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Glock 43

I’d been eyeballing the new GLOCK 43 (street price about $450) since the NRA Convention 2015 when I first fondled one. It looks and feels, unsurprisingly, like a skinny GLOCK.

Now, I’m a GLOCK guy. I like them, at least in 9mm flavor, and I can’t tell you how many I’ve lost in boating accidents over the years. I’ve had the full-size 17, the “compact” 19, the “baby” 26 and have enjoyed them all. Right out of the gate, they all get a 3.5# trigger and tritium night sights. Outside of that, mine are stock and run great, performing flawlessly as my self-defense tools. They’re all quite compatible with me and I shoot that baby GLOCK just as well as the larger models.

Through some good fortune, I won a GLOCK 43 at a Guns Save Life meeting. GSL gives away a gun at each meeting location every month. I mention this in the spirit of fair disclosure: GLOCK didn’t give me this gun for testing and evaluation and I owe them nothing.

The 6 + 1 capacity had always kept me away, but winning one on a $5 ticket at the Chicago Guns Save Life meeting is hard to beat. (I confess, I bought $60 worth of tickets.) Chuck’s Guns in Riverdale, Illinois  (Mayors Daley’s and Emanuel’s favorite gun shop) provided the very popular pistol to GSL. When I picked it up, I bought three additional G43 factory magazines and a holster. I intended to be “carry ready” with it after taking it on a test drive for comfort and reliability.

Glock 43

The gun felt OK at best. It’s a little on the small side for my hands, but someone with smaller paws might find it just perfect. The sights are the ubiquitous factory standard and the trigger is classic GLOCK.

The gun, frankly, seemed just a little too big for a dedicated back-up gun. I toyed with carrying it in a pocket as an everyday carry backup, but it didn’t fit comfortably in my 5.11 cargo pockets. But it fit like a dream under my suit and concealed very nicely.

As with the other guns in the GLOCK family, there’s no external safety. Some insist that their semi-autos have safeties, but I’m not one of them. Keep your booger picker in your nose and off your trigger and you’ll be completely safe if you observe proper holstering protocol.

I still felt luke-warm on the 6+1 carry capacity as a G19 plus two spare mags has been my everyday carry for at least a decade and a half. That’s 46 rounds of loving for you non-GLOCK aficionados. My 19 by itself packs the ammunition of 2.5 G43s, and there’s no need to reload.

Firing the single-stack GLOCK for the first time was…not exactly pleasant. The gun weighs in at under 18 ounces empty, and a couple of more with bad-guy stoppers in the magazine. Some might call it snappy, others might call it spicy or “exciting.” All of the above describe my experience.

With Winchester Ranger 124gr JHP +P rounds, I found it bordering on unpleasant. Not as much a handful as a .380 micro pistol (Kel-tec P3AT, S&W Bodyguard .380, or Ruger LCP…take your pick), but it wasn’t far off. I wouldn’t want to would never run through a 500-round training course with it, let’s put it that way.

Even though I’m a decent pistol handler and long-time instructor, I felt myself picking up a flinch after a couple of six-round mags and had to concentrate on a crush grip and deliberate trigger squeeze to overcome it. By the time I’d gone through over two boxes of shells, my hand felt beat up.

Accuracy? The gun showed it was far more accurate than I am. It wasn’t easy to pound out a ragged hole at five yards, but it was possible. I admit that I really had to concentrate to shoot it well.

Glock 43
Putting rounds into a ragged hole at 5 yards was a struggle, but possible.

Reliability? The first problem came in the first magazine of self-defense ammo. A failure to feed four rounds in. Then on the second mag, another FTF three rounds in. A tap on the rear of the slide brought the gun into battery in both instances, but I shouldn’t have to do that.

Thankfully the last three mags of hollow-points ran flawlessly, but I was concerned: two malfunctions in 31 rounds of Winchester Ranger premium self-defense ammo? That’s a 6.45% failure rate – worse than the Hi-Point 9mm pistol!

Was I limp-wristing it? I doubt it, particularly shooting from two-handed isosceles as an experienced shooter. I can’t recall the last malf I had that was attributable to me limp-wristing any other GLOCK.  Lube issues? I didn’t lube it out of the box, but heavy lube is a no-no with GLOCKs and it didn’t feel or sound dry in my earlier manipulations.

A number of mags of 9mm ball (Aguila) ran fine, but I’m not carrying ball ammo to save my life.

I will say after a thorough cleaning and generous lubrication, I took it out again a couple of weeks later. I ran through about 70 rounds of the Winchester Ranger 124gr JHP+P ammo without a hiccup.  Another two boxes of Aguila FMJs went through flawlessly, although only about a third of those were shot by me. Some others at the range tried it out.

