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Rifle Review: HK's SL8 - The Civilian Version of the World Famous G36!

Rising from the grave of HK's hallowed Gray Room, the SL8 has returned to us over a decade later now with modern manufacturing improvements and the traditional, reliable design!

Originally introduced in 1999, the SL8 is the child of HK's G36 which has been used in quite literally dozens of militaries around the globe. In a time where firearms of a tactical type are under fire from every corner imaginable, HK has gone against the current to bring to us the SL8!


Being the child of the G36, the SL8 is very similar carrying many of the advantages that come with the G36 such as the use of durable synthetic materials, including the receiver. The bolt assembly and barrel account for most of the metal in the G36 rifle, making it and the civilian counterpart, the SL8, lightweight and very corrosion resistant.

Designed for precision shooting the SL8 features a hard-chrome plated and cold-hammer forged barrel with a recessed crown. It doesn't stop there, the free-floating bull barrel is manufactured from HK's world-renowned cannon grade steel and features a 1-in-7 twist.

In regard to the action, the SL8 utilizing a short-stroke gas piston which was later featured in the HK416 and ensures smooth, clean, reliable operation. The gun is chambered only for .223 Remington and employs a single-stack polymer magazine that accepts 10 rounds. The trigger is as you would expect breaking at roughly five pounds with little to no takeup allowing for controlled, safe fire.

One of the main "eye-catchers" of the SL8 is it's unconventional stock design which actually allows the gun to sit comfortably in the hand especially in the area just in front of the magazine well where the center of balance is located. Moreover, the gun rests easy on the bench without rolling. The rear stock is also adjustable with the buttplate being able to slide in and out with the option of adding or removing spacers. The cheekpiece is also mounted to two threaded steel inserts which allow the user to obtain the exact height they desire.


  • Caliber: .223 Remington

  • Length: 38.6 in

  • Height: 9.84 in

  • Barrel Length: 20.8 in

  • Magazine Capacity: 10 rounds

  • Trigger Pull: 4.5 lbs

  • Return Travel: .23 in

  • Barrel Profile/Twist: 6 grooves, right-hand twist

  • Weight: 8.6 lbs


Browse our collection of HK's firearms direct from their German factories!


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