Glock 30SF Review
The first time I heard of a Glock was in a movie. Tommy Lee Jones was touting the wonders of Glocks. He said they would shoot full of dirt, under water etc. He said they were indestructible and anything else was a “Nickel plated sissy pistol”. Not to make anyone feel old but I was in high school when that movie came out. I heard what Tommy said and I believed every bit of it. I was convinced that Glocks were the best gun ever invented. They were awesome. No other gun on the face of the planet could ever satisfy me like a Glock.
One day I went to a gun store with my grandpa. He was having some work done on an old shotgun and while he talked to the owner, I drooled over the Glocks. The owner walked over and asked if I wanted to hold any of them. I told him I wanted to hold one of the Glocks. I was so exited as he opened the glass and reached inside for one of the black beauties. He handed it to me and I slid my hand around the perfectly formed grip. Wait… did I say perfectly formed? This thing felt like trying to wrap my hand around a freakin 2x4! The gun itself felt like a horrible top heavy toy gun. How disappointing!
The old man behind the counter saw the look on my face and asked what was wrong and I replied that the grip was kind of big. He took the gun back and said he had just the thing. Out of the case came a beautiful chrome 1911 with pearl grips. This one slid right in my hand like it was made for it. Oh joy! I swear I heard angels singing or at least humming something catchy! Now THIS was a gun! It felt so good. I’m pretty sure that was the day I started growing hair on my chest. From that day on, Glocks had no hold over me.
When I got my concealed handgun license, the gun I bought to carry was a Kimber 1911. I loved the grip and all the safeties. I loved it right up until the point where I slipped it into my IWB holster and sat down in my car. I immediately knew I had a problem. The beaver tail was gouging me something fierce. 6 holsters later I gave up. This thing just wasn’t going to work for me.
A month ago I found myself 6 guns down the road and once again looking for that perfect piece. I went to the local gun range to try out a few different guns and maybe avoid buying yet another pistol that wouldn’t perform or carry the way I hoped.
After a few random selections I came across a Glock 30SF chambered in .45 ACP. I picked the pistol up and immediately noticed there had been some changes since I last held one. Either the Glock grips have gotten smaller or my hand has gotten bigger. It seemed to fit my hand far better than I remembered. The range employee who handed me the gun suggested that it may have something to do with the SF designation. The SF in Glock 30SF stands for Short Frame. Basically the grip has been re-contoured. The distance between the back strap and the trigger is shorter. It isn’t a huge difference but as I am sure you all have learned, in a concealed carry weapon, millimeters matter. I held a G21 .45 for comparison. Again, not a huge difference and it was hard to specifically point out what was different, the 30SF just felt better.
When I inserted the loaded magazine I immediately noticed, as is common for all guns but most noticeable in polymer handguns, that the balance of the gun was much improved. It has a nice heft to it for what that’s worth. It weighs in at 33.86 oz loaded, 23.99 oz unloaded. .45 ain’t the lightest round.
I brought the gun up to peer down the sights. It has a standard single white dot on the front but the rear sight features Glock’s U shaped “combat” sight. I tend to look at non standard sights like I look at people who approach me in parking lots asking for a loan for gas money. I haven’t been impressed by any company’s new and improved take on gun sights. Most recently, I shot a friends Taurus Millennium PT145 .45 pistol outfitted with Taurus’s “Straight 8” sights. Not a fan. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Needless to say I wasn’t exited to see Glock had their own spin on things. Nevertheless I lined up the sights for my shot. I was pleasantly surprised by the sights. They allowed for super fast sight indexing while not sacrificing the standard sight silhouette I grew up with. The jury was still out but it seemed like these sights might not be a problem. While I am on the subject of sights, I have heard some people complain that they don’t like the idea of Glock’s standard sights being plastic. I would offer that if you are not comfortable with plastic gun parts then perhaps a plastic gun is not really what you should be shooting. I can’t imagine complaining that my PLASTIC gun has PLASTIC parts. You don’t buy a Tupperware gun and then complain when the lid farts as it seals.
But I digress.
I aimed down the sights and pressed the trigger. The familiar cannon shot of .45 ACP erupted with it's characteristic rearward push that .45 owners are so familiar with. I noticed a few things immediately. First the recoil was significantly less than I had prepared for. I figured a compact, polymer .45 would kick like a 12 gauge, but this gun felt like a beefed up 9mm. Perhaps it was because I have been shooting a .357 magnum for the past 6 months and I am jaded or perhaps it is because of Glocks double recoil spring. Maybe both. Either way, I have no complaints in the recoil dept.
The next thing I noticed as I sent my first shots down range was the trigger. If you have never shot a Glock before then let me explain. First I have to disagree with this guns designation as double action only (DAO) by the ATF. I am not really sure how they came by that designation. In my opinion it is a single action trigger. When dry firing a DAO pistol the hammer or striker will strike every time you pull the trigger like a revolver. The Glock acts like a 1911. You pull the trigger and if there is no ammunition detonation to force the slide back, the striker will not strike again till you manually cock the gun. You only get one action not multiple thus the designation of single action.
