The new SXP Defender 12 gauge from Winchester provides officers an extremely capable scattergun at a reasonable price. The sample shown was upgraded by the author with an ammo pouch, sling and SureFire WeaponLight forend.

I HAVE A GREAT RESPECT for the shotgun in law enforcement and military usage. Hostile suspects have been known to sneer at handguns. After all, no small number of them have been shot by one before — either by their brethren or by law enforcement officers—and are still around. The sight of a 12 gauge, cylinder bore muzzle, and its 5-gallon bucket-size opening swinging in their direction can be an immediate mood changer for even the most hardened offender. And it’s a pretty good bet the tough guy has not survived a bout with eight or nine 00 buck pellets!

Winchester has a wing gun reborn into a tactical shotgun—the SXP Defender. The Super-X Pump (SXP) Defender is a direct descendant of Winchester’s renowned Super-X Pump Black Shadow Field. Known for a fantastic pump action—fast and slick—the Black Shadow is an excellent example of what the modern bird gun should be.

To help keep weight down, the SXP’s receiver is manufactured from a lightweight alloy and is anodized black.

In a move reminiscent of their 1897, Winchester decided the SXP would be a good basis for a more tactically oriented smoothbore. Off came everything dedicated to bird hunting, and on went just the right stuff to put the Winchester SXP Defender into the tactical arena.

Every officer needs access to a couple of long guns—one in 12 gauge, the other a potent carbine. Each fills a niche in the law enforcement armory, but in today’s economy long guns are a significant investment. Unfortunately many agencies looking for a way to stretch their dollars have chosen to trim or axe training and equipment budgets. That means long guns, especially new ones, with their “not needed for normal daily duty” appearance, are early victims.

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The new SXP Defender 12 gauge from Winchester provides officers an extremely capable scattergun…