The Glock 18 is one of Glock’s longest produced pistols, only younger than the Glock 17.
It’s not one of Glock’s better-known pistols. Glock doesn’t even list the Glock 18 on their website or in their catalog.
Despite this, it’s incredibly sought after and incredibly rare–particularly among civilians.
Why? Because the Glock 18 is the world’s only fully automatic Glock.
Intrigued yet? Well, just consider this your Glock 18 FAQ.
What Is the Glock 18?
The Glock 18 is a full-sized automatic pistol with selective fire capabilities.
The Glock 18 was first produced in 1986 (or 1982, according to some sources) in response to a request from Einsatzkommando Cobra, or EKO Cobra, an elite Austrian counter-terrorist force, for a fully automatic version of the Glock 17.
The Glock 18 is virtually identical to the Glock 17 when it comes to dimensions and, like the Glock 17, shoots 9mm. Unlike the Glock 17, however, the Glock 18 is able to fire at speeds of 1,200 rounds per minute.
Of course, the Glock 18 doesn’t hold nearly that many, but it does have an extended 33 round magazine to help it go longer without a magazine change.
How Does It Shoot?
1200 rounds per minute is an awful lot, especially for such a small firearm, so the Glock 18 is known to have a hell of a kick to it.
The original Glock 18 had a ported barrel to help accommodate for the recoil that resulted from the Glock 18’s increased rate of fire, but Glock quickly decided they wanted something more effective.
They ended up landing on what is now known as the Glock 18C, which features both a ported barrel and cutouts in the slide to allow gas to escape, minimizing muzzle climb.
Even so, Glock also makes a frame with a stock which can be used with the Glock 18 to make it easier to control and keep steady during automatic firing.
The mechanics of the Glock 18’s automatic capabilities are actually remarkably simple.
The trigger bar has a tab at the top which, when the pistol is switched to automatic using the switch on the back of the side of the slide, keeps the sear engaged and allows the pistol to shoot off one round right after another.
Who Can Get a Glock 18?
In short–probably not you.
There are only three ways of legally obtaining a fully automatic weapon like the Glock 18.
First, if the gun was registered before May 19, 1986, ownership can be transferred between civilians.
Second, some samples were imported to dealers between January 1, 1986 until May 19, 1986. Dealers were able to keep these samples even after they gave up their licenses.
Purchasing a gun from one of these two categories is the only way that regular civilians without a dealer’s license could purchase a Glock 18, but there are very few of these Glock 18s available and you can expect to pay a pretty penny for them.
Any Glock 18s made after May 19, 1986 can only be obtained by dealers, manufacturers, military, and law enforcement. C
lass III dealers with a “demo letter” (a letter from a police department asking you to acquire a gun for them to test) can obtain a Glock 18, but they can’t keep it when they give up their license.
If you could obtain a Glock 18 this way, it would be the easiest and cheapest way to do it, costing only a few hundred dollars. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option for very many people. Plus, once you have a Glock 18, you won’t want to give it up.
There are also some converted third generation Glock 17s out there with selector switches on the backplate, which give a similar feel to the Glock 18, but these can also only be obtained by Class III dealers with a demo letter.
How Can I Shoot a Glock 18?
The good news is that you can still shoot a Glock 18, provided you can track one down.
Of course, if you happen to have a family member or friend who has one, you could always invite them to the range and ask them to let you borrow it, but your odds of knowing someone with a Glock 18 are only marginally higher than your odds of owning one yourself.
The more practical solution is to rent one. Obviously, I don’t mean that you can rent one to take home with you, but there are plenty of ranges that have managed to get their hands on one and will allow you to shoot it, with supervision, on their premises.
Renting the Glock 18 (or any other automatic weapon) is, of course, more expensive than renting a semi-automatic, but the prices are still very affordable.
Very, very few of us will ever get the opportunity to own this awesome pistol, but at least we get the joy of knowing it’s out there and maybe even renting one from a range, even if you can’t take it home.
Otherwise, you’ll just have to settle for the Glock 18’s comparatively less cool big brother, the Glock 17.
Have you ever gotten the opportunity to shoot a Glock 18? Are you lucky enough to own one? Can you recommend a range that rents them? Share your experiences in the comments! Settling for modding your Glock 17? Check out our reviews on the best Glock slides!