Unfortunately for GLOCK, I shot the 43 side-by-side with a S&W Shield and a Ruger LC9s Pro after that first trip to the range. The Shield was noticeably more comfortable to hold and shoot, and the Ruger LC9s Pro, while being a handful on recoil, has a factory trigger that rates an A+ right out of the box. I would carry either before I’d carry the G43.

I didn’t enjoy shooting those 70 rounds of +P though Gaston’s single-stack product, and life’s too short not to enjoy shooting a particular gun. Hence, I sold the G43 to one of my fellow instructors for a song.

Summary: In my view, the G43 isn’t a good gun for beginners…it’s too snappy. If you’ve got a spot in your heart for a petite, skinny GLOCK and legitimately have the skills to run a “hot” little gun, and can get it to run reliably with your choice of self-defense ammo, this gun might work for you, especially if you speak fluent GLOCK. Otherwise, I’d take a pass.

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  1. Every Glock manual for the last 20 years has told new Glock owners to clean and lube it before you shoot it for the first time. I don’t understand what is so hard about this concept to execute. I’m pretty sure the stuff that comes on the metal parts of the pistol is chosen for its rust preventative qualities, not lubrication, which is why they tell you to clean it (remove the old stuff) and lube it (add new stuff that is better at lubrication). Otherwise, you are mixing powder fouling with the rust preventative, making sludge, which does nothing to reduce friction or improve reliability.

    Otherwise, great article, and I agree with most of your observations/conclusions.

    • ” I’m pretty sure the stuff that comes on the metal parts of the pistol is chosen for its rust preventative qualities, not lubrication, which is why they tell you to clean it (remove the old stuff) and lube it (add new stuff that is better at lubrication).”

      If memory serves, that stuff, at least that that was on the Glocks I bought new, was a copper-based anti-seize compound.

      It most certainly is a lubricant, and a damn good one, albeit rather messy.

      Pro Tip: Use anti-seize on vehicle wheel studs, it could save you some serious aggravation if they seize with the lug nuts, as ‘they are wont to do’. (That’s the voice of personal experience on that one.)

      • Yes, the coppery anti-seize stuff is a sort of lubricant; but I’m talking about the kinda-oily-looking stuff that is smeared all over the rest of the metal parts.

        It used to be you’d only see the coppery stuff on the bottom-rear of the slide, near the connector “bump” that rides against the slide. Are the using the anti-seize compound on other areas now?

    • The Glock manual tells you to clean and lubricate before first use. Then, a few pages later, it gets around to telling you NOT to remove the copper-colored anti-seize compound the gun ships with. Someone didn’t think that through.

    • After twenty plus years of writing for numerous hard copy publications I can say, cleaning/lubing a new firearm is something I have never done. The T&E beast arrives, if the weather/time cooperate it is off to the range with whatever loose fodder I have. If you are going to see how the pistol performs, right out of the box is a good start. Most of the folks I shoot with rarely detail strip/clean a new firearm unless it is a benchrest or PPC piece which get some love; otherwise they add lubricant and shoot.

      When I test a handgun or a rifle I never clean them. I want to see what it takes to make them fail to feed or other malfunctions. Since I am not going to bury them in sand, drag them through the mud; shooting them dirty is the only way I can test them to failure.

      The Glock manual also tells you not to remove the copper anti-seize lubricant.

    • You should ALWAYS clean a gun the first time before shooting it! EGADS – there is dirt from handling and shipping, heavy lube from the manufacturer and you also learn about your gun when you take it down.

      • The last 1000+ rounds through my SR9c have been malfunction-free. The only problem I ever had was when it was brand-new, and uncleaned. The first time i shot it was outside in temperatures about 20 degrees F. Within 50 rounds, I started started to get slow trigger resets, and then failure to reset. I set it down on the table in my lane and finished my shooting day with my old LC9, which ran fine. I took the SR9c home and stripped and cleaned it. It was still very cold to the touch, and I found whatever factory grease was in there was thick and tacky on the trigger bar, which rides very close to the inside of the frame. After cleaning the whole gun, striker channel included, and lightly lubing it, it has never hiccuped since. I don’t know what Ruger packs them with grease-wise, but it didn’t like sub-freezing temps as the problems started less than 20 minutes from exposure. If you want to run a gun right out of the box at the range to see how it does, fine. Just don’t stack your life on it until after that first good cleaning and lube.

