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The Steyr GB (Gas Bremse, gas brake), also known as the GB 80, is an Austrian pistol.

HistoryEdit

The weapon was designed in 1968 by Hannes Kepplinger and Hermann Schweighofer under the designation of Pi 18, which was changed to GB later in the weapon's life. The Pi 18 introduced a variety of novel features never seen before in pistols of the era, such as being double action without a safety and polygonal rifling. The weapon was submitted to Austrian trials in an effort to become the next Austrian service pistol; the weapon ended up losing out to the Glock in said trials.

The weapon was later entered into the 1983 US pistol trials, where the weapon ended up losing again, this time to the Beretta 92F. As a result of this, Steyr decided to refocus on the police and civilian market. While very well received by customers and well appreciated by those who used the weapon, the GB did not sell well in this department either; civilian sales remained poor while none were actually sold to law enforcement agencies. The GB was discontinued in 1988 and remains a valuable weapon among collectors.

Some time in the 1970s, Illinois-based Steyr distributor Les Rogak somehow managed to acquire a set of blueprints for the Steyr GB and went out to manufacture his own version of the pistol; Rogak's pistol is noted to be of far inferior quality when compared to the normal GB.

Design DetailsEdit

At first glance, the GB appears to be a normal blowback-operated pistol, however, the GB's action is based on the Barnitzke system, where gas pressure from the ignited cartridge is fed through a small port in the barrel in front of the chamber to retard the rearward motion of the slide; this is accomplished through the use of a fixed piston on the outside of the barrel located inside a moving cylinder inside the slide, where gas pressure in the space between them opposes the rearward motion of the slide until gas pressure has been lowered, allowing the slide to continue rearward.

See alsoEdit

  • Rogak P-18 - A lower-quality derivative of the GB

ReferencesEdit

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