Here at Gunivore, we’re no strangers to the .45 auto line of Glock handguns, having previously covered the Glock 21 and the Glock 30. Things get really fun when it comes to the .45 auto line, however, with the Glock 36 – the subcompact slimline .45 auto model from Glock. With the Glock 36, the appeal of the gun lies in the three C’s: concealment, concealment, and concealment. The Glock 36 is of a size that makes it absolutely ideal for concealed carrying and for storing on your person, perhaps the best concealed carry firearm in the Glock lineup. It’s funny, I’ve seen the gun likened to the comically small Walther PPK/S used by Mike Myers in the Austin Powers movies, but the truth is that depending on your hand size, the gun is not impractically small.
Yes, your results may vary as far as comfort depending on your hand size, but the reality of the situation is such that the more concealed a gun needs to be, the smaller it must be. Any gun that can easily accommodate larger hand sizes can only be so small. More so, Glock makes a point of fleshing out its line as much as it possibly can, in order to accommodate the needs of all handgun owners. For example, for 9×19 guns, Glock offers the G19 (also covered here) and its slimmer model, the G26, as well as the subcompact slimline G43. Same goes for the .357 caliber Glock 31 – smaller models of the same caliber are offered so that any kind of gun owner can find any caliber of handgun produced by Glock accessible. This is a result of the Glock philosophy, really. Glock is all about cornering the handgun market to the benefit of the consumer, and one corner that is firmly occupied by Glock is the .45 auto compact gun one – by the Glock 36.
Glock 36 Specs
Caliber / System
- .45 Auto / Safe Action
- Length: 177 mm / 6.96 in.
- Height: 121 mm / 4.76 in.
- Width: 28.00 mm / 1.10 in.
- Barrel Height: 32 mm / 1.26 in.
- Length Between Sights: 150 mm / 5.91 in.
- Barrel Length: 96 mm / 3.77 in.
- Unloaded: 635 g / 22.42 oz.
- Loaded: 765 g / 27.00 oz.
Trigger Pull / Travel
- Trigger Pull: ~2.5 kg / ~5.5 lbs.
- Trigger Travel: ~12.5 mm/ ~0.49
Barrel Rifling / Length of Twist
- Barrel Rifling: right hand, octagonal
- Length of Twist: 400 mm / 15.75 in.
- Standard: 6
Glock 36 Build
The Glock 36 is unsurprisingly well-made, and this is apparent from the moment the gun is picked up. I find the familiar polymer makeup of the gun so satisfying, though I am an admitted Glock enthusiast, so this may not be the reaction everyone has to Gaston Glock’s revolutionary plastic-like build. The G36 uses a composite frame with a metallic slide and barrel, each of which feature a tenifer finish, which makes for a solid, durable gun.
I have been carrying my G36 for over a year and fired hundreds of rounds with it – besides for some malfunction which was a result of foolishly trying to use rounds which were not fully compatible, I’ve had no problems with the gun. Ultimately, the G36 more than lives up to its “Slimline” billing – the minimalist frame of the gun keeps protrusions to an absolute minimum, and the 1.1-inch width of the weapon is about as slim as you’re going to find in a .45 auto. The gun looks sleek and feels comfortable to boot – it is light weight, but offers enough substance to make you feel like you’re carrying a powerful firearm.
Glock 36 Shooting
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: this Glock gun fires surprisingly steadily for a gun of its size. This has been a recurring theme in our Glock reviews – compact Glock guns and their deceptive stopping power and controllability – but a theme that is perhaps felt strongest in the G36. It almost took me aback when I initially fired the G36 at the range. Fearing the combination of a .45 auto in a “subcompact, slimline” might be too much for my wrist to handle, I braced for the worst, and was pleasantly surprised at the lack of recoil felt in the gun when fired.
With that being said, it is still important as ever to practice proper technique when firing the G36 – you will pay the price if you don’t! The G36 offers good balance with a full mag, and the grip is comfortably textured. Your comfort when holding the gun will be at least somewhat dependent on hand size, however.
Glock 36 Magazines and Sights
Anyone investigating the Glock 36 should know right off the bat that they’re not going to be re-enacting the last scene of Scarface with this gun. The factory magazine capacity is 6, and there aren’t many options available in terms of equipping it with a higher capacity (an extended mag might add a round or two, depending on the brand). Still, it’s tough to call this a shortcoming of a firearm that exists to be easy to carry and conceal – it’s just impossible to feature both a compact form and a high magazine capacity, until rounds become much smaller in some distant future.
The factory sights of the G36 are not much to write home about, but they’re not terrible either. The front-end sight features a white dot and the rear a dovetail sight with white inserts – not bad, but not as practical as night sights when looking for a self-defense weapon. There are plenty of different sights available for those who are dissatisfied with the factory ones – I recommend Trijicon Night Sights.
Glock 36 Safety, Assembly, and Accessories
It’s that time again! In every feature on a newer Glock model, we need to talk about safety, and that means it’s time to talk about Glock’s incredible and patented ‘Safe Action System’ – the very best in gun safety from the very best handgun manufacturer (in my opinion). The Safe Action System is a three-part system designed to comprehensively cover the most important aspects of handgun safety by accounting for the most risk-associated elements of handguns.
Firstly, the Glock trigger features a built in safety which prevents the trigger from being pulled unless it is simultaneously engaged with the trigger. Secondly, there is the firing pin safety, which sets the firing pin in a safe position from which it is only activated by engaging the trigger safety. Lastly, the built-in drop safety of the G36 ensures that there will be no unwanted or accidental firings of the weapon. The G36 is easily disassembled and reassembled, a task made even easier by the Glock disassembly tool accessory. Speaking of accessories, there are a lot of options to play with when you own a G36. A good holster is almost a pre-requisite, but there is a wealth of other options out there if you want to ‘trick out’ or modify your Glock – try different sights, grips, lasers, lights, magazines, and more.
The Glock 36 does exactly what it and the other models in Glock’s extensive handgun line are supposed to do – it fills a niche for gun owners, and it fills it well. As far as .45 auto guns which are intended for concealed carry purposes, you will not find better than the Glock 36 – guaranteed. The G36 won’t be perfect for everyone, however. Your best bet is heading down to the range and trying out the 36 to see if it works well for you. Happy shooting!