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Glock is arguably the most beloved handgun manufacturer in the world, and for good reason. In addition to introducing the world to their high-quality polymer build, Glock has gradually built an ever-increasing catalogue of diverse handguns, all of which are designed to fit the needs of specific gun owners. Glock doesn’t just manufacture handguns of different calibers – they produce handguns of different sizes within certain calibers, offering greater specialization and more options than any other handgun manufacturing company. One of the best examples of this is Glock’s development of subcompact guns – accompanying guns to standard Glock lines which serve as subcompact, smaller versions of the standardized Glock entry.
The Glock 21, as we have covered in the past, is a highly successful .45 auto handgun, and its accompanying subcompact brother is the Glock 30. Combining big-bore caliber with precision and a more compact size, the Glock 30 has become a favorite of many in the gun loving community – the .45 auto cartridge combines power with accuracy, which, paired with smaller form that doesn’t compromise on handling ability, makes for a damn good handgun. Again, this isn’t the first time Glock has found success introducing a subcompact version of an already successful gun, as it did with the Glock 17 and 19 (also covered here), which feature even more compact models in the Glock 26 and 43. However, with that being said, there has never been a gun quite like the Glock 30, which we’ve got covered here in our G30 review (note: The Glock 30 Gen 4 is the model tested and used for the purposes of this review).
Glock 30 Gen 4 Specs
Caliber / System
- .45 Auto / Safe Action
- Length: 175 mm / 6.88 in.
- Height: 122 mm / 4.80 in.
- Width: 32.50 mm / 1.27 in.
- Barrel Height: 32 mm / 1.26 in.
- Length Between Sights: 150 mm / 5.91 in.
- Barrel Length: 96 mm / 3.77 in.
- Unloaded: 745 g / 26.30 oz.
- Loaded: 955 g / 33.71 oz.
Trigger Pull / Travel
- Trigger Pull: ~2.5 kg / ~5.5 lbs.
- Trigger Travel: ~12.5 mm / ~0.49 in.
Barrel Rifling / Length of Twist
- Barrel Rifling: right hand, octagonal
- Length of Twist: 400 mm / 15.75 in.
- Standard: 10
- Optional: 13
Glock 30 Gen 4 Build
The Glock 30 features the classic and revolutionary polymer design and build that has become the trademark of Glock guns – it’s pretty funny to think that no one took Gaston Glock and his design seriously back in the day. The nylon-based, plastic-like substance provides increased durability and resiliency in the G30. The ergonomics and aesthetics of the G30 are unsurprisingly excellent, at least in my opinion. Ultimately, gun taste will come down to the opinion of the individual, but having said that, Glock builds seem to be nearly universally acclaimed for their attractiveness and quality. Like all Gen 4 Glock guns, the G30 comes with interchangeable back straps, which means that everyone is going to be able to find something that they like in terms of grip.
A reversible magazine well and a new dual recoil spring assembly system represent two other Gen 4 features, which make for a gun that holds up and suffers from less wear and tear than its less-advanced Glock predecessors. Again, the Glock 30 is the subcompact version of the G21, which was Glock’s entry into the .45 auto category. With superior stopping power and force, .45 auto handguns tend to come in on the larger side, which makes the G30 and its relatively slim build (6.88 x 4.80 x 1.27 as compared to the 8.03 x 5.47 x 1.27 dimensions of the Glock 21) an excellent option for concealed carriers who do not wish to compromise on fire power by settling for a 9×19 or .40 gun. The small form of the G30 does not necessarily leave the gun vulnerable to excessive recoil or difficult handling while shooting, however, which we will cover shortly.
Glock 30 Gen 4 Shooting
One word which I would use to describe the Glock 30 in terms of its shooting is ‘surprising’. As my hands come in on the larger side, I did have a slight problem with handling the gun, although it is an undeniably excellent and easily concealable self-defense weapon. With that being said, despite its size and caliber combination – one that would seemingly make for a ‘bumpy ride’ when firing – the Glock 30 features minimal kick, or recoil, and fires as accurately as the most popular models in the Glock lineup. It had about the same accuracy for me when firing from 30 yards as my trusty Glock 21, which is an achievement in and of itself.
