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Old August 13, 2013, 01:36 PM   #1
Skans
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Rogak 9mm - has anyone ever actually fired one?

I sometimes gravitate to odd guns. The L.E.S. Rogak is interesting to me for a number of reasons. I know the history of this gun and its poor reputation for bad workmanship and reliability failures.

My question is has anyone here ever handled, or perhaps fired a Rogak. Not the Steyr G.B., but the Stainless Steel Rogak P-18? If so, please let me know if you were able to get it to fire, and if so what (if any) problems you encountered.
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Old August 13, 2013, 06:51 PM   #2
RJay
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Yes, I have fired one, or rather tried to fire one. The problems, FTF,FTE and just simple failure to work properly. It has been a long time but the bad taste is still in my mouth.
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Old August 14, 2013, 09:36 AM   #3
James K
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Same here. The mainspring was weak and the gun would not fire DA at all, and took several strikes SA. That could have been corrected, but its major defect could not.

That gun has no locked breech. It is of a class called gas-retarded blowback, in which gas from the firing is bled off and used, not to operate the slide, but to delay its opening enough that the case does not burst from high pressure. (In more conventional pistols, that delay is effected through a mechanical lock.)

At one time, there was a fad for such guns. I read that one of the German states had put out a spec for a new police pistol that required both 9x19 caliber and a fixed barrel. So Steyr, H&K, and Walther set out to try to get the contract. The Walther entry, the PP Super, didn't use 9x19, but was chambered for the 9x18 Ultra, a more powerful round than the 9mm Kurz (.380 ACP). H&K's entry used a reverse piston to delay the slide and Steyr's Model GB let the gas blow forward inside the slide to delay its movement. The Rogak was a licensed copy of the Steyr GB. But the Steyr depended in a tight enough frame-slide fit that gas would be contained; Rogak's workmanship was so poor that the gas escaped before it could take effect, and the slide came back too fast, resulting in the extractor tearing the heads off the cases.

Rogak's "solution" was to grind off the extractor! Of course, that meant that an unfired case could not be extracted to unload the gun, so Rogak's instruction manual says that to unload an unfired round, point the gun up and the round will fall out of the chamber. Might not go over too well on an indoor range, though.

IMHO, the Rogak is an interesting example of how not to design a gun (Steyr's design was not very good), how not to manufacture a gun, and how to get some gunzine writers to hype anything!

It has another interesting feature - it was made in Morton Grove, IL, which attained a certain notoriety as being the first town in the U.S. to totally outlaw handguns, a law that has since been repealed.

Jim
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Old August 14, 2013, 10:37 AM   #4
Skans
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Ray, James, did either of you ever get the gun to cycle more than one or two rounds successfully? Or, is this simply impossible?

I am tempted to buy one and tinker with it; or just to have so that I can compare it with the Steyr GB. Or, perhaps not. Sounds like a bigger disaster than the Lorcin .380.

I do appreciate the additional information on this gun.
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Old August 14, 2013, 10:52 AM   #5
BubbaBlades
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I had the LES Rogak P-18 for several months. I did not experience any performance problems with it but I could not find an extra magazine for the gun and I worried about availability of repair parts. When I was offered a Glock 17 in an even trade, I took it. My P-18 was serial number 102xx.

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Old August 14, 2013, 12:47 PM   #6
Skans
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Interesting, then at least some of them actually worked ok.
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Old August 14, 2013, 09:53 PM   #7
James K
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Hi, BubbaBlades and Skans,

Are you sure of that serial number? Most authorities give a production figure of about 2300 (mine is 2103).

I don't recall ever getting two consecutive rounds to fire. Perhaps I could work up some rounds with soft primers, but somehow it doesn't seem worth it.

Also, that pistol was hyped as having an "en bloc" mechanism, like the Tokarev. The lockwork is contained in a "high strength plastic housing" and it could be removed for cleaning. When the gun failed to fire, I decided to check out the mechanism. When I took out the "high strength plastic housing", it dissolved into about a dozen pieces. At that time I was between gunsmith jobs, so I was able to salvage enough to have a friend with a machine shop make a housing out of a block of aluminum. I then fitted it to the gun and installed the parts.

The new housing fits OK but the gun still didn't fire reliably.

FWIW, I have a Steyr GB also, and it fires OK but it gets dirty and is hard to clean. I still think the design is very poor and the gun big and awkward for 9mm.

Also FWIW, I never liked the HK7 either, though not for the odd action. What I disliked most was the "squeeze cocker"; it is OK as long as the lever is held with a death grip. But if the shooter relaxes, the decent trigger pull vanishes and another squeeze is needed to continue firing.

Jim
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Old August 15, 2013, 07:46 AM   #8
Skans
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I didn't realize that the Rogak had any lockwork? The Steyr GB doesn't have anything like that. You don't still happen to have your Rogak - I'd love to see pictures of it disassembled, or at least a schematic.
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