  2. I usually can find some truth to articles on this website, even if I disagree with the review, but this is one of the lowest quality reviews I’ve read from this publication.
    70 rounds of +P and you dumped it? That’s hardly a range trip let alone a review. And I’m baffled as to how you made no mention as to how the shield trigger is about twice as bad.
    my two cents

  3. Thank you, Mr. Boch, for your comments. It is always nice to have one’s decisions supported or validated. The 43 didn’t impress me, either, and so I recently bought and am now practicing with and carrying a Ruger LC9s Pro which I find entirely satisfactory (I also carry a 9-round extra magazine).

    I have nothing against Glock, and my next comment is not intended to target Glock, but it is refreshing to read knowledgeable commentary here that ends in a negative conclusion. There is just a tad too much happy talk in TTAG reviews, but that may be my own bias surfacing.

    • After watching a Scootch review or two, TTAG reviews seem like vicious condemnations.

    • I have not read all of the Reader Submitted Reviews, since some of the firearms are not of interest to me, but I did notice one thing in particular – they tend to review guns they own and like. These are not reviews of random weapons with a comprehensive and unbiased evaluation of their performance, these are people telling you what they own and why they like it.

      • I noticed this as well. I submitted a review of a Smith 910. I own it, but have no special attatchment to it and gave it a three star review. Haven’t seen it published yet:( ttags published some of my other crap so I hope the writing isn’t the issue

      • There were a lot of starry-eyed reviews of “my first gun” that seemed ridiculously positive.

        Like without anything to compare them to, they figured their gun was the best.

        That used to happen to me when I said I liked the trigger on a Glock. Knowledgeable gun guys told me it was because I was comparing it to a DA/SA Ruger…

  4. Odd. Fired the first 150 rounds (115 gr, Speer Lawman & 115 gr. Federal 9BP) without a hiccup. One handed, sideways & upside down. Plus my 21 yr.-old daughter said it was more comfortable to shoot than my 19 ! A 4’11” 95 pd. 25 year-old girl liked it better than her .380 S&W Bodyguard.
    Maybe it was the +P’s that gave the trouble ?
    My only complaint is that after several magfuls expended, I noticed “Glock knuckle” on my middle finger. First time I’d run into that. I equipped it with Talon grip decals after the first session as well.
    Mine is a keeper.

  5. How bout you become an honest man, give us some stars, and call this a review. 🙂 I don’t entirely see how you came to these conclusions given that I run Speer’s LE +P+ load without displeasure, but I wasnt there and generally throttle my guns. Thanks for sharing.

    How has she treated your colleague? Their students?

  6. Can’t get them in CA anyway, so despite being a long time Glock owner and carrier, I don’t have one. Since it failed quals for both LAPD and NYPD, I’d suggest the G43 ain’t done cookin’. I just recently upgraded ten G33 mags with new followers because it wouldn’t feed “condor safe” copper bullets, so even a ten year old Glock can need an “upgrade.” Great writeup, you should write for Gun Tests (heh!). I can see it: C+, but if you’re a patient expert, B+.

    • I thought that Condor-safe-copper-bullet crap was only for hunting bullets; you mean you have to use it for defensive pistols too? Or is that just because you want to carry it as an outdoors/woods-walking pistol?

      • You can be cited for lead bullets in any firearm, including your carry weapon. Lunacy, I agree, and come 2019 the entire state is non-lead for hunting. I have a big box in the garage labeled “Condor Safe” with ammo and magazines for any/all firearms we take up the hill when we go to the ranch. A typical fine is $100/round and I can buy a lot of components for that much dough.

        • Must be a Southern California thing. We have no such restriction up here in (freer) Northern California. Then again, we don’t have condors either. Solid coppers are coming to hunting, but not to range time or SD ammo.

  7. As a general rule pocket pistols are not good guns for new shooters. +P rounds coupled with smallish grips and a DAO trigger on my j frame make it a bit of a handful even for people with experience. If at all possible new handgunners should be carrying something in the larger sizes, whether semi or revolver.

    • Amen. Pity only Springfield and Kahr are making svelte longslides of the polymer variety.

    • +1 to jwm

      Fixing the summary: “In my view, [*any* pocket type pistol] isn’t a good gun for beginners…[they’re] too snappy.”

      If you’re a gun noob, start toward a full-size pistol. Of any type or model. Your hands will be happier.

    • Word. Want to make a newbie comfortable? Go big and heavy, with low recoil. I’m thinking a .22 LR or .38 out of a revolver or a .380 or 9mm out of a full sized pistol. Hyper tiny means hyper recoil.

      Example: Smith 340 PD with full power .357. Ouch. I’d rather shoot my .460 Smith.

  8. To me, semi auto’s really mean extra round capacity. That’s why my home defense is a Glock 17. It’s got the 17+1 capacity, plus even takes 33 round mags as reloads.

    A mouse gun, on the other hand, is generally POCKET carried by those who just want something, no matter what it is.

