Glock 30S

Glock 30S

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.

The Gun

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?

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85 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. OK for some, BUT my preference demands a bit more safety than a tricky trigger! The additional grip safety on Springfield XD pistols, and the fact that the XD just shoots better for me fills the bill. For a slim (not-thick) .45, the XDs looks great. My carries are a .40 XD subcompact backed up by Ruger’s LCP.

    1. How many law enforcement Agencies Use XD’S ? How many use Glocks ?

      1. I do. My duty weapon is an XD45 Tactical w/TIR-1 light. It works perfectly for my needs and I have never been disappointed with its performance on duty or at the range. Moreover, I’m not the only one. Several in our department carry the XD. There’s nothing wrong with a Glock; but for me, it’s just a matter of feel and preference. I also own a Glock 20, and I’m very happy with it. The boss just won’t allow 10mm on duty, otherwise, I’d use it too. A few departments do, just not mine.

    2. I bought a 2nd gen G19 in the spring of 1999 and currently own a total of eight Glocks. I train regularly at a well-known firearms training facility. I generally use a G19 when attending handgun training. I own many revolvers and semiautos, of various makes, models, and calibers. I am a Glock armorer. We each have our opinions, but I will argue strongly that the idea that the Glock trigger is “tricky” or that Glocks are without adequate safeties, or that they are unsafe. I have completed many, many defensive handgun training courses, at four different civilian facilities, and have been through two law enforcement training academies, one state and one federal. During intensive training sessions involving various makes of handguns with a variety of shooters, I see more issues with nearly every other handgun than with Glocks. I notice that Glocks are simple to use and manipulate, seldom fail to function, are tough and durable, almost never are involved in negligent discharges, require little to no in-course maintenance, and are combat accurate. The place where I usually train have rental Glocks used every week that have been in service since around 1997, with, I can assure you, extremely limited maintenance and care. They also rent out XDs, which I will say are overall in the same performance class. I prefer Glocks to XDs, but that mostly is purely personal. Some people simply don’t like the Glock feel, and so be it. If I didn’t and could not adjust, I too most likely would not use them. All that aside, I stand firm in my belief that Glocks are safe and that they need no additional safety devices. Moreover, the triggers most assuredly are not “tricky.”


    4. Glock is one of the safest pistols on the planet. If you’ve ever been in a gunfight (not just an IDPA/3-Gun shooter, etc) you realize gross motor skills are all you can count on. You can play with your levers and I may find your body laying next to your XD when its over.

      1. Are you speaking from experience or just repeating what was posted on the Internet by other gun owners who never fired a shot in anger? I fought in Vietnam for a year with a M16 and 1911 as a sidearm. Despite little training, I did not find flipping off a safety to be a problem. Why do you think it is even a fine motor skill? Read it on the Internet or have you used a gun with a manual safety in a self defense situation? Just try to find a documented case of a manual safety getting someone killed. Mas Ayoob tried and found only one but many cases where the safety SA ed lives. Just because something sounds good on the Internet, it does not mean it is true.

        Gun forums are like guys who drive back and forth to work pretending that they know what is best for race car driving.

  2. Like the Glock a bunch. I carry a 32.

  3. I carry a glock 30 SF, small enough to conceal, big enough to shoot with accuracy. Installed a Laser Max laser and use this gun for carry and home defense. No complaints except for the items mentioned in the article about the tight fit of the 10th round and locking a loaded magazine into the gun. If you do not have a round chambered the magazine locks in with little effort, only when you have a round in the chamber is the fully loaded magazine difficult to get locked in place.

  4. I’m still pushing for my fantasy GLOCK… G30S XT… G30S with extended grip.
    My take on the perfect in- between. This ‘compact’ version would fit between the ‘full size’ G21 and the ‘subcompact’ G30S.
    Take the new G30S and add a true three finger grip with a flush bottom mag, a la G23 with a G27 style magwell. Short 3 finger grip, flush mag, short muzzle, .45ACP… what’s not to love. Best of all, this package would be exactly the same silhouette as the current G30S.

    1. I agree, I wish they had a .45 in the size of the 19. Without question I think my 19 will be the LAST gun to ever leave my safe IF (God forbid) I had to sell the lot.

      I am in the market for a 30S. I do some Executive protection and with the Suit Coat for concealment I am now debating between the 21 or the 30S

    2. Get a Pearce PG-30 for each of your G30S mags and you’ll be good to go.

      1. Agreed. Got the Pearce floorplates for the 9 and 10 round mags. Great products that look factory.

    3. I second your opinion. The pinky finger on the extended magazine is kind of stupid really when you could have a G19/23/32/38 size/style grip and flush mags. I ordered the pearce extensions to accomplish just this look/feel. I suppose there are those out there that covet the discontinued 9 round mags with the pearce G29 extensions but I specifically went 30S for the 10 + 1.

  5. SapperVee1263

    I have a 32Gen4 and 30SF. Both are fantastic guns. I carry the 32 with 12 rounds in the 13RD magazine. Once I get more practice with the 30FS I’ll chime in.

  6. Thanks for the review. I would add a weight consideration and magazine choices to the plus side. Easily beats a 1911 and is lighter than the XDm too. To aid in conceal carry you can go with a 9 rd mag (fits flush). Your spare mag can also be the 13 rd Glock 21 mag (yes its big). Anyone want to buy my G 36? :-)

    1. Still have it?.

    2. Keep your G36 for as a BUG. That’s what I plan to do with mine :)

  7. The best safety on any fire arm is the user. I have a Glock 29 (10mm), and I love it, and really trust it : )

  8. I finally found one, I had the G36 and the G30, sold both. The 30s fills the gap nicely. I also have the XDs .45, they are different in every way. I can conceal both easily in shorts and heavy tshirt here in Miami. Use a good quality gun belt and holster and you can carry from full size steel 1911 to a SW bodyguard .380 with no problem. It’s all about the belt!

