Glock G30S – Hybrid 10 Round .45ACP Compact – New Gun Review

The Glock 30S is a hybrid gun between the Glock 30 and the subcompact G36. It gives you a thinner, sleeker 10+1 G30.
Here it is between the tiny Springfield XD-S and the regular sized Glock 30.
The gun comes with 2 10 round magazines.
This front view gives you a good idea of the size difference between a standard G30 and the G30S
10+1 of 45ACP is a heck of a lot better than 5+1 no matter how you shake it, and the thinner profile and manageability in a concealment environment is exactly the right recipe for a legion of Glock fanatics.

Glock USA

By Brian Jensen

For years there has been something of a Glock Unicorn. It’s been called a hybrid Glock .45 ACP pistol made from the thin slide of a Glock 36 and the wide body frame of a Glock 30. According to the Internet forum mavens, you end up with a high capacity Glock (10 rounds) with the thinner slide of a the subcompact (and only 6 round) G36, making it lighter and easier to carry. But unlike Unicorns, this wasn’t a myth. People actually did it. They bought two guns and cobbled them together since, just because they could. Glock fanatics have wailed and begged for such a gun to be made in production, but Glock seemed to not hear the call.

Then, at the 2013 SHOT Show, I saw a Unicorn, uh, I mean a Glock 30S – the very gun that consumers wanted.  I wanted to know the “why” behind this, and after talking to LAPD Staff, Glock Representatives, and people in the industry I found out how an internet forum phenomenon became a regular production pistol.

 Enter LAPD’s Special Investigations Section, or SIS, a unit who is well known for dealing with lots of dangerous bad guys, and who did so in undercover roles.  They were looking for a smaller .45 ACP with more capacity than the standard compact 1911.  They chose the .45 ACP because they wanted something potent to get through intermediate barriers, and they wanted 10 rounds to minimize reloads in a gunfight.  Some members carried the Glock 30 already which matched their issued Glock 21’s, but it was still pretty thick and not as light as they wanted.

        Then, SIS staff read the internet message boards and saw the reports of the G30/G36 hybrid people were making.  Special Investigations staff checked out a few of the department-owned Glock 36 and 30 pistols, to create a few of the hybrids.  When they tested them, they asked the representatives from Glock to come by, and see what happened.  What they found was a small .45 that performed reliably, and was exceptionally accurate for its size.

One problem stood in their way. Due to the litigious society police departments find themselves in, they can’t go and use weapons cobbled together from parts and pieces – they need a production gun.   So LAPD SIS staff with Glock Representatives in tow went to Glock Inc. and basically said, this is a great weapon, if you build it, we’ll buy it.

 Glock is no dummy when it comes to marketing.  (They do control some 60% of the police firearms market and sell out in most local gun stores.)  They saw a gun with customers ready to buy it, needed minimal R&D to work out, and used parts already on the shelf.  I can only guess seeing the up side of this equation wasn’t hard, and made the creation of the 30S an easy decision.

        So, come SHOT Show 2013, I met with Glock Representative Dave Larson, who let me see and shoot the G30S for Guns America on media day.  Initially, I was not all that excited, I already owned a Glock 30SF and was skeptical that the 30S was all that different.  I wondered if the lighter slide would make recoil unpleasant, or if it would make finding holsters difficult.

        The first time behind the trigger of the Glock 30S showed me that I was definitely wrong on the first count.  Recoil was more than manageable, and accuracy was outstanding for such a small .45.  I soon found I was very wrong on count two as well.  All my holsters for my Glock 19 fit the 30S perfectly.

        What really sets this gun apart, is that Glock took their compact .45 that was pretty thick and put it into a 9mm/.40 sized envelope, while still giving you 10+1 rounds of .45 ACP capacity.  While the frame is somewhat thicker, it is still easy to get a grip on.  To be clear though, this is definitely not a subcompact like the Glock 27 or 26, but it carries smaller than a mid size Glock.  If you can find the 9-round flush fit magazines the 30S becomes exceptionally compact with a total of 10 rounds. (Glock has discontinued this item, but there are plenty out there still – you just have to look.

        The size difference between the 30S and the 30 is mostly in width and weight.  The width difference is 1/8 an inch thinner, which doesn’t sound like a lot. That being said, it’s amazing how important each fraction you shave off can be.  Thickness makes a big deal on a CCW weapon; it just conceals better on your side.  The Glock 30S weighs in at least 3 ounces lighter fully loaded than the G30 standard or SF version.  Again, weight counts as well when it comes to the comfort of carrying.

