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Shotgun Review: Sauer's SL5 - Lightweight & High-Performing

In an age where shotgun quality is slowly diminishing with plastic parts and mass production techniques, Sauer surprises us all with a quality shotgun that delivers high-performance results while being an aesthetically-appealing eye-catcher.

Just like the outer qualities, the inner qualities are built with the utmost attention to detail. From the recoil pad to the muzzle, each and every feature is constructed to make up a top-class shotgun at an economical price tag.


At it's heart, Sauer utilizes Breda's action, based on Bruno Civolani's legendary interia operated system. Straightforward and exceptionally robust, Civolani's action uses far fewer parts than traditional gas-operated systems. Similar to other inertia guns, Sauer’s action features a rotating bolt head, a bolt, and a return spring that’s mounted within the gun’s stock.

While handling and mounting the SL5, it's incredible balance instantly comes to mind. Built using an aluminum frame, the SL5 weighs approximately 6.75 lbs. with a length-of-pull just under 14.5".

For those who may jump to the conclusion that the recoil will be abusive due to the weight, that is not the case. The SL5 is designed at the perfect weight in which recoil is manageable and not abusive. The upside is while out in the field all day, the SL5 is light enough to carry around without feeling like a ton.

It comes chambered for up to 3-inch ammo and comes with five flush mounted chokes:

  • Cylinder

  • Imp Cylinder

  • Modified

  • Improved Modified

  • Full

The magazine holds 2 ¾-inch shells and three 3-inch shells. With the plug removed, hunter have a capacity of five 2¾-inch or four 3-inch shells. When it comes to steel shot, the barrel is chrome lined and has been proofed to handle steel shot ammunition.

Like many modern semiautomatic shotguns, the SL5 features the Ergofit Inlay system which allows the user to individually adjust the drop or cast to provide a more customized fit. The results are tremendous as this customization makes the SL5 more comfortable to shoot once the shims are set for the shooter.

For the hunters who prefer to add a sling while out on those long treks, the SL5 comes with a pair of Sauer Quick-Fit sling swivels that can easily be detached at the push of a button

While Sauer promotes the SL5 with terms like “shootability” and “instinctive speed,” many may doubt that the SL5 lives up to these terms. However, those "marketing terms" truly comes to light while out on the field. The SL5 mounts to your shoulder in a quick and smooth fashion ready to take down whatever the target may be.

When it comes to the aesthetic appeal of the SL5, Sauer maintained their reputation of using great wood on their firearms. The beautiful laser-enhanced walnut stock and forearm of the Sauer has a great deal of figure and features fine-line checkering on the pistol grip and the forearm, similar to something you'd see on those incredibly high-grade shotguns. Sauer also outfitted the SL5 with a Schnabel-style fore-end, a rare touch hardly seen on semiauto shotguns.

Every SL5 comes with a handy ABS synthetic case and five chokes. With the SL5, you are ready to go, no matter which situation is waiting for you.


  • Caliber: 12 GA

  • Barrel Length: 70 cm

  • Overall Length: 124 cm

  • Weight: 3.00 kg

  • Proof Tested: Magnum

  • Frame: Aluminum

  • Breech: Interia

  • Safety: Trigger Safety

  • Trigger: Direct

  • Rib: 7 mm Rail

  • Sight: LPA Front Sight

  • Chokes: Cylinder; Imp Cylinder; Modified; Improved Modified; Full

  • LOP: 36.6 cm


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