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Thread: My journey through CCW, choosing the Glock 36, & review

  1. #1
    Regular Member Big Boy's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    STL, MO

    My journey through CCW, choosing the Glock 36, & review

    My journey through CCW, choosing the Glock 36, & review.

    This is a little bit more than a review. It does go through some experiences with other guns and my learning experience with CCW, but this also highlights some of the advantages of the Glock 36. If you want to get straight to the review scroll down till you see “Glock 36 review” in bold.

    I’ll start by saying I’m not a fan of glocks. Or…I wasn’t. I had shot a few (couldn’t tell you the model numbers) and nothing ever seemed quite right to me with them. I didn’t like the angle of the grip, the trigger seemed “clicky” and to be honest I thought they were ugly. I’ve also just never been a fan of having something else everyone else has in all honesty. I’ve always liked having something just a tad “unique.”

    The first hand gun I bought when I turned 21 was a Springfield Armory XD Compact .45. I didn’t have much personal experience with guns back then, but I had been watching the XD since Springfield first came out with it. Probably since I had turned 18, I would go to their website every now and then, looking it over, waiting for the day to buy it. I bought the compact model (4 inch barrel and shortened grip). The reason I went for the compact was the idea that it was large enough to easily handle, but also small enough to use for concealed carry when I got it. I also liked a few of the features. Loaded chamber indicator, cocked “hammer” indicator, and the back strap safety. As a new gun owner these seemed like awesome innovations and necessary features.

    As far as caliber I had honestly wanted .40 S&W. I had been told on TV (when it was a newer cartridge) that it was the perfect balance between 9mm and .45 Auto. It doesn’t have the” huge recoil power of .45”, and it’s not a “weak little round like the 9mm”. But no matter how many gun shops I visited, I couldn’t find anyone who could get me one in .40 S&W. After talking with a few people, and realizing the .40 and .45 XD had the same round count, I bought the .45.

    I liked it, and I liked the round, didn’t seem to have any real problems shooting it at all. But damn, was that gun blocky. I realized over time, and as my CCW classes were approaching that this XD simply wasn’t going to cut it for IWB carry. It was as thick as my southern cousin Bertha. …I don’t really have a southern cousin, but I imagine if I did she’d cook everything in butter and have a side of corn bread, and muffin top over her jeans. This may have been something that kept me from looking at glocks as well. They looked big. Blocky. Originally the XD attracted me with it’s over all looks. The front and rear slide serrations, the easy tear down lever, the large slide release... It hid the block look, but not the feel. The block feel that I didn’t even realize was there until I had it for a while. An XD (as far as look and size) is a Glock, with another 1/5th of an inch on each side of the slide. Now just to close this paragraph, don’t think I’m knocking the XD, it just wasn’t what I wanted after I had been dreaming of it for so long.

    I ended up selling the XD, and not being concerned about the size of a night stand/ Open Carry gun I opted for the FN Herstal FNP .45. I love it. But maybe I’ll talk about that one another time. As for concealed carry I had seen the Walther PPS come onto market. I again obsessed over the specs of this gun, reading up on it, and knowing every feature before I even ever held one in my hand. The PPS is under an inch thick. Dude! Under an inch thick!! …That’s ridiculous for a firearm. I was hooked. Had to have it. Now unfortunately the PPS wasn’t available in .45. They are only offered in .9mm and .40 S&W. Now obviously I wasn’t going to try out that “wimpy 9mm”, not to mention, even though I liked the .45, .40 was my original dream cartridge. So I purchased it.

    I had my carry set up almost perfect at this point. I purchased I Crossbreed gun belt, and Supertuck. The first 20 minutes that I carried in waist band felt kind of weird, but after that it was almost like we were made for each other. Good god was it comfortable. Even sitting in a car driving an hour to see my friends living in Warrensburg didn’t bug me. You couldn’t really tell it was there, even when sitting. I’ve gotta tell ya, it’s the best friggin IWB holster out there. But at first, I thought it was the combination of the firearm and holster that was such a win.

    As far as the Crossbreed Supertuck goes, BUY ONE. If you are going to carry IWB there is absolutely no substitute. And I don’t care if you’ve heard it on every gun board there is, or never before, please trust me when I say BUY. A. GUN. BELT. Not a “little bit thicker” belt, a GUN BELT. Pony up the money and just do it. You won’t look back. All of the “Ouch it’s pinching me”, “It’s rubbing my off hand side raw”, “I have to keep pulling my pants up” or any general distaste you hear from first time carriers will be GONE.

