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I’ve said it before: I hate just about everything about GLOCK handguns. The trigger is terrible, the grip isn’t ergonomic and the takedown process is dangerous. But when the Glock 43 was announced, I knew I wanted to buy one. And so I did. More accurately, I Shanghai’d Dan Zimmerman’s G43 that he used in the review for my own nefarious purposes. I’ve been carrying it ever since, and now that I have some time with it under my belt I wanted to share my experiences and how it compares to my other concealed carry firearms . . .

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The main reasons I liked the G43 were its compact size and slick design. I mean that quite literally: the slick and smooth design of the grip and slide were what drew me to the gun. The finger ridges present on the grip of recent versions of the G19 are nowhere to be seen, which is perfect for my meaty paws. And the fact that it is slimmer and smaller than the G19 means that I can carry it either in a holster on my hip, or I can slip it in my pocket for a quick carry option. The trigger is slightly better than the chunkier counterpart, closer to acceptable than previous designs but I’m happy to make some compromises.

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That pocket carry option is vitally important to me. The day job is a gun free zone; whenever I roll into work I need to leave the firearm in my car. I suppose I could use a holster and carry my usual 1911 handgun and just leave it in the car when I head in to make some money. But removing a holster every time I get in and out of the car is a pain, and wearing an empty holster all day seems even more annoying. I wanted something that I could slide into my pocket for lunch breaks and such, and neither the Wilson Combat 1911 nor the Glock 19 was small enough to do that.

My interim solution: a cheap and crappy Charter Arms .38 Special revolver.

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The Charter Arms revolver has served me well. The compact size of the gun means that it fits nicely into my pocket, and I’m able to carry it without much of an issue. The G43 is the exact same overall size as the Charter Arms revolver, which means that it similarly disappears into my pocket and doesn’t stick out at all.

On paper, the G43 is a better gun. The Glock carries seven rounds, while the Charter Arms only holds five. Reloading the G43 is fast and simple, while I’m pretty sure that even Jerry Miculek would have trouble getting rounds back in the Charter Arms in a hurry. And the 9mm round that the G43 fires zips along a full 400 feet per second faster than the larger and more cumbersome .38 Special cartridge. That’s all well and good, but the real benefit comes from the geometry and not the features.

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The most annoying part of the Charter Arms revolver — and any pocket revolver, really — is the cylinder. The firearm is slim and slick at the muzzle and the grip, but the cylinder provides a distinctive bulge that is readily apparent in my pocket. With the G43, the firearm is a uniform thickness from stem to stern. This uniform design means that the gun doesn’t stick out as much and definitely doesn’t scream “GUN!” to the casual observer.

I’ve been carrying the G43 in a Sticky Holsters pocket holster for the last month or so (review pending) and I’ve loved it. The gun slides easily into my pocket, and practicing my draw on the range I’ve found it to be easier to produce in a hurry than the older revolver. In short, the gun is just plain better as a pocket carry gun.

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Pocket carry is the Plan B of my concealed carry options, though. My preferred carry firearm has always been a Wilson Combat Bill Wilson Carry 1911 handgun, and the primary reason why I prefer that firearm is accuracy. I can hit a smaller target further away with that handgun than anything else I own. The sights are excellent, the trigger is perfect, and it feels amazing in my hand. It is without a doubt my favorite handgun.

But while it is perfect for shooting, it isn’t always perfect for carrying. Here in Texas the summers are fairly warm, and that means light t-shirts. Carrying a big chunky 1911 — even one as compact as this one — can lead to some accidental printing. This wasn’t a problem when I was a larger individual, but having lost over 70 pounds in the last few months I’ve noticed that the 1911 has been printing more and more. Open Carry is still six months away here in Texas, and in the meantime I needed something that I could more easily conceal.

Another concern was the safety. The 1911 handgun is fantastic for accuracy, but the manual safety needs to be disengaged before it can be used. I’ve been chiding Robert for his preference of striker fired handguns over manual safeties, but the man has a point — under stress, can you be sure that you can disengage that safety?

