Beretta A300 Ultima VS Winchester SX4 | Shotgun Showdown

Aug 17, 2021

The Winchester SX4 has been my main work house out in the field and on the range for many years now. I know it inside and out and have shot tens of thousands of rounds through it doing live exhibitions. Speaking of exhibitions, this June my brother and I were performing in Dallas at the Ducks Unlimited Expo where we got a first look at the brand new a300 Ultima and man, It's a good looking shotgun. There was so much hype around it that I figured I had to get my hands on one - and what better way to test it out than to put it up against my SX4.

The Ultima has an MSRP of $899; The SX4 has an MSRP of $829; But you can find both of these guns competitively priced at Reeds:
(Shop the SX4 at Reeds)

The Video includes the full head to head Shotgun Showdown of the Beretta A300 Ultima vs the Winchester SX4 but if you prefer to read about it, below is a quick summary. 

Quick Specs

Winchester SX4

  • 12 gauge
  • 3" chamber (also available in 3.5")
  • 28" Barrell (also available in 26")
  • 7lbs 
  • Length of Pull 14 1/4" Out of the Box (adjustable with included spacers)
  • Drop at Comb 1 3/4" (Adjustable with provided shims)
  • Drop at Heel 2"

Beretta A300 Ultima

  • 12 gauge (also available in 20 gauge)
  • 3" chamber
  • 28" Barrell  
  • 7lbs 10oz 
  • Length of Pull 14 1/4" Out of the Box (adjustable with included spacers)
  • Adjustable cast and drop

Ergonomics/Look & Feel

Winchester SX4

  • Feels great in the hands - might be my bias, but I love the feel
  • Very light and easy to maneuver
  • Forearm grooves are solid
  • Hard plastic synthetic feels got for the value
  • Oversized charging handle and bolt release for easy operating
  • Large trigger guard - If you're going to be shooting with gloves on, the trigger guard had plenty of room.
  • Forearm cap - Option to add an extended magazine tube
  • Loading port is nothing special - Still very funtional

Beretta A300 Ultima

  • Very nicely balanced in the hands
  • Trigger guard is not oversized - I prefer large trigger guards
  • Not used to the overall feel yet, grips are not as solid
  • Oversized charging handle and bolt release for easy operating - huge improvement over the A300 Outlander
  • Pistol grip is a bit wider than I prefer
  • Love the oversized charging handle and bolt release; very smooth - the bolt release is very soft and easy to utilize
  • Reversible cross-bolt safety in front of the trigger - I prefer rear mounted safety's
  • Loading port is milled and very nice
  • Stock is unique - has a rubber groove for a two stage recoil impulse. Feels good

Trigger 

Winchester SX4

  •  5lbs 3oz (Average)
  • Crisp trigger - basically no travel. Feels great!

Beretta A300 Ultima

  • 4lbs 13oz (Average)
  • Has more travel than I'd like. Feels spongy 
  • Very light relatively speaking - wish it was more crisp

Quality of Build

Winchester SX4

  • I always look at the quality of the build relative to the price. Everything on the SX4 comes together nicely and is tight
  • Hard synthetic all around. Controls are durable 
  • Run of the mill materials - great value at this price point
  • Forearm has just a bit of looseness - nothing detrimental

Beretta A300 Ultima

  • What both of these shotguns are known for is being durable workhorses - I think the Ultima lives up to the durability of my tried and tested SX4
  • Also hard synthetic all around - receiver is metal and looks and feels very nice  
  • Very nice tolerances - all around super solid
  • Milled out loading port along with nice receiver give the A300 an edge in my books.

Ease of Breakdown

Winchester SX4
  • Simple to break down for a full cleaning. Again, I've cleaned this gun many times 

Beretta A300 Ultima

  • Very simple to break down for a gas gun. 
  • Love the one pin design to take of the trigger group
  • The components are tighter being that the gun is brand new, but once it breaks in, the Ultima is easier to breakdown

Recoil - This was the toughest comparison. Both guns are incredibly light

Winchester SX4

  • For years I've said that the SX4 is the lightest recoiling 12 gauge - that statement still stands

Beretta A300 Ultima

  • This gun sports the Kick-Off recoil reduction system and claims 70% reduction
  • No problems whatsoever when shooting 3" Target loads from the shoulder, recoil is among the lightest shotguns I have shot.
  • I'm not totally sold yet on the two stage recoil impulse - although it did make choosing a winner very difficult

Reliability

Winchester SX4
  • What can I say, the SX4 has been my go-to for years now - ultra reliable

Beretta A400 Extreme Plus

  • Didn't cycle super consistently right away over the head - I'll be gracious being that it's brand new
  • Has a bit of muzzle jump from the shoulder 

Speed Shooting

Winchester SX4
  • The SX4 was reliable and natural for me, but my top time for this shotgun showdown was a 1.17 - Right behind what I accomplished with the Ultima.

Beretta A300 Ultima 

  • This gun impressed me. In the Ultima review I was able to crush 3 clays in 1.12 seconds, and it didn't take me long to get there. This is one of my fastest times, and I just couldn't beat it today with the SX4 - I'm very impressed

 

In summary, this was a tough comparison to make considering my long and tested history with the SX4. The SX4 is still my go to and continues to be an ultra-reliable, fast shooting, solid gun. But when it came down to speed shooting, I was able to quickly crush clays in record time with the Ultima. I love to shoot fast, and the Ultima did that for me with no problems.

Shotgun Showdown Winner...the Beretta A300 Ultima

Whether our targets in the field or our targets in life, we will only hit what we are focused on so live the #targetfocusedlife

 

Stay Target Focused,

Steve

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