HK recently discontinued importation of the SL8-6, so prices have come down quite a bit on these guns. I recently had the opportunity to do a long-term test on one. I’ve been trying to get the gun set up for testing (rails, optics, etc.) and have begun putting the rifle through its paces. Here are a few initial thoughts . . .

  • If you really want a semi-auto G-36 assault rifle, you will be sadly disappointed with the configuration of the SL8-6. The rifle was designed during the dark days of the assault weapon ban and it’s severely neutered. While it’s possible to convert an SL8-6 to a G-36 configuration, that’s an expensive proposition and parts are drying up.
  • If you’re looking for a semi-automatic varmint rifle, you will absolutely love the SL8-6.
  • It’s very easy to clean.
  • It’s very accurate: easily sub-MOA and probably sub ½ MOA with the right loads.
  • The trigger is excellent — one of the best I’ve ever experienced on a non-AR platform semi-auto rifle.
  • HK still hates you and you still suck.

Here’s a shot of Chris Dumm helping me with the testing. He really hates my now-discontinued IOR Valdada Super M2 scope because the eye relief leaves something to be desired on this model. Although the IOR’s optics are as bright and sharp as anything on the market, the fixed 6x magnification doesn’t quite cut it for my 45 year old Mark I eyeballs.

 

Frankly, I don’t have the gun dialed in yet. The 9×13 Harris bipod was too long for bench work and the thin reticle on the 6 power optic got lost in the black targets we were using at at 300 yards. Nonetheless, I was able to print one .96 inch group at 300 yards using Double Tap 77 grain match ammo.

Full review to follow. Watch this space.

Recommended For You

16 Responses to Preview: HK SL8-6 Rifle

    • At a minimum it requires a proprietary HK magazine well, and possibly more mods to the receiver itself. HK deliberately made it difficult and expensive.

  1. I fell out of love with the actual G36 (along with pretty much all HK products) years ago.

    But even when I did think the G36 was cool, I still despised the SL8. A perfect example of HK dismissing the US civilian market, along with the USC.

  2. The G36 was interesting in the early 1990s, though its a less and less attractive option these days (if its a option AT ALL in America). They’re bulky, the trunnion is supported by the polymer receiver (which has a potential for bad things), the stock is too long, and there have been a lot more streamlined and ergonomic friendly designs that have been introduced.

    It would not surprise me if the Bundeswehr eventually replaces them with the 416. That design is gaining crazy traction.

  3. If you really want a G36 look-alike, get the Archangel Nomad kit for the Ruger 10-22.

    Fun, and wont break the bank.

  4. Tempting…HK…very tempting…if it ever dropped down to AR prices, then yes I would snag one….I will wait for my tavor…

    BTW I’m told that some US Police Depts use the G36? Anyone see them? I’ve seen our guys with UMPs and MP5s but never a G36…

  5. Utah County Sherrif’s dept uses the G36. I became aware of that a few years ago when one was stolen out of a Sherrif’s truck parked outside the deputy’s home overnight.

  6. I’ve got a couple and have done some conversion work to them. I didn’t have much experience at the time but was able to do it for a reasonable price, especially when I found the guns for a deal. I’ve done a training with one of them and was one of only two that didn’t have major issues during the heaviest firing times, the rest were using ARs. I love the gun and have let plenty of others try it. From seasoned shooters to a 16 yr old girl, all were able to control it easily and fire accurately. Two have gone on searches to buy their own after handling one. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it def grows on you.

  7. I’ve got a couple and have also done some conversion work to them. I’ve done a training with one of them and was one of only two that didn’t have major issues during the heaviest firing (500 rounds over a few trials), the rest were using ARs. From seasoned shooters to a 16 yr old girl, all were able to control it easily and fire accurately, when I have let others try it. Two have gone on searches to buy their own after handling one. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it def grows on you.

  8. Purchased the Sl8-6 a month or so ago. I am looking for a reloader (magazine loader). Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated. If no reloader, thoughts/suggestions on how you make loading it easier. I have issues with my hands and have trouble pushing springs to insert .223.

  9. Is there any good reason for making a rifle in 5.56 that won’t take STANAG mags? Furthermore, is there any good reason for BUYING a rifle in 5.56 that won’t take STANAG mags?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *