The FN That Thought It Was A Kahr, or My Excellent Adventure With A New SLP


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JNewell
April 21, 2008, 09:16 PM
edit: the reference to the Kahr is because it used to be (maybe still is?) the case that Kahrs took several hundred rounds to break in to the point where they'd function reliably...as you'll see, this FN SLP reminds me of that process with my MK9.

I've been looking for a gas gun for a while and, truth be told, have kind of enjoyed weighing the alternatives in my mind. The rubber hit the road yesterday, though, when I walked into a gun store I stopped at on my way to visit my parents a couple of hours away. There on the rack was a nice, new FN SLP with an attractive price on it. Sold! :D

I took it to the range today, expecting a bit of break-in. I'd prepared by swapping out the heavy piston for the lighter piston and cleaning/re-lubing everything. I packed up a bunch of different low-recoil "tactical" loads as well as a bunch of target and field birdshot loads and threw in several brands of slugs for good measure. Headed out for the range, which I had to myself - always convenient for tasks like this! :evil:

Howee, did I put the piston in backwards? :uhoh: Did I mistake a single shot gun for a repeating gas gun? :what: Nothing is cycling! - nothing at all. :scrutiny: Initially, the only load that would cycle the action was the Federal tac/low recoil loads, which isn't all bad, since I have cases of the stuff and it shoots well in everything else in the house. After +200 rounds, though, by the end of the afternoon even the light target loads were fully cycling :cool: and I was a happy camper with the new tool.

Observations along the way, in no particular order...

This gun, like most gas guns I've owned, seems to like to be run wet. Dunno if that will change with time?

It patterned very nicely with the cylinder tube with each of the three or four 00 buck loads tried, running nice, even 5" circles at 10 yards, which is pretty much my defensive horizon for 00 buck loads.

Slug accuracy was pretty good.

I like the ghost ring sights, but I'm not convinced about the aft two dots on the ring. I may paint them out and leave the white dot on the front post - needs further T&E.

Recoil, compared to my incredibly reliable, now-for-sale 1201FP was very noticeably softer - nice. I am getting to the point where I don't appreciate my guns pushing me around too much. :cuss:

So...first steps...more needed...early signs of promise, though, and I'm looking forward to going further down the road with this one.

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Dave McCracken
April 21, 2008, 09:48 PM
Thanks,J. Keep us posted...

dasanii19
April 22, 2008, 12:26 AM
One thing that I like about the FN SLP is the Manual, reason being is that it's in ALL ENGLISH :):) The FN SLP is one fine shotgun. Did you buy the 18" or 22"? if you dont mind me asking, what was the price on it?

Enjoy and please do keep us up to date, we need more talk around here about the FNH SLP. I found alot of talk on the SLP here: http://fivesevenforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=68

JNewell
April 22, 2008, 08:43 PM
18" version. It balances pretty well and handles very nicely. Price...more than Tanner's, but less than MSRP...I only buy guns I can physically handle now and this was probably the only one in New England. (I missed one by a day or two last month.)

Thanks for the reference to the forum. There is also an FN-sponsored forum, which I've checked out.

JNewell
April 28, 2008, 08:44 PM
I had intended to get to the range this weekend and follow up on getting to know this gun. Unfortunately, due to match schedules there and home scheduling, that didn't happen. For what it's worth, here's the state of this project.

Accessorizing the SLP. First, I should say that my goal is to avoid over-accessorizing this gun. I want it light, trim and responsive. I also don't want to spend a lot of money replacing perfectly good factory parts with aftermarket parts. All of that is good because the truth is that, even when you consider that many Winchester SX2 parts will fit, the range of doo-dads is a whole lot slimmer than for, say, the 870.

Stripping and cleaning the SLP did point up one highly questionable factory part. The magazine follower is little more than a light gauge plastic cup. I am probably being too pessimistic, but it doesn't look like it would take a whole lot of round trips in the magazine tube to wear through this part, especially if you get some grit in the tube. I didn't find any replacement followers for the SLP...didn't even find any for the SX2. I did find the basic green hi-viz follower (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/productdetail.aspx?p=25278&st=scattergun%20follower&s=) with the tactical, or is it tactile?, nipple on the end, made by Scattergun Technologies. For something like $6 from Brownells (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/productdetail.aspx?p=25278&st=scattergun%20follower&s=), I decided I couldn't go wrong. Happily, I can report that it's a perfect fit with the tube and spring and I consider it a very worthwhile upgrade.

