Glock 36 review concealed carry

[FIREARM REVIEW] Glock 36 — Single Stack .45 ACP That Nobody’s Talking About


For the past month and some change, I’ve been afforded the privilege of carrying the Glock 36 as my everyday carry.  While the Glock 42 and 43 have earned themselves a great place as single-stack concealed carry options, the Glock 36 has gone practically unnoticed.  Ironically, the Glock 36 has been around since 2011.  Despite having the same magazine capacity and form factor as its compact single-stack brethren, it’s virtually disappeared from the main stage in light of so many other alternatives.

Glock 36 Technical Specs At-A-Glance:

  • Barrel Length: 3.77 inches
  • Overall Length: 6.69 inches
  • Overall Height: 4.76 inches
  • Overall Width: 1.10 inches
  • Loaded Weight: 27 oz
  • Trigger Pull: 5.5 lbs
  • Trigger Travel: 0.5 inches
  • Standard Magazine Capacity: 6 rounds .45 ACP
  • MSRP: $599 (New), $499-575 (Used)

Having carried for over a month, I was able to only rigorously test it at a range twice.  The first time was at a range in Austin, Texas.  Firing was done during daytime conditions at 7 yards with steel targets.  That was fun.  In order to really get a feel for how the Glock 36 handled, though, I ran it at my home range — the Manchester Firing Line — at a variety of distances, through a variety of holsters, and different hands.

Range Test Of Glock 36 — Smooth Operation, Heavy Caliber

Glock 36 Test Fire 30 feet 10 rounds

I took the Glock 36 to the Manchester Firing Line and tested it from 10 yards (30 feet) all the way to 20 yards (60 feet) in a mixture of left-hand, right-hand trials.  At 30 feet, I found the Glock 36 to have extremely high accuracy — so much that it surprised me in comparison to when I tried similar tests with the M&P Shield .40 S&W back in July.

Using a compact pistol chambered in .45 ACP, I was initially hesitant to expect major recoil.  Opposite my expectations, the Glock 36 handled extremely well and did not jump and crack like the M&P Shield .40 S&W that I’m used to.  The handling was very easy and the grip felt natural.


Switching from my right hand to left, I definitely noticed a change in the feel of the grip.  The pistol can be operated with either hand with a slight adjustment of how I pressed the magazine release but definitely felt more natural in my right hand versus my left.  It wasn’t so noticeable that it greatly affected shot groupings or precision, but it was noticeable.


The rear sight picture for the Glocks is easy to visually align.  There aren’t any frills or bells and whistles attached to this Glock 36, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the front sight dot was easy to find after lining up with the rear alignment posts.

Glock 36 rear sights

Trigger pull was as expected for a Glock — a light 5.5 lb pull with a very quick, audible reset.  It was easy to transition from controlled single shots at distance to a faster pace shooting routine without noticing an incredibly large difference in shot placement.

Glock 36 — Concealed Carry By The Numbers

Glock 36 concealed nation review

MSRP: ~$599 New

As my daily concealed carry option, I really enjoyed the Glock 36 because it fit daily lifestyle choices better.  Versus carrying a Glock 19 Gen 4 or my CZ-75D PCR, I definitely saw this as a great inside the waistband concealed carry option.  No printing, no spotting, and definitely no complaints in terms of shooting.

Rated out of 5 possible points – 3 being industry standard.

  • Conceal: 4.9
  • Recoil: 5.0
  • Reliability: 4.9
  • Magazine Capacity: 3.0 (Standard 6 Round)
  • Breakdown: 4.8
  • Price: 4.7
  • Overall: 4.6/5.0 (A)

Chambered in .45 ACP, it’s a perfect choice for backpacking out in the woods.  When weight matters, fully loaded it’s 27 oz.  Recoil handling, especially for being chambered in .45 ACP, is perfect.  Breakdown is a synch.  The only light strike against it is magazine capacity.  It holds an industry average of 6 rounds in comparison to other .45 ACP pistols of a similar size and configuration.  If that’s the only drawback, it’s a winner in my book.

About James England | View all posts by James England

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry…

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 36 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his CZ-75D PCR in an Alien Gear MOD holster.

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  • bjensen

    G36….Have one, pretty much the only gun I WOULD sell without a second thought
    (and that includes the Taurus PT145 I also have)…

  • Richard Meredith

    The 30S is all of this with a 9/10/15 round mag capacity!

    • evilvw

      Overall the 30S is 4.5mm thicker than the 36, though.

  • evilvw

    Thanks for this article! I have been looking for something a little easier to conceal than my G29SF and with more punch than my G42. The G36 should fit that niche nicely!

  • Computer_Expert

    I got the 30s and love it. A 9+1 option.