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The Glock 43 is just ever so slightly smaller than the 1911, which is good for concealability. The beavertail of the 1911 is great for comfort while shooting but sticks out like a sore thumb while under my shirt. The G43 doesn’t have that problem and more easily disappears with the assistance of an Alien Gear IWB holster. In addition, the lack of a manual safety means that the gun is ready to go without any added fuss. Which I like.

Even with my new slimmer wardrobe the gun isn’t visible at all in the normal process of carrying. I carry it everywhere I go every single day, and even my girlfriend didn’t notice it until I jumped up on the strut of a Cessna 172 to check the fuel tanks and my shirt rode up a little too far. Carrying the gun is comfortable, and the polymer construction means that it is a lot lighter than the metal and wood 1911. I basically forget that it is even there, which is perfect.

One month in and I think I’ve found my ideal concealed carry handgun. It might not have the accuracy of the 1911, but the light weight and smaller footprint makes it easier to conceal. And it might not be as cost effective as the Charter Arms wheelgun, but the slick construction means it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb. I like it, and I don’t think I’ll be going back anytime soon.

83 Responses to My First Month as a Glock 43 Owner

  1. OK, I will concede that the Charter is cheap. If it has “served [you] well” over all that time, what made it crappy? I totally agree with you re the “geometry” for pocket carry, BTW–altho I expect the cylinder problem could possibly be solved with a substantial pocket holster and more loose-fitting, big-pocketed pants.

    • The button to unlock the cylinder doesn’t work. I basically have to partially disassemble the gun before I can get the cylinder out to load or reload the gun. It still works and fires, but reloading is impossible.

      • Nick, it’s been 30+ years since I had a charter revolver. My memory may be completely off. But can’t you open the cyclinder by pulling forward on the unshrouded ejection rod?

        • I’ve got a couple of old Charter revolvers, and I agree that you should be able to pull forward on the ejector rod to release the cylinder if you need to. I had the same issue with one of mine when I first bought it. I soon discovered a better fix, though. Release the cylinder and swing it out. Look inside. On the frame behind the cylinder, right in the middle and directly below the hole the firing pin comes through, there’s a small screw. Adjusting this screw a bit made my cylinder latch work again. Try that and see if it works.

      • @Nick–Yeah, I guess that would qualify, if it’s not as easy a fix as the other replies indicate. Of course, my Nagant revolver works just the way it’s supposed to, but it would be next to impossible to reload in a gunfight too… 😉

    • Exactly! The take down process isn’t dangerous at all. You clear the weapon, and then double check that it is clear. Then point it in a safe direction, and pull the trigger. Nothing dangerous at all. Don’t be a crybaby Nick.

      Trigger being terrible on Glocks – Glock triggers are perfectly acceptable, not wonderful, but not bad

      • I’d say the biggest problem with Glock triggers is the variability. There’s a huge range in pull weight and grittiness out of the factory between different copies that does not go away even after lots of use.

        I finally broke down and had a new disconnect and spring put into my Gen3 Glock 19 to fix how awful it was after putting over 1000 rounds on it and hating the trigger feel. The gunsmith who dry fired it agreed that it was pretty bad for a Gen3 but acknowledged that about 50% of Glock handguns seem to have crap triggers out of the box.

        All told though, the parts to improve the operation of the Glock trigger… lighter disconnector, different spring, maybe some polishing, all add up to about 5 minutes and $30 spent.

      • “Glock triggers are perfectly acceptable”

        I have to respectfully disagree. I won’t say that it’s the worst trigger ever put in a firearm, period, and I can’t speak directly to the G43, but the Glock 19 (the only one I’ve shot) has the worst trigger of anything that I’ve ever shot-and by a wide margin, at that.

        In fact, it’s the only firearm I have ever used that has so thoroughly disgusted me that I didn’t even put a full magazine through it; doing so would have been a waste of time and perfectly good 9mm.

