November 2007

Winchester Super X3 Posts Narrow Win Over Benelli’s M2

Sporting nearly identical price tags in a market where hunters are looking for rugged reliability, the camo-clad X3 was as good as we’ve found in a ?eld-grade autoloader.

While many scattergun enthusiasts may prefer the classic appearance of fine-grained wood and gun-metal blue steel in many shooting situations, the fall season seems to bring out the desire for a little camouflage in their shotgun collection. These firearms are designed for rugged, dependable functioning in what can be miserable weather conditions. Like the runt of a litter of puppies, these shotguns are often so ugly that they are considered attractive.

With the stress on getting the job done, the two shotguns we selected for our testing are promoted as solid shooting tools, capable of handling field conditions without punishing hunters with excessive recoil or clunky handling performance.

Billed as the fastest-functioning semiautomatic on the market, the Winchester Super X3 Waterfowl model is a recent addition to the Winchester line, and the Benelli M2 Field is also a fast-functioning and popular shooting tool in fields and wetlands across the country. Only one dollar separates the two shotguns’ manufacturer’s suggested retail prices, which is a rare match in a head-to-head competition between semiautomatics. Both feature slim designs and synthetic camouflage stocks and forearms, plus camouflage-coated barrels. These features are nearly a necessity for anyone venturing into the wet weather, mud and gunk typical of waterfowl hunting conditions and the unpredictable fall season for dove hunters.

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