Glock 36

Monday I picked up a Glock 36.  And after spending some time with it, I have some mixed feelings.

The gun it’s self is great.  A tight little compact .45 that is both accurate and reliable, with several spare mags and a Galco holster.  A good package.  It has tritium night sights too, which to me is a requirement for a defensive pistol.  There is nothing wrong with the gun.

I dig the fact that I’ve got a .45 I can trust to carry again.  And I do.  It actually shoots very well.  And it’s light weight.  I don’t even know it’s there, if you know what I mean.  It just disappears.  In all seriousness, it packs all day long as well as a S&W Bodyguard .380.

But I’m just not sure if I like it.

The grip is very narrow and un-glock-like.  Yet the finger grooves are very Glockish in that they line up in exactly the wrong places for me and I can’t really get a good comfortable grip on it… because it feels like I’m grabbing those peaks and nothing else.   This is an easy remedy with a few minutes of Grinder Time.  And I’ve illustrated clearly in my Glock History that I am not afraid to do that.  And perhaps I will.  But for the sake of Review, I’m keeping it stock.  Perhaps that’s not fare to me or the Glock.  Maybe I should put in some effort and make it as good as it can be and then review that.   I’m considering it.  The grip is almost too narrow for me.  It feels as if I can’t get a good grasp on it, but that could go back to those finger grooves.  I’m not sure.

Here’s the thing though, I like this Glock 36 more than I like the XDS.  The S is a fine pistol.  Springfield really did hit a home run in it.  They shoot very well, and while snappy, they are controllable and not unpleasant to shoot.  We had a range day with an S and no one had a single malfunction with the little guy all day long.  That’s quite an achievement for a little .45.  But the Glock 36 had unlocked that achievement years and years ago.  It’s the S before the S was cool.  And I like the fact that it has a real front sight post on it and not a Fiber Optic sliver.   I really hate those things.  They just don’t hold up over time.  I have people coming in weekly asking about how to fix the fiber tube in their front sight post.   This is something we should never ever have to even think about.  It’s not an item of maintenance   It’s not something that we should be worried about.  I find a Fiber Optic front sight on a Defensive Handgun to be completely unacceptable.  Target pistols, fine.  But on a Defensive gun?  That’s a No-Go right there.  And in ARMY terms, that’s a FAIL.  Don’t pass go, you get to start over.  But that’s another topic.  I like the fact that Glock has the most solid reputation for reliability.  You don’t have to question it.  It’s there.  It says so right on the slide.  “Glock”.  There are only a few other gun makers that I trust based on that name.  SIG, HK, and Beretta.  That’s pretty much it for me.  Other guns I have to spend time with to get to know.  Then once reliability is proven, I can trust them.

In a recent article I wrote, I said that I was done packing mouse guns.  No more tiny guns for me.  Tiny guns in tiny calibers do not fulfill the mission for which we are bothering to carry for in the first place.  This Glock 36, while not tiny, is certainly small.  The smallest gun I have in my carry rotation now.  I find I am very comfortable with a .45 Auto back in the line up.  My Springfield GI really isn’t in the rotation anymore, and more of a special occasion gun for me.  Or when I am feeling overly nostalgic or historical.   But being a full 5 inch Government Model, it makes OWB all day carry just a little less “easy”.  A smaller .45 is a good thing, if done right.  And the 36 is indeed done right.  In a discussion with a Gun Counter Co-Worker, we were talking about calibers and how law enforcement had evolved their carry rounds and has found a sweet spot in the .40 caliber.  He says, and really, this is brilliant, that the .45 Auto never had to evolve.  Much like the Great White, it was perfect for it’s function as it was created so it didn’t need to evolve.   That was good – deserved a fist bump for that.  But we can talk about the 10mm another time.

Velocity is a good thing.  And a big fat heavy .45 slug out of a short tube is even slower than normal.  So I elected to forgo my normal PDX1 / SXT load options and try something new.   Hornady’s new Critical Defense in the 185 grain load.  I used to be a big fan of 200 grain loads, and still am, but you can just never find them anymore.  All the new stuff in .45 Auto is 230’s.  So I was pleased to see a 185 grain option in a modern load.   I’ll report more on these rounds in the future.  But they are going where I want them to go and feed and cycle perfectly, which is the main requirement.  See, I like the lighter bullets in the shorter guns because they give as much speed as you can get.  Reliable expansion of any hollow point is a function of fluid dynamics thanks to velocity.  You don’t have the velocity, you don’t have the fluid pressure that expands the cavity to allow for the bullet to mushroom.  I don’t think this is going to be a problem with the 185 Critical Defense loads.

18 thoughts on “Glock 36”

  1. I was looking at a 30, came Damn close to getting it.
    It came down to the grip.
    It was like someone sent glock a mold of my hand… and they did their best to make something that wouldn’t work.
    If I could have one with in the handgun industry, glock redesigning everything about their grips would be high on the list.
    I want to check out one of these.