        There are plenty of good polymer pistols out there, and the reasoning behind choosing a Glock instead of almost *anything* else-this side of a Bryco, Lorcin or Hi-Point or something, at least-is totally beyond me. I’d be embarrassed to own one.

      • A number of striker fired pistols (Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Beretta Nano come to mind) have ways to release the striker without risking a discharge of a chambered cartridge. My SR9c, uses the ejector as a lever to prevent the striker from cocking, and the rest of the firing mechanism is virtually a copy of Glock’s. This doesn’t even add an additional part. This really isn’t hard stuff. If a manufacturer can, with no sacrifice, make a product safer, it should do it.

    • This. I’m sick of hearing “Glocks are dangerous to disassemble.” Only if you’re drunk, high, or of a level of stupid that would cause a slightly more expansive rereading of the leash laws to keep you off the streets.
      Glocks manual of arms is EXACTLY the same as every other’s for takedown: ” make sure the gun is unloaded before disassembly.” I’ve had my G19 since Sept. 1990. I haven’t had an ND under any circumstance. Am I doing something wrong?

      • It always boggles my mind when I see this claim of “dangerous to disassemble” as well. Anyone who can’t remember to make sure a firearm is unloaded before trying to take it down shouldn’t have a firearm. Years of USPSA shooting turned this into a very routine drill for me. When you’re done shooting a stage, the RO tells you to “unload and show clear,” at which point (while keeping the pistol pointed safely down range, of course) you drop the magazine, pull the slide back to eject the chambered round, and hold it open for a couple of seconds to give you both a good look into the empty chamber. Then the RO confirms that the gun is clear, and orders “hammer down and holster.” With a Glock that means simply pulling the trigger on the gun you’ve just confirmed is unloaded, while still pointing it in a safe direction, before putting it away. Not that complicated if you ask me.

    • You have to decock the striker somehow before taking it down, and the same people who decry the Glock takedown procedure as unsafe would be bitching and moaning if Glock put a decocker button on the gun…

      There’s plenty of reasons to dislike Glocks (I have dozens of reasons myself), but this “safety” issue is a ridiculous nitpick that needs to be retired. Is an ND possible when cleaning a Glock? Sure, just as it is with any gun you haven’t cleared and checked before you start dicking with it.

    • He’s right, because with 1911s as soon as you start to remove the barrel bushing, any cartridge in the chamber automatically falls out of the ejection port to save you the effort of clearing it.

      • I’ve been carrying a 1911 for several years and have never noticed that. Probably because I’ve never tried to take it down with a round in the chamber,

    • If someone blasted himself or another by pulling the trigger on a Glock before clearing it I’m pretty sure he’d make Idiot Gun Owner of the Day.

      Or wouldn’t he? Because, you know, it’s “dangerous”.

    • The Glock takedown can’t be dangerous, because as we all know, Rule #3 states explicitly: “Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to fire, except when cleaning a Glock.”

      It’s a design defect, fellas. Period.

      • Unsafe might not have been the best choice of words, but I don’t like pulling the trigger on a firearm inside the house and I don’t like cleaning a firearm out in the dirt. So I won’t be buying a Glock.

  2. Quick errata, the G43 holds six, not eight with the factory mags. Looking forward to your review of that pocket holster, it might replace the leather pocket holster that holds my CM9.

    Pocket carry is a great solution to the problem of “taking the gun+holster on and off several times a day”. The other solution I found (for the larger double-stack compacts) is a kydex belt clip holster that I can slip in and out of the waistband without removing my belt. It allows me to carry a larger XDm Compact during lunch breaks without too much hassle.

    • Kydex might be different, but I find my IWB belt holsters difficult to slip in and out of my belt. May be materials dependent. Any thoughts?

      • For a lightweight gun like the G43 that you want to carry IWB, this is the answer. I also sometimes pocket carry my Beretta Nano in a Remora Holster and pocket carry my Taurus TCP in a Sticky Holster. My preference is the Remora. It’s grippier on the outside and not quite as floppy. Either works for IWB as well and stays in place without a clip of any sort, but the Remora does that a little better also as, again, it’s stickier.

