Infantry: January 11, 2002


Heckler & Koch is now marketing a civilian version of the 5.56mm G36 rifle used by the German Army. The SL8-1 has a "thumb-hole stock" (since a pistol grip would make it an illegal "assault weapon") and a unique magazine (the same overall size as a military magazine, it is narrower and holds only ten rounds in a single stack). The stock is a gray synthetic; you can obtain a pedestal foregrip if you desire. Overall length is 38.6 inches (it is not a bullpup design), with a 20.8 inch barrel. The bore has a right-hand twist at one revolution in seven inches. The SL8-1 has a heavier barrel that the military G36 and is more accurate. Five-shot two-inch groups are possible at 100 yards. The SL8-1 has a Picatinny rail which can accept various telescopic sights. There are no end of available add-ons, such as laser target designators, flashlights aligned with the barrel, and night sights. The weapon weighs 8.6 pounds empty.--Stephen V Cole


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