Upon examination of the Glocks “safe action” trigger you will see the now famous “trigger dingus”. This gun is so cool its trigger has a trigger! Seriously though, I had been confused in the past as to how the “trigger dingus” was any sort of safety at all. Sure the gun wouldn’t go off till you pulled the trigger but how is that different from say a 1911? Generally speaking, modern handguns don’t go off till provoked. The concept behind the Glock safety is that its three safeties are disengaged like clock work, one after another when the trigger is pulled. The safeties are basically there to insure that nothing can cause the gun to go off unless something enters into the trigger guard and presses straight back. If you are accustomed to a 1911, this all seems woefully inadequate. Another safety feature that works in cooperation of the “trigger dingus” is the width of the trigger guard. It is far wider than any trigger guard I have seen. It makes it really hard to poke through, say, pants pockets and deactivate the trigger safety. I tried this with a triple checked empty pistol. Triple checked because I am paranoid and also I was breaking several gun safety rules when testing this. Breaking gun safety rules is always an excellent way to find yourself dead or walking funny for the rest of your life.
Glock safeties (or illusions of safety, i can hear the 1911 fans scream) aside, if you follow the gun safety rules and keep your nose picker out of the trigger guard you should be fine. Glocks, believe it or not, have an excellent safety record.
The reason this is such a issue is the character of the trigger. When you press the trigger you first depress the “trigger dingus”, and then you take up the very light slack in the trigger disengaging the second and third safeties. After that you come in contact with what I can only describe as a 1911-like trigger. It is firm and it breaks cleanly at what Glock says is 5.5 lbs though the gun magazines say it is usually slightly lighter. Once you get to this part of the trigger it travels about the same distance as a 1911 trigger. To reset the trigger (releasing the trigger until it “clicks” resetting the firing mechanism so you can fire it again) you only have to let the trigger out to the beginning of the firm part. This makes for very rapid follow up shots unlike in a true double action trigger where you have to release he trigger almost all the way out.
After I finished off my first magazine (10+1) I was pleasantly surprised. I had put a ragged hole in the center of the target. I had shot approximately a 3 inch group at 25ft. This is with a gun I had never fired before and a rental gun no less! I loaded another magazine and went at it again. Again a 3 inch group with the exception of one round that went 6 inches low. Pretty sure that one was my fault and not the guns. I felt myself anticipating the shot when the trigger broke. The next magazine I went a bit faster. At a pace of 1 round per second (not as fast as it sounds) I managed a 4 inch group at 25ft. I haven’t felt this good with a gun since I was carrying my Sig 2022 9mm. I have read that the new Nissan GTR super car can make an average driver drive like a pro due to all the electronic assists. That is how this gun makes me feel. The other guys at the range were giving me envious looks. A few of them came over to see what I was shooting. They all thought I was so awesome that they cheered and hoisted me on their shoulders singing for he is a jolly good fellow! The party continued in the parking lot where they had me signing Glock t-shirts and begging me to shoot apples off their children’s heads.
After my range session was over I went home to do some research. I found no complaints about the gun. My favorite gun guy, Massad Ayoob, said that when not testing a new gun, the Glock 30 is his personal carry gun. He said that its concelability paired with its shoot-ability and higher than average accuracy made it his personal choice. He said something about it being manufactured on a different machine, a different barrel, and the extra stiffness of the short slide combining to make the G30 one of Glocks most accurate. I read a lot of his books and I respect his opinions quite a bit.
I went to the gun shop a few days later and picked up my very own G30SF. This pistol conceals far easier than its size in hand would suggest. Glock did a good job of smoothing all the rough and angled surfaces. It not only makes it comfortable to carry but it has the additional bonus of being the best looking Glock. I have had several people comment that they hate the way Glocks look but like this one. Looks are at the bottom of my list when finding a good carry piece but I would be lying if I said I didn’t care at all. I am a gun nut. I like to look at them hold them and shoot them. Having a gun that is pleasing to look at is nice especially when it is a carry gun that I will be seeing and holding on a daily basis.
This is the part where I list any complaints. Well…
OK. This is stretching it a bit but the magazine is kind of hard to put in. I heard this goes away when it is broken in. I guess I will have to go to the range and shoot it a bunch. Dang. I have heard of some people having an issue with the magazine pinching their pinky finger when firing. I have not had this problem as my finger doesn’t land on the groove but it is something to consider if you hold one at a gun shop.
I also want to point out that the rusty looking stuff on the inside of the slide isn’t rust. It is some kind of copper lubricant that Glock uses at the factory. As for the Bersa .380, it was rusted like that when I got it. It is a rescued little mutt that I have been doing some work on.
The Glock came with 2 10 round magazines, a magazine loader, a bore brush, and a hard case. It also came with a half inch of pamphlets detailing all the unreasonable things I should do to avoid shooting myself or anything else with the gun. It also said that Glock doesn’t recommend carrying the gun with a round in the chamber unless you are law enforcement.
Yeah. Thanks Glock. If you are done covering your genitals with your tail, I gotta go shoot something.