A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ugly Gun Sunday

A blow-back blast from the seventies is the Rogak P-18, manufactured in the anti-gun city of Morton Grove, Illinois. A stainless copy of the Steyr Pi-18 which stood for "Pistole, 18 Schuss", or "18 rounds of 9mm ammo on tap." Back in late 1970, that was a lot of ammunition to stuff in a handgun.

Many reasons are cited for the demise of the Buck Rogers looking Rogak. First, Buck Rogers was passe' by the 1970s. Star Trek was in after school re-run territory. Ray guns were out.

Guns that shot when the trigger was pulled were in. The Rogak failed to do that consistently enough that it became known as a jam-a-matic. It was the epitome of what Jeff Cooper dubbed the "crunch n' ticker."

The 9mm Para was not a wildly popular cartridge back in the late 1970s. The Beretta sidearm was yet to be adopted by the US military. The only common handguns shooting the European cartridge were surplus Lugers, the Browning Hi-Power and the Smith & Wesson 59. Eighteen rounds in a handgun doesn't mean much if nobody wants to shoot them.

Steyr did not appreciate their pistol being copied and marketed in the US. They launched a lawsuit. Production halted after about 2300 Rogaks were produced.

Of course, the Rogak was ugly. The craftsmanship sucked. Nobody really wanted to shoot the cartridge it chambered choked on. But there was one other factor that was the last gasp for the Rogak, as well as the Steyr Pi-18. In 1980, the new fangled plastic "get 'em through metal detectors" Glock 17 came along. The Glock 17 did not just look innovative. It was. The future was here, and it wasn't the stainless steel Rogak.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Turk Turon said...

Wow! That is an odd one.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Old NFO said...

Well, one "could" always throw it at em... :-)

3:09 PM  
Blogger nature223 said...

yeah...they flat out sucked.the Steyr on the other hand actually shot pretty well,a buddy had one.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Mike Harbour said...

X:

Quick addendum to the mini-list of 9mms in vogue in the late '70s: Smith's Model 39 was also quite the rage (especially among LEOs), having been adopted by the Illnois State Patrol in 1967. ISP was, IIRC, the first major agency to adopt a semi-auto in the U.S.

Mike Harbour
Helena, Montana

9:31 AM  
Blogger kraig said...

Fashion at it's best...
tinyurl.com/3t6xd6

12:16 PM  
Anonymous cmsmith said...

The Rogak's also owned L.E.S. - a law enforcement machine gun dealership, selling FN pistols, FAL and FNC rifles, Steyr SMG's and Uzi's.

My department traded our Thompson for two Uzi's. When we picked them up, we got a tour of their collection, including one of allegedly the only two MAG GPMG's in the country. There are a few more than that now, of course, now known as M240.

12:33 PM  
Blogger MauserMedic said...

It you could whittle a gun, that's how it would look....

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

I'd like to respectfully submit this one for consideration in this category: http://americandinosaur.mu.nu/archives/275619.php

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Mr Sparks said...

The steyr version is a solid reliable, well made gun, but it is BIG

6:15 AM  
Blogger Big Gay Al said...

Actually, I don't think the Steyr is much, if any, bigger than the Beretta. I have a Taurus PT92, (Beretta 92 clone) and compared it to my recently acquired Steyr GB, they appear to be about the same size. And weight is comparable.

I like the Steyr, but I don't think you could pay me to take a Rogak P18.

7:52 AM  

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