    • The 7 rounds mentioned is with a typical 6+1 carry G43. The fully loaded Charter revolver, or my pricer Smith 340 PD .357 snubbie, hold a total of 5. Fully loaded vs. fully loaded.

      My carry Glock 27 has the unfailingly reliable extension which adds +1 / +2 capacity and a place for my pinky finger. With Taran Tactical’s excellent +1 / +2 extension, one could legitimately argue that the G43 is a 7 or 8 +1 gun. Or one could save money and get the fantastic 7 / 8 + 1 M&P Shield 9mm. Or that snappier .40 that holds a round less.

  3. I think the whole manual safety vs. striker fired safety has as much merit as the caliber wars. None. Generations of our guys carried the 1911 in a full flap holster with an empty chamber and they seemed to come off well in bad moments. In my time the guys that did chamber a round always lowered the hammer before putting it back in that ergonomic .gov holster. Basically, when they needed it they had to thumb cock it first. They seemed to do quite well.

    • I agree, I have hunted a lot, and made enough quick shots in stressful situations, never forgetting to flip the safety off, to not be worried about it. Tom have you ever forgot to take the safty off on a charging buffalo?

      • 1911 also has a grip safety. I like that a lot better than the so called safety on the trigger on glocks.

        • “so-called” is precisely the right word.

          The point to a manual safety is to prevent an inadvertent pull of the trigger from causing the gun to fire. (There are other sorts of safeties such as firing pin blocks, etc, to backstop other mishaps.) Of course such a safety can fail, so you don’t point even a “safed” firearm at something you like, but it makes it less likely something really bad will happen.

          The glock trigger dingus doesn;t prevent inadvertent trigger pulls from causing the gun to fire, because it is defeated by the very act of pulling the trigger; an inadvertent pull will defeat the thing that was supposed to stand in the inadvertent pull’s way. How anyone can think it’s a “safety” is beyond me.

    • manual safety vs. striker fired safety

      I wish people would stop doing this. You’re conflating the hammer vs. striker fired dichotomy with the manual safety vs. no manual safety dichotomy.

      There are plenty of hammer fired guns with no manual safety (to be sure, they’re almost all revolvers) and plenty of striker fired guns with manual safeties. It would therefore make as much sense to talk of a manual safety vs. hammer fired safety debate, but the only reason we don’t is that S&W M&Ps and revolvers aren’t as popular as glocks and 1911s. It’s not because of the very nature of striker fired actions.

      Maybe this is why I see so many people make a fetish out of striker fired–what they’re really saying is they hate manual safeties, and they are thinking it’s the STRIKER that lets them get rid of it. Wrong. There’s nothing about a striker that inherently means “there won’t be a manual safety” (though it does seem to make it easier to do without) If I do happen to be describing you and hate manual safeties, then say you like the gun because it has no manual safety..not because it’s “striker fired.” Accurately identify the issue.

      • I prefer revolvers. Your description is more accurate than mine. But it, like caliber wars, is a non issue created by people trying to sell their favorite widget. Or generate clicks for a blog site.

        • Cool.

          And you’re right. Sooooo much in the firearms world is a matter of personal preference and/or differences in the actual body of the users (in the latter case, e.g. someone who buys a Glock 20 to shoot 40 in, because he has huge hands and the thick-as-a-brick grip on the thing fits them better–this came up in another of today’s threads).

          OR we could just all finally agree to shoot CZ-75s so we can move past the Jamomatic 1911 v. Combat Tupperware Glock debate. 🙂

        • I’ve seen the issue at a real shooting. One of my police officer friends sure did forget to disengage the safety on a Smith 4006 in the middle of a gunfight. His partner, armed with the same gun, had his safety off and shot and killed an armed felon. The bad guy was a 17 year old armed with a .22 revolver.

