The Glock 30 SF is compact, fast, accurate, and can stay out of sight until you need it!
For professionals, the handgun “must-have” list begins with accuracy, power, and speed. Add concealed-carry friendly and superb handling, and you’re ready for duty with the new Glock 30 SF in .45 caliber. The “SF” stands for “Short Frame.” The pistol expands the short-frame horizon created by the fantastically successful Model 21 SF Glock.
The Glock 30 SF brings on all the accuracy and power of the Model 21 SF, but in a more compact, highly concealable, faster-handling .45. It just might become the favorite .45 of them all.
The late Jeff Cooper (Lt. Col., USMC, Ret.), put the qualities of accuracy, power, and speed into more colorful language. He preferred the Latin designations of Diligentia, Vis, and Celeritas, resulting in the abbreviation DVC. This abbreviation was adopted by practical shooters worldwide, with large helpings of DVC becoming essential for “serious social encounter” firearms.
How does the new Glock 30 SF shape up in DVC and other desirable qualities? Let’s look.
Glock pistols are accurate, that’s a fact that is no longer doubted by anyone. One famous U.S. Federal agency a few years back pronounced a Glock as “The most accurate production pistol yet tested.” When Massad Ayoob—instructor, self-defense expert, and law enforcement officer—acquired his test sample Glock 30, he found that it could put multiple rounds of powerful self-defense ammunition almost into a single hole at distance. Accuracy this good can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars of work by custom gunsmiths. With Glock, you get it right out of the box.
Almost every self-defense expert will advise the student of defense to purchase the most powerful weapon they can handle, decide upon a suitable ammunition load, and then train to be proficient and maintain that proficiency over time. The .45 Auto cartridge is an icon of a cartridge for self-defense. There are more powerful handgun cartridges, but few have the balanced qualities of power and controllability.
Why is this a concern? Two reasons: 1.) More than one pistol projectile will probably be needed to “solve the problem.” 2.) Odds are high that there will be more than one assailant and multiple-controlled shots will be needed. Another pleasing quality of the Glock 30 SF is that it will accept higher capacity Glock 21 magazines–more power is available.
Cooper opined that these essential qualities of DVC should be equal. That is, not one would take precedence over the others. The new Glock 30 SF easily delivers accurate power, quickly. The same design strategy that was employed in the Glock 21 SF has been utilized in the Glock 30 SF. Some felt the original 30 to be a bit bulky; using the SF design settled that for all. And, with its shorter barrel and slide, the Glock 30 SF handles quicker and is perceived by many to draw and cycle faster. Indeed, one could argue that this one Glock could see open, uniform duty as well as “off duty” use, much as the NYPD does with its Glocks.
Special Qualities of the Glock 30 SF
First, with the “SF” designation, the Glock 30 receiver has been re-engineered to provide a smaller diameter grip. This resulted in a trigger reach that is both different and better for many. As reported in a previous Glock Annual announcing the Glock 21 SF, it is only a few millimeters but really has to be felt to be believed and subsequently appreciated.
This current iteration does not have the ambidextrous magazine catch of the original SF, so older magazines will lock into the receiver. And, as mentioned above, Glock 21 magazines will also fit into the magazine well. While extending slightly below the receiver, full-capacity Glock 21 magazines offer three more rounds of .45 Auto power (total: 13). Issue Glock 30 magazines have a 10-round capacity. There has been produced a 9-round magazine for maximum compactness.
The Case for Compactness
Speaking of compactness, the Glock 30 SF offers almost exactly the same size envelope as the older model. Albeit it’s with a more compact, comfortable, and controllable grip. This compactness is a good thing in many ways. It is easier to conceal; your correspondent has an Alessi Ankle Holster that fits and that he wears on occasion. LE officers have also used a 30 attached to their protective vests as a “backup” weapon – it’s that compact. And in many states across America, “shall issue” laws have been passed in regard to licenses/permits to carry concealed. The “Three-Zero” could be America’s concealed pistol. Small yet powerful, an American cartridge in a Glock built for America.
The shorter slide and barrel, as we’ve seen in test-fire results, have no deleterious effect on intrinsic accuracy. And, while recoil sensation is somewhat subjective, the shorter cycle event leads one to perceive less recoil. The physics hasn’t changed, but the perception is definitely there. We were able to fire multiple rounds with great rapidity, and accurately.
Make the Glock 30 SF Your Own
Another quality, introduced earlier, is the Glock Accessory Rail, where white light, or light and laser combination devices may be easily and quickly mounted and dismounted. Your correspondent is quite partial to the Glock Tactical Light. It fits perfectly on the Glock 30 SF and is a great aid in identification and targeting. Other accessories have been developed for this Glock, and research and development continue.
Traditional Glock qualities carry on in this new model. You’ll experience reliability, light weight, comfort, an anti-corrosive Tenifer finish on major metal components hardness and rust resistance, and the Safe Action System for safe, sure, fast, and accurate fire control.
On the Range
There was only a short shooting session, but it was one of high quality. High-speed practical shooting utilizing “nonstandard responses” (NSRs) of multiple rounds launched was the order of the day. We experienced no malfunctions or stoppages using factory ammunition from CCI, Remington, and Winchester. From light frangible projectiles (Remington “Disintegrator”) to heavy-duty JHP (Winchester “Ranger”), the Glock 30 SF consumed them all with no problem.
Single-handed shooting with both the primary and support hand was done with the same perfect functioning by the SF. The low-light shooting was with a GTL in hand-held mode for tactical practice and fast response. Shooting from a “position of disadvantage” (seated, support hand only) simulating an attack while in a vehicle and unable to use the primary hand support, was also performed. Again, no problems.
The only addition I would install on our test Glock would be night sights for day/night all-weather usage. This is a Glock to keep and carry!