  2. I owned a Glock 36 for about a year to be my subcompact .45 for EDC, it was great for the role it filled, but I eventually traded it in for a Glock 30. My biggest issue with the 36 was the availability and cost of magazines, which was a huge consideration I had to make after a while. Being a college student with extreme budget shortfalls for firearms, it was a pain to have to look harder for 36 magazines among all the other factory types made. It’s easier to find magazines for the double-stack subcompact Glock 30, along with being able to use the Glock 21 magazines, both Standard and High Capacity. I do not really miss the slim 36 grip because I had to use aftermarket grips just to make the grip wide enough to be comfortable, the Glock 30 has a comfortable grip without it needing to be modified. I would continue to suggest the Glock 36 to people who are interested in it, but in the end, I prefer the multiple magazine capacity options.

  3. I have never been a fan of the Glock ergonomics. Technically, they are a superior design but they have always managed to feel awkward to me when I handle or shoot one. That said I got the opportunity to handle a model 38 and it actually felt like something I might take a chance on. If the 39 is close to that in terms of how it feels it might be the ideal compact .45 for me even though it is the GAP version. They seem to give up nothing to the ACP in the lighter bullet weights .

  4. I spent most of my Gun shop time with the G 36 and the XDS. I could not decide between the two. I was bothered by the limited availability, ie specialized nature of the mags, also was told the wait for the 7 round XDS mag was about 3 months. No place had both to compare side by side, and while I looked at the G 30 that shop did not have the SF which I require in larger caliber Glocks. Hope you do a full review, as this is on my short list for carry guns if I move back to town.

  5. Took my first CCW practical test with a G36. Got a nice blood blister from the gap between the mag and grip.

    Solid little gun, though.

  6. Have you heard about the Liberty Halo-Point ammo? A friend of mine had mentioned it to me about a month ago, and though I have not tried it, seemed like it might actually be worth a shot. I was tempted, but the downside would be the $30 for 20 rounds pricetag. I haven’t really paid that much for any defensive pistol ammo since I bought some Glasers a few years back…

    Anyways, here’s what the website says

    Liberty Ammunition products Liberty Halo-Point Civil Defense ammunition is a high velocity, extremely accurate load designed for self-defense. The 78 Grain Lead-Free Fragmenting Hollow Point bullet travels at 1900 feet per second, resulting in 12 inches of ballistic gel penetration and a permanent wound cavity greater than 5 inches in diameter. When tested through denim cloth into ballistic gel, this load penetrated almost 8 inches deep and produced a wound cavity 6 inches in diameter. This lightweight, high velocity round yields less felt recoil and has an effective range of 25 meters. This ammunition is new production, non-corrosive, and requires no weapons modifications.

    Technical Information
    Caliber: 45 ACP +P
    Bullet Weight: 78 Grains
    Bullet Style: Fragmenting Hollow Point Lead-Free
    Case Type: Nickel Plated Brass

    Ballistics Information:
    Muzzle Velocity: 1900 fps
    Muzzle Energy: 625 ft. lbs.

    1. If denim cuts the penetration by one third, I would hate to see what typical Alaska winter wear would do to it. Heavy cordura coat, and a couple of inner layers. I would not want to try it, but I would not carry that round.

  7. I carried a 36 for a while. Definitely one to grind on as they put all the ‘features’ in the wrong places. My ultimate headache with it was that it was too thick and bulky for the limited number of rounds it carries. It is basically Glock 19 size after all. Given the availability of Winchester Ranger SXT ammo (if you are cunning in finding it) I switched to the 19 and never looked back. I must admit however, given all the ammo shortages and what not, it would be nice to have a Glock in .45 just in case.

  8. I have sold only two guns that I sorely regretted. A glock 36 and a 1911 colt.
    I bought another glock 36. Now I have to decide on what 1911 to buy.

  9. I don’t doubt that it shoots well and is reliable, but it doesn’t appeal to me as a carry gun. It seems to big for pocket carry and if you’re going to carry IWB/OWB you might as well carry a higher capacity gun.

  10. Thanks for the review. Insightfull and Helpfull.
    I liked the feel of it on my hand, but the lack of capacity is bothering me. Big slugs, but only 6+1.
    9+1 40sw or 10 9×19 or even better 10+1 of the venerable 10mm…
    I think i’ll be looking at another G29 or a G26… if my wife doesn’t take my G29 for hers to carry.


  11. George, Didn’t you have a SIG 1911 RCS? How did that compare? Geoff Who is still working on concealing more potent defense than a pocket pistol.

  12. I have a Glock 30S and a Glock 36. I have a nine round magazine for the 30S which I really like for CC and I wish they made a 5 round FLUSH FIT magazine for the 36. Yes, you lose one round but with a normal mag as a spare and 5+1 you’d have 12 rounds of .45 and I’m comfortable with that.

    The 36 seems to be the Glock red-headed step-child and finding after market parts and/or modifications are few and far between. IF Glock or anyone would make a 5 round flush fit mag for my 36 I’d buy it. I’ve read about a couple of people that have modified their G36 6 rd mag to a 5 rd mag but I would love to have a production 5 round mag.
    Bob L.

  13. I have owned the Glock 36 for years, and carried it exclusively. I would recommend to anyone interested in trying one out, make sure it has the mag extension Installed. The one Glock makes for it. I was very displeased with the 36 when I first started shooting it until I made this change. 100% improvement in the way it feels in your hand and how it handles recoil. From that point on I was sold on it, so much so that I have just bought my second one.

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