30SF vs 38, 45ACP vs 45 GAP [Archive] - Glock Talk


View Full Version : 30SF vs 38, 45ACP vs 45 GAP

02-23-2012, 19:07
Hi Mas,

Thanks for taking the time to post answers to our questions on the site. In advance I'll apologize for the length of my post...I've been on the job for 37 years and I'm used to writing long reports!

I'm in the process of trying to chose between a model 30SF (or 30 Gen 4 if they come out with it) and a model 38. I tend to research the s&*t out of everything before I buy and I'm more confused and frustrated than anything right now.

I'm not a fan of the .40, I carry a 22 on duty and had a 23 which I happened to sell today for off duty. I also have a 19 that I carry off duty the majority of the time but have concerns about 9mm capabilities. There seems to be an uptick in bad things happening out there and I don't want to get caught short. So....I'm looking at going with a Glock in a 45 caliber for my off duty carry.

I really like the size and fit to my hand of the model 19, this has me leaning towards the model 38, basically same gun with a bigger hole in the important end. Then there's the 30SF, I like the 10 rounds in the mag and the wider variety (and lower cost in most cases) of available ammo. But...I'm not too crazy about the two finger hold on the grip (yeah I know, Pierce mag extension). The 30SF is also a bit thicker than the 38 in cross section and I'm concerned about the weight. I don't carry IWB, everything I carry is in a Fobus paddle holster.

I've noted that several state police departments are carrying the 45 GAP but haven't seen any feedback on performance. What are you hearing about the 45 GAP from people in the LE field?

I read your write-up on the model 30, but was curious if you've had any hands on with the 38 and if so what's your take?

Mas Ayoob
02-23-2012, 19:22
You've taken a solid research approach, and I applaud you for that. The one thing I couldn't tell from your post was whether you had yet shot the 30SF and the 38 side by side.

You hand may be way bigger than mine, but with the 10-round mag, the 30 and 30SF give me a full three-finger hold (not counting trigger finger, of course) unless I'm wearing heavy gloves. For me, the 30 with that mag and the 19/23/32/38 Glocks don't feel a whole lot different except for trigger reach, which is a bit greater in the .45 ACP gun.

There seems to be virtually no real difference between standard pressure .45 ACP and the .45 GAP. The .45 ACP +P does give you more smack, but that's happening on both ends of the gun.

Shootin' em side by side will be like getting acquainted with two slightly different puppies of the same breed. You're gonna bond with one or the other, and unless there are logistical reasons (or round count reasons) to go with one over the other, that bonding will probably decide it for ya right there. :cool:

Let us know what you finally decide, and what tips the balance of your decision...and thank you for your long police service!


02-24-2012, 19:43
Thanks for the response Mas.

I've decided that I'm going to with with the model 38. I've searched and read everything I can find online about the model 38 and .45 GAP round. I'm finding nothing but good comments about both. I really like the fit of my model 19 so I figured for muscle memory and general overall gun handling (don't really like that term) having the 19 and 38 both being essentially the same frame size and fit is a winner. I also figured it's a lot cheaper to get more practice time in with the 9mm, with plenty of time with the .45 GAP to keep up proficiency all the way around. I realize there are not a lot of .45 GAP ammo varieties available but that's really not an issue. The only round I'll carry is Gold Dot and they make that in .45 GAP. Speer also has the Lawman round available in .45 GAP and I've found it reasonably priced (close to .45 ACP price anyway) so I'm not concerned about ammo. Anyway, this may give me a reason to get back into reloading! Ballistics wise, everything that I have found shows that the .45ACP and .45 GAP are essentially equal in velocity/energy when fired from a 4 inch barrel.

Our firearms guy just reached out to our department Glock rep to see what the status is on the Gen 4 model 38. My 19 is a Gen 4 and I really like the rough texture on the grip. I'm not "Glockless" as I've got the 19 for off duty and have a department issued 22 and 27, so I'm willing to wait for the Gen4 38.

03-20-2012, 19:04
Mas, you wanted me to check in when I made my decision. I bought a model 38, went to the range today and put 150 rounds of American Eagle through it. Very nice pistol and caliber. I like it much better than the .40 cal Glock. It has a lot less snap in the recoil, you still get recoil but it's not as much of a shock. I like the hand fit with the frame size for the 38, it feels just like my 19 so it's good for muscle memory when I train.

Mas Ayoob
03-21-2012, 06:04
Glad you found the one that works best for you! Welcome to the ranks of us GAP owners.