Here we’re going to look at an HK SL8 into HK XM8 build, inspired by the Cobra Commander, a fictional character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. He’s the supreme leader of the fictional terrorist organization Cobra.
Here’s Tom Bostic’s description of the build:
This is an H&K SL8 I converted to an XM8 with my furniture kit, that’s an actual Insight Technologies 4x XM8 prototype optic basically unobtainable, lol Beta C 100 G36 drum and a custom barrel shroud. We did it up in the Old 80’s cartoon Cobra Commander theme from the GI Joe toys and cartoons.
Note the sight, which is an actual Insight XM8 4x IR laser set up: “Impossible to find”
Typically a build like this costs around $5k to $6k, for a complete XM8.
TommyBuilt Tactical specified the SL8 to XM8 Conversion here:
TommyBuilt Tactical LLC created a bolt on XM8 style furniture kit for the SL8 riffle. This has been an unobtainable platform and made famous through various video games. This is a unique piece in any firearms collection.
Production companies please inquire by phone for availability.
This kit is designed with a five position telescoping stock, like the original. It comes with a dual sling pin, rear mount, top rail and hand guard. This kit is available with an extended K size hand guard designed to cover the factory SL8 gas block position as well as a C length hand guard. These kits are made of a glass filled nylon product and are produced on a very limited bases since the SL8 has not been in production in many years. Custom installation with receiver recontouring, laser engraving, Magwell conversions and barrel work are all available. The XM8 used the ISM-V optic, which is out of production and difficult to find. The rear has a small rail mount section to accommodate most optics. The average labor cost is typically $600.
The cost break down is as follows:
- Convert SL8 to double stack mag. $225
- Receiver recontour to XM8. $200
- XM8 style laser engraving. $100
- Cut down, crown, reprofile barrel back to glass block, thread, reparkerize, and install muzzle device. $150
- Custom paint project in any single color. $300
Parts required for the conversion: XM8 kit
- G36 magwell
- G36 bolthead
- G36 extended bolt release
- G36/XM8 paddle mag release
There’s also the custom case design, as you can see in the pictures above.
If you’re not familiar with the Cobra Commander, like me, here is a video with some history:
“He’s the supreme leader of Cobra, and a sworn enemy of democracy.”
HK XM-8: What was it and Why? (With Larry Vickers)
Also, check out the Iron Man themed JP Enterprises SCR-11 rifle, not the magazine.