Glock 18C (KSC) What's as good looking and as compact as a Glock 17 but yet offers greater firepower to keep your opponents ducked down? The answer is the Glock 18C with the same great looks and selectable full auto capability. What is the answer to the million dollar question of which pistol makes a great backup skirmish pistol? Again meet the Glock 18C. At first glance, we were fooled by the vented slide that seemed to make the 18C longer than it really is. In reality, the Glock 18C has the exact same dimensions as its cousin the Glock 17. Based essentially on the same design as KSC's own Glock 17, the 18C also inherits many of the positive traits from the 17, such as high power and kick, decent accuracy, and fast cycle times. The Glock 18C uses the same magazines as the Glock 17, and actually shares many aftermarket parts as well. One little know fact is that the Glock 17 and 18C from KSC are actually manufactured to authentic dimensions so they fit all custom real-steel holsters as well as all real-steel accessories. The Tanaka Glocks, on the other hand, are slightly wider and will not fit some snug real steel holsters. Same goes for real steel rail accessories, which may require some gun-smithing to make fit on the Tanaka's but fit as-is on the KSC Glocks.
Overall finish of the KSC Glock 18C is quite pleasing and the matte black finish is
convincingly real. The lower frame is made of textured ABS which when we first compared it
to the Tanaka Glock 17, we had felt it was a little shiny. Now having looked at the KSC
version for so long (and also having fired many rounds through a real Glock 17), I must say
that KSC's finish is likely the more authentic of the two. Build quality is extremely high
and the gaps between parts are quite small (compare that with the Omega Glock 17 and you
will learn to appreciate precision engineering!) Metal parts include magazine, slide catch,
firing selector switch, disassembly lever, and the plate that covers the rear slot on the
slide. One gripe we had was the unusually light engraving on the side of the slide, where
the indentations are so shallow that you could almost use your fingernails to scratch away
the Glock insignia (well, almost but not really). Apart from that, the words "18C",
"Austria" and "9x19" are clearly visible. Conversely, all engravings on the lower frame are
extremely prominent, with the Glock insignia and the words "MADE IN AUSTRIA" AND "GLOCK INC.
SMYRNA GA." molded in pop-up lettering. Not to worry though since the aftermarket metal
slide for the Glock 18C carries engravings as deep as the real thing!
The first thing you notice on the Glock 18C is the vented slide, which adds a unique style to an already good looking pistol. The front slot reveals the Glock 18C's vented barrel, which comprises of 4 different sized kidney shaped vents. On closer inspection, you can actually see the silver inner barrel through the two largest vents. You will also notice that the cut-away in the slide is tapered nicely to give the whole setup a very soft visual feel. Rearward of the chamber lies another would-be vent though this part is covered permanently by a metal plate that does not move and is adhered permanently to the slide. Front and rear sights are non-adjustable and are made of plastic. A bright white dot on the front sight coupled with a painted dovetail rear sight makes aiming extremely quick and easy. The ergonomic pistol grip with molded "thumb-rest" is extremely comfortable and makes for easy aiming. Thumb-rests are present on both the left and right sides of the grip which makes left handers feel at home too. Overall weight is also quite nice and the pistol feels heavier than it really is, thanks to excellent balancing of weight.
Apart from the "wild" styling of the slide, the metal selector switch on the rear of the slide is what really sets the Glock 18C apart from the crowd. Set in the "up" position, and the 18C fires in semi-auto mode just like the Glock 17. When pulled downwards and set on the auto position, brace yourself when you squeeze the trigger since BB's spray out like a bullet hose in full cycled blowback mode. There is a middle position for the selector switch which disengages the trigger even when the internal hammer is cocked. This brings up another interesting note about the trigger, which behaves differently than on the Glock 17. When the slide is cycled and the hammer is cocked, the trigger is set forward and is ready to be pulled. However once you do pull it (in semi-auto mode) and the hammer is released, the trigger stays in a recessed position against the rear of the trigger well (this of course only happens when you have no gas charge and the slide does not cycle). This is actually a terrific indicator for whether the internal hammer is cocked. And to answer the obvious question of how you decock the Glock 18C, the answer is there is no decocking lever; you need to remove the magazine and pull the trigger to get the hammer back down.
