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The flap over Bob Owens’ LA Times editorial notwithstanding, I am a GLOCK fan. In my opinion, GLOCK offers an excellent, easily-maintained pistol that goes bang when I want it to, that fits my hand reasonably well (YMMV). I own a G17 and a G19 and train with them regularly – to the point where I might actually be a halfways decent shot. I haven’t, however, actually carried my GLOCKs much lately . . .

Before my current job, I worked at a startup whose dress code was as nonexistent (as was their respect for their employees or their ability to make payroll). I could pretty much wear any gun I wanted and cover it up with a tactical vest, oversized T-shirt or whatever else I felt like wearing that day.

My current employment requires a bit more sartorial discretion and conformity. As I learned recently when a friendly co-worker let me know through a wink and a nod that he had ‘made’ me while I was carrying my G19. And now that we’re getting into warmer weather, wearing a blazer to cover up the clips and the tumor-like bulge on my belt wasn’t going to cut it.

In the interests of maintaining concealment, I started carrying my Kahr P380 to work. (Note: to my knowledge, I’m not violating any work policy; I just prefer to stay concealed at work, and I don’t talk about firearms with people at work that I haven’t ‘vetted’ so to speak — for my own privacy if nothing else).

I’ve never been a fan of the Kahr trigger, but after trying a few out I know I’d be even unhappier with an LCP, TCP or P3AT. Besides, I bought it to be a carry-a-little, shoot-even-less pocket gun for the few times where I wanted to carry a piece but couldn’t risk discovery under any circumstances. Or for the even rarer times when I wanted to carry a backup piece in lieu of a spare magazine. I didn’t really buy it as an EDC. Using it as such is sub-optimal, to say the least.

The main problem: I’ve spent most of my range time and all of my training time in the past few years shooting one of my GLOCKs. Like they say in the ads, confidence. That’s why I was thrilled to see the GLOCK 43 released. When it arrived last week at my local gun store, I bought one and scurried out to the range to try it out.

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Yes, it’s accurate enough. Pay no attention to all that masking tape at the bottom.

Nearly 400 hiccup-free rounds later proved the new GLOCK’s reliability. The same GLOCK trigger that I’ve come to know and love more or less sealed the deal. The G43’s grip fits my hands far better than the P380 and the GLOCK fires a more reassuring caliber. Better fit, better accuracy and a stronger hit. You can’t beat that with a stick.

I’ve been carrying the G43 around all day today in a beat-up Tagua OWB holster that worked surprisingly well despite being made for a different pistol. The 43 conceals well and it’s wonderfully comfortable. Especially compared with the P380 which, despite it size, can be a little uncomfortable with its cheese grater-like slide serrations.

I also did some A/B testing at the range, and realized that G43 felt as comfortable in my hands as the 19 did. Maybe even a little better. In fact, I started having a bit of a flashback to my former beloved EDC, the Springfield EMP.

The EMP fit my hand perfectly, provided surprising accuracy out to 25 yds and held a decent number of rounds (9+1). It was light and easy to carry and very concealable. And damn if it didn’t look good. Unfortunately, it wasn’t terribly reliable.

After spending a day with the GLOCK 43, I now realize that the EMP was like that one girlfriend you had in your youth that you were head-over-heels for but ended up breaking your heart. I’ve still been secretly comparing my pistols to the EMP.

The G43 comes close in many respects, but in some ways it’s too small. I wish the barrel were longer for better accuracy and that the grip was a little longer to accommodate a better hold and a few more rounds. In other words, I’ve been pining for a handgun kinda like the EMP. It doesn’t necessarily have to have a 1911 manual of arms, just a decent trigger. (Um, and reliable. Forgot to add that part. You know, like my EMP wasn’t.)

Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks this way (about the dimensions of the G43, not my bizarre attachment to the EMP). I’m not. Melody “Limatunes” Lauer recently wrote:

I am a small female and I’m not the only one. I’m also not the only one who has small hands or prefers single stack firearms. There are thousands upon thousands of women and men, like me, who have been begging and pleading for smaller-framed firearms that fit better in the grip and hand. You have answered the call by making single-stack 9mms! Thank you!

