They work shrouded in mystery. Ill understood, the media vilifies them. They are the Special Investigations Section (SIS) of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). The SIS was created in 1965 to solve cases the other detective units couldn’t and track down the city’s most dangerous offenders—terrorists, bank robbers, serial killers and drug dealers—and take them off the streets. When the LAPD has a suspect but hasn’t yet been able to marshal enough evidence to execute an arrest, the department’s detectives call the SIS, which sets out to get that evidence. Setting up a mobile stakeout, and using disguises and unmarked cars, the SIS will stay on the suspects literally for days, even weeks, until the suspect commits the crime. Only then do the SIS members put on their tactical vests and move in, apprehending the suspects as they exit the scene of the crime, leaving no doubt as to their guilt.

Stakeouts on hot suspects require SIS detectives to carry a concealed handgun, sometimes 24/7, for days. As members of the LAPD, SIS operators are allowed to carry any weapon in any caliber previously approved for departmental use. Among the guns eligible for use are GLOCK full-size and compact autopistols in 9×19, .40 and .45 AUTO. Last year, the SIS decided that its agents needed a powerful, concealable handgun that would give them an edge over today’s heavily armed bad guys. The gun would need to be small enough for comfortable wear on a typical marathon, “overtime-plus” stakeout, and ideally it would accept the same 13-round magazine of .45 AUTO the department uses with their main carry gun, the GLOCK 21. As it happened, GLOCK had in its catalog a pistol that met most of those requirements: the GLOCK 30 .45 AUTO subcompact pistol. But at 34 ounces when loaded with 10 rounds of the LAPD’s issued 230-grain jacketed-hollow-point Winchester Ranger T-series ammo, it was too heavy and, more importantly, too thick to be worn comfortably in a waistband holster for long shifts spent mostly seated in a surveillance car. Desiring something more suitable, the officers at the firearms division of the SIS contacted GLOCK and gave the company their requirements for an even smaller gun to go with their issued G21s.

The folks at GLOCK cast an analytical eye on their .45 AUTO-caliber G30, G30 Gen4 and G30 SF subcompacts, as well as on their G36 subcompact slimline—a .45 AUTO that’s slimmer and lighter than the G30, but that accepts only a proprietary single-stack, six-round magazine. GLOCK’s engineering wizards went to work.

They started by taking the already slimmed-down frame of the G30 SF, with its reduced trigger reach, and matching it to a top-end slide with the measurements of the Slim line G36. Lightened, it had to work reliably with the LAPD’s heavy 230-grain duty loads. The remarkable solution was a new slide stop lever that perfected the pistol’s performance. Through its Austrian alchemy, GLOCK created a new pistol that brought the total weight of the new, fully loaded G30S down to just 30.36 ounces. With an overall length equal to the G30’s at just under 7 inches, the G30S’ 3.77-inch-long, 1-in-15-inch-twist barrel sits closer to the shooter’s hand and has octagonal rifling for a better gas seal and increased performance. The LE-authorized SAFE ACTION trigger breaks at 5.5 pounds, and the new pistol, named the GLOCK 30S (“S” for slim), is supplied to the SIS with both a flat-bottom magazine that holds nine rounds for main concealed carry and a finger-rest magazine that holds 10.

According to several SIS detectives, during range sessions the lighter slide cycled faster, and the GLOCK’s already low bore axis produced less muzzle flip and allowed for faster follow-up shots. Officers both male and female said they liked the narrow grip frame, whose near-universal ergonomics will no doubt make the slim .45 AUTO an attractive option for countless police departments. Law enforcement reaction to the new .45 AUTO pistol was so positive that the G30S has been added to the GLOCK catalog. If you are a civilian CCW holder, or police or military operator who demands a powerful, concealed handgun, you can’t argue with the ergonomics and performance of GLOCK’s new G30S pistol—a sidearm as rugged, stealthy and smart as the SIS agents for whom it was created.

For more information on the GLOCK G30S .45 AUTO, visit:

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