        • A81, you may not have the answer to this, but how much training did the officer in question have on that Smith? Was it a new-to-him gun, or had he been carrying it for a number of years?

        • A81. Some people simply are not going to survive their “moment of truth”. All other things being equal your buddy would have died or been badly injured if not for his partner. His partner had no troublewith the safety. And all that stood between success and failure for your buddy was a safety lever.

          If the safety lever is all it takes to trip your buddy up in a life and death, he needs not a new gun but a new career.

          Don’t mean to be harsh, but there it is.

        • At the time of the incident, that officer had shot 50-100 rounds / month for almost 15 years, with yearly qualifications, plus his academy training which was about 1,800 rounds. The highest he qualified at was expert. He never got “master.” He’s a very motivated individual, and has won numerous awards. I wouldn’t consider him a “gun guy,” but he certainly wasn’t an idiot in other matters.

          I’ve mistakenly left a safety on during a pheasant / chukar hunt, but that was with a borrowed over / under 12 gauge where the safety automatically engages after reloading. I just wasn’t aware of it at the time, and the owner of the gun didn’t tell me because my dad had talked me up as a gun guy prior to going hunting. It honestly cost me a couple of birds before I realized the situation. That was about 4 years ago now. I don’t like hunting with borrowed guns.

          And I did lose a shot at a close range whitetail deer with a Winchester Model 70 Ultimate Classic in .30-06. I was in a deer stand in Friesland, WI about 10 years ago. I’d left the 2-position safety in the completely on position. A small buck snuck up behind me on a snowy hunting morning in the woods. I tried to simultaneously turn in my stand and disengage the safety. Poof! Whitetail bounding through the woods. It’s debatable if that deer heard the safety clicking off, my turning, or both. I never got a chance to ask.

          I mentally rehearse my manual of arms with whatever I’m carrying – from caliber, sights, holster retention, trigger type, action type, reloads, etc. – to try and avoid making mistakes in the future.

          Thankfully I’ve done well up to this point in violent encounters with control holds, pepper spray, Tasers, and guns. I’m going to try my best to keep that going in the future so I’m not one of the cops / supervisors that TTAG rips on. And obviously because it’s the right thing to do.

  4. I guess I’m a little confused as to why the 43 is the best thing since sliced bread. You replaced a 38 special revolver with it because it is more concealable. Why didn’t you consider something that is far more concealable. The 380 is comparable to the 38 in performance. The TPC, LPC and other 380s are far smaller, thinner and lighter than the Glock and many cost well less than half of the cost of the 43. After carrying my TCP for a while, I would consider the 43 to be both heavy and bulky for a good concealed weapon.

    • Shield and LC9 do the same thing for less as well. PF9 and P11 do the same for WAY less (although quality doesn’t match Glock). The Kel-Tec P11 is about the same size and has double the capacity of the G43 with the available flush fitting 12 round mags (but terrible trigger).

      • The differences are several, Art. I carried a P-11, primarily in an ankle holster, for 7 years while in private practice. The thicker grip was easy to spot in lighter colored pants. The 18 pound trigger was manageable, but a chore. The G43 is a typical Glock trigger, which I like. The main advantage, as I see it, is the horrendous recoil of the P-11. Practice, which you must do a lot of to master that trigger, was no fun. Whereas my test drive with the G43 was a joy. After 50 rounds, I wanted to shoot 100 more. After 50 rounds with the P-11, I wanted to soak my hand in hot water with Epsom salts.
        The G43 is manageable for both sexes without pain, it eminently concealable, and it comes in a serious caliber. That’s why I’m buying one next week.

        • No doubt the G43 is vastly superior to the P11. The P11 is small, light, and thin for a 9mm holding 13 rounds. It is also very inexpensive. That said, the Shield w/o safety and the striker fired LC9 w/o safety are the serious competition for the G43. I also like the glock trigger.

          I kind of like a heavier trigger on a pocket gun, and thats one reason I generally carry a 642 J-frame.

