The 45 GAP

  1. With more than twenty versions of the classic Glock pistol, one of the more exotic of subspecies is the rarely seen, but often thought about .45GAP. Let's talk about this beauty of the nether regions. They really do exist.

    Why the need?

    The preeminent handgun round of the past 100-years is arguably the .45 Auto Colt Pistol (or ACP.) From the classic Colt 1911 to the space-age polymer Glock 21, the .45ACP is the benchmark that other cartridges are compared against. However, it is well known that to tame this beast, a large framed pistol with a beefy slide is needed to control muzzle flip and recoil. This puts the .45ACP out of the reach of many of the people who would most need it-- small statured men and women and older shooters. Gaston Glock started working on a smaller, but no less effective 45-caliber round to fix this-- the .45GAP

    The Design of the .45GAP

    View attachment 148916
    L to R, 45GAP, 45ACP.

    Named the Glock Auto Pistol Round, or .GAP, this .45-caliber cartridge is shorter than your average .45ACP round. In fact, it is about as long as a 9x19mm Luger/Parabellum, but is much wider. Designed by Ernest Durham, an engineer with CCI/Speer, for Glock, the tubby round still carried a 185-230-grain bullet on its case. Ballistically speaking, .45GAP travel about 200fps faster than a standard 45ACP round, and deliver 450-550 ft/lbs of energy on target, which in many cases outclasses the ACP.

    View attachment 148917

    In short, it has the stopping power of the average .45 cal. round, but the recoil of a 9mm. This allows big bore pistol shooters to come in more bite-sized packages as smaller framed (and gripped) firearms can be designed around the .45GAP round.

    Guns chambered for it

    To capitalize on the design, Glock introduced the new Glock 37/38/39 series pistols. The Glock 37 was a full-size combat pistol at 26/35 ounces (unloaded/loaded) and 7.3- inches overall with a 4.4-inch barrel and 10-round magazine. The pistol came out in 2003 and was a fast hit with several state police/highway patrol forces including those is New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia (Glock is made in Georgia), South Carolina, and Florida. The first 7,000 units suffered from excessively fast slides and had to be corrected before they were seen as successful. All of these in production were 3rd Generation G37s, with a small batch of 3,000 Gen4s being made just for the FHP in 2010. Now Gen4, in regular production since 2011, is the standard . A "Covert" modification, that shortens the gun to the size of a 1911 officer's size, is also popular.


    For those wanting a more compact version the Glock 38 as a compact version at 24/32 ounces and 6.85-inches overall with a 4-inch barrel and 8-round magazine. An even more concealable version, the Glock 39 is a subcompact at 19/25 ounces and 6.30-inches overall with a 3.4-inch barrel and 6-round magazine.

    Other gun makers started to look into producing .45GAP pistols including Para-Ordanance, Springfield, Ruger, and Smith and Wesson, although only the first two went past the preliminary steps. Word is even those two have shelved their production


    The good news is, if you are a Glock lover and want a .45ACP round without the size of a .45ACP pistol, you can pick up a 45GAP. As with most Glock models, new examples are $500-ish while used versions run $300-ish.

  2. coolcat

    coolcat New Member

    I've got one each of the G37, G38 and G39 and I love them all! My first handgun, my first gun period, was my G17. I carried a G26 for a few years and eventually decided I wanted to move up to a larger round. After trying out the 40S&W I wasn't too impressed so when the .45 GAP was announced I was very intrigued. All the awesomeness of my 9mm Glocks married to a .45? Yes please! I started with the G37 and I actually carried it daily for over a year until I got my G38. I bought the G39 last year and I love it just as much as the other two. Ammo is becoming harder to find though thankfully I've got the dies to reload myself and standard .45 bullets, primers and powder are all thats needed to reload the GAP. This round is so easy to shoot, and shoot well. I fully understand why it seemed to be catching on so quickly back when it was introduced. What I don't really understand is why it hasn't carried that momentum. I certainly won't be giving up my GAPs any time soon.

  3. arvi123y

    arvi123y New Member

    The 45ACP is too much for me to handle. I do like the 45GAP but I am really concerned that with almost no other manufacturer using it, we might see the ammo disappear completely making the gun useless. I wonder if Glock would consider producing or contracting someone to continue to produce the ammo. With all the state police agencies using it, it would be a big issue if the ammo was not available.
  4. BORIS

    BORIS New Member

    I dont know where you are not finding ammo. I have no problem finding it at all. All one has to do is look. For perspective, I have an extremely hard time finding 45ACP and 40 caliber ammo. The reason is I dont look for it, have no clue who sells it, where it can be found, who has what brands. I shoot 3,000 rounds a year from my G37 and have done it since 2008. Since then ammo has gotten cheaper, more companies make it and selection is better. Price is the same as ACP. 10% of state police and highway patrols in the USA issues he GAP. For comparison, the ACP is issued to 10% of the state police and highway patrols. Dont worry about ammo. In another ten years it will be in even more use as more police realize the 40 doesnt put 45 power into a 9mm frame pistol. Only the GAP puts real 45 power into a 9mm frame. Its also easier on the shooter than the lesser 40. Be glad you have yours and can enjoy it. If you think ammo is hard to find just look, its there and no more costly than ACP.
  5. chip2334

    chip2334 New Member

    I purchased my 37G3 almost a year ago. I love this pistol, I've only been able to find 230 FMJ gr. Winchester ammo. But I reload, so no big issue. Also, .45 ACP brass can be trimmed down to GAP length with no ill effects. I do wished there was an extended mag available for it, as well as an extended barrel.
  6. Skip

    Skip New Member

    I am a 45 ACP shooter and have been sense the 70's. When I joined the Navy at 17 I had to gain weight. I got up to 109lbs. I don't and didn't have any trouble shooting the .45. I do like the fact that gun manufactures are making new and different guns. Other than the fact you like the new cartridge did you try down loading the .45 ACP? If you did how did it work out?
  7. BORIS

    BORIS New Member

    @Skip The 45GAP is loaded hotter than 45ACP. Factory loads are 50-70fps faster than 45ACP loads in the same weight. Too many people are confused about this. Shorter case does not mean slower round.
  8. gdave40

    gdave40 New Member

    i love my glock 21 i carried my 45 all the time i had a glock 19 9mm did not like it i will allway carried 45
  9. judgecrater

    judgecrater Member

    Untrue. You are implying it is 200 fps faster than 45ACP, higher muzzle energy but less recoil in a lighter gun. Hogwash.
  10. BORIS

    BORIS New Member

    @judgecrater Who said a 200fps advantage over ACP? My last post said 50-70fps faster and you can go look that up for yourself. For people in the shooting world (the modern day one) it is common knowledge the GAP is slightly faster. Recoil to me is on par with 45ACP, i know that because I have had mine 5 years now.....