When the Glock 43 was first announced in an official Glock press release in March 2015, it instantly became one of the most anticipated new handguns of the year. Building on the success of the similar .380-caliber Glock 42, the Glock 43 represents the qualities and features of the 42 but is chambered in the more popular 9x19mm cartridge.
Seven years after its initial introduction, does the Glock 43 still hold up today? If you are in the market for a new concealed carry handgun, find out whether the Glock 43 is the pistol for you.
The Glock 43 (G43) is a semi-automatic pistol chambered in 9x19mm. It is one of the smallest and lightest handguns from the Austrian gunmaker, second only to its immediate predecessor, the .380 ACP Glock 42.
Like the G42, the Glock 43 is a subcompact pistol with a slimline frame. It is designed to accept a bespoke single stack magazine, meaning that it is not interchangeable with any of Glock’s traditional 9x19mm magazines (e.g., the Glock 26 10-round mag).
Chambering: 9x19mm Parabellum
Overall length: 6.26”
Height: 4.25” with flush-fit magazine inserted
Barrel length: 3.41”
Weight: 18 oz with empty magazine, approximately 20.6 loaded
Standard capacity: 6+1 (with both flush-fit and extended baseplate magazines)
The primary purpose of the Glock 43 is deep-concealed carrying. Although previous models, such as the Glock 19 and Glock 26, are also designed for this purpose, the Glock 43’s slim frame and single-stack magazine give it a much smaller footprint. The result is a smaller, thinner pistol that prints less and is even easier to carry than its predecessors.
While this pistol sacrifices legacy magazine compatibility, it gains far more concealability and portability. A fully-loaded Glock 43 weighs just over 20 ounces (6 ounces less than a fully-loaded G26) and is overall shorter (0.15”) and thinner (0.30”).
Controls and Ergonomics
From an ergonomic point of view, if you are already used to Glock pistols, the G43 treads no new ground.
Grip and ergonomics
If you carry your Glock 43 with the standard, flush-fit magazine, you get a 4.25” compact pistol with a noticeably short gripping surface. Unless you have relatively small hands, you may not be able to get a full, five-fingered grip on the Glock 43.
Fortunately, the pistol ships with an OEM extended baseplate magazine, known as the “pinky extension.” Although it slightly increases the pistol’s height (theoretically decreasing its concealability), the ergonomic advantage of having an extra surface area for your pinky finger may be worth the trade in a defensive situation.
The standard Glock 43 sights are identical to those found on the Glock 42 and made in the same U-shaped single-dot arrangement as all other OEM Glock sights. Like all OEM sights, they are functional, but their polymer construction may not hold up to extended abuse like better quality steel sights.
If you intend to replace them, look for G42/G43 compatible sights, as the dovetail dimensions are different from earlier models.
The G43 trigger is comparable in feel and weight to other Glock pistols, with a light takeup, a relatively stiff wall, and a hard break. Official documentation states the Glock 43’s trigger pull weight is about 5.4 lbs.
Although early models came with a relatively heavy trigger pull (7-7.5 lbs), current-production G43s come standard with an updated minus trigger connector. This brings it down to the advertised figures and makes accurate shooting more manageable.
If you already know your way around a Glock pistol, you will feel right at home with the Glock 43. The manual of arms is identical to previous models, including the field-stripping procedure.
If you’re unfamiliar with Glocks, the only controls on the G43 are the trigger, the magazine release button, the slide release lever, and the takedown lever. There is no manual safety lever on Glock pistols; instead, it features Glock’s trademark Safe-Action system and trigger-mounted safety lever.
Performance and Reliability
In general, the G43 lives up to the performance expectations of a Glock pistol. However, it is critical to remember the G43’s primary purpose is deep concealment. Shooters should expect performance tradeoffs.
The G43’s standard capacity of 6+1 rounds is often considered its weakest point. Even the OEM extended baseplate does not carry extra ammunition (making it a +0 extension).
When the pistol first hit the market, most shooters judged this capacity low for a single-stack subcompact (comparable models at the time offered 7+1 or 8+1). It now pales compared to more modern offerings (e.g., SIG P365, Springfield Hellcat).
If one of your primary criteria in a concealed carrying firearm is a high capacity, you may not find the Glock 43 the best choice. The only way to increase the magazine capacity is to browse aftermarket parts for third-party magazines or extensions.
The G43 is one of the most reliable concealed-carrying handguns on the market. It chambers, fires, and cycles virtually any 9x19mm ammunition at your disposal, from range 115-grain FMJ to self-defense 147-grain JHP +P, and even more exotic offerings, such as 74-grain Polycase projectiles or 105-grain EFMJ.
Recoil and shooting comfort
When loaded with typical, standard-pressure ammunition, the recoil produced is a little higher than other 9mm Glocks, yet comparable to other pistols of the same category.
Although the Glock 43 can safely fire hotter 9mm NATO and +P ammunition, expect snappy, uncomfortable recoil if you do.
Although it is manageable with practice, don’t expect the G43 to be the most comfortable pistol to shoot, especially with the flush-fit magazine inserted.
Because it is a subcompact pistol meant for self-defense and deep concealment, most shooters don’t expect to use the Glock 43 for long-distance work. Despite that, it is surprisingly capable. If accuracy is critical for you in a subcompact pistol, the G43 offers more than most other models.
Accuracy figures vary depending on the ammunition used and the shooter’s skill, but on average, you should expect group sizes of 1.5” to 2.5” at 7 yards. Experienced shooters can engage targets at up to 25 yards and keep their shots within a 4” circle. Although this kind of performance is expected of larger handguns, it is remarkable from the G43’s short barrel.
Find the Ideal Holster for Your Glock
The Glock 43 is an excellent choice for deep concealment, offering the reliability, performance, and ease of use that characterizes all Glock pistols in a small, easily concealable platform.
At We The People Holsters, many of our customers love Glocks. We offer top-quality, all-American IWB and OWB holsters for your Glock 43 or any other Glock model of your choice, available in Kydex or leather. Browse our selection today and find what you need to carry confidently.