After many months of anticipation, the new Glock 43 has been released, and we are pleased to offer our review of it. This 9x19mm pistol is the first single-stack Glock has produced in that caliber, providing a small and comfortable concealed carry package for Glock fans. It is not a radical departure from the basic Glock design, but it offers some features that will fill what many feel has been a gap in the gun maker’s lineup of handguns.
For nearly a year – certainly as far back as last summer – rumors have been flying around that Glock was developing a new compact pistol designed specifically for concealed carry. Not much was known about the specifications at first (there were even some unsubstantiated gossip that it was going to be chambered for the .22LR), but just the idea that it might be an improvement over the, well, problematic – that’s a good word – Glock 26 notched up the excitement.
Now that the Glock 43 is, indeed, on the market, let’s get to the actual specifications. First of all, it is a compact, concealable pistol. With an overall length of 6.26″ and width of just 1.02″ plus a height of 4.25″ (more on the importance of that, later), it is a slim, compact frame that can be comfortably carried concealed, even when wearing summer-weight clothing. The unloaded weight is just 17.95 ounces (unloaded), which also helps.
It is a 9x19mm, after all. That’s good news: If you have a full-frame gun in 9mm, and are used to the ballistics of that caliber, having a concealed carry pistol in the same caliber has its advantages. The other news is that it’s a single-stack, so it’s a 6+1 load you’ll be working with. Some people are going to have conflicting views about that capacity, but it’s the only way to achieve the slim profile. Also, since this is the first 9mm single-stack that Glock has ever produced, the Glock 43 will not accept any other of the manufacturer’s magazines. The good news is that, with a 6-round magazine, the weight of the handgun is only 22.36″ when loaded.
The frame is small, true, but Glock has obviously gone to a great deal of trouble to design it for a wide range of hand sizes. The grip has a beavertail design that allows the shooter to take a high and tight grip. The aggressive texture of the grip (and the fore-edge of the trigger guard) also allow for secure, comfortable handling. The large magazine catch, positioned for a variety of hand sizes, makes for fast mag changes.
The barrel is 3.39″ long and rifled RH hexagonal with a 1:9.84″ twist. The standard three-dot fixed sights have a 5.20″ radius. The trigger pull is set at about 5.5 pounds with a 0.49″ travel. In all respects, the Model 43 has been engineered, built and finished to the highest Glock standards, will all the accuracy and reliability for which Glock is famous.
It can be useful, at this point, to do some comparisons with the Glock 26. This was introduced in 1995 as Glock’s first sub-compact 9mm. It is a double-stack, with a 10+1 capacity, and a factory extension to add 2 more rounds. Not only is it slightly longer than the Model 43 (6.43″ versus 6.26″), it is, of course, wider (1.18″) due to its greater capacity. It is also heavier, at 21.71 ounces empty, a full 5½ ounces more than the Model 43. For many, the capacity made that a fair trade-off. Where the Model 26 attracted criticism, however, was in the grip: Since the height of the Glock pistol is only 4.17″ the grip will only accommodate a two-finger hold. For some shooters, particularly those with larger hands, that was an issue.
Glock’s fine reputation is based not only on their outstanding design and workmanship, but on the range of models they offer. With the introduction of the Glock 43, there is yet another option is available to the shooting public.