Do It (Kind Of) Yourself: HK G36 Rifle

CJS_0979H&K has never made a true G36 rifle available to civilians in the USA mostly due to import regulations and what I assume would be a lack of demand (lets face it, your average consumer is happy with one of the many AR variants that have taken over the semi-automatic 5.56 rifle market). 

However in the 90′s to comply with the 1989 import ban on foreign “assault weapons” and the now expired 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, H&K came up with an idea to market a new sporting rifle known as the SL8 that was a cousin of the G36. The rifle functioned via the same operating system but looked a whole lot less scary and a whole lot more like an old IBM computer keyboard:
While H&K did finally offer the gun in black, the fact remained that even though the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban expired, the ’89 ban persists to this day. The now discontinued SL8 was never a big seller due in part to its high price tag and the fact that it is a neutered version of a neat rifle, but the HK community (an especially crafty bunch) found a way to turn this horse designed by committee into what they wanted: a G36 rifle.

Now I bought an SL8 on September 17th, 2011 for the price of $1600 new in the box from my favorite local gun shop. I knew immediately that the rifle would be converted, so I never even shot the gun in stock SL8 form. Here she is the day I got her laid out across my garage floor:
The conversion is among the most complex gunsmithing projects I had ever undertaken, as it requires a significant amount of plastic welding (a skill I lack both the know-how and tools to perform) and so the hardest part is converting to take double stack magazines and welding on a g36 rear receiver stub. The SL8 has a section of the receiver indented so as to prevent the insertion of the double stacks. Also, the sl8 bolt head has a slanted lug so that it will not feed from double stacks, so you need a g36 bolt.
To start the process I ordered:
G36 Bolt Head- US HDPS Manufacture
G36 30 Round Mags
HK G36 High Capacity Mag Well- Black
Stock Block For HK SL8 Conversions (to shoot it before I did the rear of the receiver)
G36 Rear Stock Axle Pin For SL8 To G36 Stock Conversion
G36 FBI (0,1,) Lower HK German New
G36 Recoil assembly
G36 & HK SL8 Sight Rail With Front & Rear Sights
HK G36, G36K Full Size Folding Stock
These parts ran me $1,284.59.
Also, I will need a number of 922r compliance parts, which will include-
US made Sear
US made Trigger
US made Floor plates for magazines
US made Piston
US made Op Rod
US made Bolt Head
US made Flash Hider
But wait, there is more you have to spend if you want that authentic look!
I just had to have the Hensoldt dual optic!
Once you have your gun and the parts you can start converting to the best of your ability. The first step is to swap your SL8 trigger group over to your G36 lower using your 922r parts. You can do this at home with your hands and a drill press (you need to drill a hole to accommodate the SL8 FCG).
Basically strip your SL8 lower of its FCG, drill a hole on your new lower, and swap the parts over. This sounds simple, but I swear that a lot of profanity was involved and 3 or four hands were needed constantly. Not to mention those lovely 922r parts got to be put in.
That day I also milled out the magazine well to accept double-stack magazines. This is not my photo, but it is more of less how you do it:


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