  5. Interesting review. I’d have to say personally, I’d still have a hard time not wanting to grab the WC.

  6. I religiously safety check guns when I handle them, and I even pretty much know for a fact which guns are loaded and which ones aren’t, so I don’t really get the “dangerous” part. More dangerous than a design where you don’t have to pull the trigger…. Sure, but a Jeep Wrangler is probably more dangerous(potential for rollovers) than a Volvo. But how many actually have accidents(we’ll probably more than people have with guns actually). In other words safety check every gun and the danger drops significantly. Lastly dry fire practice on any gun is important, so how is that different than pulling the trigger before disassembly.

    • Disclaimer: I don’t believe in a “best gun” though. It’s very personal. So Nick isn’t “wrong.” I actually prefer a small revolver if we’re talking 5 or six rounds. Reload speed is similar because getting the mag seated properly without completely changing my grip becomes a problem, and I started shooting revolvers so it’s a pretty natural movement.

      • ” Lastly dry fire practice on any gun is important, so how is that different than pulling the trigger before disassembly?”

        I’ve never been able to get an answer to this question either, and I’ve asked numerous times.

  7. But, but… what about that DANGEROUS Glock take down process? Aren’t you afraid you’ll accidently shoot someone?

  8. It seems like you have to leave the gun in the car. I got the same situation so I don’t use a holster. Just wear a belt and mexican carry. It’s more comfortable and more concealed. I have even carried a full sized 1911 this way.

    • Not covering the trigger of a loaded striker-fired pistol and appendix carrying it is a great way to get shot by yourself (in the femoral artery no less), but whatever makes your socks go up and down. Future irresponsible gun owner headline on TTAG waiting to happen.

      • No worries, because the person who does this won’t live nearly long enough to be embarassed by the IGOTD award.

      • I actually swapped my XDS for the Glock 43. The XDS is noticeably larger and heavier than the Glock. I always knew when my XDS was IWB on my person and ended up carrying it in a tight OWB holster most of the time. The Glock 43, 1/2 the time I forget I’m even carrying it. More-so now that I’ve got the IWB G-Code Incog holster for it.

  9. Nick – Congratulations once again on your weight loss! 70 lbs is pretty substantial. Good for you man.

    Related question: It seems like both thin and heavy guys complain that it is hard for them to CCW based on their size. Overall, do you think it is easier or harder to CCW now?

    • I suspect it has a lot more to do with body shape than actual weight/size. If you have a 1:1 hip to waist ratio (or lower), regardless of if it is because your belly/waist is big because of being fat or your hips are small because of being skinny, then it is going to be a challenge to make anything conceal on your waist; at very least because your pants will keep falling down. Belly fat gets in the way of appendix carry and love handles in the way of other types, but skinny guys don’t have bulges and such to hide any possible printing.
      I think what it comes down to is: you have to find what works for your individual, particular, body. Some people will have it easy; like their bodies are MEANT to have a gun hidden on it, others are not so lucky. Sometimes changing weight (up or down) can improve the situation.

      • In addition to all that, different people have different “comfort tolerances”. Some people can forget they have a double-stack 1911 down their pants, and others struggle to tolerate an LCP in their pocket. I’ve pretty much given up on trying to translate other peoples’ carry experiences into any sort of usable data that might apply to me personally. One person’s “most comfortable holster ever” can be the next person’s torture device. You pretty much just have to experiment and waste some money on different solutions until you find yours, I’ve concluded.

  10. I still prefer my Sig 938, Same manual of arms as a 1911, Holds 7, is smaller than the glock, and IMO more comfortable to shoot and has a better trigger. Also i tend to prefer a safety on my carry guns.

  11. I really don’t get the dangerous takedown thing. If this is referring to the requirement to pull the trigger before removing the slide…really? That’s dangerous? Eject the mag, rack the slide a couple times, take a good look at the chamber. A round isn’t a mischievous leprechaun prancing out of sight, it’ll be very obvious if it’s there. If it’s not, the gun is no more dangerous than a particularly heavy shoebox.