        Well, if anyone has read my columns, they know I love my Glocks.  In the recent downturn, many of mine fell victim to the economy, but I soon found myself with enough funds to purchase a G30S.  I then learned that wanting the 30S and finding one are two very different things.  Gone are the days of just walking to a local gun store and finding the very Glock you want (or most guns for that matter).  The gun purchase madness brought on by politicians beating the gun control drum made a very huge dent in the supply of new firearms.  Guns fly off the shelves faster than stores can order them.  Today it is often the case you need to find one you want, order it, then be prepared to wait.

        I searched high and low for a G30S, and was told that waits ranged from 3-6 months.  The Glock 30S was even more rare, as it’s a new model, and are not out readily in the market.  (Glock builds guns in waves, so you may have to wait until the next batch of your pistol is made.)  Finally, I got lucky and found a local gun store who had one.

        The Glock 30S comes with the usual dual 10-round magazines.  The frame for all current G30S pistols use the Third Generation “SF” or short frame version. (Supposedly the Gen 4 version is coming.)  Mine was also supplied with the Glock factory night sights.  My best bet is that they use Meprolights made for Glock, as that what they look like, but I could be wrong.  The sights were very bright in low/dark light, with excellent white outlines for daylight so they were easy to pickup either way.  The frame also has a rail for a light or laser, but I really can’t see using one for this gun.  This pistol is for concealment.

        Of course, you know I can’t say yea or nay on a pistol until it goes to the range.  I took my G30S to the range and had at it.  The first shot out of the barrel was  like a laser, punching a hole right where I pointed.  The next shot’s hole was touching the first.  The range for this was 7 yards, two handed.  The third shot made it about a 2 inch group.  Overall, I’ve shot a couple of hundred rounds through the gun by now, without a single hiccup.

        The handling was a little snappier than my 30SF I used to own, but not nearly as jumpy as my Springfield XDs.  Ammo was either American Eagle 230 gr FMJ or Federal 230 grain HST’s.  Velocity lost from the Glock 30S’s 3.78 inch barrel compared to a 5″ 1911 was a mere 48 FPS at most using the Federal HST.  (See chart).  +P Loads could be more of a difference, but as I didn’t have access to any at the time.

        I have carried the 30S now for about a month.  It’s been easy to carry, even in shorts and T-Shirt weather in Southern California.  It is not, however, much of an option for pocket carry – that needs to one BIG pocket.  Holster selection is still very important with this gun, and really will make or break the comfort level of this 10-round .45 ACP.  I still have to give a nod to my Springfield XDs, as it still wins in the CCW category overall due to the thin body of that pistol.  It is still viable for pocket carry and is easy to IWB.

However, sometimes the 5+1 capacity of the little Springfield isn’t enough. In that role the Glock 30S is far superior to any other compact .45. You have 10+1 capacity in .45 ACP in a highly concealable package – about the overall size of Colt Officer’s model. So to be clear, this gun may not be for everyone, but it is a far cry of an improvement from the standard Glock 30 from a concealment standpoint.

Some aftermarket suggestions for the G30S are in order. The standard Glock floorplates still pinch your little finger if you’re not careful so a quick fix is a small “O” ring or the Pearce floorplates. I would also hunt for a Glock factory 9-round magazine for concealment. Like mentioned earlier, a good holster is just plain mandatory with any carry pistol. Fortunately, most Glock 19 or 23 holsters will fit the G30S. There are a lot of them out there.

The G30S is an example of what happens when the industry listens to what the consumer wants. When it does, you will likely come out with a better product, and likely with a built in buyer base. I carry the G30S a majority of the time, and I feel well protected with 11 rounds of .45 ACP.

{ 42 comments… add one }
  • P. Miller March 8, 2018, 9:20 pm

    They should have added about a 3/4 of an inch to the length of the grip and made it so you can get all three fingers around the grip. Plus it would have added another round or two to the total.

  • Don April 7, 2016, 12:49 am

    My first Glock 17 was way over priced and over rated! Lots of hype and marketing! My personal favorite is my Ruger SR9 which out performs the Glock!

    • Jesse Bitgood August 25, 2016, 5:59 pm

      You wish!

  • Tommy August 18, 2014, 10:01 am

    I am new to the Glock scene as far as info., but I have a G30SF, are there any other Glock 30’s?

  • FresnoLedFist April 7, 2014, 10:24 pm

    Wait? I’m confused? So the LAPD gets this whole model into production, but Californians CANNOT BUY ONE? Only California Police? California is ridiculous. ..the politicians are selling illegal weapons, but wan’t to take the citizens weapons? Asinine corruption!!!
    It’s like voting to allow citizens to be spied upon, then complain when they spy on you!! Asinine.

  • James Robinson January 19, 2014, 3:32 am

    I have the Taurus PT 145 and it does the job. I installed the hi viz sights and this gun rocks. I am going with the pt 840C as by second carry gun. I own many auto’s and revolvers but the Taurus is one fine gun.

