Heckler&Koch SLB 2000 Review

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Heckler&Koch SLB 2000 Review

Post by D5CAV »

I try not to darken the State of California with my shadow, but sometimes business takes me there. Along with some meetings, I was invited to a friend's ranch for some target practice. No sign of hogs yet.

I had acquired an HK SLB 2000 years ago. They came and went pretty fast, so I'm sure the year I bought it was the only year it was imported. IIRC, it was only imported in .30-06. Anyway, that's the caliber I had.

It's a bit of an oddball rifle. Most of my self-loaders are G3s and M14s. I had the brilliant idea to get the SLB 2000 as a "California Legal" self-loader. I know. Bad idea. I figured out after I bought the rifle that the idiot PRK legislature (clown show) could ban that one just as easily and arbitrarily as anything else. Anyway, it was in my safe and gathering dust. Time to bring it to the PRK, along with it's PRK acceptable 5 round magazines.

My friend has a pretty good selection of ammo. I had brought about five flavors of .30-06. He had about another five more. Sighted the scope in with some old Lake City .30-06 with 150gr FMJs. Groups were about 4" at 100m.

Once the scope was dialed in, I shot 4 shot groups with different factory ammo.

Lake City FMJ 150gr 4" group, 1" low
Remington 165gr SP, 3" group, at point of aim
Remington 168gr BTHP Match, 2" group at point of aim
Hornady 168gr BTHP Match, 2" group at point of aim
Winchester 180gr Ballistic Tip, 3" group at point of aim
Remington 220gr SP, 4" group, 2" low

My friend had a gunsmith-tuned, 3 digit serial number Weatherby in .300 WBY Mag, which looked original, along with a mid-1950s scope. Just to see if it might be operator error, I shot his rifle with HSM .300 WBY Mag ammo loaded with 168gr Berger bullets. I got a 3/4" group at 100m. 3 bullets were pretty much in the same hole, but the fourth opened the group up to 3/4".

Things I liked about the SLB 2000:
1. Very light and crisp trigger, unlike the lawyer triggers that are shipped with every American gun. The 4" group with the 220gr could have been more operator error due to the very crisp trigger. I'm pretty sure one shot launched before I was really on target. Since I shoot mostly G3s, ARs, and M14s, I'm used to two stage military triggers. There is very little take-up on this trigger, so I have to be extra-aware not to "take up" the slack.

2. Very reliable. Brand new, out of the box with nothing more than a patch through the bore, and not a single hiccup. It fed every round, and positively ejected every round. The extraction and ejection was not quite as violent as a G3, but I noticed a few dings on the throats of the cases, and there were a few brass marks by the ejection port. Nothing like a G3, but it extracted positively and ejected hard.

3. Short, light and handy. Good ergonomics. Controls are easy and intuitive with the thumb safety at the back of the action. Push forward to take off safe. Crisp, but not too hard to un-safe.

Things I didn't like about the SLB 2000:
1. Accuracy. Granted, it's a brand new barrel and a brand new rifle, but I expected better from H&K. We ran out of daylight before we ran out of ammo, so there are still some more brands and bullets to try, but I'm disappointed with 2" groups with match ammo.

Sidebar on scopes:
Time to dump on Leupold again.

I had a Vari-X III, 3.5-10x sitting in my scope drawer. Good enough for a range day. If the rifle turned out to be a shooter, it would get a better scope, but I figured it would be good enough for a bright sunny California day at the ranch.

Well, it served it's purpose. It seemed to adjust OK and keep zero. I'm not expecting it to have the clarity of my Zeiss or Swarovski.

Then I picked up my friend's old Weatherby. It had an old 1950's vintage Bausch and Lomb Balvar 8 scope. 2.5 to 8x variable.

WTF? That 50 year old Balvar had a crisper image than my 10 year old Leupold! I could see more detail with the 8x Balvar than with the 10x Leupold.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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