    The Ruger LCP in 380 is the ultimate Mouse, Pocket gun, however it fails miserably when trying to cycle the slide while shooting from the pocket of a jacket, or pants. Too many chances for that slide to hang up on clothing material.

    My personal favorite Mouse (Pocket) carry, is the small S&W J-Frame 5 shot Revolver in 38 Special (with the enclosed hammer). It’s rated for +P ammo, and I feel well protected with it.

    Shoot from inside the pocket of a jacket or pants pocket, no problem. No slide cycling to interfere or get tangled up with. PERIOD.

    I agree with Boch completely. Why bother with all the potential hangups of a rail gun, if you’ve only got 6+1 ?

    Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my Glocks. I just can’t find any justification for the G-43. The G-42 in 380, Maybe, but if you really just want a little Mouse Rail gun, Ruger’s LCP seems like the hot ticket.

    • I agree. I like my full size double stack pistols (Glock 19 and 22) for home defense, plus occasional IWB carry, and my micro .380 P3AT for deep concealment.

      Most of the time though, I just throw my 642 J-frame in a pocket holster, and go. It is my favorite carry gun. The G43 doesn’t offer enough of a round count upgrade to make up for the disadvantages of an autoloader. The Shield and LC9 – maybe. I keep flirting with the idea.

      Of course I’m a bit of a goofball. I even occasionally pocket carry my Ruger SR-22.

    • This is something that has always puzzled me – I’m a BIG guy, 6’3″ and 275, but I have NEVER been able to feel comfortable carrying a pistol in my pocket. I have an S&W 642 and I like it. I have a Ruger LC9s and I really like it. When I have considered putting them in a pocket, even in a Remora, it always seemed like they were clumsy and obvious, not concealed. I would have felt less conspicuous with one of those UT compensaters in my pants.

      Used the Remora or a Blackhawk IWB at 3:00 and everything was fine. Anyone care to write an article for TTAG explaining exactly how this pocket carry works? I must be doing something wrong.

      • The guys pocket carrying are wearing clothing that isn’t that stylish or very large. I never understood it either till I met a pocket carrier. Their clothing is typically over sized

        • When I pocket carry or double carry, I put a .380 Bodyguard auto in my left front pocket in an Uncle Mike’s sticky pocket holster. It’s a very comfortable carry method. I wear normal athletic fit 31×30 or 32 x 32 jeans (the most expensive jeans you can buy from Target!). The little .380 auto disappears in cargo shorts or all but the tightest of dress pants.

          It’s very easy to conceal a .380 and the Glock 43 isn’t much more difficult. Neither are a pleasure to shoot, but are decently accurate. I can put 5 rounds through a ragged hole at 5 yards with both, and hit steel silhouettes at 25 yards with both.

          I’m 5’9 and 185 pounds. My typical carry is a Glock 19. Carrying almost anything is relatively comfortable compared to 30 pounds of gun, ammo, baton, OC spray, handcuffs, body armor, combat boots, wool pants, etc.

          I know I “should” be a fan of the .38 J frame revolver but the size / power / capacity ratio isn’t enough for me.

          My $.02.

        • I pocket carry daily. I have to wear a button up and slacks for work and my office has a policy against carry. It’s not posted but it’s in the employee handbook. I have been unable to as effectively conceal a handgun at 3 o’clock as I can pocket carry and I’m unwilling to try appendix.
          I don’t wear oversized clothes but I do look for clothing with larger than normal pockets when I shop for clothes. I will also try my EDC in the pocket while wearing the clothes to make sure I feel like the pocket is large enough to conceal and not impede my draw in any way.
          I’ve had a few trustworthy fellow employees that have told me they’ve never been able to pick out my tcp printing. Although I have been outed once fortunately it was by someone I knew and it was right after I started carrying. I was wearing pants that were probably a little too tight and that’s what made it more noticeable. I have since disposed of those pants.
          The only time in the clothing I wear now that I feel I print at all is when I’m sitting down as that pulls my pants tighter against the leg but since I’m sitting at a desk I just make sure I’m turned to wear it’s not noticeable. Again a lot of it falls under the fact that the majority of people are too consumed in their own business to think about someone printing and if they do see it they’re more likely to think it a wallet or such instead of a handgun.

        • Mike –
          It is true that I am not a skinny jean wearing hipster, a metrosexual, or a fashionista (not a suit wearing lawyer or anything like that either). At 6’3″ and 275 lbs, it doesn’t sound like Cliff H. is one either. For whatever it is worth, or however it applies, I’m 6’4″ and about 215.

