The Glock 36 (middle) between the Glock 19 (top) and Glock 27 (bottom).
The G36 on the right, is slightly thinner than the 9mm Glock 19 to the left. That makes for a gun that is more concealable, and perceptibly more comfortable.
Glock’s Oddball Pistol
Born for Concealed Carry
By Brian Jensen
Glock “Safe Action” Pistols
OK, so if you’ve read anything from me, you know I’m a big fan of the Glock pistol. They’re just simple, reliable, and effective weapons. I also love the 45 ACP, but up until recently, I found that 45 ACP Glocks were a little large in that caliber when it came to their grip, and not my personal choice for concealed carry. That was up until recently, when I found the exception to that rule, the slim Gock 36
Enter the Glock 36
Introduced in 2000, the Glock 36 is a thinner version of the Glock 30 subcompact 45 ACP pistol. Instead of the thick grip and slide that were made to accommodate not just the .45 ACP, but the much more powerful 10mm – both with double stack magazine so common in Glocks, the Austrians did something different. A single stack magazine holds six rounds – comparable to an Officer’s Size Colt, which is similar to the size of the 36 and a much slimmer slide and frame. This lets them make a slim pistol – in fact the G36 is thinner than any other Glock.
This is a CCW dream come true. The reliability of a Glock, in a package the size of a small 1911, using the potent .45 ACP cartridge. With its nearly indestructible Tennifer finish it’s easily carried anywhere, whether an ankle, an IWB holster, or wherever and in the harshest of environments. I thought this gun was immediately destined for greatness.
What is odd, the G36 isn’t the madly popular gun I expected. They are a “love it or hate it” gun. Either you love the characteristics and the handling of it, or you don’t. There really isn’t too much opinion in between. I recently spoke with a local gun shop clerk who noted the same thing; he was just amazed that the gun wasn’t far more popular. For those with small hands, who I hear often complain about the thick grips of the Glocks in 45, why weren’t they snapping these up?
For me, the gun made a lot sense, so I recently purchased one to evaluate as a CCW. I was immediately thankful for the slim grip, and easily concealable package. I also bought a third magazine and two Pierce +1 extensions as well as a +0 floorplate for one magazine to aid in concealment. I also added a single Glock night sight for the front sight of the gun, since this is a close-in gun, not something I plan for target shooting, but more on that later.
Carrying the Glock 36 was very easy, especially with the +0 floorplate. It was comfortable to carry, either in an Inside the Waistband holster, a standard belt scabbard, or paddle holster. I used a Fobus and Blackhawk Serpa holster most often, and the gun melted into my side. I cannot usually carry a semi auto that I conceal with only a T-Shirt over my jeans. The 36 was flat enough to do the trick. All day carry was never a problem, with no sharp edges to scratch you or tear up you clothes. It was far lighter than my Colt Commander, and felt much smaller. All the way around this pistol is a solid CCW choice for those who like the Glock.
At The range:
At the range the G36 was a surprise. The .45 ACP recoiled stoutly from the little gun, but with the usual “push” of the ACP, rather than snap of the .40 S&W. It was much easier to handle than I expected, though not as easy as something like, say a 9mm. Accuracy was superb. I put two rounds in the same hole at the 3 and 5 yard lines respectively.
However, I did find one issue with the Glock 36. When I tried to slow fire for accuracy, I had consistent failure to chamber jams with the rounds being nose down in the magazine. These necessitated I pull the mag out forcefully and then re-seat it. Once back in, I re-chambered and off I went
I tried to see if it was magazine related and it didn’t matter which magazine I used, whether it had the +1 basepad or the standard factory one. I rebuilt all the mags with new springs and followers as well as adding a new recoil spring assembly. While the failures continued, they became far less common.
I soon realized that during slow fire, my grip was much looser as I concentrated on accuracy, and not on grip. Once I gripped the gun firmly, and gave it a proper platform – it ran flawlessly. Thus the secret for the G36 is a firm hold to prevent unnecessary movement while firing. Which realistically is OK, since this is a combat gun, not a target gun.
There have been those who challenged the 36 as a reliable platform for this very reason. I disagree. These guns excel at what they were made for; a concealed carry defensive pistol. In real life, when you draw and fire at a real opponent who is intent on doing you harm, you will likely not be doing anything like the careful aiming I was doing. As the adrenaline dump hits your bloodstream, all your fine motor skills will go out the window, and you will be left with, draw, point, and pull the trigger.
The G36 excels at this role. It doesn’t have much in the way of controls to snag on clothing when being drawn, and it’s simple in its operation, you just pull the trigger. On top of that, it’s compact and light enough to carry easily for hours on end. With a good set of quick sights, such as a set of XS Big Dots this gun will draw, fire, and reliably put rounds where you need them. Or, if you install a front night sight with a tritium insert, you get a similar result.
There are those who believe that there is no other caliber than the 45 ACP. For them, finding a concealable, and comfortable carry gun can be difficult. There are cut down versions of the venerable 1911, but they are costly and often still pretty heavy. Many will argue their reliability as well. Now, the Austrians have given us another option, the Glock 36; rock solid durability, and the affordability of a Glock. If you like Glocks, and are looking for something light, slim, and potent, this warrants a look.