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Discussion Starter #1
I guess I could put this under black rifles. But oh well. Same disclaimer as my Walther P99 review.


Firearm: H&K SL8-6 Rifle



This is the civilian version of the German H&K G-36 assault rifle seen in movies (such as Equilibrium along side the P90 ^^) and games (way too many to list) . There are actually quite a few differences between the SL-8 and the G-36 other than selective fire. The most obvious is the butt stock, the least obvious and most disappointing is the magazine size, but I'll get into that one later.

So lets start off with the basics. The SL8 is a piston driven semi-auto rifle with a rotating bolt firing .223 Remington. The charging handle is right under the carrying handle and has a small lever that can go either left or right. The lever can even be used as a forward assist.

Charging Handle


Shooting this gun was a dream. Easy to handle, accurate, and very controllable. When I went out to shoot it, there was also an AR-15. Suffice to say everyone wanted to shoot the SL8 and loved it. Here one of the differences between the SL8 and G36 is shown, a heavier barrel. This brings up the weight of the gun, but does provide more accuracy.

Taking apart the SL8 is somewhat easy, but to field strip it just to clean the bolt requires two screws to be taken out to separate the butt stock from the receiver. Taking off the foregrip is as easy as removing a pin.

SL8 Broken Down


Foregrip with the retainer pin partially out


Foregrip off showing the piston


The bolt assembly is very easy to take apart. Just removing a retainer pin and slide out the bolt and firing pin.

Bolt+Bolt Carrier/Charging handle


No we come to biggest detraction to the whole gun. The terrible decision by H&K to cripple the American version of the SL8. As it is, the SL8 only accepts single stack magazines. To make the gun accept double stack magazines you'd have to get a larger magazine well and actually cut out the small depression in the receiver.

The Crippled Stock/Magwell


BUT IT DOESN'T STOP THERE! Unfortunately. H&K decided that changing the magwell wasn't enough and actually crippled the bolt itself. So if you did expand the magwell, you'd either have to make sure all the rounds fed on the left side of the magazine or get a new bolt.

The Crippled Bolt


If you notice in the picture above, you'll see one of the lugs is actually slopped. This slope prevents the bolt from stripping out a round on the right side of a double stacked magazine.

As if this wasn't enough, H&K decided to ground our hearts even more into the ground by releasing the uncrippled version of the SL8 to other countries such as Europe and Canada, and for once I blame California and not Canada for this travesty.

And because of our laws concerning imported guns, if you did do any modifications to the SL8 you have to make sure to replace enough parts with American made parts to maintain the legality of it.

There also exists a community such as this one that SBRs their SL8s, but because of the inane changes made by H&K they have to go even farther to make their G36 clones.

Despite my little rant on the crippling of the SL8, I still love the thing and I do it a disservice not going out and shooting it when I can. I'm not going to do any modifications to it as I view it as taking a milsurp rifle from WW2 and sporterizing it (such as taking a Mauser and cutting it down or something). I like to keep my guns as original as possible, but if I every get money to waste I'd consider buying another SL8 and modifying that one.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, both the stock and the cheek rest are adjustable by spacers. Technically you don't need spacers to adjust the stock, but I'm thinking the stress of firing could screw with it.
 

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Yes! That's awesome.

I've been wanting an SL8-1 for a long time, and I have some big plans for it. Although, I'm not entirely sure how to get the process started. Didi you buy from a domestic dealer, or did you have to have it imported?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Local dealer. I hear they're sometimes hard to get though. Can also try gun shows. I recently saw one at a gun show for 1700, and dealer price will be around 2100-2300 I believe.
 

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Yes, I have seen them at Houston gun shows too. The mag limit of 10 is the only bad thing (unless you do that expensive conversion process)
 

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ShipWreck said:
The mag limit of 10 is the only bad thing (unless you do that expensive conversion process)
+1
Same rason I didn't get an SL-8.
If I was going to do the AR-15 mag conversion, I might as well do a full blown G36 conversion.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When I got it, I didn't fully know about the mag limitations. I've always been a fan of the G36 so a chance to get the civilian version, even if crippled, was just too hard for me to pass up.

I am disappointed on that factor. But shooting it totally makes up for it. First time shooting that and an AR15 and I liked the SL8 better. Course, I had just bought the SL8 so I may have been biased.

Suffice to say, I don't regret buying it at all and have come to terms with the 10 round mag. I just need a decent scope and I'd have a good med-range rifle I believe.
 

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I wonder: if you were to sight in a bigass scope on a nice aluminum rail, then remove the rail, how well do you think it would hold its zero once reinstalled?
 

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are you guys sure its 10 round limit?

i could have sworn one of my buds could use 30round g36 mags in it



maybe he had the conversion though?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The 10 round limit is pretty much set in stone because of the way the stock and the bolt are. Most likely your buddy did the conversion unless he happened to have gotten his from Canada or Europe (those don't have the limit, oh how I envy them).


As for the zeroing question. I'd think it'd hold the zero fairly well. The rail slides in place and is held there by 3 bolts.
 
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