          I wear the same stuff that I wore before I started pocket carrying. I generally wear jeans or Dockers to work (with tucked in button-up shirts), slacks to church, and cargo shorts most of the rest of the time.

          I can easily pocket (left front) carry my J-frame revolver or my little .380 in any of the above (I don’t carry at work since it is a GFZ). The P3AT looks like a wallet or phone in my pocket. The revolver prints a bit more, but I really don’t care too much. Nobody has ever mentioned it.

          The only time anybody mentioned anything was my wife. I was complaining about not being able to find my wallet, and she asked “what’s that in your front pocket”.
          It was the P3AT, and she thought it was my wallet.

          IWB and OWB generally require some sort of cover garment, and are uncomfortable while seated. At present, pocket carry suits me fine.

      • There are 3 types of pockets I’ll carry in. 95% of the time I’m pocket carrying I’ve got a Kahr pm9 riding in a cargo pocket of cargo shorts. The other 5% is when I’ll throw it in the front pocket of baggy jeans or in the inside pocket of my suit coats.

      • Cliff, I have tried a 442 for pocket carry and an LC9 (DAO). Both felt heavy and awkward when walking, and seemed conspicuous print-wise. I am 6’5″ and slim. I didn’t like either in a pocket and had just about given up on pocket carry until a gun store guy let me slip an LCP in my pocket to try. What a difference. I bought the gun and routinely carry it now in a DeSantis Superfly, no flap. It’s still noticeable in terms of weight, but livable. A spare mag goes in the opposite pocket sometimes in a pocket mag holder.

        Don’t give up on pocket carry until you have tried an LCP or comparable size/weight .380 in a pocket holster, preferably without buying one first. Try a standard LCP, not the ‘custom’ with the big snaggy sights. Now if an LCP isn’t workable for you, then it’s probably time to give up on the idea.

        Dark pants with a dark pocket liner will make it less likely someone standing close behind you in a line will see the gun grip down in your pocket, and will make the overall printing less obvious from the front too. Thin, light-colored, and shiny fabrics will show contours more and make the bulge in your pocket more noticeable. I have the same 5.11 Taclite Pro pants in khaki and dark navy, and the dark ones print less. I think the ideal pants for pocket carry would be a dark cotton canvas or denim with dark pocket liners (double stitched for strength) and some extra room in the thigh. In dress pants, pleated is back in style and is better than flat-front for the extra room and loose material at the thigh.

    • Why bother? Because 6+1 or 7+1 is mo’ betta than 5, and the reloads are faster. Plus a 9 mm with a 3″ or 3.5″ barrel, while snappy, is much easier to shoot accurately than a 2″ snubby in .357, especially if one eschews the +P loads (which are really unnecessary and possibly counter-productive at 5-7 yards).

  9. Glocks are a poor choice for new shooters because like new drivers and new aviators, they are more likely to make mistakes. New shooters are better off with a pistol with at least a grip safety until they get enough trigger time.

    Calling a Glock stock except for “the trigger and sights” is like calling a VW TDI stock except for the chip. If you replace the trigger and the sights your gun is not stock. You have customized the two most important parts in the gun.

    • A “grip safety” isn’t a safety at all, if it automatically goes “off-safe” as soon as you pick up the pistol. It was designed as a drop-safety for Cavalry soldiers, in the days before firing-pin-plunger safeties which lock the firing pin in place unless the trigger is pulled.

      Totally superfluous nowadays, a potential source of stoppages or breakage (see: Springfield XD recall for grip safety problem) and some say harmful to safe handling practices, as certain people (newbies, especially) THINK it’s a safety, and are more likely to do something stupid with a gun that they think is “on-safe” and therefore can’t be fired.

      • You obviously don’t know how to handle a gun with a grip safety. You don’t take a firing grip unless you are going to pull the trigger. Anybody who carries a gun with a grip safety knows this.

        To further prove you don’t know to properly handle a gun with a grip safety is your statement about grip safeties and cavalrymen. It is just the opposite. The Cavalry Board added the thumb safety to the 1911, not the grip safety. Browning considered the grip safety sufficient but the Board thought it was too dangerous to hold the pistol in one hand and the horse’s reins in the other.

        • Don’t take a firing grip unless you are going to pull the trigger? Is that like keeping your finger off the trigger until you are on target and have made the decision to fire? How would you hold the gun while you are running between targets during a match or facing a burglar who might or might not attack? When I draw my 1911, the grip safety is depressed before the gun comes out of the holster. Going the other way, it remains depressed until the gun is locked in.

          Now that we have firing pin blocks, grip safeties are redundant. A well designed thumb safety, on the other hand, can save you from an unintended discharge if something unexpectedly catches the trigger. A safety contained within the trigger can’t prevent that.

