I’ve never been a fan of the GLOCK aesthetic. Or their trigger. Or the grip. Or the takedown system. Really everything about the gun irks me in some way. Heck, if given the option between running a 3-gun course with a G19 or a large brick, I’d have to put some serious thought into the choice. But there’s no denying that their products are ubiquitous, and reliable to boot. After avoiding carrying a GLOCK for years and generally considering the gun to be the Toyota Corolla of the firearms world, I find myself prepared to plunk down my own hard-earned money for a GLOCK 43 on day one. Which, for someone who usually carries a Wilson Combat 1911 and scoffs at blended scotch, is a pretty big jump . . .
When I moved to Texas, I realized exactly how oppressive the heat can truly be. That Texas summer ain’t no joke, and any clothing beyond a light t-shirt feels like a wool overcoat. So for a big guy like me, carrying even a compact 1911 on my belt becomes a major challenge during those months. I’ve done it, but I print more than the New York Times.
Complicating the matters is the small fact that the company I work for doesn’t like guns, and won’t allow them in the building. I can’t carry at work, so every time I go in to earn a living I need to un-strap my gat. And every time I go out for lunch I need to put it back on. Simply leaving the now empty holster on my hip all night isn’t an option, so I made a change — I decided to start pocket carrying.
The first gun I tried was a Charter Arms .38 Special revolver. It wasn’t the prettiest gun or the most mechanically sound, but it goes bang every time I pull the trigger and only cost me a couple hundred bucks. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t perfect. The wheel gun may be reliable, but the cylinder makes it look like I have a bowling ball in my front pocket. And even with the pocket holster, if you got a direct look at the front of my pants you knew exactly what was going on.
I wanted something slimmer, which meant a pocket 9mm semi auto of some sort. My first instinct was SIG SAUER and their P938.
I like the P938, and I carry one right now (when on lunch breaks and just farting around town). The convenience of having something in your center console that you can slide in your pocket and forget about is very appealing, and the flat surface is perfect for more effective concealment as opposed to the “pay not attention to that bulge” thing you get with a revolver.
But its still a Mustang design, and the single action trigger combined with the teeny tiny manual safety wasn’t doing it for me. I know Michael Bane’s only actual defensive gun use was with a Colt Mustang and it was apparently enough gun for him, but it’s just not my cup of Earl Grey.
I needed something with the flat form factor of the P938, but the dead simple trigger of the Charter Arms snubby. Something I could slide easily in and out of a pocket and never have to worry about whether I hit the safety or not. I needed something striker fired, and the GLOCK 43 scratches that itch.
There are plenty of other “tiny ninies” on the market (as Dan is wont to call them), but none of them have — to borrow a phrase from James May — made me feel all fizzy in my gentleman’s region. The S&W Shield looks nice on paper, but I remember picking up one of the first models and seeing parts rattling around. It feels just like its big brother M&P handguns — like a cheap car. The Beretta Nano has an unfortunate personal association I’d like to avoid. And the Kahr CM9, well, I remember watching the baseplate fall off the magazine during test firing and that’s all I needed to know.
With the G43, I’ve seen what GLOCK has done with the G42 and I’m expecting the exact same thing. It feels like a GLOCK, which in this case is a good thing. Solid, dependable, and minimalist — only what I need, and nothing I don’t.
If SIG SAUER had come out with a striker fired P938 like I recommended a while ago, I wouldn’t be in this position — about to actually pay cash money for a Teutonic Tenifer-coated pistol. It feels downright strange actually coveting a GLOCK product. But in this case, they seem to have hit the nail squarely on the head and have made exactly what I need.