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FNH SLP Mark 1

Having gotten my first pump shotguns back when I was in junior high school (40 some years ago), I've always appreciated them.  I still have that 20 gauge from 40 years ago (bought used back then) and it will hopefully be used by one of my grandsons when the time is right.  Since then, I've picked up a couple of 12 gauge pumps and have enjoyed them to no end.  The last one, a Benelli SuperNova, has been with me to Front Sight a couple of times and it has ran very well during those 4 day courses. 

That being said, I've often wanted an auto loading shotgun.  After seeing the FNH Self Loading Police (SLP) semi-auto in action at one of my Front Sight courses, I decided to give one a try.  I touched bases with one of the local gun shops that sell FNH and waited until they got one in....which luckily wasn't too long. 

There are four variations available in the SLP line.  I decided on the SLP Mark 1.  The Tactical model has a pistol grip with the remainder the same as the Mark 1.  The standard SLP runs an 18" barrel and comes equipped with ghost sights.  The Mark 1 version is also available with a rifled barrel. 
 

FNH SLP Mark 1 with EOTech 512

Here is a photo of my Mark 1 configured with an EOTech sight that is on loan from one of my shooting buddies.  He didn't have it mounted and offered to let me test drive it for a bit to see if I liked it.  The Mark 1 comes with a Weaver style top mounted cantilever rail that begs to have some kind of an optic put on it.  I'm not sure why FNH decided to use a Weaver rail instead of the more standard Picatinny rail.  It's not like they don't use them.....the standard SLP model has a Picatinny (MIL-STD 1913) rail.  Most Weaver devices will attach to a Picatinny rail.  Most Picatinny devices will not attach to a Weaver rail.  The slot width for the Picatinny specification is wider. 
 

FNH SLP Mark 1 front sight

The Mark 1 has a low profile folding rear sight (mounted at the forward end of the rail) and a red fiber optic front sight.  Both are windage adjustable by drifting the sight in the mount.  The rear sight is elevation adjustable.  When the barrel is removed, the rail and what ever is mounted on it goes along for the ride.  I found no need to correct for any windage when using the Mark 1's iron sights on slugs.  As I was writing this, I just checked the folding rear sight on my 30+ year old Ruger 10/22.  The Mark 1's rear sight sure looks the same. 
 

FNH SLP Mark 1 receiver #1

The SLP Mark 1 uses the same receiver design as the Winchester SX2 and Browning Gold, both very respected shotguns.  The aircraft grade aluminum receiver will handle 3" shells and the gas system, with two gas pistons supplied, will manage light field loads all the way up to the heavy hitting magnum rounds.  The standard piston, which was factory installed in my gun, is intended for shot charges weighing less than 1.5 ounces.  For 1.5 ounce and heavier shot loads, the heavy load gas piston is used.  It takes about a minute to swap the pistons. 
 

FNH SLP Mark 1 gas system

The SLP uses a gas tappet system.  The gas piston encircles the magazine tube.  Two small holes in the barrel bleeds a small amount of gas into the gas piston when the round is fired.  The gas piston pushes the spring loaded gas sleeve rearward.  An operating rod, attached to the rear portion of the gas sleeve, extends into the receiver through a hole and pushes against the bolt carrier rearward.  The bolt unlocks from the barrel extension and both move to the rear of the receiver, causing the empty shell to extract and eject.  The carrier, as it moves to the rear, compresses a spring which slows the travel and then returns the bolt and carrier back into position.  While the bolt is moving forward, it picks up a shell and loads it into the chamber. 
 

Nordic bolt handle for a FNH SLP Mark 1

After my first trip to the range, I decided I wanted a larger bolt handle.  At Front Sight, qualifications are all time bound.  I didn't want to spend time missing the bolt handle when running through the malfunction drills and such.  I did a little research online and found that Nordic Components made a nice replacement bolt handle.  $25 at Cactus Tactical (they are a local store) and I was good to go.  The Nordic part # is BOH-SX-12-00.  You don't even have to disassemble the shotgun to install it. 

 

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