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FNH SLP Mark 1
 

Update:  01-17-2010

I spent several hours at the range today.  It was a worthwhile session as I had some time to do some slug shooting with the EOTech mounted on the Mark 1.  When I do these, I also get some good exercise when I walk down range to check the target (after each shot).  So, I racked up about 2000 yards today on the 50 yard range. <grin>  I also ran some of the drills we use at Front Sight with the Mark 1. 
 

FNH SLP Mark 1 slug target #1

I started the session with the IC choke installed and Federal Vital-Shok Truball 1oz reduced velocity slugs.  I keep a good supply of the reduced velocity (1300 FPS) slugs as I use these at Front Sight.  I have a few dozen boxes of the standard velocity (1600 FPS) slugs too.  Off a pair of sand bags on the bench, you can really tell the difference between the two.  I put 20 rounds of reduced velocity down range with no issue.  After 5 rounds of the standard velocity, I was glad I wasn't going to shoot any more of them. 

So....on the above target, those holes outside of the yellow oval were shot while adjusting the EO Tech sight at both 25 and 50 yards.  One of the holes in the yellow oval was shot after making what was the last 50 yard sight adjustment.  The three shots following it made a nice tight group with all four shots touching at about 1.32" center to center.  This was the best 50 yard group I shot during the session. 
 

FNH SLP Mark 1 slug target #2

Here is another 50 yard group I shot, same Federal reduced velocity slugs using the IC choke, coming in right at 2.5".  I believe this group is probably a more accurate representation of what can be routinely expected with these slugs in my SLP Mark 1.  Three shots cutting the X ring, which is 1.75" in diameter.....I am OK with that. 
 

FNH SLP Mark 1 slug target #3

I was expecting a point of impact shift when I switched over to the standard velocity Truball slugs, but not a shift to the left.  This time, with two shots touching, this 50 yard group was right at 2.25". 
 

FNH SLP Mark 1 slug target #5

I switched over to a standard Front Sight target and used up the last box of reduced velocity slugs.  This too was shot off the bench with not as much focus on trying to keep the smallest group.....the bad guy's head, at 50 yards, was the main object with 4 out of 5 in the high score box. 

OK.....so with 25 slugs down range, I have come to the conclusion that I really do like the EOTech sight.  That 1 MOA dot inside of the 65 MOA circle was really sweet for lining up the sights on the black bullseye.  At the same time, I found the 65 MOA circle very easy to bring to bare on a steel target.  I ran through about two boxes of birdshot at 15 yds on steel.....worked like a champ. 
 

Update:  01/19/2010

During the first trip to the range, I had a chance to shoot a few rounds of buckshot using the two different choke tubes.  The EOTech sight was not yet installed and so these rounds were shot using the factory iron sights.  The testing was done at 15 yards to see how the "A" zone pattern looked at that distance. 
 

FNH SLP Mark 1 buckshot target #1

Point of aim was the large orange bullseye.  S&B "00" buckshot was used, which has no shot buffer.  The three groups measured 9.25", 6.5", and 8.75" for a three group average of 8.16".  These were shot with the IC (improved cylinder) choke installed in the Mark 1.

 

FNH SLP Mark 1 buckshot target #2

Point of aim was the large orange bullseye.  S&B "00" buckshot was used, which has no shot buffer.  The three groups measured 7.25", 6.5", and 7.25" for a three group average of 7.0".  These were shot with the modified choke installed.  I'm at a loss as to what happened to the yellow group.  I didn't call the shot high right but I would be inclined to think it was me. 

A couple more rounds of testing are needed before any definitive stats can be derived from the groups, in my opinion.  The SLP Mark 1 seems to do well at least out to 15 yards using S&B "00" buckshot.  As time permits, I'll try some Estate and what ever else is stacked under the bench. 
 

Update:  03/16/2010


Spent yesterday morning at the range running the Mark 1 pretty hard in preparation for the upcoming trip to Front Sight.   The previous 4 weekends had been wet and I was way behind in my practice time. 

