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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
More SLP Mark 1
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