    As far as the Supertuck goes, I spent the extra $15 and purchased horse hide instead of cow. It is said to better at keeping sweat from penetrating the material, and let me tell ya, I sweat. To be honest that was really the only reason I went for the horse hide. But after seeing and feeling a cow hide one I won’t buy anything but horse. Not only the sweat factor, but the look, feel, and comfort was way better for me on the horse hide. …I also just kind of think it looks better, but in a concealed rig, that is neither here nor there. The first thing I did was put this holster to full cant. Now, I have never been a particular fan of any type of cant before, but for concealment, this brings the butt of the pistol in and against your side. It becomes part of you. Virtually impossible to see, even when sitting and leaning forward. Any other cant generally leaves the butt of the pistol sticking out and easily visible. So not only was this holster the most comfortable IWB I’ve ever tried, it could hide anything.

    I went a good 2 years carrying that PPS. Carried it in a Crossbreed Supertuck, with Crossbreed belt. Also started to round out the other parts of my every day carry rig. I carried my spare mag in my left pants pocket, using DeSantis pocket carrier. Had a fenix LD10 flashlight clipped inside my back left pants pocket (this sucker is incredible bright, small, and cheap for only $55). I also purchased a Ka-Bar TDI knife and carry it off hand, about 8 o’clock. I was really quite happy with my rig, was more than easily concealable, even in shorts and a polo. I had enough stuff that my girlfriend kept referring to me as “Rambo”. I was prepared for anything, and no one else could even see it under my shirt. I could tell I had this CCW thing in the bag.

    That is until one day at the range it all culminated. Now, I had shot and practiced with my PPS a decent (albeit not enough) amount, and felt confident with it. But one day at the range in particular, when I fired through 2 mags (12 rounds) and got three hits, I realized this gun just wasn’t for me anymore. The gun was simply too snappy and had too small of a gripping surface. The thin gun resulted in a thin back strap and I thus got a ton of right/left hand play on target. Also, with the snap of the .40 S&W in such a small gun I found myself flinching and dropping the point of impact. Realizing that my defensive weapon, my life line, was pretty much useless in my hands, I got on replacing it right away. Unfortunately I didn’t know what to look at as a replacement, I was lost. My perfect CCW piece ended up a flub in my hands.


    I had looked at a Glock 36 in the past when I was looking for a “skinny” CCW after my XD. But I went with the PPS because well, it was thinner, and it wasn’t a Glock. I knew that after I got rid of my PPS I knew I was going back to .45ACP. Now, I was experienced enough with other guns, and ballistics at this point that I realized a 9mm is suitable, and I actually have a 9mm I have my eyes set on to add to my arsenal. However, I am honestly in love with .45. I shoot it well, and it’s a power house. I know I wouldn’t want to be hit with a .45 caliber hunk of lead.
    There’s a local pawn shop that is more like a local gun shop I stop in and visit every now and then. Just to see what they have new. One day I noticed they had a Glock 36. Shocked, (it’s not that common of a gun to see in stock) and remembering the days I had been interested in it in the past, I instantly wanted to handle it. It felt GREAT in my hands, and I’ve gotta tell ya, it looked sexy. (If you’re on this board don’t act like guns can’t be sexy).

    Now I know. Comfort and looks, two of the things that I had personally thought that Glock definitely did NOT have. But since I had first learned how to shoot a few things had changed, one being my grip and stance. My off hand is now choked up a little higher on my strong hand (off hand pinky between strong hand ring and pinky finger). As a result my off hand thumb is also higher, and both my off and strong hand thumbs point towards my target. Kind of like bowling, point the thumbs where you want the object to impact.

    I’m not a magpul fan boy by any means, but this grip can be explained here:

    Maybe this different hold made the Glock more comfortable in my hands then when I had first shot one before, maybe not, but I can tell you, the Glock 36 and I were instant friends. I bought it then and there.

    For any of you who don't know, the Glock 36, is designed specifically to be a SINGLE stack .45 ACP. So it does only carry 6+1 rounds. But the trade off against the Glock 30 (sub compact that carries 10+1 of .45) is that it is much, much thinner, being a single stack.

