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Old November 28, 2012, 12:57 AM   #1
Buffalo Wing
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FN SLP MkI vs. Remington VersaMax Tactical

Hey all,

I'm pondering a semi-auto shotgun to use for 3-gun competition, which I'm looking to get into in the near future. I'm not rushing to get anything, since I want to get the best possible shotgun and don't mind waiting/saving money for one and using my 870 until the new purchase.

Having said that, what are everyone's opinions on an FN SLP MkI or a Remingtion VersaMax Tactical? I want a gun with as high a capacity as possible, a high-viz front sight, and a rail to potentially mount optics. Both the FN and the Remington meet those requirements, and I really like the fact that both are capable of shooting any kind of ammo without changing any settings on the gas system.

Ultimately my decision should come down to fit/feel of the two guns; I've fired an SLP in competition before and loved it. I'm basically wondering it it's worth adding VersaMax to consideration.

Your thoughts much appreciated.
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Old November 28, 2012, 07:50 AM   #2
LSnSC
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Tough decision Both are great guns.

I prefer a vent ribbed barrel as I can shoot it faster. In 3 gun, we shoot alot more birdshot than slugs.

For me, the Versamax is a little quicker to load, and thats an advantage, but I really like the SX2/3 - SLP platform.

Last edited by LSnSC; November 28, 2012 at 07:59 AM.
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Old November 28, 2012, 05:09 PM   #3
dalecooper51
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I don't shoot 3 gun and I haven't tried the FN shotgun.

I put just over 8,000 rounds through a black synthetic VM field gun with a 28" barrel over 54 weeks. During this time, I shot some of my best scores at sporting and recorded my first 25, 50, and 74 straight in skeet(missed my last shot on low 8). The gun had very light recoil and would reliably cycle anything from 3/4 oz at 1200 fps and up. One thing to note is that the forearm is pretty wide to accommodate the gas system.

Unfortunately, owning it was not without issues. Right out of the box, the cap on the gas ferrule was cross threaded. It was clearly missed in QC and Remington sent me a new barrel immediately. At round 4000, a retaining pin on my bolt came apart and tied up the gun. They replaced the bolt assembly, hammer, and most of the springs in the gun. I had it back from Remington in under a week. The last time, something in my trigger group broke and it came apart. I sent it back to Remington and it was fixed and back to me in under a week again. This was enough for me and sold the gun at this point.

As much as I liked the gun, it wasn't worth the trouble to me. I know others have had great experiences with them, but unfortunately I didn't. There is a monster thread over on shotgunworld.com with just about anything you needed to know about the VM. If you do end up buying one, I would purchase new as to get full coverage of the 2 year warranty. Also, make sure to send it in for the free inspection and cleaning.
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Old November 28, 2012, 05:18 PM   #4
Noreaster
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I just tried the FN at a competition, (one of the stages required you to shoot with it.) I found it to be a smooth, well balance shotgun. Ran great. I used low base 7.5 shot from Walmart in it and it fed every time. Only con, and not much of one, was the co witness weaver/rail mount, it was a little distracting at first when using the iron sights. I actually folding down the rear sight and used the red fiber optic front sight only. Can't compare it to the Remington because I haven't used one.
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Old November 28, 2012, 05:57 PM   #5
allaroundhunter
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At a recent 3-gun competition I used both, as well as a Benelli M2.

The Benelli was my favorite, and I would recommend it over the Versamax and the SLP. However, the Versamax takes 2nd place for me.

It was softer shooting than the SLP, and seemed quicker to reload . I also like the sights on the Benelli and Remington much more than the SLP.
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Old November 28, 2012, 08:07 PM   #6
jmortimer
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The FN SLP will cycle fastest if that is a consideraton
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Old November 28, 2012, 08:24 PM   #7
ripnbst
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The Winchester SX3 seems to be a popular platform and claims to be the fastest cycling shotgun on the market today.

Is there a reason you aren't considering the SX3?
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:01 PM   #8
Buffalo Wing
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The mixed reviews I seem to be hearing about the VersaMax are what keeps holding me back from it... seems some love it, and others have issues with them. On the other hand, I've yet to hear of an issue with the SLP.

Quote:
Only con, and not much of one, was the co witness weaver/rail mount, it was a little distracting at first when using the iron sights. I actually folding down the rear sight and used the red fiber optic front sight only.
The one time I shot an SLP (first 3-gun I shot, borrowed a friend's shotgun) I used it the same way. I found the Weaver rail and high-viz front sight together were more than good enough for the short ranges we encountered on the shotgun portions. Ended up being much faster to shoot it that way, too.

Quote:
The Winchester SX3 seems to be a popular platform and claims to be the fastest cycling shotgun on the market today.

Is there a reason you aren't considering the SX3?
No, there really isn't - that's why I came looking here for advice. I wasn't sure what else on the market compared well to the SLP. Apparently the SX2/3 and the SLP are basically the same gun? In that case the only reason the FN would be ahead in my mind is that it comes set up the way I want it from the factory.