http://www.brownells.com/Images/Products/800100004.jpg

The next possible parts replacement is the rear ghost ring. The sights are the very excellent LPA ghost ring set, but the rear aperture doesn't really compute well for my eye and brain. I am probably a universe of one on this, but it's my gun, so I get the only vote on this one. What's wrong with the aperture, in my estimation, is that the white dots on either side of the aperture are more than half way up the ring's height. When I look through the sights, I have to choose between putting the three white dots on a level horizontal plane or centering the post in the ring. This is (again, I emphasize, for me) an intolerable situation for a gun that might have to be brought on target quickly, accurately and with no second chances given. Happily, LPA makes an aperture that's just a ring, so that part is on order (http://www.precisionsights.com/barshot.html). Until then, I dabbed some black paint over the white dots. You can see the various apertures offered by LPA below.

http://www.lpasights.com/immagini/ghost.jpg

The third area for attention is the choke tubes. For some reason, FN threads these barrels for the old Winchoke/Invector tubes (which are quite short), rather than the newer Invector Plus tubes. Performance seems very satisfactory, but I am going to investigate two potential replacements.

For buckshot (and maybe for slugs as well), an extended choke might work better, and the TruLock tubes are as good as any and better than most, so I've got a "Precision Hunter" cylinder tube to try. I'll try it with buck and slugs.

http://www.trulockchokes.com/Images/PrecisionHunter.jpg

The other choke tube experiment is based on the recommendation of a trusted local LEO who uses a rifled tube in his M2. Based on his recommendation, I'm going to try a Cation rifled tube with slugs. Because changing tubes under defensive circumstances is improbable at best, I will pattern this tube with buck and see whether the rifling opens up the shot pattern. It wouldn't be surprising if it did, but logic and practical facts often diverge.

http://www.choketube.com/images/Rifled%20Choke.jpg

That's my report for now...more to follow when I get out with the gun again.

9mmepiphany
April 28, 2008, 09:01 PM
i'm following this thead with great interest as i have the same gun and haven't decided how to option it out yet

have you found any extra shell holders that mount on the receiver?

I have to choose between putting the three white dots on a level horizontal plane or centering the post in the ring.

i intend to just black out the rear dots. just curious, why would you "center" the post in the ring?...it's self centering

JNewell
April 28, 2008, 09:11 PM
have you found any extra shell holders that mount on the receiver?

I haven't looked very hard because I'm 95% sure I'm not going to do that on this one. One of my 870 PMs has a sidesaddle and it really changes the weight, balance and handling of the gun (my view, YMMV, as always). I did read a post on another forum where an SLP owner reported that he'd found and mounted an SX2 sidesaddle with great results, but I haven't gone looking for one.

Edit: It turns out that Lyman (http://www.lymanproducts.com/tacstar/sidesadd.htm) (which owns TacStar, apparently) does in fact have a sidesaddle for the SX2 (http://www.lymanproducts.com/tacstar/sidesadd.htm), which ought to fit an SLP just fine. There ya go! :D

i intend to just black out the rear dots. just curious, why would you "center" the post in the ring?...it's self centering

Yep, I hit them with some black paint (nail polish, truth be told) as a temporary or maybe permanent expedient. In theory, it is self-centering, but for me at least it is not self-centering if you try to line up the dots. In other words, at least for my eye and brain, the dots are in the wrong place, and effect on the POI vs POA at 50 yards is significant. YMMV...

JNewell
May 2, 2008, 09:14 PM
Note to 9mmEpiphany: if you didn't see the edit on the side saddle above, check it out.

I managed to get to the range this afternoon on the way home from work. It was cold and then started raining. I stayed long enough to get wet and cold but not long enough to finish the T&E I wanted to do.

I'll try to get more quantitative later, but in general terms:

Both Federal and Winchester tac/low recoil slugs shot well from the extended cylinder tube (expected). The Federal load did not like the rifled choke tube at all, however, while the Winchester started acting...well, not exactly like a laser beam, but significantly improved. Thankfully, vertical POI did not really change (logically, it shouldn't, but you never know).

I moved over to another part of the range to see if the rifling would affect dispersion of 00 loads. In a nutshell, at 15 yards, shooting the OLD Federal 9 pellet tac load (pre-Flite Control wad), there did not seem to be a difference. The Trulock and Cation tubes produced approximately equivalent results at that range with that load.

More testing is needed, but the practical result is that I think I can probably be comfortable leaving the rifled Cation tube in full time, at least for now. It doesn't seem to affect 00 buck patterns negatively and it shoots the Winchester slugs like a real rifle.

More to come as time permits...

9mmepiphany
May 3, 2008, 03:15 AM
got it thanks...you're right it should fit as the list the same item numbers for both the SX2 and the Browning Gold

TTRotary
June 25, 2008, 07:36 PM
The owner's manual is your friend. In it, you will see that the SLP ships with a preservative oil, which is NOT gun oil. You need to remove this and relube with gun oil, if you want it to cycle. Manual specifically states NOT to use the weapon until this is done, otherwise damage may result.