  • Pete

    I carry my 36 every day
    I love it. The accuracy is great recoil isn’t bad for the caliber
    I do have the plus one on all my mags
    Yes only 7 shots with the plus one but always carry a couple extra mags
    I would like more capacity but if you can’t get the job done with 29 rounds (including the one in the chamber) then you shouldn’tbe carrying one in the first place

  • Bill

    Been around way before 2011, bought mine in 2001

  • Rick P369retired

    The 36 & 30S have some interchangeable parts, The guide rod assembly and barrel

  • Rick P369retired

    The 36 & 30S have some interchangeable parts, the guide rod assembly and barrel come to mind first. Having owned these two Glocks I also qualified on PD with the 21SF and 30. Although the 30 was my main duty weapon the last 5yrs of my career. The 36 and 21SF are the only ones I’ve held onto. The 36 is my CCW about 30% of the time. The low capacity being the only drawback, but an extra 6rd mag or 2 fit almost anywhere and in most situations if 6 + 1 .45ACP 165gr powerballs aren’t sufficient you are in deep S#*t anyway. The 21SF with the 13 + 1 is great for home protection.

  • Rick P369retired

    I have not had a problem with ammo in the G36, but have heard conical shaped HP’s fail to feed on occasions. Any one else have this problem?

    • Buckeye1

      I’ve never had a problem with mine, it eats everything I feed it and I’ve never had a issue with it. It is without a doubt the most dependable pistol that I’ve ever owned.

  • charlie baker

    I know I’ll be branded a Heretic for even asking this, but why does Glock not offer a safety on any of it’s models? I own a G-19 gen 4 and it’s a fine pistol, but I’m a tad leery of it because of the 5.5 lb trigger pull. When I used to live in NY state, now the Peoples Paradise, I heard that the NY state police, now the Gestapo, had Glock adjust their pistols for a heavier trigger pull, which afterwards became known as the “NY trigger.” Maybe I could do that.

    • WaterWilly

      Yup, you can get an NY1 spring, which is allegedly 8 pounds, or an NY2, which is allegedly 12 pounds. I say allegedly, because none of them actually measure what they’re supposed to be, not even the stock trigger spring (they all measure lighter than that). The springs are cheap (you can find them for about two bucks apiece), and very easy to install. Added bonus, they won’t break like a stock spring, because they’re a completely different animal, that will work even if the spring breaks – when you see one, you’ll know what I mean. I’ve tried both, and have gone with the NY2. On my 29 it’s a bit over 8 pounds, and it does’t affect my accuracy when shooting it, but the heavier pull makes it easier to live with the lack of external safety.

      • charlie baker

        Thank you kindly. I looked into that today and found NY1 and 2 for sale for a whopping 1.99 each at Midway USA. They’re cheap enough to try both and then decide which one I want to keep in the gun. They are on the way!

    • Sianmink

      The NY trigger is a substitute for training. (and a poor one, given the NY cops hit rates) Though some writers like the NY1 trigger for the better feel and positive reset. NY2 is excessive. A Glock won’t go off unless the trigger is pulled. Keeping that in mind ,a manual safety could be argued to be superfluous.

    • Jonathan Baird

      The NY trigger was made primarily as, as Sianmink said, a sub for training. A lot of the older NYPD officers, who had carried double action revolvers up until the transition to Glocks, were used to a heavier DA pull. Instead of taking the time to retrain themselves, NYPD decided to go with a heavier pull in the Glock. A la the NY trigger. Has nothing to do with safety. I agree, a manual safety is superfluous. If you keep your finger out of the trigger guard, learn how to draw properly from a holster, and use your head, there’s no need to complicate things with external safeties.

  • Chrissums

    Bought mine in 2005. Immediately had FTF issues. Took it to my friend who is a Glock Armorer for a Federal Law Enforcement agency. After a week with it, he resigned himself to defeat. He had the same FTF issues that I had. I immediately traded it in on a G33, chambered in .357 Sig. 10 years later, and that G33 is still on my hip without a single problem. During that 10 years since owning my first Glock 36, I decided to give a newer Generation a try. Same problems started after about 200 rounds. Never again. Love my Glock 33 and my Glock 29 in 10mm.

  • The Chigger

    I’ve had the 36 for 3 years now. It’s my CCW. Love it.

  • sako204

    I sold my Model 36 due to a catastrophic failure at the range after approximately 300 rounds from multiple shooting sessions. I no longer had confidence in it. It failed because of the 2-stage recoil spring/guide rod assembly. The outer spring slipped from its “hold” or “lip” and passed over the inner spring. I could not free the slide from the frame at the range without tools. I phoned Glock and they sent me 2 assemblies and suggested I replace them every 600 rounds. I found this to be unacceptable. No more Glocks for me. I’ll carry more reliable brands. I’m glad the recoil spring assembly didn’t fail when I needed it most.

  • KenSanDiego

    Only because it is a published article: The word you are looking for is ‘cinch’ not ‘synch’ (proofreader)