As I wrote in a recent article on the Beretta 93R machine pistol, the term “machine pistol” is ofttimes misunderstood and misused;
For example, the German word for a submachine gun (SMG) is “Maschinenpistole,” which literally translates into “Machine Pistol,” even though famous German SMGs like the Heckler & Kock MP5 and WWII-era MP-40 Schmeisser SMGs are not bona fide pistols or handguns.
That said, there are legit machine pistols out there. Beyond the 93R, there’s the Russian Stechkin, which uses the same 9x18mm cartridge as the semiauto-only Pistolet Makarovka (Makarov pistol). And then there is the 9mm Glock 18.
Glock 18: History & Specifications
The Glock 18 made its debut in 1987. According to the manufacturer, “As a true fully automatic pistol the G18 is one of the most specialized GLOCK pistols. With an external fire selector at the rear of the slide you can switch from semi-automatic to full-automatic firing mode.
“It comes with an extended 19 round magazine and can provide greater firepower with the optional 33-round magazine. The rate of fire in full-automatic-mode is approximately 20 rounds per second.”
That comes out to a cyclic rate of 1,200 rounds per minute. The gun has a barrel length of 4.49 inches, an overall length of 8.03 inches, a slide width of 1.16 inches, an overall width of 1.34 inches, and a height, including magazine, of 6.10 inches. The pistol weighs 22.05 ounces empty and 33.16 oz with a fully-laden 19-round magazine.
The G18 has a built-in compensator that has been cut into the forward position of the slide, which makes the gun easier to control and helps tamp down muzzle climb. These slots, which are designed to vent gas, get larger as they move from aft to fore.
A Buddy’s Shooting Impressions
I haven’t gotten to fire the G18 yet, but at least one lucky SOB in my circle of friends has been lucky enough to do so. The same old anonymous high school buddy – to whom I shall assign the codename of “Misfit” and whom I quoted for my recent SIG P220 article – is the shooter in question. Funny thing is, for many years Misfit would half-jokingly ask me to buy him a Glock 18 as a birthday/Chanukah gift. Playing along, I would remind him about the pain-in-the-ass BATFE paperwork and expense involved, he’d reply, “That’s okay, Chris, you can send it to me in pieces.”
Anyway, here’s what Misfit had to say about the G18 shooting experience:
“As most people know, it’s exactly the same as the Glock 17, only in full auto. Even with the full pistol brace and recoil kit attached, it was the most erratic full auto weapon I’ve ever fired. The Uzi was much easier to shoot, but the Glock 18 was more fun. Full disclosure: I don’t like Glock for a variety of reasons, trigger pull and ergonomics being two of them, so that could be why it was more difficult to control than the Uzi, aside from the obvious size and shape difference between the weapons. Regardless, I’d buy the Glock 18C (competition model) in a heartbeat if I had a Class III license.”
Want Your Own?
If you do, too bad, so sad. As explicitly noted by the Arms Unlimited sales page for the G18, the gun is restricted for purchase by government entities only. That said, you can still fire a rental-only Glock 18, courtesy of Battlefield Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada. $55 will get you 25 rounds, and $95.00 will fetch you 50.
Christian D. Orr has 33 years of shooting experience, starting at the tender age of 14. His marksmanship accomplishments include: the Air Force Small Arms Ribbon w/one device (for M16A2 rifle and M9 pistol); Pistol Expert Ratings from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP); multiple medals and trophies via the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) and the Nevada Police & Fires Games (NPAF). Chris has been an NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor since 2011. In his spare time, he enjoys (besides shooting, obviously) dining out, cigars, Irish and British pubs, travel, USC Trojans college football, and Washington DC professional sports.