Frankly, I am surprised it cycled at all, and hope you have no damage. Love my SLP.

Thanks for the feedback on the rifled choke, that was my reason for checking out this thread.

JNewell
June 25, 2008, 08:12 PM
The owner's manual is your friend. In it, you will see that the SLP ships with a preservative oil, which is NOT gun oil. You need to remove this and relube with gun oil, if you want it to cycle. Manual specifically states NOT to use the weapon until this is done, otherwise damage may result.

I don't want to sound grumpy, but I did read the owners manual, which is apparently more than the attention you gave my post above, where I wrote:

I took it to the range today, expecting a bit of break-in. I'd prepared by swapping out the heavy piston for the lighter piston and cleaning/re-lubing everything.

On the rifled choke, results so far suggest no meaningful adverse effects below 25 yards with good buck loads and dramatically improved performance beyond that with slugs, so it is a probable semi-permanent piece of gear.

TTRotary
June 26, 2008, 07:09 PM
Point taken. I just see so many comments that people run out and start shooting them and they don't cycle. To be honest, I made precisely the same mistake myself. Quite a "duh" moment for me.

Where did you get your Cation rifled coke? I have trouble finding anyone who is knowledgeable about what rifled chokes I can use with the SLP. I also noticed that FN now sells a rifled barrel as a separate component. I will contact them tomorrow for more info.

JNewell
June 26, 2008, 08:14 PM
IIRC, the only two places I found rifled chokes were Brownells (Cation) and Carlson's (www.choketube.com - NOT www.choketubes.com).

I think you'll get at least 90% of the accuracy of the fully rifled tube for a fraction of the cost and many times the flexibility with the rifled tube. Give it, as they say, a shot.

JNewell
October 23, 2009, 09:44 PM
Very belated update. The long-awaited tri-rail extension arrived yesterday. Determination of the best light is ongoing. In the meantime, here's two quick snaps:

http://home.comcast.net/~john.o.newell/FN%20SLP/TriRail2of2.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~john.o.newell/FN%20SLP/TriRail1of2.jpg

arizona98tj
January 11, 2010, 10:11 PM
So how is the tri-rail working out? What's your take on the quality, fit and finish, etc.?

Did you decide on a light yet?

farscott
January 12, 2010, 08:49 AM
Interesting results with the rifled choke tube and 00 Buck. I need to experiment with my 870SP and its RemChoked barrel to see if it will pattern the Winchester military 00 Buck as I have a case or two of it.

JNewell
April 18, 2010, 04:56 PM
I have been experimenting a bit with followers in my SLP. I noticed in a thread at another forum that some other users have been also. Right now there isn't a lot of choice in followers (or any other aftermarket parts for the SLP, for that matter). I've tried the OEM FN part, the Nordic Components follower and the Wilson Combat hi-viz follower. For what it's worth, there are pics of these three posted below. Here's my findings. Others are invited to chime in.

Capacity issues: the only one that will permit the full spec'd six rounds, when loading Federal shells, is the OEM follower. When this was observed with the WC follower, which is effectively a lot thicker than the OEM and NC followers, I wasn't too surprised. What did surprise me is that the same thing happened with the NC follower. See the dimensions in the next paragraph for an explanation of why I was surprised.

Dimensions: a follower takes up space in the magazine equal to distance from the end that contacts the shotshell to the contact surface for the magazine spring. I measured the three followers and got the following results for the dimension from the shell face to the spring:

FN (OEM) follower: .20"
NC follower: .19"
WC follower: .60"

So it's obvious why the Wilson Combat follower (which is actually a Remington 870/1100/11-87 part, but functions fine other than the capacity issue) reduces magazine capacity.

It is not clear to me at all why the Nordic Components follower gives results any different from the OEM FN part, since they are essentially identical. It has been reported elsewhere that NC is looking at this issue, which is great. Their follower is a very high quality part and it'd be nice to figure out how to get the full six rounds into the magazine tube without snipping coils off the spring. I'll be interested to see what they find.

Discussion invited. Pics below.

http://home.comcast.net/~john.o.newell/FN%20SLP/follower3.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~john.o.newell/FN%20SLP/follower1.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~john.o.newell/FN%20SLP/follower2.jpg

JNewell
April 18, 2010, 05:03 PM
So how is the tri-rail working out? What's your take on the quality, fit and finish, etc.?

Did you decide on a light yet?


