Barra 009 Part 001
A big surprise from out of left field
By Dennis Adler
Yes, this is exactly what you think it is, a Glock 18, or rather the blowback action CO2 version of the select-fire 9mm made by Glock for law enforcement and military use, and the assassin in the opening scenes of the James Bond film Skyfall. In terms of modern centerfire handguns, the G18/G18C machine pistols are the Holy Grail of Glocks that you generally cannot own, let alone shoot, unless you’re part of a police SWAT team, member of an elite military unit, or government agency. Even if you are a Class III firearms dealer it’s pretty hard to get a G18/G18C, and you won’t find that many opportunities to shoot one. That is what makes the new Barra 009 (a very subtle reference to MI6 and the 00 section) about as desirable as blowback action CO2 pistols can get; this is simply as close as most of us will ever come to a G18, even though this new select-fire model bears no Glock markings!
The Barra essentials
The G18, not the G18C is the gun that this new CO2 model is based upon; the G18C is the same gun with compensated slots in the barrel and slide to reduce muzzle lift on full auto fire, the same design used on the G17L and G24 compensated models. The centerfire G18’s rate of fire on full auto is 20 rounds per second, which means with the standard 19-round magazine for the G18 you don’t have much time before the slide locks open. The extended 33-round magazine made for the Glock 17 series also works in the G18/G18C models. That’s where we begin.
There are a lot of features about the 009 to discuss but most tie back to the Glock 18 which has been in the Glock line since around 1987, though primarily for sale to law enforcement, military and government agencies. The original customer for Gaston Glock’s select fire pistol was Einsatzkommando Cobra the Austrian military’s Counter-Terrorist Unit. The gun’s capability as an easily carried pistol like the Glock 17, made it desirable since it can quickly switch to full auto by lowering the selector on the left side of the slide; it basically looks like a safety decocker seen on many other pistol designs. When lowered, the sear is disengaged and the pistol will continue to fire as long as the trigger is held back. Glock’s innovative, polymer-frame G17 was only introduced globally after 1982, following the gun being adopted by the Austrian military. The Glock was still a relatively new concept when the G18 was introduced, quickly becoming a benchmark new product as a modern day semi-auto/full-auto 9mm pistol.
It took Glock a very long time to come around to the idea of putting their name on a CO2 pistol, and working in cooperation with Umarex they have introduced (in the U.S.) the non-blowback G19, the blowback action G17 Third Generation, G17 Gen4 variation, and the newer Gen5-based G19X. The real attraction to the Gen4 is that like the centerfire gun, it can be field stripped.
The design and manufacturing of CO2 Glock models is not altogether exclusive to Umarex, only the official Glock name and markings; there have been Glock-like air pistols for awhile and a couple that only had a passing resemblance to a Glock including one with a selective-fire option, the ASP Shark as a CO2 BB pistol, but still nothing that looked as much like or operated like a Glock 18 as this new Barra model. (There is one exception, a Glock licensed Air Soft G18 model with extended capacity magazine).
One of the interesting aspects of most G18/G18C field tests that have been published or shown in videos has been the distance from the target, which is usually 10 yards (7, 10 and 15 yards are used in a traditional tactical test with the full auto Glock). That makes the Barra 009 version of the Glock 18 a viable training gun at both 7 and 10 yard distances. But we’ll get to that in a later article. Today, I am making design comparisons that reveal a lot about what Barra has put into this new Glock-based, blowback action CO2 pistol.
Let’s start with the profile. The general appearance is Glock but with some obvious differences that change how you grip the gun. The curved grip silhouette of the G17 Third Generation and Gen4 models, both with a finger grooved frontstrap, (as copied on the Umarex CO2 models), is changed to a straight grip with horizontal frontstrap grooves and a backstrap that is more akin to a 1911 with the flat mainspring housing; the grip angle, however, remains the same as a Glock 17/18/18C.
There are unmistakable elements of the Gen4 in the various components of the 009, such as the larger magazine release used on the Gen4 and later series guns, and the larger slide release. The 009 even has the same dustcover serial number plate used for the requisite manual safety. The Safe Action style triggers are also the same, as is the accessory rail which fits the Glock GTL accessory lights and light/laser combinations.
The 009 also has a Gen4 slide (longer slide lock channel) and forward slide serrations, something that Glock has recently added as an option on Gen5 and selected Glock models. And, this should come as no surprise; the Umarex Glock Gen4 CO2/BB magazines are interchangeable with the Barra 009!
Enough to whet your appetite for today.
In Part 002 we will look at operation and handling of the 009.