But for some reason you’ve assumed that means we have to have short barrels, too. That’s not necessarily so….

Glock, if you’re listening, how about a 44? Please? A G19 length barrel with a G43 frame… that’s all I’m asking (oh, and larger capacity magazines with sleeves but baby steps).

I’m going to be carrying my G43 as soon as I get some decent night sights and a good holster. But I’m aware of its shortcomings. Fair enough; nothing’s perfect. But my ideal EDC would be a single stack piece with the overall length of the GLOCK 19. As the gal says, roll on the GLOCK 44!

DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.

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59 Responses to Johannes on the GLOCK 43: What’s With the Short Barrel?

  1. Huh? It’s a pretty long barrel(and thick) for a single-stack 9…bigger than oh every one else out there. Including Kahr.Keltec.Taurus,S&W,Beretta.Sig,Ruger,etc…

    • Yeah really– if you’re happy with a thick gun, get a Kel-Tec P11. It holds 12+1 (since the AWB expired).

      But longer barreled, single-stack nine, with sleeved magazines and a Glock-like trigger… is a Springfield XDS 4.0.

      • Or a bersa bp9cc.
        Single stack? Check.
        Longer barrel? Check.
        8+1 capacity? Check.
        Good trigger? Check.

        No. I don’t even own one. My perfect firearm meets an entirely different set of criteria.

    • My Kahr CW 9 has a 3.5″ barrel. The Glock 43, a datum not reported by Glock for some reason, is 3.4″. The Kahr has a capacity of 7+1, the Glock 6+1. The Kahr has a full fingered grip, the Glock not so much. and the Kahr weighs an ounce less. Yes, the Kahrs have very rough grips–but this is easily and cheaply remedied by a Hogue grip sleeve that has the added benefit of adding a palm swell that is just perfect. And I can say (after 500+ rounds) that you get used to the trigger.

  2. What a pointless article. If you want another EMP then buy it. Unreliable guns can often be made reliable in the right hands. As far as the glock 43 is concerned, you knew the specs of the gun going in. Why buy it if you didn’t like the barrel length carrying capacity.

    • Johannes – Ditch the Glock and get the firearm you know you really want – another Springfield Armory EMP. I bought mine in Dec. 2012 after they had been in production awhile. I have put over 2000 rounds of 9mm through it (all types of ammo from the cheapest to the best) and only recently experienced my first hiccup – a failure to eject an aluminum cased Federal round. I would put my EMP’s reliability up against anyone’s firearm. Yes, the early EMPs had a problem, but Springfield apparently fixed the problem if you sent it in. And it appears that Springfield made the necessary changes in later runs to produce almost 100% reliable EMPs. Glocks are good guns, but they look like a piece of bent rebar and do not possess the rich history of a 1911. Looks and history do not account for much in a gun fight, but you gotta look at it once in a while. Guns are sorta like women – it helps if they are attractive. Just saying…

        • Nothing wrong with a Kimber, but check out the guarantee. If you buy new, Springfield offers a life time warranty to original purchasers while Kimber offers a 1 year warranty. I guess if you buy used it doesn’t matter. While I paid way too much for my EMP, it has actually saved me money in the long run. I cannot justify buying more guns having spent so much on the EMP. Besides, it is what I wanted the most and everything else would be a downgrade from it, so why mess around buying more guns? I’ve heard that it is better to become proficient with one gun than to keep switching around, so that is what I’m doing. My only complaint with the EMP is its weight. I wish it was 10 oz. lighter.

  3. Why not look into a M&P Shield. It holds one more round and is available with a safety if you want a more 1911 experience. There’s also the sig 938 if you just want a mini 1911. You can also look into an XDS which is also available with a short or slightly longer barrel.

