By Mark Kakkuri, Gun Digest
Glock 30S: Defining a Subcompact
Glock currently offers four variants of this pistol: a standard Model 30 (the original), the 30SF (reduced frame circumference for an easier trigger reach), the 30S you see here (slimmer slide on an SF frame) and the Glock 30 Gen4.
Experiment mounting the holster inside the waistband between the 4 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions (for lefties try the area from 9 to 8 o’clock spots) in order to determine what works best for your comfort.
Gen4 Glocks feature a new grip texture, recoil spring assembly, enlarged and reversible magazine catch and adjustable backstrap. Practically speaking, all the 30s are the same gun, offering the 10+1 capacity of .45 Auto in a smaller but thicker to hold package.
Unloaded the 30S weighs 20.28 ounces. Loaded it jumps to 30.16 ounces. Hard data aside, the gun never really feels heavy in the hand nor in the holster. In fact, it is well balanced and, depending on the holster, relatively easy to carry for long periods of time.
The size and weight of the Glock 30S prevents you from carrying it in your pocket or in an ankle holster. Even though it is relatively small and lightweight, it’s not that small nor lightweight. Laws of physics and common sense all but demand that this gun be carried in an inside or outside the waistband holster.
Carrying Inside the Waistband
With most holsters, carrying inside the waistband maximizes concealability at the expense of some comfort. While this was mostly true for the Glock 30S, carrying it in an inside the waistband holster demonstrated the benefits of this pistol’s relatively light weight. While dimensionally smaller guns exist, few can boast being chambered in .45 Auto with a 10+1 capacity.
So, the main draw (pun intended) for the Glock 30S becomes a matter of being able to carry the maximum in concealable firepower. Consider: 10+1 in any caliber is a good number of rounds for concealed carry. 10+1 of .45 Auto is heavy duty, literally. With 230-grain self-defense rounds tucked in your belt, that’s 2,530 grains of hollow-point bullet at the ready.
Carrying the chunky Glock 30S inside the waistband in the Galco Scout holster, a relatively thick holster, resulted not in the feeling that you were trying to hide a small animal on your hip, but actually felt pretty good and carried well.
Outside the Waistband
If carrying the Glock 30S inside the waistband just won’t work, then carrying it outside the waistband is probably the next best means. While a little less concealable than inside the waistband, it’s definitely more comfortable.
A High Noon Slide Guard was on duty for this part of the review, excellently enveloping the Glock 30S in high-quality cowhide while securely attaching to my belt. As a new, custom-made, leather holster—every High Noon Slide Guard holster is—it exhibited some new, custom-made, leather holster tendencies, namely, a very tight fit for both gun and belt.
The High Noon Slide Guard seemed to conceal the Glock 30S best at 4 o’clock, just like the Galco Scout. With this outside-the-waistband holster in this position, my concern was less about concealing the stock and more about concealing the back of the slide, which stuck out the most. Cinching up my belt another notch helped, but in the end the best concealment again came from a loose, untucked T-shirt or unbuttoned casual shirt.
Shooting the Glock 30S
At the range, the Glock 30S proved to be the best kind of boring. Every round of the Winchester PDX-1 self defense ammo I was using fed, fired and ejected properly. So did the Remington and HPR .45 Auto I fed it. In fact, just to make things interesting, I loaded a magazine with two or three of each kind of round, staggered, to try to throw the 30S off and cause a hiccup. No problems.
Firing at a paper silhouette target right at 10 yards away and using the Glock’s standard sights, in no time a jagged hole about the size of a softball appeared. The vast majority of the rest of the rounds would travel through this opening.
The beefier build of the 30S contributed to a good grip during the range time and handled the recoil well, making this an exceptionally comfortable gun to shoot.
In one sense, the Glock 30S is big, pushing the limits of what could reasonably be considered “subcompact.” In another sense, the Glock 30S is a marvel: How else can you comfortably conceal a handgun with 10+1 rounds of .45 Auto? While smaller, lighter guns exist, they may be lacking the capacity or reputation of the Glock 30S.
In the end, the Glock 30S is not only a capable shooter with plenty of on-board capacity but also, in holsters such as the Galco Scout or High Noon Slide Guard, a decently comfortable carry.
Caliber: .45 Auto
Barrel: 3.78 in.
Sights: Fixed, standard
Slide: Tenifer coated steel
Length: 6.97 in.
Height: 4.8 in.
Weight: 20.28 oz (unloaded)