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Dirk Diggler and I put the GLOCK 42 through its paces yesterday at On Target in Valley Park, Missouri. Long story short: it’s a mixed bag. While generally very soft-shooting, Gaston’s littlest gun seems to be fairly particular about the ammo it eats. Personal defense rounds ran through it, in the words of General Patton, like crap through a goose. On the other hand, heavier, hotter ammo was, well, more problematic. We confirmed Hickok45’s experience with Buffalo Bore 100gr. +P. That snappy-shooting stuff tends to lock the slide back. Freedom Munitions 100gr. gun food did it even more so, as Dirk found out, above. And while we’re fairly sure Dirk didn’t do it, it is possible to limp-wrist the gun. We ran seven or eight flavors through the babiest GLOCK in session one and I’ll probably feed it more in the coming days. Full details in the upcoming review, of course. Same bat time, same bat channel.

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        • HEY, what about us with messed up noses who usually breath through our mouths despite not being stupid?

          No, didn’t buy a Glock. I don’t like the grip angle, can use them though just prefer not to.

        • Well technically my nose isn’t messed up, more like my nasal airways. Is that OK too? Just messing with you.

          Regarding the pistol:
          A defensive firearm should work with all types of ammo, why should I change out the Makarov for this? Though it can probably be fixed with a heavier spring in the slide, a gun should work properly from the factory.

    • Lots of people care. Why, every time there is a post on this, do you have to go out of your way to tell everyone else you don’t care?

      • If that were the case then forums would be empty ghost towns.
        The whole point of blogs and forums is to share opinion, good or bad.

        • It’s one thing to have an opinion. It’s another to belittle other peoples’ opinions simply because they don’t match yours, which is what this individual has done again and again (on previous threads) with respect to the G42. Implying that no one should care about this gun is just another way of doing so.

          I actually don’t want one of these guns. I don’t care for the caliber nor am I particularly fond of Glocks (though I do respect them, and ATM they are the only real option in 10 mm, so guess what’s in my nightstand?) See, there’s my opinion and in some respects it actually aligns with El Mac’s.

          But that alone doesn’t mean OTHER people should avoid the G42, yet some people insist that everyone else’s tastes–and I do mean mere *tastes*–should be just like theirs. (A lot of factors in your choice for what to own or carry come down to your personal taste or physical size and shape; it’s not better or worse than other people’s, it just is, and it won’t match others’ tastes and that’s perfectly all right.) To the contrary, the G42 might be just the right ticket for a LOT of people who want a gentle shooter. But not according to El Mac; no one could POSSIBLY ever find this gun useful, because HE thinks it’s got an ugly trigger guard and shoots a caliber he doesn’t like. And He Hath Spoken.

          That past history aside, based on things I read below in these comments, the G42 appears to not like certain ammo that is at least somewhat out of SAAMI spec for .380, though other Glocks are much more forgiving of out-of-spec ammo. This is worth keeping an eye on, and if the gun doesn’t end up being reliable with in-spec ammo, THEN and ONLY THEN is it objectively a piece of shit that no one should want unless for some reason they just can’t have anything else–in which case even then it’s the only gun for them. (There are all too many people out there who cannot afford anything but a junk gun.) Even if that turns out to be the case, it wouldn’t make El Mac right though, because he is on record as thinking it is a piece of shit for the wrong reasons and that only fools and suckers would buy it even if it functioned flawlessly.

        • I bought the g42 for one reason I need an extremely concealable firearm to carry in a very specific situation. Any gun is better than no gun. Having said that. If you run the ammo it was designed for, out runs flawlessly. Quit trying to find what our chokes on and tell folks what it eats well. Its a self defense gun not a target ot range queen. It runs well on self defense ammo. Use it as intended and its a great little gun. As for me wasting my money… it’s my money. Kiss my a$$

  1. Ammo sensitive. Not a big deal for a target gun. But for a gun that’s marketed towards the self defense crowd, big no-no.

    • I give my guns the same treatment I give my kids…

      “Well, I don’t care if you don’t like it, this is what I bought for you. So, thats what you’re having for dinner and you damn well better eat it, or God help you!”

        • Oh, I know it. I have to pay someone to take mine, even for just a little while. Unfathomable.

          I can’t stand ammo sensitivity. It’s one thing if it’s a known crap ammo I guess, or bad reloads of course, but if it won’t take any random decent ammo? That’s a no-no to me.