    Size in hand: I find it to be the perfect size. It fits BOTH of my hand well, marrying together a perfect grip. My strong hand pinky does rest on the magazine, but that’s also why it has a huge butt plate on the mag, it’s designed that way. Forget the pierce grip extensions, at least IMO. It has about a 4 inch barrel, compared to a lot of 3.5 inch sub compacts. That half inch makes a hell of a difference to me. Sight radius (length between rear and front sight) is something talked about a lot on rifles, but trust me it matters on handguns too. Pointability is how sight radius affect a hand gun, at least for me. Now I’m sure some of you have heard of “point shooting” blah, blah, blah, we won’t’ get into that debate. But I can tell you this much, before you try to line up your sights at a target, you first have to point the gun at it. Wouldn’t it be easier if that sight picture adjustment is minimal? For me the Glock 36 is pointable, that means effective rounds on target.

    Size in carry: This is a .45 ACP firearm that I can easily conceal and carry IWB. Heck Yeah! When I was first looking at handguns the 6+1 round count is something that turned me away from the Glock 36. But as you start to look through different firearms and balance power to size, a lot of times you are going to end around the same amount of rounds. This is why it’s pertinent to carry an extra magazine, not only for rounds, but for function. What if your primary magazine has a feed issue? You’re sure as hell not going to load one round at a time. Carry an extra magazine. It’s easy, just do it. The slim factor is why we are talking about the Glock thirty-SIX and not about the Glock thirty. The 36 is only 1.13 inches thick, while not as thin as the PPS, it’s plenty thin, and a wonderful choice for a powerful yet still concealable IWB carry piece.

    Sights: Glocks block sights were something I wasn’t sure if I was a fan of in the beginning or not. I also didn’t seem to have a lot of sight picture around the front sight with how tight the rear sight is (guess I’m just used to my FNP). All of these concerns were, however, quickly put to bed as it seems I’m friggin accurate with this gun. The block lines of the rear sight actually kind of keep you “from coloring outside of the lines”. It doesn’t let your eyes wander or lose focus, and you pick them up instantly as you’re bringing the gun up to eye level. I was originally going to install some night sights on my 36, but considering all of the night sights on the market are dot sights I’m not sure what I’ll do. …Think I’d kind of miss the block sights.

    Trigger: Well, um, I don’t know what to tell you. The trigger on glocks the first time I tried them was one of the things I thought I didn’t like. Maybe it’s just my gun, maybe it’s not. I don’t know. But I have not shot this gun and not been surprised when it went off once yet. The trigger pull is very smooth, and very light. There is no unnecessary take up or slack, it is press and bang.

    Safety Features: LEARN HOW TO PROPERLY OPERATE A GUN! All of the XD’s “safety features” where an attractive thing when I bought it. I can tell you my Glock isn’t going to go bang unless I press the trigger, and when I do press the trigger, it will go bang every time. That’s enough for me. In fact, I’m not sure if I will ever carry a gun with a safety. I still want a 1911 at some point, (everyone should have one) but I have never trained with a safety. It’s not something I want to start doing. I don’t want to be carrying a 1911 one day, have to draw, and keep pressing the trigger wondering why it’s not shooting.

    Magazine Release (first concern): When I first started playing with my new Glock I noticed I couldn’t get empty mags to drop free. Hmm. It got a little bit better when the slide was locked back, (which is the only position in which it would matter in the first place) but still no where consistent enough. I noticed if I pushed the mag release hard with my off hand I could almost always get them to drop free, so one of my first thoughts was possibly an extended magazine release. But when taking an honest look at the frame, the magazine release already sticks out a decent way. I wouldn’t want a extended one that could risk accidentally dropping the mag in carry, or when not intended. I did start to notice however that the fleshy part on the bottom of my strong hand palm was in contact with the back part of the magazine. This was causing drag and generally keeping the mag from properly dropping. I ended up purchasing a Scherer Slug-Plug for under $5 with shipping. This not only blocks the open hole in the bottom of a Glock frame, that debris and dust could get into, but it also provided a perfect rest for the bottom of my palm. My palm no longer being in contact with the magazines allowed them to drop free without hesitation.

    Finish & Looks: So I said I didn’t like the block look. Well, the sub compact glocks have something kind of cool. The front of the slide is milled and tapered. It may be a small thing, but it adds a good look to the Glock, at least is my opinion. This honestly also helps in holstering. Rather than trying to fit a block into a square hole, you have a taper that better helps you achieve your goal. Everyone talks about the Glock finish and its toughness. Get one, look at it close, you’ll understand. It’s like it’s soaked into the frame, obviously not just a coating. It also absorbs oil well, which I like. (You should keep a light coating of oil rubber into the finish of your firearm, prevents rust.)