  • Justin Opinion November 1, 2013, 7:54 am

    Excellent review! If I come home with a G30s anytime soon, it is going to be your fault!

  • Mike F. October 8, 2013, 10:54 pm

    Awesome article Brian! Is that the smaller 9 round magazine with a special Pearce floorplate? I saw the 10 round Pearce floorplate/grip but they did not look like bad-ass one in the pics!

    Thanks, Mike F.

  • jatinder singh October 7, 2013, 5:17 pm

    I want to purchase The Glock 30S . Kindly tell me how?

    • Administrator October 7, 2013, 5:52 pm

      go back in time and be born in the us, in a red state

    • jw January 30, 2014, 1:57 am

      go to your local gun shop ? , unless you live commiefornia ?

    • Mike gonzalez August 6, 2016, 3:40 pm

      Go to gun store

  • middleJ October 7, 2013, 1:27 pm

    I’m sitting by the side waiting until they put out a Gen-4 version. The only gripe i’ve ever had on the Gen-3’s was the grip and that got fully sorted on the Gen-4, so it’s an excuse I can use to sweet-talk myself into waiting.

  • Rick Carta September 16, 2013, 9:03 am

    Sounds to me that all of this fuss can be eliminated by just buying a 1911. While I have a Glock 30 and a Glock 19, my favorite Glock is the Glock 32/40 in .357sig/.40 SW. It’s smaller, as thin or thinner and I have several 31 round magazines. When the thin .45 10 round Glock is empty I still have 21 rounds left of very hard hitting .357sig. Life is great.

    • Brian Jensen September 16, 2013, 12:02 pm

      The 1911 is a great platform. However, it is maintenance intensive, and parts often need to be fitted to replace them. Extractors need to be set for tension, and fine filing needs to be done for other parts. They also need constant maintenance/cleaning in Marine areas (I can speak with experience on this…) while the Glock platform needs far less. Finally, the 1911 needs far more attention to trigger finger discipline and training as the trigger pull is considerably lighter / shorter as well as uses a manual safety. The 1911 is a great platform (and one of my favorites) but when looking for a CCW/personal defense weapon, you want to look at it with objective eyes.

    • Brian Jensen September 16, 2013, 12:03 pm

      The 1911 is a great platform. However, it is maintenance intensive, and parts often need to be fitted to replace them. Extractors need to be set for tension, and fine filing needs to be done for other parts. They also need constant maintenance/cleaning in Marine areas (I can speak with experience on this…) while the Glock platform needs far less. Finally, the 1911 needs far more attention to trigger finger discipline and training as the trigger pull is considerably lighter / shorter as well as uses a manual safety. The 1911 is a great platform (and one of my favorites) but when looking for a CCW/personal defense weapon, you want to look at it with objective eyes.

  • John Marke September 13, 2013, 8:20 pm

    I own a Springfield XDS-45 as well as the Glock 30S. I alternated firing them on the range soon after I purchased the Glock 30S. I scored identical with both – I hit what I aimed at, with two-handed and one-handed shooting at 7 yards and then at 10 yards.

    Obviously the XDS wins hands down in concealed carry – as long as you use the 5 round magazines. And it works as a pocket pistol too. All bets are off, however, when you move up to the 7 round magazines.

    I fitted the Glock with a Clipdraw IWB. Yes, I know that is not the safest way to carry a Glock, which is why I also added a Kydex trigger sleeve that I can pull off after the draw. And let me tell you, this is one slick and safe way of carrying the G30S. The only drawback is re-holstering is a bit tricky.

    I would like to show a preference for one over the other, but each serves a special purpose for me. If I had to choose one, it would be the Glock.

    Sometimes I carry in an over the shoulder fanny pack – hey I’m over 60 and have a gimp leg courtesy of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children (USMC). So no wise cracks. But in my little “man pack” can carry a couple of G21 magazines and an extended round Kriss Vector magazines (what, 28 rounds or so for the Kriss) and I have more than adequate firepower. Add in a Viridian Universal subcompact Green Laser with tactical light (Zombie edition of the C5L-Z) and some 24X7 Big Dot sights and the Glock 30S becomes a truly versatile weapon.

    Great gun, lots of options, what else can I say?

  • Christopher September 11, 2013, 11:39 pm

    I love my Glock 26, may have to look into the G30S as I love the subcompacts.

    • Mark Bartholomew February 16, 2015, 10:29 am

      I have both the 26 and the 30s. It’s weird, when you pick them up separately the 30s seems smaller due the thin slide. I can’t tell much of a difference shooting them. The 30s is a little snappier but not much.

