Glock 43 Review – What To Know About This Compact Handgun
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Glock 43 Review – What To Know About This Compact Handgun
glock 43 review

Glock 43 Review – What To Know About This Compact Handgun

The compact handgun market continues to change and grow, with gun companies offering new and improved concealable weapons based on customer feedback. The concealed carry guns market, in particular, has recently become more popular, and many companies are responding to these market demands.

Highly anticipated by gun enthusiasts, the Glock 43 promised challenging design options not available in the more disappointing 42 model. Glock fans were looking for a signature shaped semi-automatic that stood out from the crowd of single-stack 9mms already on the market. 

We’ll tell you how it held up in this Glock 43 review and compare it to the Glock 43X while we’re at it.

Glock 43 Basics

When it comes to concealment, size definitely matters. The slim Glock 43 hides beneath clothing more easily than the thick grip of models like the G19. The G43 measures 4.25 inches tall by 6.26 inches long with a slide width of 1.06 inches, making it both a lightweight and compact pistol ideal for pocket carrying.

The Glock 43 features aggressive texture on the grip, a larger magazine release button, and the Glock standard beavertail. This Glock’s trigger distance is shorter than the G19’s at 2.56 inches, but its six-round magazine capacity probably means you should carry a spare clip.

Glock 43 Shootability and Accuracy

Some compact handguns are hard to grip, but the G43 is large enough for easy handling. If you have large hands, your pinky finger might not fit on the flush-fit magazine. You can also address this issue with the Glock 43 magazine extension if you don’t feel like you have sturdy control. 

You can use a variety of ammunition with the Glock 43, but of course, some brands will perform better than others. Still, this daily carry pistol cycles well and rarely fails. For the average consumer who uses moderately priced ammo, the Glock 43 is more than adequate.

On average, the Glock 43 produces 1.25-inch five-shot groups when fired from a distance of 5 to 10 yards. Grouping seems to open up at greater distances, but five-shot groups of 4 inches are still possible at 25 yards. Keep in mind that the Glock 43’s short barrel was built for concealed carry, not precision. That said, it still outperforms many of its competitors.

For a compact 9mm, the G43’s felt recoil is surprisingly small. If you’ve used a carry pistol before, you know the kickback can be problematic. The Glock 43’s muzzle rise and recoil are larger than the Glock 19’s, but that seems to be the case with every successive compact design. Even with this, the G43 is still one of the best performing guns in its class.

Glock 43 as a Concealed Carry Pistol

The Glock 43’s reliability means that it works well as a daily carry pistol. It can be carried both inside and outside the waistband in a Glock 43 holster with excellent retention. Both positions allow you to draw with a full firing grip.

This compact handgun conceals more easily than double-stack models. The single-stack frame rests close to your body without excessive protrusion. You can hide it under a loose t-shirt or sweatshirt and even high-waisted skinny jeans, though you may want to skip using it with leggings. 

As you compare the best holsters, remember that carrying a concealed weapon often means prioritizing draw time over comfort.

Glock 43 Specs

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Weight with empty magazine: 16.23 ounces
  • Average weight loaded: 20.64 ounces / 1.29 pounds
  • Height with magazine: 4.25 inches
  • Slide length: 6.06 inches
  • Slide width: 0.87 inches
  • Overall length: 6.26 inches
  • Overall width: 1.06 inches
  • Barrel length: 3.41 inches
  • Magazine capacity: 6+1
  • Average trigger pull: 5.5 pounds
  • Sights: White dot
  • Finish: Black nDLC

Glock 43X Basics

We can’t ignore the Glock 43x in our Glock 43 review. In January 2019, Glock revised and expanded the G43 to create the Glock 43X. This Austrian built handgun is great if you want a slim frame with a higher magazine capacity. The 43X offers a standard 10+1 capacity rather than the 6+1 configuration of the G43 and most other pistols in the compact category.

The capacity upgrade means a higher grip, which may prove more comfortable if you have large hands. Compared to the older model, you will not have to worry about that errant pinky finger. The 43X grip height compares closer to the Glock 19, allowing you a similar amount of control despite having a slimmer frame.

The 43X comes with a wear-resistant silver nPVD coating and features front serrations as the factory standard. This is something that’s normally offered only as a customization upgrade available from Glock on the OEM slides. And speaking of slides, if you already own the G43, any upgraded parts will also fit your 43X as they are the same size.

