G36 .45 ACP Subcompact GLOCK

Glock 36 45 ACP

Not the most attractive pistol, the Glock 36 was fairly good, we thought, as a fighting tool. Repeat shots were quick, but it took big hands to grip this one, and some of our shooters had major problems with grip comfort. We had a safety problem that all Glock owners need to understand. See the text for details.

glock 36

The Glock features the archetypical polymer frame and safe-action trigger of the Glock series. This pistol is unique to Glock in that it features a single-column magazine holding six rounds. For those with smaller hand sizes, the Glock 36 is superior to the Glock 30, a double-column-magazine pistol that is otherwise similar. Although the six-round magazine of the 36 is smaller than the Glock 30, it is not as flat and slim as the 1911 six-round magazine. It is downright thick and requires a magazine carrier of some substance to carry the spare magazine. Trigger action of the 36 is typical Glock, 5.5 pounds to break with the usual rapid reset. The sights are the typical Glock plastic sights.

rock your glock slide cover

Rock Your Glock offers personalized slide covers for the Glock 36.

In test-firing the Glock, there was nothing unexpected. The owner took the pistol out of the box and it came up firing, never failing to feed, chamber, fire, or eject with any modern hollowpoint. There is a prohibition against using lead bullets in the Glock due to the polygonal rifling. There is simply no room for lead to build up as is the case with conventional lands and grooves construction. On the other hand, polygonal rifling often produces more velocity with a given round than a conventionally rifled barrel of similar length. The Glock produced more velocity by a margin than the other pistols tested, partly because of the longer barrel and probably somewhat due to the rifling used. The prohibition against lead limits versatility, but it is what it is.

A caution concerning the Glock is that the chamber of the Glock is largely unsupported. This means that +P loads should be used sparingly, and handloads with well-worked brass are not a wise idea. We are not likely to use +Ps in such light handguns. Just the same, case expansion was normal with the Glock and the Cor-Bon +P loads used.

Much of the appeal of the Glock is subjective. The pistol is modern, light, and reliable. It is simple to use. There is no manual safety. In firing, hand fit was not as great a concern as with the double-column magazine Glock pistols. Most raters found the pistol fit their hands well. The bore axis is relatively lower than with other types of Glock pistols. Felt recoil was another advantage. While control was not the greatest demonstrated, due to the grip design, as far as comfort this pistol was rated the most comfortable to fire. Felt recoil was subjectively less than even the much heavier Micro. Part of the reason is that the polymer frame gives a bit in recoil. You have to maintain a good grip to prevent short cycles, but just the same, we did not experience a short cycle at all with the Glock.

The only disconcerting results reported by shooters was the typical tingle in the trigger finger caused by feedback when the Glock is fired. Glock shooters ignore this feedback during recoil. Trigger reset was rapid with reset rivaling or equaling the rapid reset of the 1911 pistols. Overall, here is a defensive pistol with little lacking. The only criticism of the type is that there is no positive manual safety. Those who prefer this action type will not be dissuaded. The sights are middle of the road, good for combat shooting but far from ideal for accuracy. As for accuracy, the pistol gave good combat groups, but pinpoint accuracy was not in the cards. Still, the results are an acceptable standard for a compact pistol.

Our Team Said: The takedown and maintenance procedure of the Glock is by far the easiest to handle. The pistol breaks down in seconds, and it is not difficult to clean and reassemble the pistol. We carried the Glock concealed in a Don Hume IWB for a week or so, and while the holster is a good choice, the Glock was noticeably blockier than either of the 1911 handguns. The Glock represents the modern polymer frame-pistol well, but we believe that there are better choices in the marketplace.

guns tests

Originally Published In July 2011.


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