The gun is easily controllable, and although the compact form may prove problematic for some, I had no issues with the gun after installing some basic finger extensions for the mags of my G30. A plug for the rear of the gun would serve a similar purpose, although I have found that the extensions were sufficient, the point being that there do exist options for tailoring the G30 to the individual. If you’re going to start accessorizing your gun in order to achieve a more comfortable grip to begin with, it may make sense to purchase a bigger gun altogether, but it doesn’t take much to find the perfect fit with your Glock 30.
Glock 30 Gen 4 Magazine
The Glock 30 magazine is of a standard 10-round capacity, but there are options to upgrade the magazine to a capacity of as many as 13. The magazine of the gun makes up part of the ‘give’ in the ‘give and take’ associated with a small-form handgun – it’s nice to have a stealthy, easily concealed weapon, but this dictates that the magazine only reaches a certain size and capacity. As previously mentioned, in the Gen 4 model of the G30 the magazine well is reversible, which makes for some idiot-proof usage, and a new magazine release button is easy to use as well.
Extended mag options are always available for Glock guns, and the G30 is no exception. However, with that being said, it’s important to keep in mind that equipping the G30 with an extended mag compromises the appeal and selling point of the gun (its size). If a larger ammo capacity is required, look for a gun that can accommodate it with factory mags.
Glock 30 Gen 4 Sights
As a lifelong Glock enthusiast, I get pretty defensive when I hear people criticizing or nitpicking any gun from the generally excellent Glock lineup. However, one aspect of Glock guns that even I have a hard time getting behind are their factory sights. The Glock 30’s standard polymer front and rear sights feature a dot on the front end and a white “u” accented rear-end – good enough for some, but not up to the Glock standard and mantra of striving for world-class quality.
I find that this is a particularly weak choice in smaller form guns like the G30 which are obviously intended for self-defense – you can bet that a good many folks purchasing the G30 have nighttime use in mind, and thus night sights would be a welcome addition. Luckily, there are tons of different replaceable sights to choose from when accessorizing your Glock 30 – I just look forward to the day when replacing Glock sights will be just an option as opposed to a prerequisite to using.
— Glock Magazine (@GlockMagazine) April 24, 2015
Glock 30 Gen 4 Safety and Assembly
Glock has become synonymous with a number of terms in the gun industry – quality, polymer, and yes, safety. One of the reasons I favor Glock guns so much is that they are, quite simply, the safest handguns that civilians and law enforcement officials could be using, and I am a big proponent of gun safety being prioritized at all levels. As a Gen 4 Glock gun, the Glock 30 utilizes the Glock ‘safe action system’, a three-part system designed to cover all ends of handgun fail-safes and general safety.
The trigger safety, firing pin safety, and drop safety are all intended to cover the three most integral workings of the gun so that they are ensured to only be used in a safe way, and they do a bang up job. I’ve encountered trigger, firing pin, and drop problems in the past with a number of different guns (you find lots of unsafe and worn out guns when you’re a lifelong gun enthusiast), but never with a Gen 4 Glock gun.
Glock 30 Gen 4 Accessories and Customization
The advantages to owning a Glock don’t stop in the design and build of Glock guns themselves. The popularity and prevalence of Glock guns has grown a vast accessories and customization market that help make Glock guns the most modular, customizable guns on the planet. Some of the more popular Glock 30 accessories include, unsurprisingly, Pearce Grip Extensions, TALON grips, Trijicon Night Sights, lasers, attachable lights, and, of course, holsters for easy concealed carrying.
Glock 30 SF and Glock 30S
Glock offers two alternate Glock 30 models – the Glock 30 SF and the Glock 30S. The Glock 30 SF is part of Glock’s Short Frame series of guns, as the front-to-rear profile of the grip of the gun is diminished; the circumference of the receiver, or the back strap, offers increased comfort and control, which is helpful for shooters with smaller hands. The Glock 30S, the S denoting “slide”, is built on the 30 SF frame but features a slimmer slide. Both of these models are just a taste of the wealth of specification options offered by Glock.
The reach of the Glock empire is furthering, and it has grabbed and applied a choke hold to the .45 auto handgun market. The Glock 30 is not a perfect handgun – the sights are a bit underwhelming, and the subcompact build might not work best for everyone. It will, however, serve as the perfect handgun for some folks, and therein lies the beauty of Glock. It’s impossible to produce one gun that will satisfy everyone, but if Glock’s massive lineup just keeps growing and growing and pumping out gems like the G30, sooner or later they’ll have a gun for every kind of firearm owner.