Gun Review: GLOCK 42

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The G42 for this review was provided by The Kentucky Gun Company.

With their oh-so-sly teaser ad campaign and the fact that it seemed like GLOCK hadn’t introduced a new gun since late in the first Clinton administration, the company did a marvelous job of whipping up loads of interest and anticipation for their new gun. Firearms folk had been hankering for a slim, single-stack, Tenifer-coated, easily-concealable nine since, well, late in the first Clinton administration. But Smyrna and their Teutonic overlords had other plans. In their judgement, what America really needed was a slim, single-stack, Tenifer-coated, easily-concealable .380. So when word broke that Gaston’s new gun was chambered in something less than full-blown 9mm . . .

the cries of shock and horror that rose from almost every corner of the gunosphere rivaled what you’d expect to get after a Miley Cyrus twerk-off. We’re talking wailing, gnashing of teeth, rending of clothing, predictions of dogs and cats living together, real wrath of God type stuff. But despite all of the sturm und drang, this is, after all, a GLOCK we’re talking about, right? Perfection. As the teaser ad claimed, the only other thing smaller than the G42 that fires every time is a freaking Zippo lighter. Only that’s not quite true. But more on reliability later.

A funny thing happened on the way to the clearance bin. When people actually got their hands on the new packable pistol, most were seriously impressed. Yes, it’s a little bigger than a P3AT or LCP, but it’s remarkably comfortable to hold and won’t bruise your palm at the range. Sure, it’s a little longer than most .380 carry guns, but it has real, useable sights. People (like me) with small hands loved the feel of the gun. And – whaddaya know? – GLOCK has been selling truckloads of the things since they first hit the stores. Maybe not everyone was as disappointed as it seemed.

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So in evaluating the GLOCK 42, talking about it being “only” a .380 – and the fact that it’s not made in the caliber “everyone” really wanted – is pretty much beside the point. You don’t buy a 42 to begin with if you’re not already OK with carrying a .380. You buy one because it is, in fact, a slim, easily-concealed, relatively light weight pistol that you’re likely to pack every day. And unlike some of its similarly-chambered competitors, being a GLOCK, it ships from the factory with a reputation for quality and reliability. Two rather important features everyone wants in their carry gun, no matter the caliber.

Make no mistake, the G42 is every inch a GLOCK. It looks kinda like they tossed a G19 in a dryer, turned it up to eleven and shrunk the hell out of it. While the 42 isn’t listed as a Gen4 gun, you’d expect it to borrow heavily from GLOCK’s latest design features and it does. No, there aren’t any interchangeable backstraps here. If your paw is too big to wrap around a 42, you’ll probably be happier with a 26, which is about the same size but significantly wider.

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The US-made .380 is a hair under six inches from stem to stern, a little over four inches high and .94 inches wide, but that’s at the slide stop. By my caliper, the slide measures a fairly svelte .83 inches. All the early gnashing of teeth that went on about the HUGE new .380 that GLOCK was foisting on the American market, it seems, was mostly over-hyped bleating by people who hadn’t even seen the gun yet.

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Kel Tec P3AT (with CT LaserGuard) on top of the G42

That’s not to say that the 42 isn’t bigger than, say, a P3AT…it is. I own a P3AT (I’m lucky to have one of the good ones) and I carry it a lot. Particularly in the summer, or when I need to pocket carry. Can you tote the G42 in a pocket? Absolutely, and I have. But it’s not as small or concealable as the little Kel Tec (or an LCP), particularly in jeans. While the 42′s length and width (G42 = .94″ wide, P3AT = .77″) are only marginally bigger, those extra millimeters do make a difference. At least they do to me.

A good illustration of the size difference is that I can only get 1 1/2 fingers on the P3AT (non-extended) grip, but can easily fit two on the 42′s.

P3AT 42 comparo

 

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As far as the pistol’s controls go, everything is GLOCK as usual. Safe Action trigger – check. Slide lock – check. Mag release – check. Takedown lever – check. It’s all right where it should be. And the field stripping process is exactly the same as it is on every other G-something you’ve ever seen.

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That’s not to say there aren’t a few differences. One is the grip.

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The 42 has Gen4-ish texturing, but it’s not nearly as rough as the bumps found on its bigger brothers. Unlike the big boys (but similar to the 26) the 42′s backstrap extends down almost flush with the bottom of the magazine. This gives you a little more palm room to hold the smaller gun and still ensures that the mag will drop free when your press the release.

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Another difference is in the trigger, though it’s minor. I side-by-sided the 42 with Dirk Diggler’s similarly-sized (but much wider) G26, the pistol that a lot of gunfolk will use as a comparison. The G42 is missing the 26′s vertical ridges on the trigger blade, probably because the blade is narrower on the .380. The 42 also has a slightly shorter re-set distance, too.

While we didn’t have a pull-weight scale, both triggers were close enough that any difference was negligible. And the G42 has the same characteristic feel – for better or worse – that GLOCK owners have come to know and love in their bangswitches.

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So with a few relatively minor differences, the GLOCK 42 is basically a shrunken head version of every other GLOCK you’ve ever seen or shot. And that’s a good thing. No matter what you think of their guns, if you pick up any GLOCK in the dark, you know exactly where everything is and how to use the gun. No fumbling, no feeling around – they all work the same. The 42 is no exception.

Which brings us to shooting this baby. Let’s get one thing out of the way first – the G42 is easily the most comfortably-shooting .380 I’ve ever tried. And it’s not hard to see why. The GLOCK is a little larger and slightly heavier than most other .380s. Two similar guns that I’ve compared with the G42 – the P3AT and Dirk Diggler’s P238 – were noticeably snappier (though the P238 was only slightly so) when using the same ammo. I’m not sure if Sheldon Cooper said it, but physics is physics. You can’t fool mother nature…or Sir Isaac Newton. A gun that weighs more and fills your hand more fully will yield less felt recoil.

That means no problems at the range, right? Well, not exactly. While GLOCKs have the well-earned reputation for being able to shoot virtually anything you can cram in a magazine, that’s decidedly not the case with the G42. The babiest GLOCK has some very specific ideas about what it will and won’t eat. As some other shooters have already found, the vast majority of rounds work just fine. But heavier, higher pressure rounds and even some lighter stuff might as well be steamed brussels sprouts as far as the G42 is concerned.

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I’ve put over 500 rounds of various brands, weights and types through the gun so far, most of them, flawlessly. Everything from gun show bagged reloads to Russian cheap stuff up to Hornady’s best. But not everything works. Hickok45 found that super-snappy, 100gr. Buffalo Bore +P rounds tend to lock the GLOCK’s slide back with rounds still in the mag. Repeating the experiment, Dirk and I confirmed that for ourselves.

And if Buffalo Bore makes the 42 nauseous, Freedom Munitions 100 grainers makes it puke all over its shoes. On the other end of the spectrum, a relatively lighter shooting round like the Barnes XPD doesn’t seem to cycle the gun at all.

So it would seem that the 42′s recoil spring is rather tightly wound, so to speak. Meaning as long as your ammo of choice would please Goldilocks – not too hot and not too cold – you’ll have no problems at all. While GLOCK has had, well, difficulties with new springs in the past, the G42′s finicky nature doesn’t seem to be nearly as problematic.

The takeaway here is that the GLOCK 42 won’t shoot just anything you cram into it. The petite pistol will happily touch off most commercially available range and personal defense rounds out there, but if you select something that’s too far out there on either end of the weight/pressure spectrum, you may very well have problems.

Is that a deal-breaker? Hardly. Most guns favor certain ammo over others. While it’s not what we’ve come to expect from GLOCKs, I don’t have a problem putting in a little range time to make sure my carry gun reliably runs the ammo I’m putting into it. Hell, I’m going to do that anyway. And for reference sake, two of the .380 loads we tested that ShootingTheBull410 put in his top fiveHornady Critical Defense and the champ, Precision One – worked flawlessly.

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As for accuracy…please. This is a soft-shooting pistol with excellent (for its caliber) sights. You won’t have any difficulty hitting anything toward which you point a 42 at a legally explainable personal defense distance.

I’ve never owned a GLOCK before because my hands are just too small. I wanted a G19, but I couldn’t shoot the damned thing as accurately or comfortably as I can my very GLOCK-ish single stack Kahr CW9. The G42 changes all that (and saves me more than a quarter pound of ballast on my hip). I’ve been packing the 42 religiously since I got it, either in a pocket or, most often, very comfortably in a SHTF Gear IWB holster. It’s light and wonderfully unobtrusive and (loaded with seven rounds of Precision One ammo) it’s going to be my go-to carry gun.

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Caliber carping aside, some will quibble that it’s on the large side for a 6+1 .380. Others will look at the the mags and wonder why they couldn’t have crammed at least one more round in there somehow. And plenty have already pointed out that there are other smaller options out there that pack the same number of rounds.

The fact is, for the vast majority of gun buyers out there, the G42 comes with instant credibility because it’s a GLOCK. The 42 will be one of the first guns most gun store proprietors plop on the counter when a customer strolls up asking for something affordable that they can comfortably pack every day. And for just about all of them, the G42 will be an excellent choice.

The G42 for this review was provided by The Kentucky Gun Company.

Specifications:

Length: 5.94”
Height: 4.13”
Barrel Length: 3.25”
Width: 0.94”
Weight: 13.8 ozs. (including unloaded mag)
Trigger pull: 5.5 lbs.
Capacity: 6+1
MSRP: $480

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability: * * * *
Unlike almost every other GLOCK, you can’t just feed the G42 anything your LGS has for sale and know it will go bang. There are some rounds that this pistol definitely doesn’t like. But those loads are a minority and once you determine that your carry round makes your G42 happy, you can be confident in typical GLOCK perf– reliability.

Ergonomics (carry): * * * *
This is a small, eminently concealable pistol that’s meant to be carried. It’s pocketable, though tends to print. Holster carry is a dream, though. That said, it’s also a little larger than a lot of other .380 options out there (i.e., Kel Tec, Ruger, Taurus, Kahr). Whether that difference is important will be up to the individual shooter.

Ergonomics (shooting): * * * * *
For small-mitted shooters like me, the G42 feels ideal in the hand and having real, useable sights on a .380 is a nice novelty. Shooting typical range FMJ and JHP rounds is smooth and results in only moderate recoil. If it isn’t the best-shooting .380 out there, it’s amongst ‘em.

Customise this: * * * *
While there aren’t a lot of options on the market yet (maybe a dozen holsters so far), it’s a GLOCK for God’s sake. You have to know people like Crimson Trace, Hi Viz, Lone Wolf and scores of others out there beavering away to fill the inevitable demand for sights, trigger kits, lasers…you name it. Patience.

Overall: * * * *
Again, don’t talk to me about the G42 not being a nine. That’s beside the point. As a concealable, personal defense .380 that you’re likely to carry every day, the 42 is a strong addition to the GLOCK pantheon. No, it’s not as small as some other .380s out there, but it also won’t beat your hand to a pulp when you shoot it. It will be interesting to see what the gun does with the inevitable replacement recoil springs and maybe a grip extension to let you get another finger into the fight. Still, if you’re like me and deluded enough to be comfortable packing a .380 (with good defensive rounds) as your carry gun, the GLOCK 42 won’t disappoint you.

117 Responses to Gun Review: GLOCK 42

  1. avatarJohn K says:

    It’s Hickock45 not Kickok45

  2. avatarDanny Griffin says:

    Well I, for one, don’t get it. Loads of interest and anticipation for a .380 Auto? Sad.

    • avatarRoscoe says:

      Keeps the interest up and generates new sales activity; you favor a strong, quality gun industry, don’t you?

      Besides, not all gun users have your braun. What’s your problem with that?

      I own multiple handguns from .22 through .44 mag / .45ACP. Each has its use and purpose.

      I guess if you want to be a caliber snob, it’s your loss.

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      You know what’s really mind – blowing? A lot of .380 costs more than 9mm. Still .380 is going to be a good caliber for my recoil sensitive wife, and maybe as a backup for me.

      • avatarGregolas says:

        My wife. Ditto. I’ve been in the doghouse ever since I sold her SIG P230.
        The 42 should get me out.

      • avatarKent Unterseher says:

        I agree. I bought a Ruger LCP and thought mine would love it. The small frame and light wait, however, gives it a lot of felt recoil. She fired one mag through it and handed it back with a, “no thank you”. She does love shooting my suppressed 22/45, however. She has good taste… :-) I’m thinking this might be a good fit for her. Thanks for the review Dan!

    • avatarRob Aught says:

      I’ve never understood the .380 hate. Ballistically it is not that different than a 9mm Luger. There is literally 2mm difference in the length of bullet between the two and they are both 9mm in diameter. If I were knowingly going into a gunfight I would take a 9mm anyday, but for an everyday carry gun where you hope not to use it but want a big enough bullet the .380 is what I consider the bottom of the ballistic barrel for self defense. Not the greatest but powerful enough to get the job done.

      I can get behind piling on .32 ACP and .25 ACP because though rounds have some serious issues when it comes to actually doing enough tissue damage to stop an assailant. Yes, yes, “placement matters” but it also matter that you inflict enough damage/pain to convince someone that attacking you is just not worth it even if you don’t get off a perfect shot. That said, I know of some folks who, for medical reasons, can’t even handle a .380 and so they do use the lower calibers.

      If I want a 9mm subcompact Glock they already make one. If I want a single stack, I’ll get a S&W Shield. I believe Glock attempted a .45 single stack and it flopped. This makes sense from their perspective and if it does well it may yet get the 9mm treatment.

      However, their is nothing manlier about a 9mm vs. .380. Following that logic we should all be carrying .45′s and none of this 9mm eurotrash.

      • avatarJim Barrett says:

        There is a lot more to the equation than bullet size. Check the wikipedia entries for 9mm and .380 and pay attention to the energy in the Ballistic Performance box on the right. The 9mm is moving a hell of a lot faster than the .380 and this combined with the bullet weight in the larger sizes (124 and 147 grain) means a lot more energy gets transferred to the target.

        Velocity also increases the penetration of the round, so a 9mm is more likely to have a lot of punch remaining after it penetrates thick clothing than a .380.

        Not saying that the .380 is not a lethal round – hell, a .22 is very lethal in the right place. It’s just that the lethal margin of error is less with 9mm versus .380 which is why some people shy away from the .380 in favor of the 9.

        • avatarRob Aught says:

          Sorry, I oversimplified trying to cover too many bases at once.

          Yes, the 9mm is a superior penetrator and that is why I would prefer it over the .380.

          However, the overall difference even in penetration is still not that great. At the end of the day, any handgun is lousy in a gunfight. As I’ve heard it put so succinctly “I carry a handgun because I can’t conceal a rifle”

      • avatarHannibal says:

        Or check the difference between the height\length of a .22 vs. .223 bullet only… it’s not the whole story indeed.

      • avatarAccur81 says:

        Rob,

        The .380 “hate” is because it is a marginal caliber. It is handily outperformed by the .40 Smith, which literally carries twice the mass for twice the energy or more, and a larger diameter bullet. The 9mm has considerably more penetration and energy than the .380 as well. If proper bullet and brand selection is not religiously followed, the .380 will fail to push its 85-100 grain JHP through 12″ of gel with 1.5x expansion. Most .380 JHPs under penetrate, and ball penetrates past 18″ without expanding. Not good.

        Shooting the Bull recently documented only two rounds (Federal HydraShok and an off brand) which were reliably able to perform through denim covered gel. The 9mm, .40, and .45 will push virtually *any* decent JHP through 12 plus inches of gel combined with 1.5x penetration.

        Were I to go into a gun fight, I’d take a 12 gauge, 5.56, 6.8, or 300 BLK. At distance, it’d be a .308 or .338 Lapua.

    • avatarJim Barrett says:

      Nah, it makes perfect sense. Glock gets to test out it’s new single stack manufacturing process on a gun that will have really good, but not stupendous sales. Lot’s of Glock people run out to grab this first effort. Next year at the shot show, they finally unveil the 42.5 (or whatever the hell they are going to call it) in 9mm. Many of the people who bought the 42 run out and get the new gun as well as people who decided to sit out the whole .380 option. They sell way more .380 guns than they would have if the 9mm had been released at the same time.

      • avatarmrvco says:

        Exactly.

      • avatarAccur81 says:

        Glock knows marketing.

      • avatarGregolas says:

        You make sense Jim. I’ll buy the 42 for my wife and then be first in line for the single stack 9mm next year.
        Color me hooked.

      • avatartdiinva says:

        Glock Fans are just like iPhone junkies. They both rush out to buy the lastest product even wheh there are better options. I bet there are a lot of Glocksters, who never would have considered a 380 before the 42 came out, rushing out to buy one.

        • avatarMichael B. says:

          I ran out and bought a Glock 30S recently. Totally worth the money I paid for it, by the way. I know you like .45 too so if you’re in the market for an easily concealable good shooter with 11 rounds of 230 grain on board, give it a look.

        • avatarAccur81 says:

          Which better options? I can get a Glock 42 for $339. Which .380 out there offers more value and better performance?

        • avatarMichael B. says:

          Us non-LEO, non-security, non-EMT, non-military, non-firefighters can’t get Glocks for that cheap. So keep that in mind.

        • avatartdiinva says:

          I prefer tuperware by Springfield and I generally do not carry anything smaller than a compact.

        • avatarStinkeye says:

          The Kahr CW380 is only $350, and it will actually shoot those Buffalo Bore 100-grainers that gave this Glock fits.

  3. avatarTangledThorns says:

    Mark my words. Glock will be doing a Ruger and we’ll be seeing this in 9mm next year.

    • avatarBen_in_PA says:

      It looks like Glock learned from Ruger’s experience. After Ruger released the LCP, they came out with the bigger LC9, and then offered the bigger gun in .380 to satisfy the people who wanted something with real sights and big enough to comfortable hold and shoot. Glock jumped to the bigger .380 from the start.

    • avatarTaylor Tx says:

      Id honestly prefer if it was a 9mm :) but to each his own.

  4. avatarMark N. says:

    Did some one’s puppy get ahold of one of those mags? Looks pretty chewed up in the pic.

    • avatarMark N. says:

      Oh, I know. It is a baby GOCK, after all, and the review said it was having “teething” problems.

    • avatarDan Zimmerman says:

      Sure did. Had the gun less than an hour when one of my Labs snuck it off the table.

      • avatarpeirsonb says:

        ONE OF my labs?

        I knew I liked you for more than just impeccable grammar and wit….

      • avatarKyle in CT says:

        Excellent argument for why the caliber argument is irrelevant. If somebody breaks into my house the dogs are going to turn them into cat food before I’m even out of bed.

      • avatarAccur81 says:

        Not gun related, but my Weimaraner destroyed my wife’s favorite pair of red high heels, and literally ate a pair of Ugs and barfed them up. Daddy was not happy.

        • avatarGregolas says:

          Why? Were they your Ugs?

        • avatarAccur81 says:

          No. Wife looked good in both. Replacing the high heels ran me $80 (but was very worth it), and I’m not paying $200 + bucks to replace the Ugs. Let’s just say I’d rather spend the money on ammo or scotch.

        • avatarRobinson says:

          Just curious where you can get a glock 42 for $339. I’m considering one but not for the higher prices I’ve seen.

  5. avatarensitue says:

    Just what was wanted/needed a 380 with sights, size and mass equal to the tasks required in MOUT situations (but too heavy to carry in a pocket)

  6. avatarChris says:

    Wow. If only the R51 had gotten as much deference in the “customize this” category. “People will make stuff for it, so it counts, trust me”. As opposed to “Only one holster available? 1 month after it was announced? 1 star!”

    • avatarHannibal says:

      Yeah it’s kinda funny how one gun will get a pass over another because apparently people still want a glock that doesn’t eat all ammo even though that’s one of the things glock is supposed to do…

    • avatarTrick says:

      I am so glad that other people are seeing this too.
      1) R51 got knocked for being too big. The Glock being larger than its competitors is somehow glorified for it.
      2) It basically failed the one task all Glocks do, fire everything. Its larger, thicker, and more expensive than it’s competitors and somehow got a favorable review because it’s a Glock.

      • avatarChris says:

        This site fails at reviews, hard. This smells to me like “Hey, everyone says the glock is silly, lets give it a perfect score!” and “Hey, everyone loves the R51, its refreshing, lets give it TWO STARS”

        • avatarMichael B. says:

          Both guns are crap.

          This has been a short review from Michael B.

        • avatarActually says:

          In TTAG’s defense, the R51 and G42 were reviewed by two different people. Also, I like the fact that TTAG goes with the no-BS, like it or not here’s what I personally think style vs. the “professional” magazine style which can lull you into a false sense of trust. As someone who’s been coming here a couple of years now I understand that there’s no standard the reviewers use when coming up with ratings, or even reviewing the guns. Also, the reviews tend to be very subjective.

          So, as anyone should do with any single review from anyone (in person, on the internet, in a magazine, etc.) I take what I read here into consideration… but don’t base my decision solely on it.

          That said, it does seem ridiculous that the G42 gets a pass and 4 stars for “reliability” despite supposedly being “Perfection” yet being extremely picky about ammo, while there’s apparently “no reason” to buy the R51 despite it working with all types of ammo, having a super easy to rack slide, being cheaper, etc. The only major real problem I saw with the R51 was with putting the slide stop back potentially incorrectly. Which I would imagine will be quickly fixed by Remington if it really is that hard to put it back together properly.

          Some of the wording for the R51 really made it seem like the reviewer was still sore that he wasn’t part of the crew that had an all expenses paid trip to be the first ones to test the gun out to be honest.

        • avatarMichael B. says:

          I also wish they’d have reviewers who are normal-sized review guns that give bigger guys slide bite.

        • avatarRenegade Dave says:

          I don’t know, the R51 had a serious flaw w/ the reassembly bit, and was apparently painful to shoot, not just for NL, but RF as well.

          The problem with comparing the 42 to it’s competitors, you’re only looking at 380s, which are generally smaller, so by comparison this is larger. However it is slightly smaller and notably lighter than a shield or XDs9 (and also with a weenier caliber). The reviewer mentioned he has small hands and it fits him well. He’s someone who obviously doesn’t mind carrying 380, so he had a positive review of it.

          I would like to see a “state of the CCW” article that is more or less a round up of single stack pistols with picks for “best for new shooters/women” etc. I suspect after this SHOT show there isn’t a lot that has changed from last year.

      • avatarAccur81 says:

        Probably best to stick with the Guns & Ammo reviews, then. Every product is a winner.

