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Glock G30: One of the Most Powerful Subcompact Guns Ever?

Glock G30 Review
Image: Creative Commons.

Regardless of what kind of pistol you’re after, Glock likely has a solution. Long slide, standard, compact, and subcompact, the Austrian firearm manufacturer has an incredibly wide array of pistols on offer. And, some of their subcompact pistols stand apart from the competition. Don’t let their small size fool you, though — in some cases, they’re more potent than their standard-sized counterparts.

One Glock that is worth mentioning is Glock’s G30. This small, subcompact Glock is a reasonably lightweight option and tips the scales at just over 33 ounces with a loaded magazine. This relatively low weight point is partly achieved by Glock’s polymer frame, a lightweight but robust design that does not compromise strength to achieve a low weight point and has the added benefit of not corroding.

.45 ACP

Lightweight aside, one of the G30’s most remarkable features is the pistol cartridge it is chambered in. Small subcompact pistols typically opt for cartridges that are smaller and less powerful than full-sized pistols. As a result, options like the 9x19mm or even the smaller .380 are common chamberings. The G30, on the other hand, goes in the opposite direction: it is chambered in the full-sized .45 ACP cartridge.

The famous American gunsmith John Browning developed the .45 ACP and paired it with his iconic M1911 pistol, which was noted both then and now for its high stopping power. Needless to say, it packs a powerful punch.

Despite chambering the large .45 ACP, standard G30 magazines can hold 10 cartridges, with the option for larger capacity 13-round magazines or smaller 9-round magazines. The barrel length is 96 millimeters or 3.78 inches.

The G30 features a boldly checkered grip pattern and finger grooves that allow for a firm grip. The pistol also has finger grooves and a beaver-tail style backstop that provides for a high and tight grip — necessary when firing the powerful .45 ACP cartridge.

Like all Glocks, the G30 features the company’s Safe Action system, a patented three-point safety system consisting of a trigger safety, a firing pin safety, as well as a drop safety. More on the Safe Action system can be read here and is worth a read.

Pocket Canon? 

The Glock G30 may well be one of the more powerful subcompact pistols on the market today. The large .45 ACP cartridge combined with a large 10- or 15-round magazine puts an incredible amount of firepower into a shooter’s hand and is remarkable for a pistol of the G30’s size. No bones about it: the G30 packs a considerable punch and is a good option for a small — but powerful — subcompact pistol.


Caleb Larson is a multimedia journalist and Defense Writer. He lives in Berlin and covers the intersection of conflict, security, and technology, focusing on American foreign policy, European security, and German society.

Written By

Caleb Larson, a defense journalist based in Europe and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. He lives in Berlin and writes on U.S. and Russian foreign and defense policy, German politics and culture.

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