Concealed Carry Glock 36 .45 ACP Review

Sub-compacct big-bore is a concealed carry ace-in-the-hole!

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Who says a backup gun has to be a .380 or .25ACP semi-auto or a snub nose .38 Special revolver? It would be far more advantageous if your backup were the same caliber as your primary sidearm and better still if it were of the same design, just smaller. This is what the Glock 36 brings to the table, a compact .45ACP that perfectly complements the Glock 21 or 21SF. My G21SF has given me a rather unique perspective on the G36, which is a much smaller gun, yet packing 6 + 1 rounds of .45ACP. I have also carried a Smith & Wesson Model 25-2 and a Model 325PD .45ACP revolver. While my general preference for a carry gun is a revolver, my overriding inclination is for the stopping power of a CorBon JHP .45ACP or similar cartridge. The Glock 21SF was the first .45ACP to make me a convert. It is, however, a hefty piece to carry, even in the abridged “short frame” version.

Most people licensed to carry concealed lean toward smaller, more easily handled semi-autos and revolvers such as the ever popular Walther PPK/S .380ACP, the new Ruger LCP .380ACP, and the old standard .38 Special S&W M36, or my personal favorite, the M640 “Carry Comp” that was built by the S&W Custom Shop in 1993. Still, the advantages of both greater capacity and a more powerful cartridge have an irresistible allure and the G36 handily fills this niche.

Gun Details

The G36 is in a unique Glock category, the only model listed under “Sub-compact Slimline.” The Glock Slimline semi-autos cover the entire range of calibers from 9mm to .357 SIG. However, the G36 is noticeably different from the sub-compact G30 chambered in .45ACP. The G30 has a standard 10 + 1 capacity and measures 4.76 inches in height, 6.77 inches in length, 1.27 inches in width and weighs 23.99 ounces empty, with a 3.78-inch barrel length, and a sight radius of 5.95 inches. In comparison, the G36 “Slimline” uses a single stack magazine limited to 6 rounds, and employs Glock’s narrower secure-grip design reducing width to only 1.13 inches. The G36 tips the scale at just 20.11 ounces empty making it not only a narrower but lighter gun to carry. And let’s face it, lighter is better. Interestingly, the line of sight on the G36 is nearly 0.25 of an inch longer, yet height and length are identical to the G30. The difference in width is taken up by the G30’s staggered stack magazine. Thus, to get the smaller grip size and more easily concealed profile you sacrifice 4 rounds. That’s why you always carry a second magazine, which Glock supplies with the G36.

Like all Glocks, the G36 is a striker-fired DAO utilizing the Glock “Safe Action” design. When the slide is cycled, the firing pin is set in a half-cocked “safe” position, and isglock2.gif activated only by the trigger safety release toggle, which disengages the firing pin safety allowing the gun to fire. The safety being built integral with the trigger is especially good if you are in a situation where you are on the move or engaging multiple targets. As soon as your finger is off the trigger the gun is in a safe condition and a third safety interlock prevents the gun from discharging if it is dropped. While some have criticized the Glock’s trigger safety, as opposed to a manually set safety, it is a very deliberate design. The gun only fires if you pull the trigger. No other operation is required to take it from a safe to fire mode. It is also immediately obvious if the gun is cocked. The trigger remains in the rearmost position when not cocked and moves forward when the slide is cycled. It is also easy to see and feel if a round is chambered because the extractor projects out slightly from the slide when a cartridge is loaded. This is an important visual check, as the gun could be cocked and a round not chambered.

The Glock uses a composite frame combined with a metal slide and barrel, both with a durable Tenifer finish. The composite frame on our test model is the OD green version sold only in the US market. This was a standard equipped gun with polymer front and rear sights, the front with a wide post and dot-shaped white contrast insert, the rear with a fixed dovetail sight and clear contrast white inserts. This proved to be a superb combination under all but the lowest lighting conditions. Glock also offers optional steel sights, adjustable rear sights, and luminous night sights.

The optional OD green frame adds a military look to the G36 and a sharp contrast to the durable black Tenifer finished slide. Overall, for a very utilitarian sidearm, it’s a pretty sharp-looking gun.


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  • Milton Mann

    I will look into this piece. Thank you.
    I have carried a Glock17 while on duty as Peace Officer. Fired it often in practice and have found the 17 very reliable. (I am retired)

  • conrad carter

    The author’s observations are on the money. The two 36′s I had possessed extreme accuracy. At 15 yards I was getting one hole groups. Nice choice. No negatives from me.

  • Col TR

    I am a died in the wool 1911 guy, going back to my issye sidearm in 1975. I have always backed that up with a “J” frame and most likely still will. However, in the increasing atmosphere where We operate and the fact i usually have a second commander 1911 tucked away, I had to reconsider this little powerhouse. I’ve added a 1 round extention to bring me back to the minimum 1911 round count. I can see summers may be just a bit more comfortable with the M36 and my faithful “J” frame buddy.

  • http://Tactical-life.com Mark McNabney

    You left out the belly band holster system! I know you can’t get to it as quick BUT Ive carried my 36 during undercover operations this way and it’s nice to know my .45 is close at hand! On hot summer days you can use it with a tucked in t-shirt and shorts. I have entered concerts & sporting events and my 36 went undetected during security searches! (I like to test those un-trained people at times) Off duty officers ALWAYS carry because some idiot can get his firearm in too!