      • avatarRenegade Dave says:

        I started to agree with you, then I stopped. The R51 is a Remington, the 42 is a Glock. Glock is the 800 lb gorilla of handguns. So the 42 WILL sell a lot (and is from what I understand). The R51 may or may not succeed, either way you’ve got a pistol supported by Glock and a pistol supported by Remmington. The 42 will have at least twice as many holster options this time next year than the R51.

  7. avatardlj95118 says:

    “…predictions of dogs and cats living together, real wrath of God type stuff.”
    Nice Ghost Busters reference!

    • avatarHeretical Politik says:

      Agreed…

      Also, great review. I’m not going to run out and buy one of these right this minute, but I probably will at some point.

      • avatardlj95118 says:

        …my first thought was “I want one!”. Then, someone mentioned waiting a year to let the bugs be worked out. THEN Kalifornia pushed the micro-stamp ruling, and that’s when I gave up on the idea.

    • avatarPulatso says:

      If someone asks if you want a Glock, SAY YES!

  8. avatarAccur81 says:

    I may be getting one of these for the wife to CCW. It would be nice to shoot everything (so far my Glock 23 shoots everything I’ve put in to from 180 grain range reloads – screw the warranty – to Underwood 155 and 165 JHP+Ps).

    With that being said, ARs can get jammed with 35 grain ammo and more than a few high end 1911s have choked on JHPs. Since I’ll actually shoot my SD guns with practice ammo and 100-200 rounds of SD ammo, I’ll know that my gun is reliable from actual testing and practice.

    If an experienced author chooses a gun for his EDC CCW, that’s high praise. It’s looking like this gun is worth at least some of the hype.

  9. avatarRalph says:

    If the G42 isn’t cycling all ammo properly, the problem might be the recoil springs — again. You’d think that “Perfection” might actually mean being perfect, but apparently it means something different in Austria. And Georgia.

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      Easy fix, though.

      • avatarRalph says:

        Not necessarily. The last time Glock had spring problems, the company simply retrofitted their new generation pistols with old generation springs, et voila! Problem fixed.

        But there are no old generation springs for the G42.

        • avatarAccur81 says:

          According to the review, it works reliably with *most* ammo. I take that to mean exactly what it says. The author is sufficiently confident with its reliability to carry it every day.

          So the “fix” may take awhile but the gun can allegedly still run just fine as is. I’d give a gun 4 stars if it can shoot SAAMI spec ammo 200/200, and 5 stars if it can shoot everything. YMMV.

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      Glock’s obsession with putting double recoil springs in all of their Gen 4 guns was stupid. The Glock 17 and 19 were just fine without double recoil springs. This thing would be fine without one too. .40, 10mm, .357 Sig, and .45ACP? Fine. But .380 and 9mm? Ridiculous.

  10. avatarPhilip says:

    Dan,

    Is the metal base plate of your recoil spring assembly bent slightly? Mine is not a perfectly flat circle and I’m trying to determine if I got a bad apple or if this is normal.

    Shoots fine though.

    Thanks

  11. avatarDirk Diggler says:

    if you don’t want to keep it Dan, holla. I will buy it.

  12. avatarensitue says:

    5.3 OZ lighter than an empty G-26 9mm, but with more pocket unfriendly square edges and less Boolits/power

  13. avatarDavid says:

    more junk from Glock,and more R&D research done by the John Q public as usual. whatever happened to Glock perfection that Gaston Glock started in 1984. a military designed self defense pistol that’s finicky on ammunition that is absolutely ridiculous! Glock is just making money off their name now, their product has dropped in quality tenfold since 1984! and no most guns today will shoot just about any ammunition you want, its the older guns that have issues with hollow point ammunition in various load weights and pressure levels! most new guns Wolfire anything you put in the magazine. I own 7 blocks dating from 1985 all the way up till current and I’ve had a serious issue with my 19 as everyone else did with the request spring. I owned a 36 that the magazine delaminated in the mag well so bad I had to take the slide of impound the magazine out with a wooden doll and a hammer! more junk for the unsuspecting new gun owner that doesn’t know the difference between quality made firearms and crap! they’re just living off the name that guest on block made for them over years of producing high quality high functioning combat-ready firearms not the junk there making today!

    • avatarensitue says:

      Disengage auto-spell-check

    • avatarKCK says:

      Here is a guy who knows what is junk. He has studied Quality Control for years. Everything he writes is checked and re-check.
      He would never let anything out the door that is sub quality.

      Unlike “more junk from Glock”
      his guns Wolfire anything.
      he owns 7 blocks
      all with the request spring.
      and the slide of impound
      Barbie is jealous because he’s out with a wooden doll.
      And finaly, they are living off the name that guest on block made … not the junk there making today!
      Dave, Dave, Dave, Thou doth protest too much.

      BTW
      Glock, S&W, SIG, Colt and Kimber are all crap too!

      • avatarJWC says:

        You all better watch out. Later down the guy might turn out to be a heavily disabled vet, and you will get called names.

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          Yep, you’re correct. Disabled veteran, partially sighted, commenting via speech to text on his phone. I’m not going to call anyone names, just verifying that what you said is accurate.

  14. avatarbontai Joe says:

    But… But.. it doesn’t have a rail, or threaded barrel or a bayonet lug. How am I gonna look tacticool with this (just kidding!) I’m thinking that this might be good for the Mrs. to carry. Reliable, simple to use, manageable recoil and decent sights pretty much checks off all the stuff on my list for a gun for her to carry.

    • avatartdiinva says:

      I hear “a 380 for the wifey” a lot. I think that is real sexism. Women can handle larger calibers just fine.

      • Yep. My wife passed her CHL test using a Glock 21…

      • avatarHank says:

        Mmmhmm. Don’t get in front of my wife with a 9mm and say that.

      • avatarLC Judas says:

        Some of them often insist on a 380 from their reading or from LGS owners and employees offering “experienced” advice.