        • I think one of the reasons for redundant safeties on the 1911 is how the horse troopers carried them. They had lanyards attached to pistol and rider. The powers that be wanted an extra layer of safety in case a cocked and chambered .45 was flip flopping around on the end of a lanyard after a rider dropped it.

          That put the pistol close to the horse and horses were expensive.

        • No it’s not. It prevents stuff like Glock leg from happening. You know when something gets caught in the Glock trigger guard and sets the gun off on reholsteting.

        • While you are right Kendahl, IF there is a manual safety. Glocks don’t have them. The Springfield XD doesn’t either, so it has the grip safety instead. Which prevents ball players from triggering an ND when their guns slip out of their waist bands at the disco. The only XD recall I am aware of had to do with the XD-S, not the standard XD. The XD9 was my first pistol, and one of the reasons I bought it was because of the grip safety. I gave it to my son a few years ago, but it has been a solid performer over the last ten years.

        • tdiinva: So you advocate teaching people to grip their pistol in two completely different ways; one way not touching the grip “safety” at all, and the other way making sure it’s completely depressed so the pistol will fire.

          They will be handling the pistol administratively WITHOUT firing it far more often than not, so that method of handling (grip “safety” not depressed) will be the primary way they handle the weapon for loading, unloading, holstering, and unholstering. It will become the default handling method. But if they need the pistol in a hurry to defend their life, they’ll be expected to draw it with the grip “safety” completely depressed and the pistol in a firing grip, so it can be fired reactively (assuming they remember to pop-off the thumb safety, too).

          Yeah, no possibility that something could go wrong there. Training them day-in, day-out to avoid touching or using the part that will allow them to fire the pistol and save their life.

          OUTSTANDING system.

        • tdiinva: Your “system” also seems to indicate you have no experience with the popular Springfield XD-series pistols, where the grip safety MUST be depressed to unlock the slide, allowing it to move to the rear for loading or unloading/clearing the chamber. If the grip safety is not depressed, the slide cannot be moved rearward.

          So much for the “You don’t take a firing grip unless you are going to pull the trigger” portion of your Proper Use of the Grip Safety lecture.

        • A horse can be a mighty distracting thing. A guy I ride with was in a train robbery re-enactment and was riding along the train with a single-action .45 colt revolver with black powder blanks. He had cocked the pistol and was about to fire, when he took it into his mind to jump a small pile of railroad ties, He instinctively took up the rein in his gun hand and as they went over the railroad ties, his hand clenched and he shot himself in the other hand with black powder.

          That stung enough to remind him what a bad idea that was.

          I can’t imagine how easy it is to pile up mistakes when you add in people shooting at you and the horse with live rounds.

        • Lol first y’all are talking about new shooters but then you accuse this guy of not knowing how to handle the gun. Just get over the fact that some people don’t like XDs as much as you and get over it.

  10. That’s a bad 5 letter word, glock, ew. Then it’s generally followed by a word of perfection, double ew, definately a pass by me, my wife has a Remington rm380, tiny little thing, even more so In my paws, but shoots like a dream for both of us, yup I’d take a kel-tec over a glock too.

  11. I don’t really see the point of shooting +P ammo in a little gun like this. It’s hard on the gun and even harder on the shooter. If you look at real ammo test by people like Shootingthebull410 and Luckygunner the +P rounds don’t seem to offer enough of a benefit to be worth it.

    With standard loads I don’t think the G43 is unpleasant to shoot at all. I have around 2k rounds through mine and it is a pretty good little gun.

    I have large hands so I find that the Shield is easier for me to shoot. With the G43 I have a hard time shooting groups centered on the target unless I am very careful with hand placement. The Shield is better for me in this regard, but I shoot larger groups with the Shield because the trigger is noticeably heavier.

    The main advantage of the G43 over the Shield is its smaller size and better trigger. The disadvantage is its higher cost and lower capacity.

    I bought Taran Tactical +1 and +2 extensions for mine, but those are not cheap. Overall unless you really need the slightly smaller size of the Glock, most would probably be better served with a Shield along with an Apex duty kit for the trigger.

    • I agree, Grant.
      Loading a “pocket 9” with 124 grain +P loads is a recipe for pain.

      You can use those hot loads for function testing and defense if you like. Otherwise, practice with standard 115 grain rounds and make like more pleasant.

  12. Anyone the adds a minus connector to a glock and calls it a day, know nothing about triggers. Thats an easy way to make a glock trigger feel like sh#t.

    • Thats a ridiculous assertion. Just bc someone is satisfied with how a trigger feels after a drop in connector that does not translate to “knows nothing about triggers”. But then again Im not one of those tools who wants to “fluff and buff for only a quarter!” everything all while having no understanding of sear engagement. And fwiw all Glock triggers feel like shit. Smh.