    Overall: Overall I am more than pleased with my new purchase. I’m sure it will reside on my hip for a good, good, long, long time. It really is quite perfect for the purpose in which I carry it. I suggest giving it a try if you carry IWB.

    Pic of my EDC items. I've added a Cold Steel American Lawman knife clipped inside my front pocket. The Ka-Bar TDI is great, but it's "tactical" look pulling a reversed grip fix blade knife from a sheath... yeah. A knife has a million and one practical uses, need to have a practical knife that wont scare people every time you use it.

    Just an end note on cross breed, I didn’t get the combat cut when I ordered my first one for my PPS. I liked it, but I did notice that my index finger was the only thing that ever contacted gun right away. My thumb and other fingers had to first work their way between the leather and the frame of the gun before I could get a proper grip. And even then, it wasn’t the perfect grip. I could always see myself readjusting the gun in my hands after clearing the holster.

    When I ordered my new supertuck for my Glock 36, I opted for the combat cut, and let me tell you, it’s perfect. I get a 100% purchase on the grip before it ever clears the holster and ride it all of the way to my sight picture. It’s worth the $9. After adding horsehide, and combat cuts, and other things the Crossbreed Supertuck ended up costing $92 with shipping and took three weeks to get to me because they make each one by hand. Every bit of waiting and every penny was worth it. Don’t suffer through the discomfort of any other holster. Try a supertuck, you’ll love it.

    Without combat cut:

    With combat cut:
    Last edited by Big Boy; 01-18-2012 at 11:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member SGB's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    Tallahassee, Florida, USA
    Put 100 rounds through a G 36 and it was one of the most unpleasant guns I've ever shot ... but ... to each their own. Nice write up though OP.
    "It's easier to avoid conflict than it is to survive it" - SGB

  3. #3
    Regular Member tcmech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SGB View Post
    Put 100 rounds through a G 36 and it was one of the most unpleasant guns I've ever shot ... but ... to each their own. Nice write up though OP.
    I've carried one for years and think it's not at all unpleasant to shoot.

    My ultralight 38 is unpleasant, my wife's PT709 is unpleasant, and my 44 mag can be uncomfortable. But the G36 really isn't too bad.
    If Obama is the answer; how stupid was the question?

  4. #4
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Columbia, in the Peoples Republic of Murderland
    As a fellow Glock 36 owner, I can attest that the size, weight, and dimensions of the G-36 make it FANTASTIC for EDC CC pistol.

    However, as the owner of a full-size all-steel, Para Ordnance P-14, I can also attest to the fact that the G-36 is perhaps the most un-fun .45acp's I've ever fired. It kicks like a mule on meth, it has more muzzle flip than a dog on a trampoline, and in low-light situations, the muzzle flash is similar to a short-barrel .357 magnum. I would never consider using it in competition because it is SO punishing to shoot when you're shooting a lot.

    But as a self-defense gun, it is as reliable as sunrise, and despite the fact that is is a sub-compact, it is laser-accurate.

    The G-36 is an exercise in trade-offs.

    It is ugly. But it works like a Swiss watch. It is punishing to shoot, but it is laser-accurate. It is impossible to find after-market parts for (almost nobody even makes sights for it), but it is so well-designed that you really don't need to doll it up. It is hard to find holsters for, but it's so light and small that when you DO find a holster for it, it is SUPER-comfy to carry. It has a ridiculously short grip for a .45acp, but if you put a +1 butt plate on the mags, it is easy to grip and holds 7+1 rounds--as many as any full-size single stack 1911 (and more than most subcompact 1911s...)

    I carry my G-36 when I'm at home as a "house gun" because it's small and light. It gives me enough firepower to fight my way to the REAL guns if I need them. I carry it when I need to CC (dressed in a suit, or when I need to be discrete for "social" reasons).

    But it's not my first choice for EDC OC, and I would never consider it for USPSA or IPSC competitions, because it is NOT a fun gun to shoot--not nearly as much fun as a double-stack, all-steel 1911...

    I hate my G-36.

    But I love my G-36.
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

  5. #5
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Southeast, Missouri, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamer View Post
    It has a ridiculously short grip for a .45acp, but if you put a +1 butt plate on the mags, it is easy to grip and holds 7+1 rounds--as many as any full-size single stack 1911 (and more than most subcompact 1911s...)
    Except for the several 8+1 full size 1911s right? :-)

    Excellent thoughtful and informative review/history, Big Boy.

    I also appreciate Dreamer's addition to the thread.

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