I got my hands on a new GLOCK 42, and two questions came immediately to mind. 1) How much bigger is it than my existing pocket pistol (Taurus TCP), and 2) How does the terminal performance of this gun compare to the little pocket pistol? It turns out that yes, the G42 is a little bigger than the micro-pistol. It’s in the ballpark of being the same thickness and the same basic height, but the 42 is definitely longer front-to-back than the TCP. The good news is . . .
That extra length is all due to the longer barrel. The Taurus (and its kin, the LCP and DB380 and other pocket micro-380’s) have barrels of about 2.8″ in length, and the GLOCK 42 adds nearly half an inch more barrel to the formula. What would that extra half inch of barrel do to the ammo’s performance?
In order to find out, I decided to run a series of tests. The ammo I chose was the winner of my .380 ACP Ammo Quest, Precision One JHPs, loaded with 90-grain Hornady XTP bullets. This ammo was quite impressive from the micro-sized TCP, delivering over 13″ of penetration and expanding to about .41″. What differences can we expect from the longer GLOCK barrel?
In short, not much at all. The ammo again performed excellently from the G42. It was definitely faster, I saw about a 7.5% increase in velocity (about 873 fps, vs. 810 fps from the TCP). That increase in velocity led to a 4% larger bullet expansion (about .430″, vs. the TCP’s .413″), but also about 4% less penetration (about 13.10″, vs. the TCP’s 13.70″). In terms of total tissue destruction where it counts, the MacPherson Wound Trauma Indicator clocked in at 29.08 for the G42, vs. 28.28 for the TCP.
So…it works. You can definitely get bullets to reach deep enough into the body cavity to cause an incapacitating hit. And the G42 gives you a little bit more performance in terms of expansion and tissue destruction, although the smaller expansion of the TCP allowed it to deliver slightly more penetration. Overall, both pistols turned in excellent performance for a .380.
Now the question is, since the G42 can deliver a noticeable increase in velocity, will that turn some of the failed ammo from my test into viable options? I’ll explore that in my next video on the GLOCK 42.