It seems pistols from Glock have set the bar in every caliber, and their .45 ACP models are no different. The G21, G30 and G36 have struck chords with many who want to carry the fat cartridge. The variety of Glock .45 ACP frame sizes should provide enough options for a range of shooters with different statures and hand sizes. A handgun’s fit to a shooter’s hand is critical to surviving an armed confrontation. Self-defense shooting usually means few things will be going well for you, including having perfect shooting form or an ideal position. But one thing that can and should be right is your firearm’s fit in your hand. There is no time for shifting the grip in your hand or for poor control when rounds are moving hastily in both directions.
The double-column patriarch of the Glock .45 ACP family, the G21, with its 13+1 capacity, does not fit many “average” hands well enough to be a perfect match—it works better with larger mitts. Despite that, the pistol remains useable if not optimal for most medium-handed individuals and rides comfortably and ready in many duty holsters. However, many people, large and small, find concealing the G21 a bit of a challenge, except in the deep of winter. In my perspective, the eminently portable, slim and trim, single-stack G36, with its 6+1 capacity, carries too few rounds for a primary weapon. However, its size makes it an excellent backup pistol for self-defense.
That leaves the G30, which can usually be concealed well, carries ample large-caliber rounds (9+1 or 10+1) and adequately fits the hands of most shooters. Perhaps the G30’s only drawback is that its slide is as thick as the G21’s—1.27 inches. That is 0.09 inches thicker than the popular G23’s slide, a difference that seems inconsequential until you slip either gun into an inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster. When stuffed inside the pants, where a pistol with most of the G30’s dimensions should be right at home, every fraction of an inch in width can really count.