        This ultimately is a bad call because trying it is how you know you like it and my girl carped the 380 blues till she got it and shot it next to my MP9C. Then she put the 380 down on her own and tore the target up with authority with my 9mm.

        Same girl is scared to shoot a .45, since it’s a mule kicking death ray and all. She’s afraid of damaging the nearby countryside…/sarcasm off

        That leeriness is real and palpable for her. If I had some. 45 ball I would train her on it but that time will come. Preconceived notions and the idea of a fear supercedes any practical application of that fear being rational more often than not. Some of us don’t have the budget or patience or luxury of time required to dispel these fears (5 fruitless range visits and long discussion on my end just to get from .22 and .38 to 9mm) so it’s like releasing a product that saves time and effort but still performs the (sex is by nature) purpose in this case.

        Your mileage and others may vary of course.

  15. avatartdiinva says:

    The Glock 42 appears to be the most reviewed handgun in history. It’s an inexpensive, reliable 380 carry gun that breaks no new ground. Enough already.

  16. avatarGerg McKing says:

    Gigantic YAWN…. love my Glock 26 Gen4, but my other gun is a Kahr CM9, chambered in a “full-blown” 9mm +P round; the CM9 is smaller in every aspect than the new Glock 42. I carry the Glock 26 most of the time when I can conceal under a coat. Sometimes the Kahr CM9 fills the bill, being smaller I can pocket carry if I have to or holster it. I have the best of both worlds and can carry +P self defense 9mm HP rounds. Screw .380, ammo cost more and it is weaker, no doubt. If I got a 380 (and don’t ever plan on it) my choice would be a super small frame model not a G42. I already have a 9mm smaller than the G42. BTW I reload my 9mm for about 15 cents a round…. You all have a good day.

  17. avatarJeff G. says:

    I’d be curious to see how it stacks up against a Walther PK380. The Walther is not the smallest .380 out there but it is still easily concealable and a dream to shoot. Has barely more recoil than a Walther P22.

    • avatarKCK says:

      Got one, love it, PK that is. Sweetest shooter I have and yes, my wife carries it.
      Easy slide rack. Best grip feel of all. Looking to compare the two.

      For carry, she doesn’t like to carry the PK with the safety off and it is a flick up not a sweep down. Her thumb bends kinda odd so she often uses her off hand to operate the safety.
      I would feel better if she could just draw and fire.
      So I’m looking at the 42 for her to carry and one for me… just because.

      One other thing about the PK, no slide stop, gotta use the empty mag to lock open.

  18. avatarJavier says:

    The reason it doesn’t have a grooved trigger is that it’s made in the USA, so said grooves didn’t need to be added to meet BATFE’s stupid points requirements for imports.

  19. avatarSemper Why says:

    While I think it’s interesting to compare this every so often with the Glock 26… how does it compare with the G36? Same capacity, bigger bullets… the difference must be in size, right? But where?

  20. avatarNathanael says:

    Yep, this is pretty much dead on. The G42 will not give maximum firepower per cubic inch and it has some trouble cycling ammo that’s at the extreme ends of the 380 bell curve. I think that the second is a worse problem than the first, but will likely be fixed, and is easy enough to work around in the meantime. Glock fans are, of course, snapping them up right now, but in the long term this gun will do very well being sold to new shooters, especially those who have trouble handling more powerful loads.

  21. avatarDetroiter says:

    Meh. Xds 9mm still wins on paper. I will likely never even shoot this unless a buddy happens to buy one….

  22. avatarJesse M says:

    Can you put it next to the Kahr CW9? I have the CW9 and I love it and on paper it looks to be the same size only having the advantage of being 9mm which makes it a bit more appealing to me.

    • avatarmrvco says:

      ditto, I’d also like to see that CW9 / G42 comparison.

      • avatarAccur81 says:

        Me too.

      • avatarMark N. says:

        Ditto. I think the big difference will be height (4.5″ for the CW, 4.13 for the GLOCK) capacity (7+1 for the CW in 9 mm, versus 6+1 in .380 for the GLOCK) and barrel length (3.6 for the CW, versus 3.25 for the GLOCK). O/A length is a tie.
        A better comparison would be to the CM9, which is less tall (4.0″) and carries one less round than the CW, and also has a shorter barrel (3.0″) (weight is about the same as the GLOCK).

        I own a CW9 and love it. Not suitable for pocket carry though. I would have bought a CM, but California tells me it is an “unsafe” handgun and cannot be purchased.

  23. avatarKevin A says:

    You have small hands? Then I must have girl hands. I was able to get all of my fingers around gun and hold it comfortably. It was, without a doubt, the nicest small sized carry gun that I’ve held.

    One will be in my safe soon.

    • avatarHank says:

      +1 Agreed. After looking at the LCP, 738, and others, this is a great pistol. Yes, there’s a slight size compromise, but it pays off in a pistol that is actually fun to shoot.

      As for it being a 380, I’ll take shootingthebull410′s thorough research over all the bloviating any day of the week.

  24. avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    Anyone release a +2 baseplate for this yet? It’d be good for pinkies..

    • avatarDaniel Casher says:

      Galloway Precision will soon have a +1 Mag Extension on the market. Around $15. I might or might not opt for it. They already have a Stainless Steel guide rod assembly for $22. This is the best 380 I have ever shot. My only complaint was the finger grip ribs on the end of the slide weren’t aggressive enough. I fixed that with a couple of little pieces of grip tape. I installed Ameriglo night sights on mine, and that is all I’m gonna do I think. At first I wanted to lighten the trigger pull, like on my G19, but not now. A little dry fire practice and the little 42 is just fine. I load it with Precision One 90gr FTX which shoots just fine in it. I did run a box and a half of Buffalo Bore 100gr +P Hard Cast Flat Nose through it with no problems whatsoever, but they are quite a bit snappier, and I don’t like the over penetration factor. I love the bone crushing flat nose bullet, but I prefer my rounds to stay inside the recipient. The Precision One’s tested great, with 12-14″ penetration and expansion. I won’t abandon my G19 or my Sig P938, but I have no fear of carrying the G42 at all. A great little gun.