  • Greg Raines

    Ive carried a Glock 36 for the last 2 years-It’s light weight and small size makes it very comfortable to carry- to the point of forgeting it’s there. I think it is the ultimate concealed carry weapon. I have shot compitition with my custom 1911 for several years- but my G36 shoots just about as good right out of the box- Typiclly a 6 shot 2″ group @ 20 yds with UMC 230′s. Plenty good enough to get the job done.

  • Steven Brown

    Blackhawk also makes an IWB holster that will work very well for the G36. Don Hume also makes very good leather products for the Glock. My duty weapon is a 19C but off duty is a G36.

  • MANDELL MATHESON

    I own a Glock 36 but haven’t carried it much because I prefer the M-19 in 9mm w
    that I’ve carried for nearly 10 years. Because my hands are a bit small I just can’t get a good grip on the .45 caliber Glock M-30, even though I love the extra rounds and bigger bullet. It does weigh nearly 4 ounces more than the Model 36, but that shouldn’t be a deterrent to carrying it. For holsters, all of my Glocks (6) are carried very confortably in Blade-Tech kydex holsters, all but one is IWB.

  • C Fuss

    I’m a 1911 fan and have shot them for over 40 years. I rented a Glock 36 that has never been cleaned since new and now has 7000+ rounds , to compare it to my new Colt Combat Commander. The best grip on a glock for me yet. I found that the more I shot the Glock the better I liked it. To me less felt recoil, as accurate to 15 yards, both under 2″ groups. Lighter than the Colt to carry. It’s a tool and will get the job done as well or even.. “ouch” perhaps better than my 1911. Whats not to like I think I will have to get a new kind of horse to share the stable with my Colts. Sacrlige I know but I’m very impressed with the Glock 36.

  • http://www.Vranasecurities.com Mike Vrana

    Love this gun i own several glocks and in my line of work can find parts anywhere in the world.

  • Barak Obama

    I love these guns.

    PP9939927726663552———0

  • http://bestinfraredsaunas.org Far Infrared Saunas

    I own a G21 G31 G20 G23 & G36 and what can I say… I am definitely a Glock fan and a huge fanatic when it comes to Glock perfection. Yes there are many who have gone on to make their own versions of polymer pistols now and they all seem to copy the same designs. Even springfields hot new XD lines and XDm’s that have come out have the integrated safety on their version of triggers. Although… it’s just not really the same. I completely hated the XD line because of that stupid 1911 grip safety. To me it’s completely redundant and totally unnecessary. Why in the world it’s even on the XD design is beyond me. The only thing I could think of is springfields attempt at marketing to 1911 fans for a familiar ‘feel’; but IMO it’s redundantly stupid and interferes with the operation of the weapon system. A grip safety on the front strap makes more sense to me then having to grip your weapon firmly. The only safety that is ever been needed is Glock’s patented trigger safety systems that leave the operator with no muscle memory of wiping safety levers or some other function that must be practiced and repeated for competent and tactical preparedness. A glock is just like a wheel gun in which you point, and pull the trigger. Done deal. The G36 fits my hand better then all the other models. I guess it just doesn’t get any better then the 36 for me. It’s the perfect conceal carry solution for any situation. It goes with me everywhere. I’ve never left it ever since I’ve gotten it. Just like my wallet and phone, or keys… the G36 is always with me whenever I leave the house! There is no weapon system in existence that meets the perfection that the G36 has. It is absolutely the best solution to anyone’s Conceal Carry needs. There literally is nothing better. Just trust me on this, because I’ve tried, fired, and handled them all. The G36 is the worlds best for conceal carry solutions!

  • Richard

    I’ve heard allot about this (glock – 36).
    I don’t know if it would be a good
    gun for concealment?
    If anyone knows about the rite (holster)-(p36) combo that is for concealment it would help me
    out allot. (before)->I go out and purchase any
    ole’ gun and holster for concealment.

  • Patrick Armstrong

    I feel like I looked at and shot every pistol made in my search for a concealed carry. My parameters were light weight, power, and low profile. The 36 has all three in spades.

  • gunslinger

    I love my G36,it’s never missed a beat on me and it’s deadly accurate. I carry it in a Custom Belt Speed Scabbard made by Ritchie Leather Co. With a matching mag.pouch on the other side.It’s the best system I’ve ever carried, bar none.”He pulled first, I shot him.”-Raylen Givens-Justified.

  • jozsef

    i have always loved glocks carried a G22 .40 on duty the company i work for switched to H&K P30 but i still want a G36 for concealment the only thing is i cant find a long line of concealable holsters can someone direct me please.

  • DOM PEPE

    i need an inside belt hoster for a glock M#36 45 ACP PLEASE REPLAY ASAP

  • Jerrell Strawn

    Excellent CC weapon; rides nicely in ankle glove holster; I literally forget it is there. Accurate as hell; round impacts exactly where I aim it.

  • Neil Tarasoff

    I have been researching various Manufacturers for my next weapon, .45 ACP, and after reading about 100-200 comments/reviews in various places, I have decided that the Glock 36 is my next purchase.?
    I carry various calibers for different weather/temperature conditions.
    I will of course shoot it before I buy it to make sure it feels right in my hand.

    Has anyone ever had one Ported at MagnaPort. They did a GREAT job on my Ruger SP-101, 2 1/4 inch barrel,.357 mag!