March 2004

Winchester Super X2 Versus Mossberg’s Model 935 Magnum

In this examination of 12-gauge 3.5-inch semiautos, we pit a couple of heavy-hitting utility semi-automatic shotguns designed to serve in all weather conditions.

Having a gun safe full of firearms that can be picked through to be just the right tool at just the right time is an unattainable luxury for most average hunters and shotgun enthusiasts. More often than not, there is a “go-to gun’’ that will get the job done in all kinds of conditions. Rugged, reliable workhorses that may not be as pretty as some, these firearms might be called tools of necessity.

While several steps above a power saw or set of socket wrenches, utility shotguns are expected to function well and be relatively comfortable to handle under adverse conditions. They are used in places that might not be appropriate for a finely engraved, high-grade-wood showpiece.

Falling into this category are two semi-automatics, both gas operated, being described as “workhorses’’ by a couple of well-known firearm manufacturers — the Winchester Super X2 of the U.S. Repeating Arms Company Inc. and the recently released Model 935 by O.F. Mossberg & Sons Inc.

Both shotguns are designed to handle heavy-hitting 3-inch and 3.5-inch shotgun shells, which have a reputation of reaching out to touch waterfowl with killing effectiveness. However, the ammunition also has a reputation of setting some shooters back on their heels from the recoil of sending up to 1 3/8 ounces of shot into the sky.

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