  25. avatarCogline says:

    I hope that this hot selling Glock will lead to more/cheaper .380 ammo being available. Would love the cost of shooting my PPK to come down some.

    Maybe Glock could have silenced some of the critics if they had called it a 9mm Kurz instead of a .380.

  26. avatarcatboss says:

    What? You can’t come up with your own stuff, you have to steal Ghost Buster lyrics? – “dogs and cats living together, real wrath of God type stuff”.
    I’ll bet you thought no one would call you on this.

    • avatarRalph says:

      Wow! You are the only human being in the entire universe who has ever seen Ghostbusters and remembers that particular scene! Thank you for helping us out. We are not worthy to be in the presence of your eidetic memory. Now go back to your Xbox and leave the adults alone.

    • Yes. You caught me. I’m guilty. I’d concocted a nefarious plan to use an obscure quote only a handful of dedicated cinemaphiles would have heard from a movie almost no one has ever seen and pass it off as my own original work. But somehow you saw right through my carefully veiled web of deceit.

      Bravo, sir. You’re obviously the better man. I hereby turn in my cinematic reference card and I’m canceling my Netflix membership.

  27. avatarkato says:

    Thanks for taking the time to report on the G42 for us. Nice work. Caliber aside, it appears a nice little pistol. Not sure it will replace my LCP, but it is a Glock, so maybe. And, I also will be in line for the 9mm version next year…

  28. avatarJames says:

    The arrival of the Glock 42 in stores is a good thing. Many persons who carry a concealed handgun pretend that they lug around a full-sized 1911 in .45 ACP all the time. That is untrue. Pistol and holster sales data demonstrates that .380 pistols must serve as either a primary or backup carry weapon for a very large number individuals. Competition in that market segment is desirable since it should improve quality – which is already good – and lower prices. The best thing about the G42 is that it provides another choice for people who either can’t or won’t shoot a more powerful round.

    The Glock 42 may not be my cup of tea, but for some shooters it is exactly what they want and need.

  29. avatarChas says:

    Owned one .380 in my life; I’ll never own another. Anyone who carries .380 isn’t serious about self-protection.

  30. avatarST says:

    Some thoughts.

    The G42 is a gun for John Q Public. See, unlike us gun geeks, John and Jane Q don’t know about terminal ballistics, 9mm vs 45 ACP, or who John Moses Browning is. All they know is they need a gun, it can’t cost a lot, and it needs to be concealable. Im not married and have no immediate plans for such, but the men I know who are can’t bring home a $600+ handgun unless it comes with a divorce attorney’s retainer.

    Go ahead, pooh pooh it because its chambered in .380. But remember, most people walking about in America wont ever need to do more then draw the piece to end the fight. Even more people will go to their graves without ever needing to clear holster in direct self defense. For folks who commute to work in a car, work in an office, and whose primary weapon on duty is a laptop computer from the company IT department, this is just the ticket.

    For all the talk about firearms and self defense, there are a LOT more concrete threats to our lives then being shot . Like a car wreck, or heart disease. I don’t carry a .380 myself, but a man or woman who totes one and has a Bondurant-type vehicle dynamics class and an active gym membership is better prepared for realistic “tactical threats” to their lives then the obese guy with a Sig P226 Navy on his overburdened hip.

    As to the R51 vs G42 review “discrepancy” noted above, ill just say that the G42 can be disassembled and re-assembled by the user without requiring a test fire afterward to verify the thing actually works.

  31. avatarJay says:

    I have been extremely happy with my LCP. It kicks like a mule but it can get the job done. Not that pocket carry without a pocket holster is a recommended method of carrying, the long trigger squeeze on the LCP (and P3-AT for that matter) allows it to be pretty forgiving. If I were to carry without a holster, I’d rather carry the LCP than the Glock and I am concerned that there are those who will chuck the thing into their pants without a holster and cause unneeded drama.

  32. avatarJT says:

    I am still wanting to hold out for a 9mm. And there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to fit an extra round in that mag. The teething issues with ammo gives me the feeling that this will end up like the first few years of the 9mm gen 4 guns (and to some extent the gen 3 guns at the same time) First was the recoil springs, and they went through a couple revisions of those to find the ones that worked best. Then They decided to change to MIM extractors and that screwed up both generations, leading to them introducing a new ejector to fix the issue. It seemed like it took about 2 years to get the gen 4 guns actually working properly.

  33. avatarGlockinpocket says:

    All this fuss over .380 vs. 9mm, the size of your pistol and the size of your hands! The most overlooked gun on the market seems to be the old Glock Model 36. My 36 is 3/4 inch longer than the new “Baby Glock” and is 1/2 inch taller — AND IT’S A .45 APC!!! With the Crimson Trace Laserguard, it eats the heart out of a target at 25 yards! It has never failed to cycle whatever brand or weight of ammo I happen to feed it. I’ll admit that it is a bit heavy in my front pocket, but you get used to it — and the confidence that is felt with a .45 vs. anything else is really good compensation! With a Fobus ankle holster (sometimes I carry two!), you can almost forget it’s there. For the little differences in size and weight, I’ll stick with my .45s!

  34. avatarKevin says:

    For crying out loud Glocks are NOT perfection. FLAME DELETED

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

      There has been a serious lack of decorum around here lately, and it’s not going to continue. Do not flame other commenters, the site, or the authors. It’s that simple. If you can’t abide by that, scuttle back off to Facebook.

