Earlier this week, I was reminded why I love my job with 19FortyFive so much when our editor asked me which Glock pistols I hadn’t reviewed yet. I replied something along the lines of, “Well, let’s see, there’s the Glock 30S .45 ACP, the Glock 27 .40 cal, and the Glock 19X 9mm.” Naturally, she asked me to review them all. As our longtime readers have realized, I’m quite the Glock fanboy, so I was only too happy to oblige.
Moreover, I’m a big fan of the .45 ACP cartridge, especially in the M1911 and Glock platforms alike. (Yes, as hard as it is to believe for some folks, it is entirely possible to love both of these pistol types.)
So when it came time to head to the range to test-fire all three of these pistols, naturally the .45 got first dibs.
Glock 30S Early History and Specifications
The Glock 30S debuted in 2013, 16 years after the original Glock 30. What are the differences between the two? For starters, we can turn to the manufacturer’s official info page, which states:
“The GLOCK 30S pistol successfully combines a short frame (SF) with reduced grip size and a slimmer slide (S), with the powerful 45 Auto round. Its compact design and simple operation allow smooth drawing in a 45 Auto caliber pistol that fits the hands of almost any user.”
Need more specifics? In that case, we shall turn to my friend Itshak “Ike” Sarfati, whose name you may recognize from my reviews of the standard G30 as well as the Uzi submachine gun, Glock 43X, and Smith & Wesson Shield. Ike is a battle-hardened Israel Defense Forces veteran who served in the Six-Day War and Yom Kippur War and also with Hativat Ha Bikaa (“Valley Brigade”) for antiterrorist ops in the Jordan Valley. He definitely knows his guns, and here’s what Ike has to say about the G30S:
“Do you remember the ‘Ike model?’ A mix of the 30 with the upper of the 36? Yes I did own both the 30 and the 36. As a concealed carry gun I would take either or the new 30S over any other .45 anybody else makes including the Glock 21. The fact that you can use Glock 21 mags in it is also a great plus. The ‘Ike model’ as it was called on Warrior Talk later became the 30S. The gun is compact, accurate, and easy to carry. Also it is as reliable as any other Glock. If I was limited to carrying something with only 10 rounds this would be the gun I carry.”
Toda raba (“Thank you very much”) for that, Ike!
Barrel length is 3.78 inches, overall length 6.97 inches, height is 4.80 inches, empty weight is 20.28 ounces, and fully-loaded weight is 30.16 oz.
Personal Shooting Impressions/Range Report
Let’s move to the really fun part: the live-fire session. To fulfill this portion, I was off yet again to the delightful Silver Eagle Group indoor shooting facility in Ashburn, Virginia, to take advantage of SEG’s rental Gen3 G30S.
The ergonomics on the gun weren’t the best of any Glock I’ve experienced, but they were more than comfortable enough, and definitely way more comfortable than, say, the Glock 27.
Ammo used was 50 rounds of PMC Bronze 230-grain full metal jacket. Test-fire was divided into 15 rounds of head shots at 21 feet, 10 rounds of center-torso shots at 50 feet, 15 rounds of head shots at 75 feet, and 10 rounds of center torso shots at 150 feet, all delivered from the Classic Weaver Stance. Target used was the ICE-QT paper target.
At 21 feet, all of the head shots were dead-on, nicely chewing out the simulated bad guy’s right eyebrow and the center of his forehead. At 50 feet, I started pulling high left, which, according to my friend and fellow firearms instructor Lou Chiodo, is a natural tendency for folks like me who are cross-eye dominant — in my case, right-handed but left eye-dominant. Nonetheless, nine out of 10 rounds stayed in the 5-zone of the upper torso, with two taking the tiebreaking 5x-zone, and one rebellious round straying into the 4-zone. At 75 feet, I tallied eight hits in the 5-zone of the noggin, six in the peripheral 2-point zone of the hairline and ear, and one whiffed completely. At the max 150’ distance, even after taking “Kentucky windage,” I only managed 5 hits on the torso’s 5-zone, with zero 5x’s. The remaining five rounds, well, I plead the fifth.
Two minor gripes. Though the gun fired, cycled, extracted, and ejected flawlessly, it also consistently failed to go to slidelock on the last shot, which is evidence that the magazine follower and/or slide stop lever were worn down from so much use & abuse — such are the chances one takes with rental guns. Also, when “topping off,” i.e. loading to full 10+1 capacity, getting the magazine to seat properly required a bit of extra oomph.
Nonetheless, the Glock 30S provided me with a positive shooting experience. Not at the top of my wish list, but a thumbs-up nonetheless.
Want Your Own?
True Gun Value states that “A GLOCK 30S pistol is currently worth an average price of $439.04 new and $436.79 used. The 12 month average price is $439.04 new and $437.58 used.” Nova Armory is currently selling one (along with an extra magazine) for $608.86, VAGunShop.Com has an asking price of $555.99, and JMJ Firearms LLC has one at $586.59.
Christian D. Orr has 33 years of shooting experience, starting at the tender age of 14. His marksmanship accomplishments include: the Air Force Small Arms Ribbon w/one device (for M16A2 rifle and M9 pistol); Pistol Expert Ratings from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP); multiple medals and trophies via the Glock Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) and the Nevada Police & Fires Games (NPAF). Chris has been an NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor since 2011.