As for the recommendations on Benellis, I've shot an M4 before, and while I liked it, I found it to kick much harder than the SLP. To me that would be a big factor over a long day of competition.

Allaroundhunter, you said the M2 seemed softer-shooting than the SLP - is the M2 inertia-operated like the M4? If it's more or less the same system as the M4 I can say from experience I don't like it as much as the SLP, but if it's a very different gun I'll need to go check it out.

Thanks everyone.
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Old November 28, 2012, 10:17 PM   #9
dalecooper51
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Quote:
Allaroundhunter, you said the M2 seemed softer-shooting than the SLP - is the M2 inertia-operated like the M4? If it's more or less the same system as the M4 I can say from experience I don't like it as much as the SLP, but if it's a very different gun I'll need to go check it out.
The M4 is gas operated.

Actually the gas system of the VM isn't much different than the M4 at all.
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Old November 28, 2012, 11:55 PM   #10
Buffalo Wing
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Quote:
The M4 is gas operated.

Actually the gas system of the VM isn't much different than the M4 at all.
And that's why I ask the question! Keeping Benelli's numbering system straight isn't my strong suit as shotguns aren't my main area of interest.

Knowing that now, I wonder why the SLP felt so much softer-shooting to me than the M4?
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Old November 29, 2012, 12:01 AM   #11
allaroundhunter
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I'm not sure why you felt that the SLP was so much softer shooting. After shooting the Versamax, the SLP, and the Benelli with a ComforTech stock; the VersaMax and the Benelli had the least felt recoil (to me).

The Benelli M2 is inertia operated, unlike the other two (and the M4) which are gas operated.



Either of the two guns that you have mentioned would be great....but I will say, the SLP is packaged MUCH better from the factory.

Last edited by allaroundhunter; November 29, 2012 at 12:20 AM.
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Old November 29, 2012, 12:06 AM   #12
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The SLP/SX2 will have less felt recoil and fastest cycling action.
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Old November 29, 2012, 05:40 PM   #13
dalecooper51
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Quote:
And that's why I ask the question! Keeping Benelli's numbering system straight isn't my strong suit as shotguns aren't my main area of interest.

Knowing that now, I wonder why the SLP felt so much softer-shooting to me than the M4?
I would say that it fit you better than the M4.
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Old November 29, 2012, 11:53 PM   #14
Buffalo Wing
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Maybe it is that simple - at any rate, I think I've pretty much decided on the SLP. Thanks again guys!
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Old November 30, 2012, 12:43 AM   #15
MarkCO
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I ran an SLP for 2 years and just sold the 2nd of my 2. I'll be shooting a VM next year.

The benefits of the SLP are primarily slug accuracy. This comes from 3 things. Stiff barrel, a one piece mag tube and rifle sights. The rails were cut off on my SLPs and the stocks modified to fit. They do not cylce anything and most are finicky in the first few thousand rounds. Welding the lifter affects the speed a tad and the dogleg spring needs more frequent replacement. SLPs last about 10K rounds or so, less if you seal the pistons, more if you run the heavy piston.

Shooting a VM in a few demos, it was obvious that it is has the least recoil for the same round and with the same fit. But, I did not want to give up the benefits and reliabilty of the one piece tube. Now I have a VM with a one piece tube and the slug accuracy is on a par with the SLP, even with the vent rib sights. The 3.5" loading port is faster, especially with the TWinS and Quad loads. The gas system is simple and clean with no springs or seals to wear out. The firing pin retainer issue has been rectified.

The Sportsman VM is now announced and should be available for a street price of about $750 by the end of the year. If you want to add a one-piece tube, that will be a cheaper option. When you look at the top tier of the 3Gun Pros, the ones with a shotgun sponsor are shooting what they are supposed to, the rest are shooting what they want to. Most of those are shooting VMs.
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Old December 2, 2012, 03:38 PM   #16
buckhorn_cortez
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If you buy the SLP, send it to SRM Performance for a SureCycle system and a reliabilty tune-up.

The SureCycle system will reduce felt recoil by about 20% and the reliabilty tune-up will eliminate the springs in the gas pistons, replace the magazine follower and spring, and they will lap the bolt. The gun will run faster and smoother with less recoil.

This will cure the "finicky" complaint completely - although my SLP ran fine after about 150 rounds - the SRM mods just made it run better. It will now run anything from 1-oz loads through slugs with the heavy gas piston. You can increase the accuracy on the gun with slugs by using a Briley rifled Diffusion Choke.

You could probably have the same modifications done to the VM and increase its performance as well.
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Old December 3, 2012, 09:17 AM   #17
MarkCO
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Quote:
The SureCycle system will reduce felt recoil by about 20% and the reliabilty tune-up will eliminate the springs in the gas pistons, replace the magazine follower and spring, and they will lap the bolt. The gun will run faster and smoother with less recoil.
Or not. I've shot SLPs with a sealed piston and the recoil is not reduced. When we put one on a sled, the recoil actually increased. While it does make the fastest cycle shotgun cycle a little faster, there is no benefit. A Surecycle with heavier loads will wear the gun faster.

The Versa-Max has a different operating system and there is no active piston.
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