durable and rust resistant than a standard blued finish and is easier to clean. The aluminum receiver has a black, hardcoat anodized finish.”

So how durable is the SXP shotgun? To learn more and read Massimilian’s range report, check out the February 2014 issue of Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, available on newsstands and digitally November 26, 2013. To subscribe, go to

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