This is slightly annoying since when you really need to recock the hammer again, the only way is to cycle the slide, which chambers another BB and likely will push out the one which was in there before you decocked the first time. So it seems that keeping the 18C cocked is the default position and fortunately there are two types of safeties. One is you simply set the selector switch to the middle position which will disengage the trigger. The second and more primitive way (as on KSC's own Glock 17) is by pulling away the lower part of the trigger so that it braces itself against the trigger well (see photo above), Mind you though that this is quite hard to activate unless you have some nice fingernails. It is also harder to deactivate since you have to angle your trigger finger awkwardly to press it back down.
|Hop-up adjusted in chamber with special tool provided
But the truth is you will unlikely ever use either of these safety mechanisms since you'll have a hard time keeping your finger off the trigger. Why? Because the Glock 18C is a complete blast to shoot. Loading the BB's is quite easy as the spring loading mechanism can be pulled down all the way and locked in place at the bottom of the magazine while you simply pour in BB's in stacked formation. Accessing the gas charge valve means sliding away the magazine butt plate to expose the valve for charging. This feature adds to the realism of the pistol since you cannot see the valve stem through a hole in the butt plate like most other gas blowbacks on the market. KSC's Glock 17 and 18C pistols are both built to sustain the higher pressures of HFC22, which in itself adds lots of kick and power. We found even when using the lower pressure HFC134a, the Glock 18C performed extremely well with no visible cool-down effects! Seasoned gas blowback aficionados will understand that this is quite difficult to engineer in any gas blowback, let alone a full-auto one.
Using both the standard 23 round magazine, and the aftermarket 49 round magazine, we were able to hold our fingers on the trigger from beginning to end, emptying the entire clip with nothing short of a bullet hose (if you can grip the pistol firmly enough as it kicks violently in your hands to create a straight line). The magazine cycles at an extremely high rate that you can barely see in full auto mode. Actually trying to get only one shot off while setting the selector to full auto is almost impossible. As quick and light as I tried to keep my trigger finger, the slightest tap of the trigger yielded 2 extremely rapid shots. On a normal trigger pull just like in semi-auto mode, the Glock 18C manages to get 3 shots off! Based on this, I would estimate about 8-12 rounds per second, where you can empty the standard magazine in about 2 seconds. Not bad for a gas blowback whose entire slide needs to cycle on each shot!
Adjusting the hop-up is performed by way of a specially provided key, which you use to turn a dial located inside the chamber. All the KSC Glock 18C's seem to come shipped with hop-up set on high, so most will shoot with BB's raking upwards when shot straight out of the box with no adjustments. Adjusting the hop-up should be the first thing on your list before taking it out for serious shooting.
Accuracy is quite impressive with +/- 1 inch deviance at 15 feet (semi mode). In full auto mode, aiming is extremely difficult due to the blowback kick. Power is approximately 0.7J with HFC22 and 0.5J with HFC134a but hop-up makes the BBs go really far. Typical straight line travel distance for a 0.2g BB is about 100 feet, which rivals that of some AEGs!
For those of you desiring more power or more realism, there are already many accessories out on the market to enhance the Glock 18C.
First and foremost, a high capacity magazine is a must if you intend to shoot in full-auto mode a lot. To add to the power, you can install an ICS high-flow valve with stronger hammer spring, as well as a stiffer recoil spring with metal guide rod to lower the cycle time. When coupled with the extra power, you can also install a metal slide and outer barrel to add more "ka-chink" during each shot, while also adding more heft to the entire gun. The heavier slide also adds more to the kick than the plastic slide does. Additionally, the rail system on the lower frame allows you to take all kinds of lighting accessories, including the new Hurricane laser sighting system. You can also install lots of options, including a threaded barrel that allows you to screw on a SOCOM silencer. There are also a host of lighting options which you can slide right onto the Glock's mounting rails (see the M3 light mounted on our Glock 18C on the left).
Overall we really like the Glock 18C, so much that I don't pick up my 93R or M11 as much any more. The power and rate of fire, coupled with amazing reliability and lack of cool-down effects makes this one of the best full auto gas blowbacks on the market today.
I would venture to say the Glock 18C is on par with KSC's own SPP/TMP in terms of fun and reliability! Packed in a compact package like the Glock 18C, I sincerely recommend this piece as a staple to any real enthusiast's collection.
Pick one up for yourself and see!
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Written by NightOwl
(Photos by RedWolf)
October 11, 2000
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