  9. Gerald… How do u like the G30s compared to ur XDs 45? I have XDs 45… Pondering a G30s also.

  10. ordered a glock 30s a month ago after I was able to get a hold of one and shoot it. It will replace my glock 30 for sure. they are on back order and I am 8th in line, sucks I might not see it til near christmas

  11. Most models are available

  12. I carry a S&W 40c love it and it perfect,

  13. ” What you see here is a Glock 30S ”
    REALLY? Then why does it say G21 on the front of the barrel?

  14. I CC’d a full size 1911 for many years. Like one fella said, you can CC almost any handgun with the proper rig and clothing. That said, a full size 1911 gets really heavy by the end of the day. So I then went to a Colt Lightweight Officer model. That helped with the weight, but I lost a few rounds because of the compact size. (I’m a firm believer in carrying more ammo than you might need, just in case.)

    Even though I love my 1911’s, I have a lot of respect for Glocks. Didn’t always feel that way, but then I tried shooting them. Reliable, simple, and they go bang every time you squeeze the trigger.

    The G36 replaced my compact Colt and I’ve been carrying it for awhile now, and I just picked up a G30S to add to my CC options. You can never have too many Glocks (or 1911’s or XD’s…) :)

  15. I have a Glock 30 and carry it mostly in a vest during the winter, and in a fanny pack by 511 during the summer. Both ways are comfortable, but carrying inside the pants is a little tight, if the Glock 30s is slimmer then I think it would be very comfortable.

    1. Nothing screams “I have a gun on me” than a dude wearing a fanny pack, or whatever you want to call it. If I was the bad guy, you’re the first one I choose to screw a weapon into your ear and take it from you. You may want to re-think that fanny pack business. I see way too many off-duty cops and CCW folks doing the same thing and that’s simply asking for trouble from a dude that isn’t scared of you. He’s got the element of surprise to his advantage and you’re screwed. Keep it concealed, no matter what your status is and you actually have less of a risk of losing your weapon to a punk that isn’t scared of robbing you at gunpoint.

  16. I have owned and carried the G30s since March 15th 2013, I love this pistol it is very easy to shoot and shoot accurately. This pistol is the best 10rd .45 I have ever shot for under 700 dollars… over all a great shooting and handling firearm.

  17. Had glock 36 45 cal was a piece of crap. Always would double feed and jam, sent back to glock 3 times with same response that nothing was wrong. Traded in for springfield xds 45 best move I ever made, no comparison it outshines glock with no jams and better accuracy.

  18. The Glock 36 was not approved for carry in the DEA because of its notorious magazine-induced feed issues. I took my slide off of mine and put it on my 30SF frame, creating the “monster Glock” or “FrankenGlock.” I carried that as my street gun and off-duty gun for a couple years. I shot the piss out of it often and it never failed. Each year at the SHOT Show I would beg the Glock guys to make it. Well, I had a lot of company whom also carried the 30/36 combination and Glock finally responded with the 30S. That’s all is is, a 36 slide on a 30SF frame -Done.

    I have a butt-load of Glocks and I have been a LE instructor and Glock armorer since ’96, maintaining 22’s and 23’s for my active SWAT unit, and I know a little about these guns. This gun is a winner. I would prefer it with the Gen 4 frame over my Gen 3 30SF’s frame, but it’s a great and very, very safe gun.

    Glock got a bad rap amongst ignorant administrators and civilians in the 90’s due to idiot, ill-trained cops having their fingers on the trigger during high-stress events and grabbing with the support hand, which likely induced sympathetic squeeze responses, resulting in negligent discharges. Those shooters previously got away with trigger dancing on their S&W 4 million pound triggers, but were not trained enough. It’s simple – ON TARGET ON TRIGGER – OFF TARGER OFF TRIGGER. Guns don’t negligently discharge unless untrained morons put their fingers on the trigger when not intended, so Glocks are for trained shooter and that should include ALL OF US. PLEASE GET TRAINED!!!

    Stay safe and shoot whatever you believe in, just train often with it and simulate stress. That’s how to win.

    1. When the Jackson, MS PD transitioned from revolvers to the Glock there were a couple of problems. At the training session for the Glock, the instructor was demonstrating how to clear and break down the weapon for cleaning (remove the magazine, rack the slide and verify the weapon is clear, pull the trigger and remove the slide) and he got two steps reversed. He removed the magazine, pulled the trigger (the weapon fired and cleared itself) and shot an officer in the shoulder. Another officer went to clean his weapon in his apartment, reversed the same two steps and shot his PD room mate in the head through the apartment wall. Technology cannot overcome lack of attention to detail and stupidity.

    2. Very well said Jimbo,I couldn’t agree more

  19. I like Glocks and thanks for the review. Just one thing to point out (sorry if someone already found this). You say: “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.”
    Note that the photo you have is of a Glock 21 (just look at the slide).

  20. Been carrying Glock for over 25 years. Own a H&K VP 9 and a Sig P320, (sexy weapons) but carry a Glock 31 and 33 daily. In a gun battle my choice hands down is Glock. Countless hours spent on the range where I have seen weapon failures from a variety of weapons. The only times that I haven’t seen a Glock go bang is either operator error, bad ammo, our when the Glock has just run dry………

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