The fit, finish and quality of the tri-rail is superb. Overbuilt, actually. The only lick on this part is that it is fairly heavy and, since that weight is out at the far end of the shotgun, there's a leverage multiplier that applies. I've considered removing the two side rails to reduce weight a little.

By the way, I want to post a link to your series of pages on the Mark 1 SLP (http://www.stu-offroad.com/firearms/fnh/slpmk1/slpmk1-1.htm), which have a great deal of great info. My '00 XJ sends its greetings, too. ;)

arizona98tj
April 19, 2010, 08:08 PM
JNewell,

Very good post....and let me say thanks for not using the all too typical bad quality cell phone photo. :D

Is it safe to assume that your testing of how many rounds could be put into the magazine, before and after the various follower swaps, were all done with the same rounds?

I'll agree that the very well constructed tri-rail (http://www.stu-offroad.com/firearms/fnh/trirail/trirail-1.htm) is a bit heavy. I hadn't considered the removal of a rail or two but that isn't a bad idea, actually. I can't imagine needing more than one rail for my needs.

Hey, did you see that I put a EOTech sight on my Mark 1 (http://www.stu-offroad.com/firearms/eotech/xps2-1.htm)? It's great and worth every penny, IMHO. Earlier this month, I ran the tactical shotgun course at Front Sight.....finished it with 3 points short of a perfect score. :D I was stoked!

http://www.stu-offroad.com/firearms/eotech/xps2-8.jpg (http://www.stu-offroad.com/firearms/eotech/xps2-1.htm)

JNewell
April 20, 2010, 01:58 PM
Yep, saw the EOTech. Those are great sights. I love the HUD. I have kept the LPA ghost ring on mine, though.

Magazine capacity was evaluated with my preferred 00 buck load, which is the Fed low recoil tactical load. Other people seem to find that this load is a little longer than others, too. With a slightly shorter load, the Nordic follower will work with six rounds...but that isn't what I shoot in it, so it doesn't help.

Rgds
John

JNewell
June 14, 2010, 11:30 AM
I've been working on a few projects for the SLP. I'm going to post a few pictures and very brief notes and come back to fill in the details as time permits.

The first update is that I finally made a decision on a white light. The picture below shows the tri-rail extension removed from the shotgun, for ease of taking pictures. What I chose was a SureFire G2L with an XM-07 SureFire tape switch attached with a pair of GGG G2 rings. This was reasonably economical and is very functional. The position of the light prompted me to remove the sling swivel stud from the bottom of the forend and install a Midwest sling stud on the left side of the tri-rail, visible in the second picture below.

http://home.comcast.net/~john.o.newell/FN%20SLP/SLP-4.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~john.o.newell/FN%20SLP/SLP-6.jpg

JNewell
June 14, 2010, 11:36 AM
The next project I've been working on is adding a side saddle. I finally located a couple of these at Graf's. This is the regular TacStar side saddle for the Browning Gold and Winchester SX2. What I've done, taking a cue from Hans Vang, is to modify the shell carrier for a heavy-duty velcro attachment system. I made some backing plates for the shell carrier from sheet aluminum, which I attached with JB Weld. I then attached industrial velcro to the shell carrier and receiver plate. This has at least a couple of advantages. First, it's a snap to remove the shell carrier to reduce weight/bulk. Second, it allows quick "reloading" of the shell carrier, or a quick change to an alternative load, by sticking a different shell carrier onto the receiver. The only thing to be aware of is that, obviously, products like GunScrubber will likely weaken or dissolve the adhesive.

The picture below shows a sort of summary of the modification process, which is definitely not rocket science. ;)

http://home.comcast.net/~john.o.newell/FN%20SLP/SLP-8.jpg

JNewell
June 14, 2010, 11:41 AM
Here's the final update for now. This one is still very much in process.

The FN recoil pad isn't bad, but I really like the LimbSaver pads. Unfortunately, they don't make one for this shotgun. So...

I printed out the LimbSaver templates on the SVL website. The Winchester 1300 pad looks like an almost exact fit on the outside dimensions, but the screw holes don't line up at all.

What I've done is to make what's going to be an adapter plate from 1/8" sheet aluminum. It fits into the buttstock cavity and will be attached with screw in the OEM holes. I plan to drill and tap holes in this plate to secure the Winchester 1300 pad, assuming its outer dimensions do in fact match the SLP stock. I've got that pad on order from Brownells, so maybe this weekend I'll have more to report.

Here's a picture of the adapter plate I made:

http://home.comcast.net/~john.o.newell/FN%20SLP/SLP-11.jpg

Dave McCracken
June 14, 2010, 12:30 PM
Thanks for keeping this going, J. Eagerly awaiting range report......

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