When FNH USA designs a shotgun they, don’t accept mediocrity. Instead, they make a world class product. The FNH USA Self-Loading Police (SLP) shotgun is a mature design and a great shotgun in a world full of merely good shotguns. Out of the box, it is ready to perform at the highest level to protect your family or win a 3 gun match.

I’ve shot pump shotguns at work and in competition for years. They work even when abused and they’re surprisingly fast. Several years ago, I became convinced that auto shotguns were reliable enough for serious social applications, so I began the search for the perfect gun and tested them in the arena of 3 gun.

Since that decision I’ve gone through five automatic shotguns. After getting beat in matches by guys with SLP’s, I finally got my hands on one. The SLP is by far the best of the bunch. What sets the SLP apart is the ability to shoot slug, buck, and bird shot, one after the other with near perfect reliability. This is essential in 3 gun.

The first thing you notice when you pick up the SLP is its light weight. Using an alloy receiver to save weight, the SLP is fast handling and well-balanced. When you shoot it, you wonder why it doesn’t kick like a 12 gauge. I am not overly recoil sensitive, but high recoil impulse is the enemy of the rapid follow-up shot. A lighter gun normally has more felt recoil. FNH USA is good, but they can’t change the laws of physics, so they cheated. Instead, they use a short-stroke gas system that absorbs plenty of the recoil and converts it to cycle the action.

The gas piston fits over the magazine tube and mates with the gas block on the barrel. When the SLP is fired, gas ports direct gas onto the piston, pushing the gas sleeve rearward. A rod connects the gas sleeve and the bolt assembly, pushing the bolt forward against recoil.

I have the Competition model. It’s blue hard-anodized, which makes it more festive than the other shotguns. According to FNH USA, it is the world’s fastest cycling shotgun and it comes standard with high dollar competition upgrades, which also make it a more functional weapon.

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Image courtesy: fnhusa.com

The SLP Competition Shotgun features an 8+1 round capacity and 24” back-bored vent-rib barrel.  This is long, but necessary for balance and capacity. As we say back home, “You have to bring some to get some.”

Shotgun sights are normally problematic. I am not a member of the slug community which finds it necessary to shoot slugs at 200 yards. I prefer a rifles since they perform at longer ranges better. I want the option of precise slug hits, but slug sights are slow and cover too much of the target when you are slinging buckshot at 10 yards. The SLP Competition neatly solves this problem by allowing you to configure the sights on the fly. A big bright fiber-optic front sight pulls your eye and lets you pick up the sights fast. If you have a precise slug shot, flip-up the adjustable rear sight and shoot a group.

Shotgun loads range from light field loads to heavy slugs, and the new SLP piston adapts to them all. I have fired 3 inch heavy slugs, light number 7 bird shot, and 00 buck in the same magazine with no issues. This lets you train and hunt with cheap ammo and step it up when necessary.

You can even adjust the size of your shot pattern to meet the demands of the day with the interchangeable, extended Invector-Plus choke tubes – making this shotgun ideal for 3-gun and hunting.

The weak point of the tube fed shotgun is reloading. FNH USA can’t practice quad loading for you, but they did extend the magazine tube and enlarge the loading port to help you get all the performance you can from the SLP.

In 3-gun competitions, shotgun targets are normally reactive like a clay pigeons or move like the Texas Star. Sometimes falling plates are placed at distances out to 100 yards requiring dense shot patterns or slugs. 3 gunners may go through more than 100 rounds in a match shooting and reloading as fast as humanly possible. If a shotgun works there, any other application is an easy day. The SLP thrives in this environment.

For me, a typical shotgun training session fstarts with setting up my Safariland ELS Duty belt for shotgun. With three Gunner Solutions EZ8 carriers and three Safariland Model 084-12 Shotgun Shell Holders I have 42 rounds on my belt. The Gunner Solutions loaders are the most versatile I have ever seen.  They support strong sine loading, weak side loading, dual and quad loading.  They are adjustable for shell length and have a plate which holds the rounds in even upside down.

Using my loaders, I pick up the gun and put it in the configuration I want to start, then top off my loaders. This give me more practice loading. Some competition matches like to add manipulation, so I some time start empty, sometimes with an empty chamber.  Eight plus one in the gun and two on the barrel in a 3 Gun Gear Slide Loc 2 Pac is 11 on the gun.

There are few stages which need more than 53 rounds. I set up steel, use shotgun hulls as targets and some times shoot flying skeet. I try to reload as I move and replace what I shoot before the bolt locks back. If it does, that is where the Loc 2 Pac comes in.

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I normally shoot a mix of slugs and bird shot. If I have a shooting partner, we take turns setting up stages and running them on the timer trying to beat each other and better our times. After a few runs, times can often be cut in half.

In 3-gun competitions, shotgun targets are normally reactive like a clay pigeons or move like the Texas Star. Sometimes falling plates are placed at distances out to 100 yards requiring dense shot patterns or slugs. 3 gunners may go through more than 100 rounds in a match shooting and reloading as fast as humanly possible. If a shotgun works there, any other application is an easy day. The SLP thrives in this environment.

In training and matches I have put over 3000 rounds of 12 gauge through the SLP.  From the cheapest (Wolf) to 3in slug loads and I haven’t found anything that won’t run the SLP. I have had exactly three malfunctions which I attribute to not cleaning it for the first 2000 rounds and cheap ammo. I have no doubts about the reliability of this gun. Get one and step up your game.

The FN SLP (Self-Loading Police) shotgun is available in five different models: SLP Standard, SLP Mark I, SLP Tactical, and SLP Mark I Tactical and SLP competition.  One of them is right for you.

FN SLP General Specs

  • Matte black finish on all metal surfaces
  • Active valve gas system
  • Two-piece bolt
  • Gas-operated action

Receiver

  • Aircraft-grade aluminum alloy receiver
  • Top-mounted one-piece MIL-STD 1913 accessory rail

Barrel

  • Hard-chromed bore and 3-inch chamber barrel
  • Standard Invector™ interchangeable choke tubes
  • Accessory sporting barrels are available

Stock

  • Matte black synthetic
  • Checkered gripping panels on forearm and grip
  • Premium non-slip recoil pad
  • Two steel sling swivel studs

Operating Controls

  • Receiver-mounted bolt release
  • Curved operating handle
  • Crossbolt safety on rear trigger guard

Magazine

  • Extended tube
  • Aluminum tube cover

(Featured image courtesy: recoilweb.com)