    If you’re referring to untrained, stupid people who are incapable of checking for rounds before cleaning, then the same danger is true of any object from butter knives to cars. Stupid people who don’t know what they’re doing will find ways to hurt themselves with anything. It’s not the gun’s fault for demanding brain function greater than that of a titmouse.

    • I guess it’s okay for Glock to re-write Rule #3. You know, the one about keeping your finger off the trigger etc. etc. Because Glock!

      Any firearm that forces the user to violate an important safety rule is unsafe.

    • as silver said ,, if one cannot effectively ascertain a cleared firearm ,you have no business having one in the first place

  12. I put rabid GLOCK haters in the same you-just-forfeited-any-opportunity-to-be-taken-seriously bin as I do rabid Microsoft haters.

    These companies have dominated for decades with interesting, relevant and standard setting products that millions of people rely on and enjoy. Yes, I realize that neither was the absolute first to innovate the products for which they’re famous. Still, they each did more with them and took them farther than others before had. Really, you won’t find very many products which were completely unheard of in any form whatsoever prior to having been made major successes by someone else. So let’s not judge people or products by impossible, immaterial criteria.

    Go write your own software, design & build your own gun, make a gazillion dollars and show ’em all how its done.

  13. Guess you don’t just hate everything about glocks…seriously, this review sounds like it was done by someone who just collects guns but never actually carries or shoots them. You normally carry a 1911 but you just realized now that it might be difficult to disengage the safety under stress? Have you been under a rock? sounds so me like your a little too set in your ways.

    That said, welcome to the glock fan club. Its in writing now, this review will be floating around in the internetsphere for all time, you can never say again that you hate glocks. You’re a straight up glock lover. bahahah

  14. So… you hate Glocks, but you HAD to buy it for every reason that the Shield is better at it in, and yet isn’t a Glock?

    What?

  15. A Glock review…wow. I have carried a Pepper Blaster for 4 years in my front pocket and never has anyone glanced and asked me if it’s a gun-and it’s over an inch thick. A tiny revolver falls into the same category-especially with a pocket holster. Quit wearing those skinny jeans…

  16. Nick, if I might? There is nothing wrong w/ a Charter .38, they are just a different “Cat” if you will, from say a S&W or Taurus Snubby. Early Strattford models, like yours, are actually the best of any ever built. The newer ones from Charter are good, too. I will bet that part #14, Cylinder latch release screw, is missing and that’s quite common on the older guns. Charter now loctites the screw in hard, but on older models, not so much. Very easy fix, too. Any decent ‘Smith can do it in minutes, and if you look at a parts schematic, you can too. And Charter will gladly help, I am sure. Just don’t discount that little “Pocket Rocket” yet, it’s a good carry piece.
    As a final note; the Charter .38’s could handle a medium diet of +P ammo, several years before S&W J frames could. Has to do with the engineering of the frame and frame window on the Charter. Just FYI. Thanks for the insight on the G43, I like mine just fine.

  17. Foghorn either carried a wheel-gun that he couldn’t reload or a 1911 with a safety that worried him. Then he buys a gun brand that he knows he hates and has a trigger that he hates. Are those three his only practical or affordable choices? This has got to be one of the dumbest articles that TTAG has ever featured! Seems like an underhanded suck-up to the crypto-nazi Herr Gaston.

    As far as gun printing goes, my feeling is it’s nobody’s effing business what’s in my pocket unless an LEO asks me given the proper and legal circumstance.

