Exclusive: A Case for the Glock 38?

| Exclusive Web Extra |

While the majority of police departments in the U.S. carry a Glock pistol for duty, only a handful of them chose Glock’s Model 38, a compact chambered in Glock’s namesake caliber, the .45 Glock Automatic Pistol, or .45 GAP. The cartridge is basically a shortened version of the .45 ACP — there are other differences, though — created to fit in compact-framed Glock pistols before the company came up with the ‘short frame’ design. While the caliber and even the Glocks chambered in it are less popular than others in the company’s lineup, a Glock 38 might be a decent choice for a home defense or concealed carry gun.

If you’re thinking Glock and .45, here’s what you should know about the Model 38:

Fit in Hand. The Glock 38 frame feels just like a Glock 19 or 23 frame. So, if you’ve grown accustomed to that size and want to shoot a .45, moving to the Glock 38 won’t be any different. Yep, the slide is wider on the 38 and so brings with it just a bit more heft. But not enough to matter with regard to fit in hand.


Even with its wider slide, the Glock 38 fits in a DeSantis Speed Scabbard for a Glock 19 or 23.

Fit in Holsters. Despite the wider slide, the Glock 38 can use some of the holsters that fit a Glock 19 or 23 including a DeSantis Speed Scabbard or even the Versacarry for a .45. It won’t fit all 19 or 23-sized holsters so make sure before you choose. As for concealed carry, it feels just like carrying a Glock 19 or 23 — a lot of gun in a compact package.

Caliber. If you like punching almost half-inch holes in targets, the .45 GAP allows you to do so. Sure, the .45 GAP lets you know that you just fired a big round, but in the Glock 38 muzzle flip is easily mastered and you’re back on target in no time.


That blue and white Precison Plus Target is full of .45-inch holes.

8+1 Capacity. It’s not 15 but it’s more than five. Eight rounds on board (or nine, if you do the +1 thing) should be adequate for you for self defense, especially if you load up with ammo such as Federal Premium 230 gr. HST. At the range, firing these rounds from the Glock 38 yielded 100 percent reliability and a chorus of singing steel targets at way beyond 10 yards’ distance.

If you’re a Glock person who loves the .45 but considers the Model 36 too small, the Model 30 too chunky, and the full-sized Glock .45’s too big, then, for now, this compact-framed Model 38 might be the ticket. Plus, you can find them for around $500 new, well under the MSRP for other Glock pistols.


Versacarry’s carrier for a .45 ACP works just fine with the .45 GAP Glock 38.

— Mark Kakkuri

Learn more about Glock at Guns Magazine Product Index.

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