Glock 43 Review

By Home Defense Gun Staffer Mike S.glock 43

The Glock 43 was one of the most highly anticipated pistols of the past decade: a single stack 9mm pistol designed for concealed carry produced by the famous Austrian gun maker. It was falsely predicted to be released at the past 10 SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Shows and finally made its debut on April 10, 2015 at the NRA Show.

Probably, the number one question from the firearms community seems to be: Is it too little, too late?

Receiving a sample for test and evaluation a week prior to the Glock 43’s release had the author pondering that statement as well. Out of the box, it did not make a favorable impression at all. It felt awkward in the hand and a bit top heavy. The grip seemed tiny and not comfortable to hold on to and it only held six rounds in the magazine, a slightly larger package than a J-Frame with only an extra round or two.

We did recognize that the grip is smaller and thinner than most other compact 9mm pistols in this category such as the Smith & Wesson Shield. The one feature that the author did not care for while holding the pistol, made it perfect for concealed carry as the grip is often the most difficult part of the handgun to conceal.

The only other issue we took with the Glock 43 was that the second magazine with a grip extension had a hollow base and at least one more round could have been squeezed into that space. Thankfully the aftermarket will address that problem and plus one and plus two extensions are being offered at this time.

Inclement weather kept the author away from the range for a few days in order to truly test the Glock 43, but once we had blue skies and dry ground, all bets were off.

At 25 feet, we shot a pretty standard two inch group. However, as we shot more, we noticed the grip size shrink noticeably. Ammunition by CCI/Speer at 115 grains outperformed the Winchester factory loads under the USA (White Box) label. Accuracy continued to improve as we shot with a number of other shooters and instructors and the consensus was that it is one of the more accurate handguns produced by Glock.

The question now became: but why?

The stock trigger was nothing special; the sights were the rudimentary plastic sights that Glock ships on all their handguns and the grip felt too small.

That last piece may hold the answer as the handgun has a relatively low bore access and finger placement on the trigger seems more natural than on a double stack Glock. Because the shooter is not reaching slightly for the trigger, the follow up for a quick reset seems much shorter.

To put this to a test we fired the G43 alongside two other Glock pistols in this size category: the G42 (chambered in 380 ACP) and Glock’s nearly 20 year-old G26 (a subcompact which is essentially a chopped and shortened G19/G17.

Our host was MOA Targets, famous for their wide range of steel targets and they happened to have a G42 and G26 on hand.

The recoil impulse was on par with the slightly smaller G42 that debuted in 2014. This made the president of MOA Targets, Mitch Gerlinger, say that he would definitely upgrade from the G42 within a year’s time.

The G26 on the other hand felt noticeably bigger and more comfortable in the hand, but for the author, the accuracy wa not quite on par with the smaller G43 model. If ten rounds in a backup handgun (or primary carry handgun, for that matter) is more important with the ability to use full size 15 or 17 rounds in an emergency, this would be the obvious better choice.

As small as the Glock 43 is, this is not truly a “pocket pistol” or “pocket nine”. It would work well in an inside the waistband holster, either strong side or in appendix carry and the small grip profile will prevent it from printing when carried properly. The aftermarket holster companies are introducing models on a daily basis such as DeSantis, LAG Tactical and Galco.

First impressions can be a killer and the author’s first look at the G43 was underwhelming to say the least, but shooting it made me a believer.

Watching others shoot this pistol from novice first time shooters to full time professionals like Chen Lee and Shinnosuke Tanaka and hearing nothing but praise after their own experience with the G43 leads me to confidently recommend this pistol to anyone looking for their first defensive pistol in 9mm as it combines the power of the 9mm Parabellum cartridge in a small package that has little recoil and high accuracy potential.


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