Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! Here we have a failure but not by catastrophic circumstances. The Rogak P-18 was an unlicensed copy of the Steyr GB service pistol made in the late 1970s by Les Rogak, a Steyr distributor in Illinois. Rogak acquired plans for the GB and put the P-18 into production before authentic Steyr-made pistols were available in the US. On paper, the P-18 seemed quite advanced – a stainless steel 18-shot gas-delayed military pistol. However, Rogak’s manufacturing quality was poor compared to the excellent Steyr original. The P-18’s gas delay system did not hold pressure properly, causing the pistol to function as a simple blowback. To compensate, Rogak added a fiber buffer in the receiver to reduce slide battering and ground the extractor claw to prevent torn cartridge rims. Numerous defects plagued the guns, prompting Steyr to file a lawsuit against Rogak. Though commonly cited as around 2,300 units, P-18 production was likely closer to 1,000 pistols, with serial numbers manipulated to appear higher. While the Rogak P-18 is not recommended for substantial shooting due to its quality issues, it remains an interesting piece for collections as an example of lower-quality US manufacturing. Despite innovative plans, poor execution resulted in a pistol that failed to match the quality of the Steyr original.
“Manufacturer: Les Inc
Model: P 18
Gauge: 9 mm para
Barrel: 5 1/2 inch round
Lot 161: L.E.S. Inc. Rogak P-18 Semi-Automatic Pistol. (n.d.-d). Rock Island Auction Company. photograph. Retrieved July 18, 2023, from https://www.rockislandauction.com/detail/3001/161/les-inc-rogak-p18-semiautomatic-pistol.