Glock 30S Compact 45 ACP Semi-Automatic Pistol

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

April 14th, 2013


Click pictures for a larger version.



Glock 30S Compact 45 ACP pistol (knife by Arno Bernard -



Glock 30S comes with hard case, two magazines, magazine loader, cable lock, and instructions.





Slide lock (top), disassembly latch (bottom).





Ten-round magazines.











While to some of us who have been shooting pistols for a long time, Glock is a relative newcomer, they have been producing semi-automatic pistols for more than three decades now, and have endured for good reason. They work. While many auto pistol designs have come and gone over the past thirty years, the Glock has steadily gained in popularity. This is not in any way due to the Glock being a beautiful example of the gun maker’s art. There is no polished blued steel nor fine exotic grips for the aesthetic enjoyment of the owner. The Glock has taken its huge share of the market by producing pistols that function reliably, and are easy to shoot well. The Glock pistol is as reliable as any pistol can be, and the manual of arms is very easy to learn.

The latest variation of the Glock design is featured here: the 30S. To create the 30S, what Glock did was take their Model 30SF (Short Frame) and put a Model 36 slide on top. This is an oversimplification, but that is pretty much the result. The slide measures only one inch in thickness, which is about one-eighth of an inch thinner (.12 inch to be exact) than the slide on the Models 21 and 30. This does not seem like a lot, but on a carry gun, it makes a big difference. The 30S is also quite a bit lighter in weight than the Model 30, by over three ounces. Making the 30S resulted in a compact 45 ACP double-stack (like the Model 30) with a slide that is no wider than a Model 19, 23, or 36, and is much better for a concealed-carry gun than are the Models 30, 30SF, and 30 Gen4 pistols. In addition, I am glad that Glock used the SF style of frame, as it fits my hand much better, even though I wear an extra-large size glove. I really like the feel of this Model 30S pistol. It holds ten rounds in the magazine, for a total loaded capacity of eleven, in a package that is very close to the size of a Model 19 9mm. I like it. The magazines supplied with this 30S are the extended style, which gives purchase to the little finger, instead of leaving it hanging off the bottom. The 30S can also use Model 30 and Model 21 magazines. The 30S uses a captured multi-spring system, similar to the spring setup on the Gen4 pistols. The barrel is slightly slimmer than the Model 30 barrel, and the two will not interchange.

Critical specifications for the Glock 30S are listed in the chart below. The weights are listed in ounces, and linear measurements in inches. The grip and frame widths were measured at their widest points. The maximum width is measured across the magazine release. Trigger reach is measured to the center of the trigger. The height includes the sights and the magazine base. The trigger pull is listed as pounds of resistance. The weight includes the empty ten-round magazine.

Weight 22.9 oz.
Height 4.81"
Length 6.95"
Slide Width 1.00"
Maximum Grip Width 1.28"
Frame Width 1.16"
Maximum Width 1.26"
Trigger Pull 5.4 lbs.
Trigger Reach SA 2.86"
Barrel Length 3.8"
Magazine Capacity 10
Magazines Supplied 2
MSRP (as of April 14, 2013) $637 US

I tested for velocity with my chronograph set at ten feet from the muzzle, with an air temperature of eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of fifty-nine percent. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of approximately 541 feet above sea level. Velocities are listed in the chart below, and are listed in feet-per-second (fps). FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint. DPX and Tac-XP use a Barnes homogenous copper hollowpoint bullet. PB is Pow’RBall. LWSC is a cast lead semi-wadcutter bullet. HC is a hard-cast lead flat-nosed bullet. LRSP is Buffalo Bore Low-Recoil Standard pressure ammunition. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet weights are listed in grains.

Ammunition Bullet Weight Velocity
Buffalo Bore JHP +P 230 912
Buffalo Bore FMJ +P 230 941
Buffalo Bore Tac-XP +P 185 1075
Buffalo Bore HC +P 255 925
Buffalo Bore JHP +P 185 1073
Buffalo Bore LRSP FMJ 185 728
Buffalo Bore LRSP Tac-XP 160 902
Cor-Bon JHP +P 200 1032
Cor-Bon JHP +P 230 862
Cor-Bon DPX +P 185 1027
Cor-Bon PB +P 165 1138
Stryker FMJ 230 819
Atomic JHP +P 230 915
Atomic JHP +P 185 1049
Remington FMJ 230 799
Remington JHP 230 826
NPA Frangible 140 1136
Handload LWSC 200 970
WCC 1911 Ball FMJ 230 733

Accuracy was very good from the Glock 30S. I secured the pistol into my Ransom Master Series machine rest for accuracy testing at twenty-five yards, with the best groups shown in the photos. Accuracy varied from five-shot groups as small as just over one inch, to three and one-quarter inches, depending upon the ammunition used. As expected, the Glock 30S functioned perfectly with each load listed above. Every cartridge fed, fired, and ejected without fail. Recoil was a little quick with the heavier Plus P loads, but not painful at all. With each of the standard-pressure loads, recoil was mild. The sights on the 30S are the standard Glock rear white outline with a white dot front pattern, but Glock also offers tritium night sights, as do Trijicon and XS Sights as well. Night sights are a great aid to accurate shooting on a fighting pistol, and hopefully soon, Crimson Trace will have a Laserguard available to fit the 30S. I tried a Third Generation LG-469 Laserguard, hoping that it would fit the 30S, but it did not.

For carrying the 30S concealed, the Blue Ridge hybrid Kydex/leather holster shown here is very comfortable, and keeps the pistol pulled in high and tight against the body. The holster is well-crafted, primarily of Kydex, but the portion to which the aluminum belt loops attach are made of leather, providing the flexibility necessary for good comfort. The Blue Ridge holster fit the 30S perfectly. On the subject of holsters, some holsters that fit the Glock mid-size Models 17,19, 22, 23, etc. will fit the 30S, but not all of my mid-size Glock holsters would work.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) on the Glock 30S, as of the date of this review, is the same as the MSRP on the Models 30 and 30SF, which is $637 US. The Glock 30S is my favorite of the compact 45 ACP Glock pistols, and is, in my opinion, a great improvement over the Models 30 and 30SF pistols. Even though the changes are subtle, they make a big difference in the feel and carrying characteristics of the little 45 Glock. I highly recommend this pistol to those who want a compact, lightweight, reliable, and accurate 45 for concealed carry.

Check out the extensive line of Glock firearms and accessories online at

For the location of a Glock dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order Glock firearms online, go to

To order the Blue Ridge holster shown here, go to

To order quality ammunition online, go to,,, and

Jeff Quinn

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Blue Ridge hybrid holster.