  4. Yeah I’m scratching my head on this one, too. First you brag about its accuracy and then you complain about its short barrel. Apparently it’s long enough.

    I haven’t handled a G43 yet. The bulk of the reviews claim it’ll work for pocket carry if you have big pockets. A longer barrel wouldn’t work for that.

    Enough whining.

  5. Stop pining for the EMP and go buy one. I’ve got a 9mm version with 9000+ rounds thru it. It goes to every class I’ve ever taken. Been thru 2 recoil springs and about ready for a new recoil and mainspring. I’ve even had flush-fit mags made for it. It has a phenomenal amount of holster wear and I trust my life to it.

    If you like Glocks, like Glocks. Great. To each their own. But get the gun you really want. Life’s too short to compromise…

  6. I like longer barrels on smaller guns also. I’d like the snag free LCP (or even the 638) to have a 3″ barrel. Not only is it easier to aim, that jump from <2" to 3" inches makes a big difference in velocity.

  7. Try the Springfield Armory XDs 9 mm with 4″ barrel. They have an extended mag for it also that continues the grip. Then come back and let us know your comparison with the Glock 43.

  8. “(Note: to my knowledge, I’m not violating any work policy; I just prefer to stay concealed at work[.)]”

    You are an attorney, and you don’t even know your own law firm/corporate work place policy on weapons?

    • Why in the world would you ask? I would assume that my company’s policies coincided with the Constitution of the United States of America, and look no farther. ESPECIALLY if I worked for a LAW firm, for goodness’ sake! The screaming would begin only if someone told me (before or after an “incident”) that my company’s policies VIOLATED the Constitution.

      • Larry is quite correct. If you learn to think like a lawyer, you’d know that under these circumstances, i.e., it’s legal unless and until he’s told otherwise, why be an idiot and ask? You might find out it’s not, and if not, you’d then have ruined it for yourself, and anyone else who might be carrying in your workplace. If a “NO” to a given question would be a bad thing for you, don’t ask the question! Until it’s answered, you have plausible deniability.

      • This post makes absolutely no sense. The Constitution affords the right to bear arms, but the States have many laws that restrict the Constitutional right. Many States, and consequently, millions of employers, have the legal right to prevent their employees from carrying weapons on their property or face disciplinary action up to and including termination.

        If the author is an attorney (don’t know, didn’t check), I would assume that the author would be more likely to be aware of their work place policies than most employees, particularly if the author was intent on carrying a concealed weapon. Law firms don’t necessarily allow their employees (attorneys included) to carry weapons on the premises. *Edit => And, I would add, the managing partner is going to be unlikely to accept the excuse that the attorney failed to read the policy because 1) the attorney likely signed a form upon getting the job acknowledging receipt of the policy and having read it; and 2) ignorance of the law is no excuse, so why would an attorney not be held to a similar standard regarding the law firm’s policies?

  9. I’m pretty confused by this article (as are many of the people here, I think). He want’s deep concealment, but also thinks the 43 is too small? That’s not an argument you’ll hear often. The 43 isn’t by any means a “pocket pistol”, but in the right pants you could carry it in a pocket if you had to. A longer barrel would negate that. It conceals “easier” by being single stack and by being about 1/3″ shorter than most of the other options out there.

    If you want more rounds in the same height, you buy a 26 and sacrifice girth. If you want more rounds in the same girth, you either buy on of the other brands or wait for the +1 magazine extensions that will surely be out soon (making it pretty much the same size as the competition). If you want a longer barrel and more capacity in a single stack, buy the XDs 9mm in 4″. If you want more capacity and a longer barrel in the same height, you could always have a Glock 19 frame cut down to accept 26 mags. The options are out there (and not just in Glock and Springfield varieties). I understand that people wanted badly for the 43 to fit perfectly into their specific role, but it is what it is. Either it fits your needs or it doesn’t (just like ALL other pistols).

    • To be clear – the problem I had with deep concealment earlier was due to the bulk of the pistol, not the length on the slide.

