Quick to grab attention, the Competition SLP is a striking 12-gauge shotgun that stands out in the crowd.
More than just good looks, it was a treat to shoot the FN SLP Competition Shotgun. Proclaimed the shotgun of the year back in 2009 by American Rifleman, the SLP has slipped quietly into the unique find category. It was working through my list of FN guns that led me to the SLP. With origins in exclusive military and law enforcement availability, the Competition model evolved into an attention-grabbing edition with superior features. Right out of the case, there’s no doubt you’ve got a Competition SLP in your grasp. Thanks to the sharp bright blue finish on the receiver and magazine tube. Even from a distance, it’s unmistakable on course.
Much like most popular 12-gauge shotguns, the configuration of the FN SLP is an over-under gas-operated autoloader. The standard 18” barrel is built into an overall length of 38.75.” In keeping with its peers, the 7.7 lb. weight is on par with what I’d expect. Not as light as some of my hunting shotguns, but not overwhelming by any means. The familiarity in setup and feel to other quality guns makes getting started on the competition course super easy. Muscle memory doesn’t take much adjusting, thanks to the consistent placement and design.
High profile sights, with a decently sized bolt release, are enjoyable. Accuracy on target, with a quick return for follow-up shots, is a breeze. Checkered on the forearm and grip, the FN SLP feels good in the hand. Less aggressive than some of the over-under tactical shotguns, the checker was designed well to be functional without being obnoxious.
Moderate recoil is minimized with the vented choke. I was pleased with the performance and fit to shoulder. With several hundred rounds through the SLP, I did not come out of the day bruised and sore. The SLP also proved to be reliable throughout the day. The 6+1 capacity provided me with plenty of reloading practice, and there were no issues with failure to feed, fire, or loading. For a great competition gun, the biggest drawback to the FN SLP is the low availability. Best wishes in finding the FN SLP in stock. The resale market is the only way you may chance upon one.
With the FN SLP discontinued, shooters rely on consignment or word of mouth to acquire one of these great 12-gauge shotguns. Which is rather a shame. Being easy to operate, with similar features to many other over-under shotguns, the FN SLP would be a great shotgun for beginners learning to shoot in competition.
All in all, the SLP is a striking and fun shotgun to get a hold of for competition shooting. That is if you can find one. Yet another reason to schedule some time with your buddies at the range. You may luck out and one will appear for you to enjoy for the day.
Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller and other publications.
Image: Creative Commons.