The Glock 36 has been around for quite awhile. Why is Concealed Carry Magazine doing a review of a pistol that has been available since the spring of 2000? Because the Glock 36 is one of the most concealable .45 caliber pistols available. This little black beauty can be hidden practically anywhere.
Mechanical Specifics: The mechanical specifics of the Glock 36 are outlined in the table below. If you like numbers and measurements, then this table is for you. If you are more of a touch and feel person, then you’ll like the story of my trip to the gun shop to buy my Glock 36.
I love to go to the gun shop. My gun shop of choice stocks practically every Glock available. I usually do a lot of research before I buy anything. Buying pistols is no exception. My main goal today was to compare the difference in feel between the Glock 30 and Glock 36. As my table outlines below, the 36 has a single-stack magazine that carries 6 rounds. One more in the chamber gives a total of 7. The 30 has a double stack magazine which holds 10 rounds with the additional one in the chamber for a total of 11 rounds of .45 ACP. My gut feeling was that the 10 +1 round Glock 30 would be the winner.
I am 6’4", weigh 225 lbs and have pretty big hands. As I stood by the display case and handled each of the two pistols, I couldn’t believe the difference in how they felt in my hand. The Glock 30 felt like I was grabbing a 2×4 piece of lumber, while the 36 fit my hand comfortably. After about 10 minutes of handling and dry fires, the choice was clear. The Glock 36 was the pistol for me. How did I justify the four fewer rounds? The 36 was that much more comfortable. Besides, 7 rounds of .45 ACP ought to get the job done.
Conceal-ability: I’ve never seen a concealed carry holster that I wasn’t willing to buy and try. You could say that I am searching for the elusive "perfect" carry holster. If you have decided to make the .45 ACP your carry caliber then you are most likely thinking you will be sacrificing some level of comfort or convenience. Not so with the Glock 36. The area of conceal-ability is where the Glock 36 really shines. My three favorite carry holsters for my 36 are; 1.) Thunderwear holster 2.) Galco leather ankle holster and 3.) Galco USA-1 holster. The Glock 36 works well with each of these very different carry methods. With all three holsters, comfort level is extremely high thanks to the 36’s ultra-slim profile and minimal dimensions. I will go into the specifics of each of these holsters in future issues. Suffice it to say that having a .45 ACP close at hand is very comforting. With the Glock 36, it can be comfortable as well.
Reliability: I think the Glock pistol is the most reliable pistol ever designed and manufactured. The Glock 36 holds true to this level of reliability. I’ve fired over 1000 rounds through my 36, both rapid fire and slow fire. I’ve never had a failure to feed, failure to fire, or failure to extract. The pistol just works. After a week or two of carrying, a good amount of clothes lint & dust will build up around the trigger mechanism and the frame-slide interface. Nevertheless, every time I have taken the gun to the range, it has fired flawlessly. You should be willing to bet your life on the reliability of the pistol you decide to carry. I trust mine with my Glock 36.
Maintenance: The Glock 36 is fantastically simple to field strip and clean. Please see the following sequence of photos to completely understand this process. Remove magazine & rack slide to clear chambered round. Re-check that pistol is unloaded. Point pistol in a safe direction and dry-fire. Pull slide back approximately .125" inches until the slide groove lines up with the…. Using your left thumb and middle finger, pull down on the little slide release tabs at the same time. When both of these tabs are fully pulled down, use your other hand to pull the slide off the frame.
Aesthetics: Some people think Glocks are ugly. I think Glocks are beautiful. The Glock pistol is an exercise in function over form. The first few handguns I ever purchased were either stainless or nickel plated. I think I was going for that Pulp Fiction/Terminator look. Now, if you are someone who really dislikes black or blued guns, well you might have a hard time with Glocks. Me? I think a Glock looks mean and efficient.
Specifically, the slide of the Glock 36 looks like every other one of its siblings. The racking serrations on the rear of the slide are more than adequate and not too sharp. The stock sights of the pistol leave a bit to be desired. I would recommend an aftermarket product like the MeProlight night sights. Not only do these sights work in the dark, but they are much more durable.
The frame/grip portion of the Glock 36 is really a fantastic piece of mechanical design. Like all other Glocks, the molded-in checkering on the grip is adequate. Some people would argue otherwise, but it seems fine to me. The highlight of the frame is the upper grip contour that is on both sides near the top of the grip. This contour provides the perfect place to rest your thumb and forefinger. Your thumb naturally falls into this contour on the left side of the gun. This same contour on the opposite (right) side of the grip is the perfect place to rest your trigger finger while in the ready (finger off trigger) state.
If you like Glocks, you’ll love the 36 and if you don’t like Glocks, well maybe you should buy a nice 1911!
Negatives: There is no such thing as a perfect gun. The Glock 36 has one little problem that will frustrate some yet go unnoticed by others. I’ll call it the pinky pinch. Depending on the size of your hand and how you grip the pistol, you may experience the pinky pinch when the pistol is fired. This is caused by a little gap that exists between the grip and magazine pad. This problem can be completely eliminated by removing the stock Glock magazine pad and replacing it with a PEARCE "Plus 1" grip extension. In my opinion, the PEARCE extender makes the grip too long and more difficult to conceal and thus not worth the additional round. Furthermore, the pinky problem is really not that bad and can be drastically minimized by slightly adjusting your grip location and pressure. Conclusion Yes, I like Glocks. Yes, I like the Glock 36. To be honest, I like every gun I own. I have done my best here to point out all of the positive aspects as well as the negative aspects of the Glock 36.