  13. You lost me at booger picker. It wasn’t funny the first time someone’s drill sergeant or some old, fat, cigarette-smelling range instructor said it and it certainly hasn’t gotten funnier with age.


    • wow dude you must have been a diehard 71L fearing a paper cut…if “booger picker” offended you, you would never have survived Harmony Church or Smoke Bomb Hill. Go back to your safe space and stay away from “gun sites” so you are not offended

      • He’s not “offended” you moron he said it wasn’t funny. Which it’s not. Snot. Lol now that’s funny.

        But seriously you’re telling him to get off the site because he’s calling out stupid jokes. Slap yourself in the face and call it a day genius.

  14. I respect the fellow’s opinion on this pistol.

    Everyone’s hand is different, I hear people complain about recoil with 38+P in an LCR but it doesnt bother me at all. My knuckle does get raw shooting a Glock 19 or 26 though. Doesn’t affect the guns performance.

    Take it for what it is…..his opinion….just like any other reviewers opinion. Just because his review doesn’t mirror your opinion doesn’t mean his views are wrong. Just different.


  15. Nice job. I opted for the SA xds. I just shot it better than my G43. I own several Glocks and
    Love them all but just not biggest fan of the 43. I like the single stack in the heat of the summer but can conceal a G19 as well.

  16. For me, the critical point of this non-review is that John found the G43 less comfortable to shoot than a Shield or an LC9S. I’d like to get my hands on an Honor Guard with a thumb safety. All the controls I want and none that I don’t. Unfortunately, none of my local gun stores stock them.

  17. Not to be a jerk here but NO Glock pistol is a good gun for a beginner. Such a thing simply doesn’t exist unless you’ve been properly trained and practiced in the fine art of not touching the trigger and making sure the gun is clear before disassembly.

    I know that doesn’t seem hard but I’ve seen noobs load mags backwards. Such a person is not ready for a Glock.

  18. Can’t say I agree with this assessment. My wife carried the Beretta Nano for three years. It had some issues until break in and complete failure which after a trip back to the factory were all eliminated. But I’m not going to talk about that. My wife did not like the loooooooooooooong trigger pull of the Nano when compared to my Glock 19. My bad for letting her shoot the Glock at the range.
    Well. along comes the G43, Shield and now the LC9s Pro. She was leaning toward the Glock because, even though nobody like the trigger. neither she or I had an issue with it. You can really only judge a trigger of one gun when you do a side be side comparison. I liked the Shield for the capacity, and the best trigger. Don’t know what John was talking about when criticizing the Shield trigger. Neither of us liked the LC9s Pro even though we went into this trial wanting it to be the winner. It had a late trigger break just like the Nano and that turned her off. She said if it came down to the Ruger and the Nano that she would just keep the Nano.
    She picked the Glock 43 even though I pushed her towards the Shield. My take: It’s a great little single stack 9. Not good for noobs? What is good for noobs? Figure it out. Why split hairs? Point the motherfucker at the bad guy and pull the trigger. This isn’t rocket surgery.

    • “Point the motherfucker at the bad guy and pull the trigger. This isn’t rocket surgery.”

      The interwebz are yours for the day sah!

    • I carried it in a black leather holster by DeSantis IIRC. Minislide OWB, Carried at 5:00.

      As for a “number of stars”, I’d say three stars out of five.


  19. Meh…love my Glock 43. Never missed an 18″ wide target (minute of average bad guy, in the south I hear it’s more like 22″) at any range with it, rapid fire or not. Also I’ve never had a hiccup out of mine, however a buddy of mine did and I’m pretty sure he was limping the crap out of his wrist even though he’s a fairly experienced shooter as he had two stovepipes out of one mag and never had that problem afterwards…But I’m not a firearms instructor so I may not have as high of standards as some. I’ve talked to a lot of people who want to start carrying and I actually tell them to go ahead and start on either the Shield or the G43, whichever fits their hand better (or in the case of the Shield, their wallet.) It’s always seemed to work out with those guys. I’ve also always felt that it may be good to have a snappy first shooter as I started with a compact 40 and now my HD is P-09 which after putting a light on it to weigh down the front a bit seems like .22 and definitely not something worth flinching over. Just my .02

    • I had lots of problems with my shield 40, they may not translate to the shield 9mm but… the slide lock is in a bad spot, and unlike Glock, there is no plastic lip to stop your thumb from holding the slide lock up or down inadvertently. I built up the area around the slide lock with a plastic 3D pen to solve that problem. My shield is very picky on ammo and will not shoot truncated rounds or some hollow points without jamming. Trigger takes training to master on the shield. The plastic plate at the back of the slide on the Shield kept sliding down and jamming by the gun from going into battery. Defensive full power loads in the shield bulge the fired case at the unsupported feed ramp area. Etc, etc. I prefer the Glock 43 even though it holds less ammo.