  • cslater September 6, 2013, 11:54 am

    You buy a Mdl 30s,then you buy a 45 threaded 30 barrel>send barrel to Lonewolf.
    50 buck ream job and you have a 460 rowland and you buy the comp and recoil spring and
    you have a mini that will blow away a 45 any day of the week.They believe the 30s will
    survive the 460 without the comp but well I guess if you only want it for defence then 1 or 2 shots won’t matter.
    still shorter and more cap then a 44mag,My gun of preference.

  • Steven September 4, 2013, 9:14 pm

    Back in the day we called this package a COLT LTW Commander w/ slim Kim Ahrends grips in 45acp and a Wilson Combat 8-shot mag…..

  • Glocker August 30, 2013, 5:26 pm

    The pistol GLOCK should build is a single stack 9mm. They have missed a lot of market share….

  • Mike Anderson August 29, 2013, 11:05 am

    Give the 185gr JHPs a look! The ballistics are way gooder than 230 ball. Recoil is substantially lighter. Follow up shots more accurate. I like the Federal silver box, but have used Remington and others. Also Fiocchi makes a 200 gr as do others, and it is also good. For around $20+ a box for 50 rounds you can practice, or use it for self defense.

  • James Raymond August 27, 2013, 8:01 pm

    I just purchased a 30 S and it shoots very well indeed, as to thickness however, I am not sold, concealability is not as good as a subcompact 1911, granted its 10 vs. 7 but for carrying, I’ll still take a Colt Officers model or my Detonics Combatmaster.

  • Phil August 27, 2013, 4:26 pm

    Make a gen4 and I’m on it like gum on a park bench!

  • Lt. D. Gallahue (ret) August 27, 2013, 3:25 pm

    Great article on the newest Glock..currently I instruct at a new indoor shooting range…we also stock a few firearms for retail sale…we have had a brand new 30-S for over 2 months and cannot give it away!…folks out here either don’t know enough about this model or are not Glock fans…(is there such a thing?)…and to make it worse, this particular Glock has the best (stock) trigger I have ever seen on a factory Glock!…I have owned and carried a Glock since 1989, and know a few things about them…this trigger is simply the best…don’t know if other 30’s are coming thru this way or if this one is a fluke, but it is a great gun that we cannot sell!
    So, if anyone out there is looking for a 30-S…call Mags Indoor Shooting Range, 505-338-2222 in Moriarty, New Mexico, and buy ours.

    • Rich December 10, 2013, 11:00 pm

      Still have that pistol? If so, how much you asking for it, and what does it come with?

  • DMT August 27, 2013, 2:50 pm

    Is the 30S available in California? Guys working the gun counter at Turners in Corona said it was not.

    • Brian Jensen August 27, 2013, 7:07 pm

      The G30S is not on the CA approved list. The only options are via PPT and single shot exemption. I would contact CA DOJ to find out the legalities of either, or look to for more info.

      • jw January 30, 2014, 1:54 am

        i would leave that commie dump state !!!!!

    • Mark Bartholomew February 16, 2015, 10:24 am

      Seems funny it’s not approved since the LAPD use it ???

  • LewT August 27, 2013, 2:37 pm

    Looks great, sounds tempting! Can’t wait to hold one, possibly fire, but I imagine I’ll stick with my .45 XDS… Can’t afford another pistol now, and I really like mine…

  • shrugger August 27, 2013, 1:29 pm

    Well now! I might finally buy a Glock.

  • Steve August 27, 2013, 11:33 am

    What is the MSRP?

    • Brian Jensen August 27, 2013, 1:55 pm

      MSRP will be the same as other Glock 30’s (standard and SF)- I’m not sure of the exact number but I believe it’s around $550 – $600 with standard sights.

  • Quinton August 27, 2013, 9:37 am

    How is the Glock 30S different from the Glock 30SF? I see that in comparison to the 30 it is somewhat smaller, but I got a 30SF back a few years ago and don’t see much difference…

    • Revolverdude August 27, 2013, 11:45 am

      It is all in the width of the slide.

    • Brian Jensen August 27, 2013, 12:26 pm

      The difference is in the slide. It will be 1/8 and inch or so thinner than you 30SF slide, which will make it 3 ounces lighter. The fame will be the same as your 30SF. I’ve had both, and find the G30S does carry better, but the G30SF is a little easier when it comes to recoil.

    • JRHerpin August 27, 2013, 12:55 pm

      The 30s is lighter and slightly more compact than the 30fs. I have a 21 sf and my new 30s wobbles and does not lock into my Serpa holster. It does slide easily and lock into my 19 Serpa. Its smaller but it still will lock my 21 mags. There is even a mag sleeve for 21 mags to extend the gripping surface and give the feel of a very slim 21. Love mine.

  • Kari August 27, 2013, 9:31 am

    Mine rocks out to 150 yds. No complaints. Feels better in my hands than my 21sf. Goes in my 19/34 holsters. And packs a fist full of lead. Love Glock.

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