  35. avatarSilentSecessionist says:

    I handled both the G42 and the R51 extensively at SHOT, And considering the OVERLY critical R51 review, and the overly generous G42 review, I don’t think I can comfortably trust TTAG’s firearm reviews anymore.

    Or I suppose it could just be that our hands and aesthetic appreciation are so different as to denote us as different SPECIES. But really I get the feel by what you’ve written that it’s a matter of Bias. just comes off that way.

  36. avatarBarstow Cowboy says:

    Next time hire a hand model to stand in for you.

  37. avatarDavid L. says:

    I like Glocks, but I don’t love them. I own a 27 that I like to shoot (and it has never failed to go bang), and I bought a 42 that runs just like described in the review. It will not fire the Barnes 80 gr. (at least not more then once). It will fire most everything else (had some issues with Buffalo Bore), but then so will my 30 year old Colt Government .380 (which DOES fire the Barnes) If the new model 42 had been a Taurus, Kel Tec, Ruger, Colt or Springfield, I do not believe that it would have received such a gracious review. When most .380s on the market will eat anything you feed them, why are we making excuses for the Glock? If I can always be sure to have enough ammo with me that the 42 likes, then I won’t have a problem. But what if I can only get the stuff it won’t eat? Since there are so many guns out there that are omnibalistic, why own one that is a fussy eater. Now don’t get me wrong, I like the 42 and when it goes bang, it is easy to shoot and very accurate. I even gave Glock a chance to “fix” my 42 and sent it back to them with the complaint that it will not fire the Barnes. 3 weeks later I got it back and it is still a single shot when I put the Barnes in it. So for now, I’m going to keep carrying my old Colt. Maybe when my 42 is 30 years old, it will be as reliable.

  38. avatarGregg W. says:

    Hornady Critical Deffence was diffinitley not in Shooting the Bulls top five. It seriously under penetrated in bare gel and did so so in the denim test. You may have it confused with Hornady Custom. I would really recommend not carry critical defense in 380 from the tests I’ve seen.

  39. avatarGlen Taylor says:

    I’ll buy one because the other 50 pistols in my gunsafe need another friend!! Can’t have too many guns. Cool pistol.

  40. Just recently fired a G42 at out local police range and was very favorably impressed. It ran fine
    with a variety of ammo and is the softest shooting .380 I’ve ever fired. My name is on the waiting
    list!

  41. avatarGeno W. says:

    Linking a bunch of cry babies forum commandos at firearmstalk.com is really irrelevant anyway. That forum is composed mostly of couch potatoes and airsoft kids trying to talk shop with the adults. I quit visiting that sight when one of their know-it-all mods (canebrake) decided to rewrite Ayoobs 10 Comandments for CCH and then sticky it himself. He advised tying people up with parachute cord after shooting them so they couldn’t get away and continuing to remain with the injured/deceased for the cops to arrive so you could act like you were reviving the person you just shot down with CPR while the cops were watching (among other retarded statements).

    The sad part was that maybe 3 people out of 20 pages of congratulatory grab-assery realized the idiocy and called him on it. Of course they were taunted and banned. They finally had to unpin it and delete it because they were losing sponsers and violating their own terms of service.

    As for the Glock 42. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. I had a chance to pick one up and did so because it meets the physical qualifications for my private club for our monthly small pistol marksmanship competition (rim-fire does not qualify). I also happen to carry and practice routinely with Glocks, so it gives me an advantage. It will never replace my G19, G17, M&P9, SR9, etc. for EDC; nor will it replace my Smith 442 as a deep concealment/running shorts BUG.

  42. avatarDaniel Casher says:

    I love my 42 and as much as I hate to say it, I am carrying it more than my G19 and my Sig P938. I have shot a variety of 380 ammo out of it and it has failed to feed a few times, but this is out of around 1500 rounds, and the ammo I carry in it, Precision One 90gr XTP (4 rds) and Buffalo Bore 100gr HCFN standard pressure, (4 rds, I have a +1 mag extension from Galloway Precision) It has also fired Freedom Munitions 100gr perfectly, and that is the flat nose remanufactured ammo. Also, it fires Monarch, Winchester, and PMC with no problems. I have never cared for Hornady in 380, except maybe the Custom XTP. The only mod I have made to the pistol is to polish the feed ramp to a very slick sheen with a small dremel. I think many people underestimate the 380 and I do not. The main purpose of concealed carry is to be able to carry a pistol that is comfortable to conceal, and easy to shoot. To defend you at close range. Many people act as if we are going to war and need massive firepower on our hip. They act like the shots they shoot are the only defense they have. You can still fight back, even after you have shot someone and they are still attacking you. You can use the other hand to get into a position where you can put a round or two into the face or head or neck. I expect that if you pump a couple of rounds into the crotch or solar plexus area that will end the confrontation anyway. There are lots of fast bleeding arteries in the pelvic area and nerves and bones. A 380 loaded with good ammo is a very good self defense weapon. And the Glock 42 is the best 380 I’ve ever shot. I can’t wait till Fobus makes an Evolution holster for it.

  43. avatarTom Mann says:

    Their are glock, s&w, khar, ruger, 380, 9, 45 people that swear they choice is the very best and every other choice is wrong. Most buy their choice, never shoot, never practice, never clean, hardly ever carry & didn’t do their home work in their purchase. I like the choices and caliber options. Just like vehicles amd the accessories to go on them. My personal choice today is glock 45 with a s&w 38 chiefs special on the ankle & a flip blade in each pocket. Prepared notparanoid! And oh buy the way “F-250 super duty in case another idiot t bones me. (870 under seat)
    Just saying

  44. avatarKeith says:

    I don’t know if anything will replace my colt gov model 380 but I bought a 42 today because I don’t want to ruin the colt we will see how it does

  45. avatarTGugs says:

    After laboriously reading most of the posts…I forgot what I wanted to say….

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