  20. I have not shot a Ruger LC9s, but I have shot a S&W Shield and Glock 43, although not comparatively in the same session. I came away with a completely different impression of the Glock 43 shooting it one handed at steel from about 10 yards. I wasn’t trying for groups but the shots were easily on target in rapid fire. I do have meaty paws and the grip felt comfortable, and compared to my only other experience with a Glock, a Glock 21, I thought it had a better trigger. I thought the recoil was quite manageable, but then my EDC is a pocket carried S&W 642.

  21. “…shells…”
    This always is irksome. It’s not a shotgun, nor a howitzer.

    Surprised he didn’t mention the “clip”.

    A personal peeve. Minor, I know.

  22. “Keep your booger picker in your nose and off your trigger and you’ll be completely safe if you observe proper holstering protocol.”

    Wrong. How about the case where a child pull the trigger on a Glock while it was in the officer’s holster? He had children all around him and didn’t know one was touching his gun.

    How about the case where a Glock discharged because the leather holster was worn and folded? (

    What would be more accurate to say is, “Keep your booger picker in your nose and off your trigger and you’ll MOST LIKELY be accident-free if you observe proper holstering protocol. However, accidents happen, and a manual safety can assist with preventing them.”

    • Neither of the instances you cited were “accidents.” The correct word is “negligence.”

  23. Ruger LC9S owns this category. Plus you have the option of the Pro or standard S if you want a manual safety or not. They are very accurate, the recoil is negligible, fit the hand well, and conceal great. Glock missed the boat with this thing, might as well stick with a G26 thats a bit thicker and be able to carry high cap mags.

  24. My choice for EDC now has become the G 43. It’s light and very easy to conceal in a pocket holster. Mine is exceptionally accurate by any measure–from any pistol. Years ago, Glock had what I called “Service-grade accuracy” but not now. I had much trouble with the terrible tribble trigger weight–all in the name of “safety”, i suppose. I replaced the connector with a Ghost and now it is just fine. Snappy? It’s a small and lightweight 9mm pistol. What do you expect? The S&W 642’s recoil made my hands bleed after 25 to 50 rounds. A Walther PPK is a nasty recoiler–pure recoil on your hand web. I have zero problem in the G 43’s recoil department. It shoots right on in ultra fast instinctive shooting practice. Like what was mentioned: Clean the anti-rust film off the pistol first and always use a military grade lube. It’s a military pistol. Small pistols are sometimes particular about ammo: Try out several American-made self-defense rounds…Gold Dot by Speer is tops. I am a L/E and civilian firearms instructor.

  25. So based on the title, the writer is a noob? A Glock 43 definitely isn’t for noobs! LOL! Have been using mine for over 1200 rounds flawlessly.

    Gave it to my wife. She tends to like the smaller gun better. She handles it with grace as welll.

  26. I like the G43, but the other pistols mentioned like the LC9 s or shield are ok too. I have been carrying the shield in 40 S&W for three years. I like it now but it has lots of problems to work out. The slide lock on the shield is in the way and can be locked back at the wrong times. The shield jammed with truncated cone shaped ammo. My shield had a problem with the slide back plate sliding down and jamming the gun from going into battery so I bought an aftermarket aluminum plate. The Glock 43 fits small hands well, has a better trigger than shield, points well for fast shooting. LC9s trigger is too lite, and the slide rides too high. Gunslingers: Go with the Glock.

  27. I love my 43. When I got it I hated it, I thought it would feel like a tiny 19. The trigger pull was terrible, couldn’t hit crap. Put the Ghost Edge connector in. I love it now. It has replaced my 642CT, which is a much harder gun to become proficient with. Any small gun is harder to shoot than a bigger gun of the same caliber. I also use the Federal HST Micro rounds in it. No problem with the recoil. Around 500 rounds with 0 failures.

  28. Well, I know it is one hour ndred times better than the xds. That trigger was so horrible I had to sell it. As for the malfunction, he said it shot fine after cleaning it so.

  29. Here is something not mentioned that others will benefit from when they come across this article. Glock ships with petroleum based lubricant. A lot of gun owners use non-petroleum based lubricants. When you mix them, you cause a problem to show up in guns that live on the edge that you may otherwise not encounter. So either lubricate them out of box before break-in or don’t, but when you do clean and lubricate the first time, do a very thorough job of cleaning when you switch to whatever you use.

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