      • So after re-reading my comment I realize that I might have come off a bit rude. I apologize if that was the case. I assumed the limiting factor for you was in the girth of the gun as opposed the the height (seeing as you wanted it to be a little longer in the grip). This is why I suggested the XDs 4.0. It’s going to have a longer grip, 7 rounds in a flush mag (8 in the extended mag) and the longer slide you’re looking for. The point I was trying to make was that everyone had an idea in their head of what the 43 should have been. Most people were disappointed, but I see it as just another option to add into the mix. And if another size happens to be optimal for you, there’s lots of other options out there (but I completely understand if you’re disappointed that the other options aren’t a Glock 😉 )

    • The clip/magazine thing jumped out at me too initially. I think he’s actually referring to his holster’s clips (which may be visible on the belt if left uncovered), not any backup mags.

  10. I feel like my last comment was filtered and then deleted after questioning the integrity of this site and the articles. Some articles are sounding bought, and some are sounding obligatory and mailed in. This article sounds like the later, but worthless all the same. Gun owners are responsible, but so should the reporting.

    • Ttag is open to user submitted articles and content, as Robert made it clear to me and several others, if you want to see it on the site: write it up

  11. Good article, Johannes. Thanks for the link to the woman with same observation- its the grip length that makes it harder to conceal. I think a skinny 19 would be the next Glock for me, too, if I were going to 9mm.

    • The truth about Glocks for me is that they are the single most uncomfortable handgun grip out there for me. I have small hands, and I often go for straight backstraps simply because the “whumpknot” (please excuse my use of highly technical language) designed to fill the concavity in the center of the palm is way too low, meaning it hits the bottom of my palm, raising that non-1911-ish grip angle even higher, forcing me to break my wrist down. And to point a Glock forward, each of the square edges of the front grip has to be in the middle of the fleshy part of my fingers, not the “break” of a joint. I want to love them, and have owned a couple, but not in the last 10 years or so. They just aren’t the gun for me.

      • Excepting the big frame .45’s and 10mms, I more or less* like the grip on the Glocks.

        *Gen2 grips were ok. Gen3 are too lumpy and a bit too big for me to like, but the gen4 finally got it right and I’m quite happy with the grip and feel of my G19g4

  12. Lots of complaints about this article and opinions that the author is whining. Do you folks realize how petulant you sound saying t stuff? I agree with some of your opinions, but note that I’m not getting feisty about it.

    • Exactly. The author may have been whining, but then all the posts were whining about the whining, so…what does it say about people who do that? Isn’t it kinda like the liberal loons who claim to be “tolerant,” yet can’t tolerate a soul who disagrees with them, and so come out with the loon-ism, “I can tolerate anything but intolerance”?

      Isn’t the truth for some you that, “I hate whining. Unless I’m the one whining and then it’s OK.”

  13. The barrel length difference between the 43 and 19 is only 5/8″. How much more accuracy would that really give you (especially given that you didn’t seem to have a problem blasting the center out of the target in your photo)?

  14. Sounds like you need a Bersa BP9CC. This has 8 rounds in a longer grip frame, a sweet trigger, and reports are they are reliable. And a slightly longer barrel as well. Problem solved.

  15. I think the writer is a Glock fan who bought the latest Glock because he thought it was his dream gun. However, he didn’t pay close attention to the details when he bought it and it was not what he thought it was. He will now wait for his next Glock dream gun.

  16. If anything, barrel and slide are long on G43. Look at Kahr PM9, it’s an inch shorter (same tall though).

    If you’re made of money and ride high on startup equity, while carrying a complex about the barrel length, you might want to look at Boberg XR9-L. The whole design of that gun is wrapped around the paramount concern for the barrel length, for whatever reason.

    • The overall length of the Kahr is almost an inch shorter, not the barrel length. The PM9 barrel is 3.1″, the Glock 3.4. The Kahr is 5.42″ overall length, the Glock 6.26″. The Glock is also .25″ taller. The PM9 with mag weighs 15.9 oz, the Glock 17.95. The main difference is price, the Kahr being more expensive (by about $120 at Bud’s). But then, you could always get the CM9 for $350 and screw the Glock. Or a CW9 , (which has an additional round and a longer barrel) for $315.

