GLOCK has a new model, the G30S (Slim), developed for an elite law enforcement unit and an exceptional GLOCK for concealed carry, whether for LE or a licensed United States citizen. Essentially, GLOCK engineers took a slender GLOCK 36 in .45 AUTO and mated parts of it to the big-bore GLOCK 30 SF. “SF,” for those coming in late, stands for “Short Frame.” Specifically, the SF version has a particular modification that distinguishes it from the older major-caliber subcompact, the GLOCK 30. The trigger reach—that is, the distance from the face of the trigger to the top of the backstrap—has been reduced by a few millimeters. GLOCK first introduced this redesign with the GLOCK 21 SF, which was developed for the U.S. military. In time, it was introduced into the larger models like the G30 SF and found its way into the next generation of GLOCK pistols, the Gen4.

While this reduction is not detectable visually, it is significant tactilely. That is to say, it feels different—better, according to the vast majority of operators. A subjective measure, positive “feel” nevertheless is central to confidence, which translates to positive performance under pressure. The G30S was created for law enforcement officers who confront violent and non-submissive criminals; confidence is paramount.

These officers typically function in an undercover or plainclothes role. Hence the need for comfortable concealability, and that is where the “S” comes into play. The GLOCK 36 is not well known, but it is one of the more comfortable GLOCKs to carry. It has a slim, single-stack magazine, seven rounds of .45 AUTO ammunition on board with a fully loaded magazine and one in the chamber. While perhaps sufficient for off-duty use and civilian concealment, it is a little light in ammunition capacity for LE operations. The GLOCK 30S has a 10+1 capacity and can take the larger 13-round magazine of the GLOCK 21. So, was there a way to have the best of both? Yes. The GLOCK 36 slide would fit on the large subcompact frame. The key would be making it work. Again, after some GLOCK engineering, the 30S was born.

External Examination

We received our G30S as the initial shipment went out to an elite law enforcement unit. The initial examination showed the world-renowned GLOCK external qualities: the paradigm-setting polymer receiver, the first that was commercially successful; the GLOCK SAFE ACTION® fire control system, allowing instantaneous use with three independent, automatic safeties; a super-hard, corrosion-resistant, low-reflective external finish on the slide, barrel and GLOCK night sights; and the GLOCK standard cold-hammer-forged barrel with octagonal rifling for the .45 AUTO cartridge. It was obvious the pistol was a GLOCK, with the world-recognized recurved triggerguard and grip angle. From a slight distance, it appeared identical to a GLOCK 30, but close examination revealed the “30S” designation on the side of the slide, and the slide is thinner than the G30’s! A true hybrid had been born.

Picking up the GLOCK 30S, the Short Frame/Gen4 frame design was evident in the immediate comfort of the grip. The standard magazines have a 10-round capacity, with the extended baseplate supporting the little finger of the shooting hand. The G30S can accept the G21 13-round magazine. Molded checkering provided adequate traction. Subjectively, the pistol felt “lighter”(it is, slightly) and “livelier” in the hand.

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  • James1754

    After thirty years in law enforcement and another ten shooting competition pistol, I finally settled on the Glock 30S as the perfect carry .45ACP handgun for me.
    Recoil is mild for a pistol weighing only 23 ounces, small, easy to conceal and a tack driver, With 11 rounds in the weapon and 13 rounds, uses Glock 21 magazines, it makes the best conceal carry weapon I have used in years.