  18. A couple of points of disagreement.
    I see a suggestion above that somehow a .380 equates to a .38 Special for personal protection effectiveness. No. Not even close.
    My .38s, which admittedly I don’t carry often but do shoot a lot, have 158 grain semi-wadcutter bullets going close to 950fps when they depart from my short Colts (Buffalo Bore). There is nothing about a 95 grain Gold Dot going slightly slower (I work my chronos to death- USPSA guy, after all) that might suggest in any mechanical way that it might have the same effect on stopping as that sharp-shouldered, half-again-as-heavy, semi-wadcutter.
    The manual safety issue has two sides, in my view. Yes, one could possibly fail to disengage it under dire stress. I don’t know about that. I execute draws of my 1911s, which I do carry almost every day as well as on the range on Sunday morning, by the thousands and can’t even remember the last time I had trouble with the “safety lock”. Many, many years.
    But- the reason I strongly prefer the 1911 for carry, besides the reasons stated in the article (way more likely to get good hits at any distance) is because of the manual safety. In the event of loss of control of the gun- left in a restroom, dropped out on the ground, left it on the nightstand and departed the premises, got it taken away in a fight- the chances that the new possessor will be able to operate the safety and fire the gun are very low. Glocks and revos, no problem for even the most uncoordinated doofus. A locked 1911? Probably won’t happen.
    I confess that in the old days before we had CCLs here I never thought much about that factor. But having seen stories, videos, and credible accounts of loss of control and possession (not always during violence) with discharges happening, I’ve become far more comfortable with having the gun locked in such a way that doesn’t impede my using it quickly.
    It’s not a flaw, it’s a feature.

  19. review sounds similar to tyler gee and his pimping for the manufacturers. i gave up on most gun magazines cause the “gun” writers never met a new gun that they didn’t just love and have to have. some of TTAG writers seem to go with the wind. sometimes north sometimes south. sometimes hot and sometimes cold. if a person absolutely hates Glocks, then why in the world would they just fall in love with a G43? if they hate the unsafe practice of pulling the trigger during dissembly, why would they buy a glock?
    even back in the 1950’s, it was necessary to pull the trigger on my 1903A3 Springfield to remove the bolt, and I don’t recall any safety issues with that.

  20. I like semi-autos for ammo capacity and ease of accuracy in rapid fire, but I am also a fan of J-frames and I have always thought snubby revolvers have a few nice advantages that no semi-auto can match:

    You can safely pocket carry them without a holster in many cases, allowing you to get a full grip on them in the pocket without drawing, as in a winter coat pocket, and you can even fire a concealed-hammer revolvers like the 442 from a coat pocket without jamming the gun in most cases.

    Here is a vid of a guy shooting revolvers and semi-autos from a pocket. The semi-auto keeps jamming.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GtCkwcNjn4

    You can carefully load and unload a revolver many dozens of times, if not hundreds of times, with no appreciable bullet or case wear and no worry of bullet set-back that you might get in a semi-auto. If you carry often and shoot infrequently, this can save you a lot on ammo that you would otherwise have to rotate out of carry duty in a semi-auto.

    You can also store a loaded revolver for a LONG time and have more confidence it will work when you need it, without having to worry of a mag spring or other spring has been compressed too long, or that the lube has all dried up and too much dust has accumulated for a semi-auto to function right. Some semis are less affected by this than others, obviously.

    You also have no tap and rack to worry about if the first round fails to fire, just keep pulling the trigger and you get four or five more rounds to try. If your weak hand is occupied with protecting your body from an attacker, this can make all the difference.

    • Well stated Virginia Gunner. I carry the SCCY CPX2 internal hammer.Functions almost like a revolver esp with a hard primer issue. Still not a wheel gun. I ran the SCCY with various jhps, it runs. Trigger like the revolver. Coat pocket carry as well.

  21. Diamondback db9 got them all beat for pocket carry,16 Oz’s fully loaded with hornady critical defense. Only 7 rounds ? Solution, carry two of them,one in each front pocket in a desantis pocket holster, works great. Faster then a reload and no need to carry spare mags. Works for me !

  22. I don’t understand why the Glock 42 and 43 don’t use a 7 or 8 round magazine. The grip does not allow purchase with the pinky finger. I have rather average size hands, so this should be a concern for the majority of potential customers of these pistols.

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