In the never ending discussions of Glock vs. (insert any firearm here), concealed carry aficionados almost always mention the Glock 30S ¾ the subcompact .45 Auto in the company’s lineup of polymer semi-automatic pistols. It is not the only .45 Auto for Glock; the company offers a full-sized Model 21 and a smallish “slimline” Model 36. The 21 is not a concealed carry pistol. The 36 most definitely is, but many find it difficult to shoot well. But the Glock 30S seems to provide a happy medium, offering some key features that make it a concealed carry favorite: it’s compact enough to conceal, it’s a .45, and it’s a Glock. Is it just right?
Already I can hear fingers on keyboards, keying out rebuttals. Before you respond, allow me to analyze these points and offer some comments.
What you see here is a Glock 30S, a new version of the Model 30 that offers a slightly smaller grip (based on the Glock 30SF) and a thinner slide than the previous iteration. Despite the smaller dimensions, the magazines hold 10 rounds each and the gun is known for its excellent accuracy and reliability. So we have a concealable, accurate, reliable semi-automatic pistol that, with two magazines, potentially allows a licensed concealed pistol carrier to have 21 rounds of .45 Auto available (assuming a 10+1 setup and one additional magazine with all 10 rounds loaded.) Perfection? Glock’s advertising slogan is up for debate, so let’s debate it.
The Model 30S is called a “subcompact” and can be concealed. But any handgun can be concealed with the right holster and the right clothes. The question is whether the Model 30S can be concealed well. While a subcompact, the Model 30S is a beefier subcompact than its siblings in 9MM, .40, and .357.
In addition to the added thickness in the overall feel, the Model 30S’s magazines are slightly longer than the other Glock subcompacts, offering a place for a pinky finger to grasp. Whether this is a pro or con is up to you. For me, it’s a pro ¾ I like the added grip and the extra magazine capacity and didn’t find it any harder to hide than the others.
One minor annoyance, though: The magazines for the Glock 30S hold 10 rounds of .45 Auto, but not easily. Round number 10 requires a bit more thumb strength or the magazine loading tool to squeeze it in. Moreover, when the magazines hold all 10 rounds, they require even more strength to push in.
While the .45 Auto is a big round and not for everyone, it is somewhat tamed by the Model 30S due to the Glock’s grip angle and the slide spring. With enough practice, just about anyone can shoot it well. If you can shoot this gun well, and carry it, that means you can carry and shoot 10 rounds of .45 Auto before needing to reload. And then you can reload 10 more rounds of .45. That’s a lot of firepower.
Carrying a spare magazine, however, has its disadvantages. Loaded with 10 rounds of .45 Auto, the Model 30S magazine is heavy and chunky. You can drop one in a pocket, yes, but it will print, and it doesn’t look like a phone or a wallet.
It’s a Glock
With the Glock name comes durability, reliability, and simplicity. This is the brand that most law enforcement officers carry. For the Model 30S, this is the gun that carries 10 rounds of .45 Auto. So with a $637 retail price, you also get what many consider is one of the best values out there.
While I’m evaluating and posting more reviews of the Kel-Tec P3AT in .380 Auto and the Charter Arms Bulldog in .44 Special, I’m going to add this Glock 30S to the lineup and provide additional reports on how it does as a concealed carry handgun. Mainly, I want to learn whether a subcompact .45 Auto Glock is too thick, chunky, and heavy or just right for a daily carry gun.
What are your thoughts?