Gun Review: FN SLP Competition Shotgun

SLP-4

Since FN was already sending us a 3-Gun focused rifle, it seemed only natural they would send along their SLP Competition 12-Gauge shotgun. I would have liked to run the two guns together in a 3-Gun match, but weather and my schedule prohibited it. That said, we did manage a thorough test of the SLP Competition.

Once the shotgun showed up at my FFL, I was pleased when I opened the case to find a bright blue finish on the receiver and magazine tube indicating that it was their competition series. The color is rather striking and would set your shotgun apart from other competitor’s guns. Taking a quick look at the shotgun at the dealer revealed a rather nice shotgun but I also quickly identified a couple of oversights that I will get to later. P1080745

Let’s start with breaking the shotgun down. Please keep in mind the photos were taken after my range trip where I shot WAY more 12 gauge in a few hour period than is probably wise.

The bright blue anodized mag tube cover is a beautiful shade of blue with a nice laser marked FNH USA logo in case you forgot who made your shotgun. The SLP Competition has an 8+1 capacity keeping it legal in all 3-Gun matches that allow a semi-auto. P1080637

FN fitted an easy to pick up fiber optic front sight to the SLP as well as a folding rear sight on the 24″ vent rib barrel. Included with the gun they sent us was an Invector Plus pattern extended improved cylinder choke. P1080640 P1080641

The receiver is drilled and tapped for a rail, although none was included with the shotgun. The shotgun also featured FN branding on just about every surface that would accommodate a roll mark, again reminding you who made your shotgun in case you forgot.

The receiver appears to be the same one that Browning uses on the Maxus line with a few modifications.P1080644 P1080646

FN did work on the loading port a bit to speed up load two and load four reloads. I struggled with the load four method a bit, but the load two was easy enough that it made me look like a pro. I believe that the large, flat, smooth shell elevator had a lot to do with the loading ease.

The loading port leads me to my first gripe about the shotgun. I would have rather preferred a higher visibility follower since the unit used is clearly upgraded from the stock one. When checking the shotgun after a string of fire, I found myself having a hard time determining if the follower was a shell when standing under a shadow.  P1080649 P1080651

My shooting partner for the day, Scott, remarked that he didn’t much care for the stock. He stated that it didn’t drop quite enough for him, I felt that it wasn’t an issue, though. If you are thinking about buying one of these shotguns it might do you well to try shouldering it a few times before pulling the trigger on a purchase.

Even though Scott didn’t like the stock, I was able to shoulder the gun and hit whatever I was aiming for without much issue. The recoil pad did a pretty good job of soaking up some of the felt recoil; my shoulder felt a lot better after around 500 shells fired than I thought it would. P1080652

When you take a look at the charging handle and bolt release, it is easy to see that we have arrived at gripe number two. For a competition shotgun, both are woefully undersized and are in desperate need of being addressed. If you look at the Mossberg 930 JM Pro that comes in around half the price you see that they were even able to offer an oversize bolt release and charging handle.

The stock units function perfectly fine, but I feel I would have been much faster with oversized parts. P1080654

I broke the shotgun down to take a look at the gas operated action and found that it is refreshingly simple. The gas piston is interchangeable for other loads, but if you are shooting 3-Gun, you should only need the one. While taking a look at the action, I was a bit disheartened to find that it would be a bit of a chore to replace the magazine tube with a larger one if you chose to do so. P1080659 P1080664

Since I had already broken the shotgun down, I might as well take it apart and give it a quick clean. Just like almost every semi-auto shotgun the charging handle pops right out and the bolt slides forward out of the receiver. The bolt is a two piece unit and appears to be the same as the one used in the Browning Maxus shotguns. P1080666

The SLP Competition shoulders well and points naturally for me, as I said previously Scott wasn’t as impressed as I was. Once the shotgun was shouldered, the bright orange bead was super easy to acquire and land shot after shot on target.

I spent some time transitioning between smaller targets (shotshells stuck on a string) and found the shotgun swings rather nicely. As long as I did my part I was smooth in the transitions and was able to move to the next target in the blink of an eye. SLP-2

Out at the range, I went through roughly 500 rounds of various birdshot without a single malfunction. I probably should have spent less time dumping the mag onto my steel target, but what the hell, why not. I was able to rip through the tube pretty quickly but not as fast as I have been able to with other shotguns. SLP-4

My steel target didn’t stand a chance; it was stripped of all it’s paint rather quickly. After the third repaint, I didn’t see much point in more paint, hits were easy enough to see. SPL-3

Once I got home I broke out the trigger scale and measured the pull weight; FN doesn’t advertise the weight on their site. The trigger broke at a very pleasant 5.5 – 5.6 pounds reliably. P1080697

We did manage to pattern the shotgun at 25 yards; it did a pretty solid job of dumping the shot into a two-foot radius with pretty nice uniformity. If you needed to use it to shoot aerial targets, it would do the closer ones in a pinch with out much of an issue. IMG_4174

 

After spending a day on the range with the FN SLP Competition, I found myself wanting more out of the shotgun. The trigger breaks at a very agreeable 5.5 pounds, but there is far more over travel than there should be. On top of the almost great trigger, the lack of an oversized bolt release or charging handle leave me stumped as to why they weren’t included. My final gripe about the shotgun is the lack of a high visibility follower, not exactly a deal breaker but it is something I would address if I were to buy one.

