By Mike Searson
Glock 43 Pistol Review
It has been in the rumor mill for the past several years, so much so that at the 2015 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, an old associate who mans the booth saw me coming and said: “No carbine, no single stack 9 (mm) and no 1911!”
He showed me the new MOS Glocks and when I pressed on the single stack 9mm he said, “You might want to wait until the NRA Show.” And so now here it is a Glock 43 review.
The NRA Show ran from April 10 to April 12 2015, but on April 6 2015 my FedEx Deliveryman left me a package from Smyrna, Georgia, containing a Glock 43. The company's latest offering in 9mm with a 6-round single stack magazine.
The author's first impression was not that favorable. The grip felt way too small and the slimline frame made the slide feel awkward and top heavy. Slightly larger than last year's offering in 380 ACP (which had most folks were saying it was too big for the caliber).
I was starting to wonder, “What are they thinking?”
Glock 43 Pistol Review The Good
If you are a fan of the Glock system, you will like the 43. It retains all the classic lines, the same takedown method and has the look and most of the feel of just about any other Glock pistol. The author owns several Glocks without being a real “Glock Guy”, but honestly admired the looks of this one.
One of my initial complaints about the grip being too small is actually a good thing as historically this is the most difficult part of a pistol to conceal when carrying IWB. In spite of this, we felt no undue recoil imparted by the small grip and light weight. In fact the Glock 43 was quite pleasant to shoot.
There is no rail on this pistol, which means people will not be tempted to hang lights and lasers off the front end (not that aftermarket accessories are a bad thing, but keep in mind what this pistol is meant for). Likewise, Glock dispensed with their finger grooves on the 43. Both of these attributes help minimize the dimensions and make the G43 easy to carry and conceal. If you want a rail, go for something bigger.
Glock 43 Pistol Review The Bad
Some folks might be expecting a “Pocket 9″, but the 43 is just not that small. Someone with smaller sized hands who wears larger than normal pockets (Cargo Shorts or Windbreaker perhaps?) may be able to pull it off.
The author's size XXL mitts can only successfully draw a Seecamp LWS from the pocket of my Levis while being able to bring it on target and hit what I am aiming at in one fluid motion.
The author found the grip to be too small at first.
In fact in all honesty, if my only exposure to this pistol would have been to handle it at a gun show or a gun shop, I would have walked away from it without giving it a second look. Shooting makes all the difference.
There are no extended magazines available as yet and as of this writing there are no magazine extensions. The pistol shipped with a flush base magazine and one with an “elephant foot” extension that allows a better grip. The extension was external only, but following that size might allow a proper extension that could give 1 or possibly 2 extra rounds.
Like most other Glocks it came with cheap plastic sights. When the author purchases one, tritium night sights will be on order as well.
Glock 43 Pistol Review The Reality
A sudden winter storm in the Sierra Nevada kept me from getting to shoot it earlier than anticipated. We had access to a shooting area for a brief window with an improvised target (Phone book cover), despite those shortcomings we were impressed with the initial performance and it gave us something to look forward to the next day.
Shooting the Glock 43 made the author a believer. Our initial group was unremarkable, but the more we shot it, the tighter we were shooting.
We used Winchester White Box 115 grain FMJ's ( http://goo.gl/02ilYT ) to start with and then moved on to the same bullet configuration in CCI Lawman and a box of Remington UMC 115 FMC.
We tried some Remington subsonic 147 grain FMJ left over from a silencer shoot and since this will primarily be a defensive pistol for most shooters we stepped up to some various loads in JHP configuration for a magazine of each: Winchester SXT in 147, Corbon +Ps in 125 and a box of Federal JHP.
We experienced no malfunctions of any kind. Accuracy-wise, the pistol performed best with the CCI Lawman and UMC in 115 grain FMJ ( http://goo.gl/I9abRx ) . The Winchester ammunition gave us a group that was too big and was off from our point of aim significantly.
The small grip, flat profile and decent trigger make this a serious contender for concealed carry. Out of the box, it offers 2 more rounds than a J-Frame revolver and a familiar manual of arms to disciples of the Glock.
It will be a perfect handgun for most, probably lacking for some, but in our estimation, one that was well worth the wait.
Glock 43 Pistol Review Resources:
- Order you own Glock 43 Pistol online at Brownells: http://goo.gl/vsDUfD
- More Glock 43 Pistol Review Videos : http://tiny.cc/uzf89x
- Glock 43 Pistol Manuals : http://tiny.cc/c0f89x
About Mike Searson
Mike Searson's career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.
Mike has written over 2000 articles for a number of magazines, websites and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.
Want a second opinion? Check out our friend Massad Ayoob's take on the Glock 43 Pistol.