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H&K SL8-6

by Jessie Indracusin


The H&K SL8-6 was designed by H&K using the same system incorporated in the H&K G36 but in a semi-automatic platform designed to meet most gun laws introduced at the time.  This will give you an idea of the differences in appearance than a standard H&K G36 along with differences in the operation.  The H&K SL8 first came out as a grey rifle.  They were very expensive and not very widely adopted by shooters.  Almost instantaneously it started making business for gun smiths who were getting the guns and wanting the gun changed from grey to black.  In fact, a lot of the older H&K SL8 you find in black actually started off as a grey gun.  The SL8 comes with a 20 inch barrel and various different carry handle rail systems.  These will greatly change from each unit you look at.  Personally I am not a fan at all of the official H&K SL8-6/G36 style cross hair optic system or the poorly designed iron sights.  Since the first thing I do with any combat/military style rifle is start putting optics on it, I prefer a low profile rail system that allows me to put optics on the gun unobstructed.

The military select fire G36 has been adopted by various groups around the world with fairly limited success.  Within the United States, various police departments and task forces use them, but by no way do they match the wide spread use of M4/AR15 style rifles in use.  The fold over stock, ultra light weight construction and pin point accuracy this gun delivers, is a true force to be confronted...however, like all H&K products, these come at a price.

SL8-6...The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good:

This gun is incredibly light weight, especially counting in the fact that it even has a 20 inch barrel and is overall a fairly long gun. The gun has exceptional accuracy, putting it in line with other H&K products.  The option of attaching rails to the hand guard area allows you to selective choose if you want one, two or three point of attachments for accessories.  If you are a big fan of the G36, this is a gun you need to consider getting.

For those a bit more obsessed (and have deep pockets to hold all the Leprechaun money you happen to have found at the end of the rainbow) you can do a Semi-Automatic SL8-6 to G36 conversion.  This is a more involved project and I will explain why I have not done an episode on this or converted mine yet. Until someone officially makes 922.R rules go away and we no longer have to worry about useless part counts that do nothing to change the functionality of a firearm and have more to do with where the part is made, I am holding out for Magpul to come out with US Made G36 Magazines.  I spoke to Magpul about these again today and they said they are still on target for a Fall 2010 release (nothing more specific than that).  If you are interested in doing this, purchase your G36 Trigger packs now before they become impossible to find like the H&K UMP Trigger packs now.

The Bad:

The Magazine is garbage!  The SL8-6 Magazine is a horrible piece of crap magazine that causes feeding problems with the gun.  This is a big reason I am anxiously awaiting Magpul to come out with G36 magazines so that I can have US Made Magazines and do the SL8-6 to G36 conversion.  The stock system is also poorly designed.  It is not a traditional adjustable stock, meaning you need to use a screw driver to adjust the stock and in the way of the cheek reset, choose an appropriate spacer configuration.  This makes adjusting the stock a royal pain.  Keep in mind, if you move to the G36 converted model, it has a much nicer folding stock that is more comfortable for use.

The Ugly:

Cost: ~$2400.  This is a hard purchase for me to recommend to anyone except the most obsessed H&K nut that understands with optics, dress up, conversion, time, etc. they will end up spending about $4500 to put a G36 Semi-Auto Civilian rifle in their hands.  I really would recommend someone spend the money on an FN SCAR 16S over this gun since the price is hard to justify.


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Last Updated (Monday, 09 August 2010 15:58)