  17. Longer barrel would ruin it for appendix carry folks. If anything, the 43 should be smaller like the 42.

  18. Taran Tactical G43 +2 mag base plate:

    http://tarantacticalinnovations.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=44_49_81&products_id=293

    There’s also a +1 version.

    As to the GLOCK, it’s certainly a contender. At this point, I still think the Shield 9mm with the stainless slide and barrel is a better buy. And it comes with reliable 7 and 8 round mags from the factory. The Apex trigger upgrade is pretty sweet.

    I also think Glock could make money on a 3.8-4″ barrel single stack 9 that holds 8-9 rounds or so.

    I completely agree with the “better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission” concept.

  19. You’re reviewing something designed with a small barrel on purpose and … you don’t like that, even though it’s because this gun is designed to be small? At this point I’m wondering if you really understand that the goal of reviewing guns is to tell us about the gun, not about your own preferences and how you wouldn’t buy this gun.

    • You know, I didn’t really intend the piece to be a true full-on gun review; Dan already wrote a decent review of the G43 earlier. I wanted to talk about the fact that shooting this gun – as good as it is – made me desire something slightly different, which I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t spent a full day with it at the range. And also to be clear – it’s not like I dislike the 43 at all. I WILL be carrying it, and carrying it a lot soon. It just that it occurred to me that I might like to try a single-stack with a longer barrel and a higher ammo capacity a little more. Even if it’s not a Glock (!!) (And, by the way, that kind of rules out the EMP, since its barrel is actually shorter than the G43’s.)

      If that wasn’t clear from the article, then that’s my fault as writer. Perhaps writing after being out in the sun all day at the range isn’t the best policy! (Who knew?)

  20. Many years ago, I owned what I thought was a ‘frankengun’- a full length Detonics barrel& slide on an Combat Master sized frame ( since the advent of the interwebs, I’ve learned it may have been a rare ‘Street Master’ )

    I thought it an excellent concealed carry- concealing the barrel never seemed as difficult as concealing the grip, and my fingers fit nicely on the shortened grip.

    As these days my EDC alternates between a full size and an officers 1911, I keep thinking I should just spilt the difference and get a CCO sized pistol.

    Perhaps the author would find that a good compromise as well.

  21. The G43 is essentially a G26 cut in half. I’m still waiting for the G19 cut in half, 8/9+1 capacity, 4″ barrel, 1″ thick. Come on Gaston get on it.

  22. Totally agree with this article. I was wanting a single stack with an extra .25″ in height .33″ in length standard cap of 7+1 with longer mag of 8+1.

  23. For those who don’t see the point, I offer this: barrel length is not usually the primary concern in concealing a handgun. The length, angle, and shape of the grip generally have much more impact on concealability. People with small-medium hands (like myself) are not likely to see any downside to a shortened grip – especially with the prevalence of capacity-adding finger extensions – whereas the disadvantages of shorter barrels are universally understood.

    The existence of the XD-S 4.0 proves that there is demand for just such a pistol; however, the same may also meet said demand. It may make sense for Glock to make a similar model, but only after they’ve sold a billion regular 43s.

  24. I bought an EMP 9mm new, and after carefully polishing the parts that need to be polished, it’s been error-free and smooth as silk for more than 500 rounds. I’m buying a Glock 43, not because I’m a dedicated Glock fan, but primarily due to it’s size, inherent Glock reliability and the fact that in the warmer months I simply need a more easily concealed EDC pistol.
    I had a Glock 42, and it was fine, just not convinced that .380 has the horsepower necessary.

  25. Hi could you please tell me the color for the glock and where you had it done. It’s the one from your article on May 11, 2015. On what’s with the short barrel. I appreciate any direction you can give me.

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