The tenifer-coated and polymer-framed semi-automatic handguns of Gaston Glock are well known and loved. A lesser-known Glock design is the select fire G18 machine pistol. In fact, itÂ’s so underplayed; Glock USA doesnÂ’t even list a single reference to it on their website.
The original G18 was a standard Glock 17 with a few "slight" modifications. These included a select-fire lever on the left rear of the slide that switched between semi-auto and full auto. The switch actuated the modified sear and trigger to allow the firearm to achieve full auto cyclic fire. With the lightweight of the firearm overall (22.04 ounces unloaded) the short action of the breech's movement was accomplished very fast. This gives the G18 a cyclic rate of fire of up to an amazing 1300 rounds per minute as long as the ammo holds out. Keep in mind that the old 1920s classic Tommy gun and the modern AK47 have a cyclic rate of about 400rpm, and you understand what a chainsaw the G18 really is.
This machine pistol will burn through a 33-round extended magazine in 1.5 seconds.
(Disregard the music)
These firearms have been made in three different generations, much like other more standard Glocks. The first generation G18s had smooth, blocky grips as did all first gen Glocks. These guns had a nasty habit of getting away from the firer unless they took a rather extreme forward lean, used a vice-like two handed grip, and only triggered the firearm very ,very, (did we say very?) briefly. Even the shortest of squeeze and instant releases on the trigger would result in a four-round burst, with a pronounced vertical spread.
G18B (Second Generation)
Besides stippling the grips, these models incorporated an old trick used on full autos for generations-- a compensator. By adding an extended barrel with a 3/4-inch compensator that extended past the slide, the 2nd Gen G18 became more controllable. The compensator, modeled after the old Cutts compensator on the 1928 Thompson submachine gun, was ported vertically to force the muzzle down while firing. The problem with this model is that it made the G18B harder to carry holstered and or concealed, even when using a flush fit 17-round magazine. As a key segment of the market for these weapons is in discreet dignitary/executive protection, this was an issue.
G18C (Third Generation)
The current version of this unique little room broom is the G18C. Glock eliminated the extended barrel and compensator of the 2nd Gen model and added a large key shaped cut to the top of the slide itself and four vertical top facing cuts to the top of the barrel. These cutaways transform the entire top of the firearm itself into a compensator. It retains all of the original features of the stock G18, while incorporating a workable form of compensation to help keep the pistol on mark. The third generation pistol adds finger grooves as well, also enhancing your grip.
Glock 18C with Keyhole cutout in top of slide, note the four ports in
the exposed barrel (excellent photo from Deviant Art-Boromir66)
I fired one on the range during a LE pistol instructorÂ’s course in Smyrna and it was simply amazing. At ranges under 15-yards there are no control issues if shot in small bursts.
So how do you get one?
Well, the G18C is not very expensive. They retail about the same as a standard Glock series pistol (about $500.) However, under the NFA, only individual Class III dealers can purchase a single demo gun-- and even that requires a law enforcement letter of interest be submitted along with required paperwork to ATF.
Of course, if you are a secret squirrel, legitimate operator, or overseas PMC type of fellow, get with your purchasing guy and see what you can do.