Review: subcompact pistol GLOCK 36 in caliber .45 ACP

GLOCK 36 vs. GLOCK G30 S: magazine capacity

While the G30 S uses a double stack magazine that holds nine rounds, the GLOCK 36 uses a single stack magazine that holds six rounds. This is due mainly to its significantly slimmer frame, since in the subcompact pistol segment, the width of the gun also plays a significant role. Hence, the GLOCK 36 frame has a width of 28 millimeters and the GLOCK 30 S is significantly wider at 32.5 millimeters.

Where features and design are concerned, the pistol obviously takes its cue from the GLOCK series. As most other handguns from the Austrian manufacturer (except for the Glock 25 and 28, with a blowback system), the GLOCK 36 is also a striker-fired polymer pistol with a modified Browning breech locking system. 

The G36 also uses a partially pre-tensioned Safe Action trigger that always has a constant trigger pull. Where the model design is concerned, the GLOCK 36 more closely resembles the Gen3 models, even though it is already equipped with a double action spring unit. Replaceable backstraps, however, are something that shooters will not find on the GLOCK 36.

GLOCK 36: components of the pistol

Rear sight on the Glock 36
GLOCK pistols are famous for this: the windage adjustable rear sight with its gap outlined in white. Image: Glock 36.

Where the trigger-grip design is concerned, the GLOCK is excellent for a subcompact. The middle finger and ring finger fit into the two finger recesses. For a medium-sized hand, the amount of space left before the end of the magazine is enough for the little finger to grip on tightly as well. 

The surface texture of the grip, however, does not follow those of the Gen4 models and feels much smoother. It could certainly be a little rougher (–2 points). 

In the review category cycling/safety, we were unable to find fault with anything (–0 points). The firearm functions safely and is malfunction-free at all times. The controls are located at the usual positions for GLOCK. Here, too, points were deducted for the disassembly lever, which was not exactly easy to pull on (–1 point) and the really stiff slide hold open lever (–1 point). 

Although the partially pre-tensioned trigger on the pistol breaks at a value that is really quite low for a subcompact pistol, the scratchy take up and the objectable follow through are less than impressive (–3 points). 

The slide on the Glock 36
The slide on the GLOCK 36 is tapered near the muzzle. This saves on material and greatly decreases the size of the weapon.

We also had no complaints with the sights (–0 points). The windage adjustable rear sight outlined in white is a perfect match for the pyramid front sight with a white dot. The workmanship on the tested pistol was almost flawless. There are no machining marks at all, neither on the polymer frame nor on the breechblock, nor on the internal components. 

Even the surface finishing on the slide is cleanly executed. The tolerances are also very low for a polymer pistol – there is only minimal play between the frame and the slide. For this, full points were awarded in this category (–0 points). 

In the accuracy test, the svelte GLOCK achieved a best pattern diameter of 58 millimeters. This gave it 44 points (–6 points) in this review category – a respectable result, considering the firearm is a subcompact pistol with a relatively short barrel. The GLOCK definitely can compete with five-inch pistols where accuracy is concerned.

Verdict on GLOCK 36 pistol

The GLOCK 36 continues to exhibit all of GLOCK’s virtues. Both technically and from a design standpoint, it clearly follows in the footsteps of the family of models. The workmanship is exemplary and its precision is also at the top of its class in the subcompact category. 

Points were deducted mainly for the control elements and the slightly outdated frame hallmark. For sport shooters, the short GLOCK 36 will probably not be a common choice. But for self defense, it combines the characteristics of an easy-to-handle handgun and a quite powerful caliber.

The Glock G36 in caliber .45 Auto / .45 ACP comes with two six-round magazines, a loading aid, a cleaning rod and a plastic GLOCK case.

GLOCK 36 in .45 ACP: price and weight

The price of the pistol reviewed here is 739 Euro. The gun weighs 635 grams unloaded.

Disassembled Glock 36
GLOCK components from the top: slide, barrel, action spring and frame. Shown on the right is the single-row magazine of the GLOCK 36 pistol.

Evaluation of GLOCK 36 in Caliber .45 ACP:

Precision (max. 50 points)44 points
Cycling/safety (max. 10 points)10 points
Trigger characteristics (max. 10 points)7 points
Trigger-grip design (max. 5 points)3 points
Control elements (max. 10 points)8 points
Sights (max. 5 points)5 points
Workmanship (max. 10 points)10 points
Total points (max. 100 points)87 points
Very good
5 of 6
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