If you are interested in learning more about the FN SLP Competition you can do so on the FN America website HERE. The MSRP of the SLP Competition as tested is $1,449.



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and works in the shooting sports industry. He is an avid recreational shooter and a verified gun nerd. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially handguns and the AR-15 platform. Patrick may be contacted at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • JustAHologram

    Going off the gas system parts, I believe that this is based on the Winchester SX2

    • CTM_95

      Yeah it looks pretty much exactly like my SX2 except the blue, extended tube, and flip up sight.

    • thedonn007

      I think it is the other way around since Winchester was bought out by FNH. The Winchester SX2 is made by FNH.

      • JustAHologram

        The SLP went into production in 2008, I can find SX2 reviews from 2003

        • Klaus

          It’s really a copy of the Browning Gold sporting and/or Hunter. I competed with a pair of gold sporting in the mid-90s,super reliable.

          • JustAHologram

            Well yeah it’s a Browning

  • Jim N Jenna SK

    Nice review

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      Thank you. It was a lot of fun to do!

  • SMH

    This seems like it doesn’t quite stack up that well price wise against the Beretta 1301, but i would love to know your thoughts if you have tried both guns.

    • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

      I have not had the chance to shoot the 1301 yet, but will soon I think. If I were the buyer, based on the shotguns I have shot, I would probably buy a 930 JM Pro and save some money.

      • RigPig

        Wut. Spend an extra few bills and stay away from the JaM Pro. If you’re looking to buy on the cheap, the M3K from Stoeger is twice the shotgun the JaM Pro is at the same price point, though the M3K can often times be found cheaper. Even the M3000 field is a better shotgun.

        • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

          On the three examples I have shot damn near 2,000 rounds through I haven’t seen any issues. I have heard they have problems, but my experience with the platform tells me differently.

          • RigPig

            I’ve shot with and RO’d shooters using the JaM Pro. If there is a stoppage during the CoF, 9.9 times out of 10 it is a JaM Pro. 500-600rds per gun isn’t enough to prove them. The issues with JaM Pros are widely known.

          • RigPig

            Not technically since you’re not manufacturing a firearm. There are thousands of Benellis out there with 12rd mag tubes…

          • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

            Around 1800 rounds is out of one gun, I just haven’t seen it yet. It could happen, I am not doubting you at all.

          • RigPig

            The post above you stated you shot “damn near 2,000 rounds” through “three examples”.

          • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

            Yes, 1700-1800 in one and 100-200 in each of the other two. I don’t keep detailed logs when I got to the range to have fun, “damn near 2,000 rounds” could be several hundred rounds north of 2,000 in reality.

        • Flounder

          To rig pig, I’ve never seen a jm pro malfunction at all. Pictures? Or a video?

          To patrick, Guess you should do a torture test of the jm pro, put it on tfbtv!

          • RigPig

            A little perusal of the interwebs will generate more info than you can stomach about that gun. I don’t shoot them, and advise anyone I know that’s looking at shotguns to avoid them as well. There’s really no point of contention here, it’s very well documented elsewhere. The SLP isn’t used much anymore either. Very finicky and also prone to jams. If you go to a match where guns are run hard, you’ll see mostly Benelli M2s and the occasional Versamax. On the cheap, the Stoeger I mentioned is, imho which is worth exactly what you’re paying for it, the singular best bang for the buck.

          • Patrick R. – Senior Writer

            If I got someone to cover the ammo and give me a gun, I would GLADLY do so!

    • Flounder

      The 1301 is awesome and crazy beautifully lightweight, but don’t you have 922r compliance silliness if you try and put an extended tube on it?

      • RigPig

        Not technically since you’re not manufacturing a firearm. There are thousands of Benellis out there with 12rd mag tubes…

  • CTM_95

    To me it looks more like a blue Winchester SX2 with an extended tube then a Maxus.

  • ‘dat tube length tho… 🙌🙌🙌🙌💞

  • iksnilol

    Hmmmm… I like it but am not sure who makes these?

    • Rimfire

      FN Browning in Portugal

      • iksnilol

        Are you sure? I mean, can we be sure all parts were made there?

    • RigPig

      They’re made by FN Herstal in Belgium.

      • iksnilol

        Are you 100% sure? Arr all the parts marked so that we know for sure?

        • RigPig

          You’ve owned guns before, right? When’s the last time you had one where all components were marked with country of origin? Barrel is rollmarked, if memory serves. The rest doesn’t matter.

  • Black Dots

    Uh oh, blue shot gat. r/weekendgunnit is gonna lose they minds!