Questions about the H&K SL8 rifle


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chudykGT
June 7, 2009, 07:50 PM
Does anybody have any personal experience with this civilian version of the H&k G36?

If so, what are some of the advantages/disadvantages it has over AR15 derivatives? Ie is it easier/harder to maintain and clean, malfunction more often/less often.

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chudykGT
June 7, 2009, 08:18 PM
Bump

taliv
June 7, 2009, 08:22 PM
it really only resembles it externally. the guts are a good bit different, and sometimes they haven't worked the bugs out of the engineering. that was the case with mine, though it was a fairly early model.

it's not as good as an AR on any dimension except ease of cleaning.

AR is more ergonomic, lighter, better trigger, more modular and has better accessories, easier to get replacement parts, easier to get quality magazines (esp standard-cap (30rnd)), more accurate, easier to shoot offhand, easier to shoot rapid fire, etc etc etc


edit: and don't bump your thread every 30 min.

Storm
June 8, 2009, 10:38 AM
Owning and shooting an SL8-6 and a number of AR's I think that it is difficult to compare the two as they are very dififerent. They share a caliber, but beyond that I see little similarity. I will say that my SL8-6 has been 100% reliable (I can say the same about my AR's) and is extremely accurate. Given the choice between a "stock" AR and an SL8 to do longer range shooting I'll take the SL8 every time. For combat the edge goes by far to the AR. The SL8 isn't that kind of weapon. The SL8 has potential to approach a sniper type weapon, but beyond that the AR rules.

One afternoon I shot my SL8 with an Army sniper and he was extremely impressed with it noting that with a bit of trigger work and the right scope it had great potential.

Many will point at the stock and capacity of the SL8 and criticize, but I find the thumbhole stock to offer a very positive grip, almost like I lock in. Some can't see beyond the politics of the thumbhole stock to recognize that what HK has done may actually be very effective, but, ergonomics are very subjective. As to capacity, the factory mags are limited to ten rounds, but ProMag (yes, ProMag) makes an extremely high quality 20 round mag that functions perfectly. Of course, they are single stack, so the gun becomes more cumbersome and problematical when shooting from a rest or prone.

And, that leads to the final point. An AR can be a tactical rifle used anywhere, and handily, from the desert to clearing rooms in an urban environment. The SL8 is not that kind of a rifle and would be ill-served for that type of a role. If they had chambered the SL8 for .308 you might have the platform for a sniper rifle or an even better target type rifle.

The SL8 and AR15 are apples and oranges and any comparison is really of limited value as the guns are generally for very different uses, but, I guess that is a valid comparison in and of itself. The AR15 is far, far more versatile.

SL8-6 with 20 round mag:
http://img134.imageshack.us/img134/2265/sl86p.jpg

chudykGT
June 10, 2009, 05:54 PM
Thank you for the information guys.

The main reason I ask, is because anything base off an AR platform is restricted here, and I only have a non-restricted license.
There are few semi-auto rifles that fall under the non-restricted catagory that aren't truly set up for target shooting or hunting

Reid73
June 10, 2009, 06:20 PM
Mini-14 is another (non-restricted) option. Some people don't like the Mini but it has its good points, and will be substantially cheaper than the SL8.

If you are willing to consider 7.62x39mm, other non-restricted firearms available to you are the VZ-58L and SKS. And in 7.62x51mm, there is the Norinco M-14S (M1A clone).

If it's a military rifle you're after, I'd suggest an M1 Garand or a No.4 Lee-Enfield, both of which have more history and capability than any of the 'modern' rifles mentioned above.

HKGuns
June 10, 2009, 07:18 PM
Storm,

Your post was very informative. I need to ask you why you consider it apples to oranges when an AR comparison is made?

The SL8 is the sporter version of the G36, which is most certainly a combat weapon that would go head to head against the AR platform. Are you referring to the features of your sporter SL-8 making it more sniper rifle like?

Can you explain why you don't see the comparison?

greg531mi
June 10, 2009, 08:30 PM
I thought self loaders have to have a 18.5 barrel in Canada.....
Any thoughts on buying a Ruger Mini 14?

Robert
June 10, 2009, 08:31 PM
My brother has a SL8-1 that I have shot many many times. The only real short coming of the design is the inability to accept AR style mags. There is a conversion kit out there to allow you convert the mag well to accept AR style mags but last I talked to him about it the kit was like $400. Other than that I think it is one heck of a rifle. Very accurate. At least his is. And I have never had or heard of a jam in his rifle.

I own an Mini 14 and if I had to choose between the two I'd take the SL8 hands down.

Storm
June 10, 2009, 11:11 PM
Storm,

Your post was very informative. I need to ask you why you consider it apples to oranges when an AR comparison is made?

The SL8 is the sporter version of the G36, which is most certainly a combat weapon that would go head to head against the AR platform. Are you referring to the features of your sporter SL-8 making it more sniper rifle like?

Can you explain why you don't see the comparison?

