If you’re interested in carrying a compact pistol in a caliber heavier than 9mm or .40, there are two Glock .45 ACP handguns you should consider: The G30 and the G36. Which weapon is better for your needs depends on your preferences regarding ergonomics, weight, and capacity. Both weapons are accurate, highly reliable, and suitable for self-defense.
Why .45 ACP?
Glock introduced its first .45-caliber handgun, the full-size G21, in 1990. The primary reason a gun owner selects a weapon in .45 caliber is stopping power — the ability of the bullet, when properly placed, to incapacitate an assailant.
However, there are considerations other than caliber when selecting a defensive handgun, such as controllability and sight recovery.
Glock 30 — High Capacity
Glock introduced its first subcompact handgun, the 9mm G26, in 1995 to provide a high-capacity alternative to the snub-nosed .38-caliber revolver. In 1997, Glock added the G30, a .45-caliber subcompact handgun fed from a 10-round double-stack magazine.
A double-stack arranges the cartridges in two staggered columns to increase capacity without increasing length. As a result, double-stack magazines hold more rounds but tend to be wider, which also increases the width of the frame.
The G30 has a 3.78” barrel, an overall length of 6.97”, a frame width of 1.38”, and a height of 4.8”. The width of the slide is 1.12”. The G30 weighs 23.81 oz. without a magazine and 26.28 oz. with an empty magazine.
Glock 36: Thin and Lightweight
Following the commercial success of the G30, Glock introduced the G36 in 2000. The G36 has the same barrel length and overall length as the G30. However, the frame width is 1.18”, the height is 4.72”, and the weight without a magazine is only 19.93 oz. This increases to 22.40 oz. with an empty magazine in place.
The G36 is fed from a 6-round single-stack magazine.
Glock 30 vs. 36
The primary advantage of the G30 compared to the G36 is magazine capacity. The standard G30 magazine holds four additional rounds of ammunition for a total capacity of 10+1. This is the same capacity as the G26.
The G30 is compatible with G21 magazines, increasing the number of rounds to 13+1.
Because the G36 frame is designed to accept single-stack magazines, it’s limited to six rounds (plus one in the chamber).
If you’d prefer to reduce the pistol’s height for more effective concealment, there are also flush-fit 9-round magazines available.
The G30 and the G29 in 10mm share the same critical dimensions — overall length and frame width — so you can use both handguns in the same holster.
Glock 36 vs. 30
While the G30 provides increased magazine capacity and magazine interchangeability, the G36 reduces the height and width of the weapon for a more compact profile. Since the frame is narrower, so is the slide — 1.1” or one-tenth of an inch less.
At 1.18” in width at the frame, the G36 grip is one-fifth of an inch narrower than the G30 for a more comfortable hold. The reduced width of the slide and frame may also increase comfort while carrying, especially inside the waistband because there’s less bulk between your pants and your body.
When both pistols have an empty magazine in place, the G30 weighs almost ¼ of a pound more than the G36. Increased weight can reduce the recoil impulse, but this may not be ideal for an everyday carry (EDC) weapon.
A self-defense firearm should be precise, and both the G30 and G36 are sufficiently accurate for practical purposes. Glock subcompact handguns use double captive recoil springs, which hold the slide consistently in battery until the action unlocks and opens.
Both pistols also use the same thick-walled barrels. However, you may have to practice more regularly to become accustomed to the increased recoil and different handling characteristics relative to full-size pistols.
One of the most critical dimensions regarding concealability in semi-automatic pistols is height — the distance from the top of the slide to the bottom of the magazine. The height difference is negligible in the G30 and G36 (0.08” or 2mm). As a result, both weapons should conceal well under a T-shirt or jacket, especially IWB.
The difference in width between the two weapons is not significant enough to affect concealability, and the overall length is the same. If you’d prefer to carry outside the waistband, the compact profile is less likely to print through clothing than a G19.
One of the primary disadvantages of lightweight handguns with short frames is less surface area to grip. In both the G30 and G36, there’s enough space on the front strap for two fingers, but an extended magazine base plate is necessary for the little finger. When you combine the increased power of the .45 ACP cartridge, concealable handguns tend to have more recoil. Both pistols recoil more than the full-size G21, but the G30’s increased weight and width may help with control.
If the recoil of the .45 ACP cartridge proves too strenuous, the G26 in 9mm is an excellent alternative, especially when loaded with modern JHP ammunition.
Both the G30 and the G36 are low-capacity weapons when compared with full-size service pistols. Gun owners who carry subcompact firearms also tend to carry one or two spare magazines.
If you’re carrying spare magazines for the G30, consider taking advantage of its magazine interchangeability. After all, if you need to reload, the increased bulk of the G21 13-round magazine won’t matter.
Find the Best Holster for the G30 or G36
If you’re interested in carrying either the G30 or G36 pistols inside or outside the waistband, we offer several options in both Kydex and leather, depending on your personal preferences.
We produce all our holsters at our facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, ensuring the highest quality standard. All our holsters are durably constructed, use adjustable retention, and allow you to adjust the ride height and cant to find the perfect combination of comfort and concealability.