Using the rarely encountered Barnitzke gas system, the Steyr GB went down in history as the gun best remembered as the first that Glock beat out for a military contract.
Designed by Herrs Kepplinger and Schweighofer in the 1960s, the big gas-delayed blowback GB (an abbreviation earned from its curious “gas break” system) boasted an 18-round 9mm capacity, which is still impressive today.
As Austrian-based Steyr had long had a virtual lock on producing handguns for the country’s military, going back to the Roth–Steyr M1907 and Steyr-Hahn M1912s of the old Hapsburg Empire, it seems like the GB would be a shoe-in for Austria’s new army pistol competition.
However, this dream was not to be as the Bundesheer instead picked a new polymer-framed 17+1 capacity gun made by a fellow named Glock, which they adopted as the Pistole 80.
With the writing on the wall, Steyr continued to market the GB commercially until the company dropped the poorly-selling pistol from the line in 1988.
And Tim with the Military Arms Channel has the lowdown on the gun, inside and out, in the above video.