Steyr GB

The Steyr GB, is a double-action 9x19mm Parabellum caliber, large-framed semi-automatic pistol. The GB uses a gas-delayed blowback action and has a magazine capacity of 18 rounds. It was designed starting in 1968 as a replacement for older handguns in Austrian military service, and went into general civil production in 1982, though approximately 2,300 copies were made in the late 1970s in Morton Grove, Illinois by LES Incorporated, and marketed as the Rogak P-18.In the early 1970s, Morris and Michael Rogak, a Steyr importer, received a set of preliminary engineering plans for the Steyr Pi-18 pistol, and set up a manufacturing facility in Illinois to produce the new pistol. While the Rogak, with its 18 shot capacity (the highest available at the time) and stainless steel construction, was revolutionary on the market, it was plagued with reliability problems due to poor manufacturing tolerances. Steyr took legal action to halt its production, and in 1980 finalized and introduced their own GB, made in blued steel but otherwise similar, to the world market.The Steyr GB was briefly widely touted as the ultimate Wonder Nine high capacity 9 mm pistol, but its popularity was cut short when the then-brand new Glock 17 pistol by new-to-firearms-manufacturing firm Glock won a testing competition for the Austrian Army service pistol order. It was also a competitor for the US military pistol competition ultimately won by the Beretta M92F.Commentary from US firearms testers and writers indicated that the GB had remarkably low recoil for a pistol of its caliber and it was generally well liked in testing, but the lack of government orders meant that total production was only a reputed 15,000 to 20,000 pistols between 1981 and 1988. Most were commercial models, 937 examples of the military version were imported into the US before production ceased.

Steyr GB
Class Manportable
Type Handguns
Manufacturer Steyr Mannlicher
Origin Austria
Country Name Origin Year
Austria 1968
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Austria View
Lebanon View
Pakistan View
United States of America View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Steyr Mannlicher View

In the early 1970s, Morris and Michael Rogak, a Steyr importer, received a set of preliminary engineering plans for the Steyr Pi-18 pistol, and set up a manufacturing facility in Illinois to produce the new pistol as the Rogak P-18. While the Rogak, with its 18 shot capacity (the highest available at the time) and stainless steel construction, was revolutionary on the market, it proved too different to be accepted by the general public. It was made without an extractor or ejector, and utilized a gas bleed system that reduced recoil.

The rifling used in the Rogak version was a hybrid of polygonal rifling. Customers who didn't read the manual and letter that accompanied each pistol returned some of the units stating that the factory forgot to rifle the barrel. In fact, the rifling did not have standard lands and grooves, but was there nonetheless. This unique rifling did not allow the gas to escape in front of the bullet, so even though it bled gas which lessened recoil, the velocity increased by almost 30%. The pistol needed ammunition with fast burning powder to function properly, and due to the misunderstanding of its features by the populace, slow burning powder ammunition led to its reputation for malfunction.

The Steyr GB was briefly widely touted as the ultimate "Wonder Nine" high capacity 9 mm pistol, but its popularity was cut short when the then-brand new Glock 17 pistol by new-to-firearms-manufacturing firm Glock won a testing competition for the Austrian Army service pistol order. It was also a competitor for the U.S. military pistol competition ultimately won by the Beretta M92F.

Commentary from U.S. firearms testers and writers indicated that the GB had remarkably low recoil for a pistol of its caliber and it was generally well liked in testing, but the lack of government orders meant that total production was only a reputed 15,000 to 20,000 pistols between 1981 and 1988. Most were commercial models, 937 examples of the military version were imported into the U.S. before production ceased.

Weight - 845 g (unloaded)1285 g (loaded)

Length - 216 mm

Barrel length - 136 mm

Cartridge - 9x19mm Parabellum

Action - Gas-delayed blowback

Feed system -18-round detachable box magazine

End notes