I was running my typical practice session mix of Federal 1 1/8 oz. target loads, Estate 9 pellet 00 buckshot, and Federal 1oz. reduced recoil slugs.  Everything was running nicely with no malfunctions (except the ones I purposefully set up for the type I, II, & III malfunction drills). 

So....about 2 hours into the session, I decided to give something a try.  I'd been running the 1.5 oz. or less gas piston since first using the Mark 1.  In my range bag was the 2nd gas piston, the one for greater than 1.5 oz. loads.  Believing that I'd put enough rounds down range since getting the Mark 1 to ensure a good breakin, I stripped it down and swapped gas pistons. 

After another box of my favorite Walmart Federal 1 1/8 oz. target loads, then a dozen rounds of 00 buck, and finally 10 to 20 slugs, I was pleasantly surprised to find the Mark 1 operating just as well with the heavy duty gas piston in place.  I didn't think about checking the distance the hulls were being thrown until I got home.  I figure that would have given me an idea as to how hard the action was cylcing.  But regardless of that, it's good to know that I have a  "backup" gas piston which will remain in my range bag.  I'm leaving the heavy duty piston in for now. 
 

Update:  04/06/2010

Having returned this past weekend from a tactical shotgun skill builder (refresher) course at Front Sight, I am happy to report that the SLP Mark 1 met my expectations and then some.  I wrapped up the end of the last day shooting 3 points short of a perfect score.  I'm happy to report that Gary, my regular shooting buddy, also picked up the coveted Distinguished Graduate seal on his graduation certificate too.  Gary was shooting his recently acquired Winchester SX2 (same gun, different label).  This means we will be signing up for the 4 day advanced tactical shotgun course right after we wrap up the practical rifle course we intend on taking later this year.  

A little history....Gary and I have been shooting together for about 3 years....and we go to FS together to split travel expenses, lodging, etc.  We also practice a lot together and have both been running Benelli SuperNovas for the past couple of years.  About half way through last week's skill builder, it became obvious that we made the right decision concerning this particular semi-auto platform.  Compared to those running pump guns, there was no comparison.  That doesn't mean you can't run a pump gun fast.....some folks really can.....but most folks don't.  Gary asked me, after running a string of 4 steel targets in just 1.4 seconds, "Is this considered cheating?"  <grin>
 

Update:  09/06/2010

With the previously mentioned Front Sight shotgun course drawing closer, I've started putting together the requisite ammunition for the 4 day advanced training session.  The ammo load for the course includes 750 rounds of birdshot, 250 rounds of 00 buckshot, 300 slugs, and 250 rounds of handgun ammo.  I'll be taking my Springfield XD and have plenty of 9mm ammo for it.  I've got the 00 buck taken care of as well.  I'll have to start making some trips to Wally World to get the birdshot (here come the Federal 100 shell bulk packs).  But I am short on the slug count. 
 

FNH SLP Mark 1 B&P slug target

I ordered a case (200 rounds) of B&P 1 oz 2 3/4" 1200 FPS reduced recoil slugs last week and had a chance to try them at the range today.  The 5 shot group came in about a half inch larger than the Federal slugs, which won't make a difference for what I'll be using them for.  They run about 15~20 cents per round less than the Federal Tru-ball slugs.  That may not sound like much when you look at a box, but this ends up saving me between $45 and $60 for the amount I need at Front sight. 

I've not run the B&P slugs over a chronograph yet but at the stated 1200 FPS, they are running 100 FPS less than what the Federal box claims.  These B&P slugs cycle my SLP Mark 1 without issue and shoot notably softer than the Federals (I tried both of them at the range today for a side by side test).  Since I'm shooting 300 slugs for the course, I'll take the softer recoiling slug.  I used the IC choke in the Mark 1....I'll probably give the modified choke a try to see what affect it has on group size.  I've already ordered another case based on the results I had today.  Why wouldn't I? 


Update:  09-19-2010

I had a chance to run some more of the B&P slugs through the Mark1 today.  Since I had a chance to gather more details about the slugs, chrono speeds, etc, I wrote a review which can be found here.

 

 

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