Simply put, the G36 is a combat weapon, but the SL8 is not a G36. The configuration of the SL8 is not a combat weapon. All of those conversions do not make an SL8 a G36. That said, I would put an SL8 converted to a G36 look alike up against an AR15 as the weapon is in a comparable configuration. I maintain that the SL8 in stock condition is really only comparable to the AR15 as they can and often do share the same caliber.

The bottom line is that a stock SL8 is not a combat weapon. On the other hand, that platofrm could be used for a sniper rifle, something that HK has considered: http://www.hkpro.com/sl9sd.htm

Overall, the AR15 is a far more versatile weapon able to fill many roles.

HKGuns
June 11, 2009, 08:44 PM
That is what I thought you were saying. -Thanks.

Storm
June 12, 2009, 09:00 AM
I'd also add that my SL8 is the very last rifle that I would part with, and only if I had to, with a gun to my head ;-))

nalioth
June 12, 2009, 09:08 AM
Many will point at the stock and capacity of the SL8 and criticize, but I find the thumbhole stock to offer a very positive grip, almost like I lock in. Some can't see beyond the politics of the thumbhole stock to recognize that what HK has done may actually be very effective, but, ergonomics are very subjective. There are many who let their disdain for Klinton and his butthole stock policy get in the way of appreciating a well made thumbhole stock.
As to capacity, the factory mags are limited to ten rounds, but ProMag (yes, ProMag) makes an extremely high quality 20 round mag that functions perfectly. Of course, they are single stack, so the gun becomes more cumbersome and problematical when shooting from a rest or prone.Some concern out there makes a replaceable lower that accepts STANAG mags (that's AR15/M16 mags for those of you who don't read acronyms).

Storm
June 12, 2009, 09:32 AM
Some concern out there makes a replaceable lower that accepts STANAG mags (that's AR15/M16 mags for those of you who don't read acronyms).

Yeah, I understand the STANAG mag thing, but there numerous outstanding rifles that don't take them, so I don't sweat it. But, I do understand the concern.

nalioth
June 12, 2009, 10:23 AM
Some concern out there makes a replaceable lower that accepts STANAG mags (that's AR15/M16 mags for those of you who don't read acronyms).
Yeah, I understand the STANAG mag thing, but there numerous outstanding rifles that don't take them, so I don't sweat it. But, I do understand the concern.

concern
• business: a commercial or industrial enterprise and the people who constitute it; "he bought his brother's business"; "a small mom-and-pop business"; "a racially integrated business concern"

Dravur
June 12, 2009, 10:41 AM
I had one of the SL8s in the original blue format and I hated it. It seemed well made, but the thing had the ergonomics of a picnic table.

I am much more comfy with the AR platform.

Storm
June 12, 2009, 11:09 AM
concern
• business: a commercial or industrial enterprise and the people who constitute it; "he bought his brother's business"; "a small mom-and-pop business"; "a racially integrated business concern"
__________________

Oh, I see, some racially integrated small mom and pop business makes a STANAG lower. Thanks for the clarification.:)

Kidding aside, and sorry I misread your comment (before my coffee), but I'd really hate to drop hundreds more for that lower when I have already spent well over two grand on the rifle. That's what gets me about the "G36" conversions, dropping big money on top of big money.

As to the ergonomics of the SL8, yeah, that's a very subjective aspect. I happen to love it. But, I spent some time behind an SL8 before buying one, and I'd certainly recommend that to someone considering one, at the very least to pick it up and see how it feels, but better yet to shoot it. It would really suck to spend that kind of money and then hate it.

Storm
June 14, 2009, 09:44 AM
One other thing about the SL8/G36. While I'm not a fan of converting the SL8 to a G36 look alike, there are some nice bonuses that arguably make the conversion a better weapon than the orignal G36 (selective fire aside) and jhelp justify the added expense of a G36 conversion.

Unlike the G36 the SL8 utilizes a match grade barrel and a tweaked lightened trigger that breaks crisply at around 3 to 3.5 pounds. So, an SL8 converted to a G36 configuration has that going for it over a "real" G36, both upgrades that cost hundreds of dollars. I think that in ligh of those considerations a converted Sl8 gives many AR's a run for their money.

chudykGT
June 17, 2009, 09:01 PM
All in all, what you are telling me is the Sl8 would not be comparable in its stock form, in any way, to any base layout of an AR? Does the Sl8 use a piston set up or is it direct impingement to operate the action?

What I was looking for was a .223/5.56 (although now I am wondering about 7.62x39) rifle, that is semi automatic, and has 20-30 round magazines available, and is reasonably accurate.

I am not looking for a long range tack driver, if I was I would be going bolt action and a larger caliber



I like the look of black mil-style rifles, and its the main reason it caught my eye. Next up was that it was a sporter version of something a major military uses as a service
rifle.

I was considering the Ruger mini 14 but everyone has been saying poor things about the accuracy out of the box on the non-target barrel model. If the barrel is too light, I am worried about shooting alot out of it.

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