Glock 43X Shootability and Accuracy

The Glock 43X’s safe action trigger offers the best experience for those not wanting to use an aftermarket option. It has a smooth pull, predictable break, and quick reset. For those looking to upgrade their shooting experience, you can find attachments online.

Like the G43, the 43X will take almost any type of 9mm ammunition you throw at it. Even moderately priced brands cycle reliably during rapid fire. 115 to 124-grain loads seem to shoot right on the money while 147-grain loads strike only slightly higher.

While combat accuracy is more practical, determining absolute accuracy is helpful as well. When firing five-shots from 15 yards, we found they settled into groups just shy of two inches. The Glock 43X’s accuracy and reliability make it a suitable choice for any personal defense situation.

Because of its small size and light weight, you might expect the G43X to be difficult to manage. Thanks to the smooth recoil and higher beavertail grip, you should have no trouble maintaining control of the frame. In terms of compact pistols, it even outperforms the Glock 43. 

Glock 43X as a Concealed Carry Pistol

At 1.10 inches wide and 6.50 inches long, the G43X is lean but not so slim that you have trouble holding on to it. It sits well in your hands and conceals easily in the usual appendix carry position.

The importance of frame size, again, is likely a matter of preference. Your body type and acceptance of “printing” may be different than your neighbor’s. In all, we believe the Glock 43X to be an excellent fit for the average concealed carry consumer.

For more context, the 43X compares in size to the Smith and Wesson Shield 9mm pistol. Both guns conform easily to the body in the appendix carry position and are simple to conceal. The Glock 43X, however, has a larger magazine capacity making it a more attractive option.

Weighing in at only 18.70 ounces with an empty magazine, the Glock 43X feels lighter than other pistols of the same size. It has a quality feel, and its superior balance ensures that it doesn’t feel too light. 

Glock creators seem to understand that when you’re protecting your life with a firearm, you don’t want to feel as if you’re holding a Nerf gun.

Glock 43X Specs

  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Weight with empty magazine: 18.7 ounces
  • Average weight loaded: 23.07 ounces / 1.44 pounds
  • Height with magazine: 5.04 inches
  • Slide length: 6.06 inches
  • Slide width: 0.87 inches
  • Overall length: 6.5 inches
  • Overall width: 1.1 inches
  • Barrel length: 3.41 inches
  • Magazine capacity: 10+1
  • Average trigger pull: 5.5 pounds
  • Sights: White dot / GNS / Ameriglo
  • Finish: Silver nPVD

Glock 43 vs. 43X

Based on our Glock 43 review, how do you decide which model Glock to buy? It all depends on what role you’re trying to fill. Are you simply looking for a pocket-sized handgun for daily carry, or is shooting comfort more important to you?

The G43 is more easily concealed in a holster or pocket than the G43X. The 43X, on the other hand, has a larger grip that allows it to handle slide bite and recoil like a much bigger gun. If you’re comfortable carrying a slightly larger frame, the 43X might give you more bang for your buck.

Of course, comparing the G43X and Glock 43 price is also important. The MSRP of the 43 is $529, while the Glock 43X will run you $538. With only an $8 price difference, the upgrade could be well worth it.

Overall, both guns impress us with their simple design, compact size, and functionality. Shooting them is both comfortable and fun, and the addition of things like the Glock 43 extended magazine and night sights can make even a less-experienced shooter feel more confident. In a saturated compact market, these pistols stand out as respectable choices for picky consumers.

Glock 43 conversion Kit

Converting Your Glock 43X With The MCK Gen 2

A stock Glock 43 is a great firearm all on it’s own, but when combined with our MCK Gen 2 it becomes the ultimate Glock submachine gun. 

The MCK is a lightweight platform that features a barrel shroud made of aluminum and has a strong polymer body. The MCK comes in two different versions, one is a NON-NFA product (with standard long stabilizer brace), and the other is a NFA product (with stock).

The MCK Gen 2 also features an extended stabilizer, which enables one-handed firing for better shooting performance. The MCK is cost effective, easy to assemble and disassemble, and most importantly, can dramatically improve accuracy allowing you to shoot up to 200 yards. 

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