Glock has developed a .45-caliber cartridge that matches in a 9mm-size gun. Called the .45 GAP (Glock Auto Pistol), this cartridge is a .45-caliber bullet in a 9mm case. Glock revealed the cartridge from the ground, but some other firearms makers now make guns chambered for this current round. Most ammunition manufacturers produce .45 GAP ammunition in a variety of full-metal-jacket training loads & hollow-point support loads.
I took delivery of all 3 Glock pistols chambered for this new round & tested them on the range at the Tactical Defense Institute (TDI) in southern Ohio.
The 3 models include the full-size service pistol model 37; a concealed-carry version called the model 38; & a deep-concealment sub-compact called the model 39. For readers familiar with the Glock pistol line, these three guns are similar to the 9mm Glock 17, 19 & 26.
Overall Pros & Cons
- Easy to shoot & maintain
- Rust-resistant slide
- Grip angle too severe for many
- Wide-mouth magazine well
- Light & easy to carry
- Trigger is smooth, quick to reset
- Factory sights are too white, & easier to deform than metal.
- Slide-lock lever positioned right below right-hand thumb
The 37 will find great service with uniformed patrol officers who carry their service sidearm in a duty glock 38 Holster suspended from a 2.25″ duty belt. The 38, which was my idea of the three, measures a ½” shorter in length & not quite ¾” shorter in height. I got this gun to provide the perfect agreement of shoot ability & concealability, while still large enough to fit in a custom holster. To me, the glock 38 Gen 3 is the perfect all-around .45 GAP pistol currently performed.
That said, I will not be astonished if the sub-compact model 39 ends up the most popular model of the three. This palm-size gun was more comfortable to shoot than I thought, & it was still small enough to tuck into a waistb& under a t-shirt or into the pocket of a giant overcoat like a winter parka. I think the short grip length will reduce this gun’s use as a duty pistol, but it will find great favor as a backup & off-duty gun.
It appears that the frames used for the 9mm, .40 SW & .45 GAP pistols are the same, but the GAP slides are slightly more full while maintaining the same length as their 9mm/.40 SW counterparts. This is likely due to the broader cartridge the slide must house.
Test ammo supplied by Remington, Corbon & Federal came in a variety of bullet styles & weights. It appears the manufacturers use the same bullets in the production of .45 ACP ammo as they do the.45 GAP. The velocity of the .45 GAP runs just about the same as comparable .45 ACP loads.
On the Range
During a sunny Friday evening, the TDI training staff & I fired a whole of 500 rounds through each Glock .45 GAP without a particular malfunction. Although I had no way of accurately measuring, it seemed that the .45 GAP has less felt-recoil than the .45 ACP. (I admit this may be blank more than an original perception on my part, but at the same time, is not understanding everything?) Regardless, rapid-fire drills, such as realizing a Bianchi plate rack, proved pretty easy to accomplish, & no one showed concern about blast or felt-recoil impulse. (Actually, one shooter stated, “This feels quite similar to the .40 SW.”) & the .45 GAP cartridge established more than accurate enough for police service, shooting 3″ handheld groups at 50 feet.
Like all Glock pistols, these utilized easy, reliable Glock trigger mechanism, & they came with a white dot front glock 38 Sights & a white outline rear. At my age, I have found this sight mode too white; all I see it a glob of white rather of a crisp sight picture. These sights are also plastic & susceptible to damage when used in the rough world of law implementation operations. Fortunately, you can buy all Glock pistols from the industry with a set of high-quality night sights that are made of metal & offer a very clear sight view, even for those of us with aging eyes.
All three test guns were also outfitted with the updated slide-release lever that allowed the shooter to deliver the locked slide with either their shooting-hand thumb or supporter hand. When Gaston Glock designed his pistol for the Austrian Army, he intended shooters to achieve all slide manipulations with their support hand. However, American shooters, many of whom were trained on the 1911-style pistol, seem to prefer releasing the slide with the support-hand thumb. The more critical slide-release lever allows for this very “American-style” action.
Would I change anything about the .45 GAP pistol? I would put a more extended glock 38 Magazine release button on the gun—something that’s available from Glock. My shorthands have difficulty reaching the standard button, so a more extended version helps me eject spent Glock magazines more reliably without having to shift the gun in my hand.
Other than the night sights I noticed above; I would be pleased with any of the Glock .45 GAP pistols. They are easy to pack, easy to shoot & come of a caliber that will, without a doubt, end up “street proven.”