        • I got 2 grandkids living with me. They’re free to a good home. I don’t need to make a profit, that’ll come when they move out.

    • Malfunctions with +P hot loaded rounds is to be expected. It was designed around standard pressure .380ACP, not the extreme end of it. Trying to make a 357SIG out of a 380ACP is a gomer op anyways. I feel confident you could run unlimited amounts of Gold Dot thru it just fine, or just do the logical thing and carry a Glock 26/27 instead of trusting your life to the anemic 380 ACP.

      Back in the 90s I had a FEG 380 as a truck gun. There was a small fox acting rabid in a ditch around 25 yds away. I hit it square in the middle with a 380 think it was a Federal 95 gr HP. The fox just took off running never found it. Traded the FEG on a 357 or something, was not impressed with the 380 on living things. On the 8th day Smith and Wesson invented the 40SW.

    • Yeah, I’m in agreement. That baby Glock should eat everything 9×17 / .380 ACP much like a teenage boy at a buffet.

    • I fired 30rds of Buffalo Bore 100gr+P Hard Cast Flat Nose, and 40rds BB 100gr standard pressure flat nose from my G42 and they all fired with no problems. The +P’s were a little snappy, but they all fired great. I don’t have the money to fire 2 or 3 hundred of these, and I don’t care for the over penetration factor, but I love the flat nose idea. They should make a flat nose that will still crush meat and break bones, but not over penetrate. I load mine with the Precision One 90gr XTP which tested better than all other defensive 380 ammo (12-14″ penetration with expansion with and without denim) See the Ammo Quest results on YouTube. I am a G19 owner, and it is my main EDC, but I sure love the little G42. I have no fear of carrying it.

  2. Today is all about super hyped up products that arnt doing well! This is really Gen 1 of this product so you can never expect perfection. Im not a Glock fanboy by any means, but also won’t deny they make quality products. I’m sure within the next few months there will be hundreds of YouTube videos on tweaking the 42 to run smoother. Lol The 2nd batches are always better, the 1st ones are rushed through production to meet intial demand.

    • “you can never expect perfection”

      I respectfully disagree. There is no excuse for a defensive firearm not to feed 100%. Glock should not have put it to market if it does not function perfectly.

      • I agree with the Rabbi. No firearm should not work with any type of ammo. That is why one has gas regulators and springs of different weights.

      • So sayeth the Rabbi and so it is!

        All the Glocks I have fired over the years operated flawlessly, with the exception of bad ammo(not discharging,under powered, etc) and limp wrist-ing, I never expected to see one that had as many feed problems as people are claiming the G42 has. As I said earlier I only put 2 mags through one and would love to sit down with a variety and bang a couple hundred out and see what happens. From what I am hearing and reading this piece is not ready for primetime.

        • Having sat here with another cupa and considered, I personally have never had a Glock not operate flawlessly. I have seen other people have problems, very rarely, either bad ammo that would not work well when we tried in other pistols or operator dysfunction.

  3. …and they still will sell like hotcakes…..piss poor hotcakes….

    I have a Gen 1 G21….you know…the start of the Legend of Perfection….it went downhill from there if this POS is any indication. No excuse!

  4. We ran several self defense rounds. They ran great but the buffalo bore and freedom did lock up several times even when we tried to isolate the mags. I think it was the recoil spring. It was VERY different from my G26 gen 4. Puny even.

    • Is the metal base plate on the recoil spring in your G42 slightly bent? Mine is not perfectly flat, a portion dips down and I’m debating whether I should call Glock and ship it back.

      Works fine though…

  5. Buffalo Bore is gimmick ammo at best. So long as it will feed popular loadings from atk, Winchester and Remington that’s all that matters.

    The mere fact that ammo was sought out to induce malfunctions makes this review questionable. BB and FM account for the smallest sliver of the bottom 1% of .380 ammo sold.

    • The Buffalo Bore wasn’t “sought out to induce malfunctions.” We shot it to see if we could confirm what Hickok45 found in his initial impressions while shooting the gun. And we did.

      Also, to be clear, this isn’t a review. This range session was just one part of the process of producing a full review of the pistol.

    • Buffalo Bore has worked like a champ every time I’ve used it. Freedom munitions, on the other hand, has been the worst ammo I’ve ever shot. Perhaps I just got a 250 round batch with bad primers. I still had a box of 50 with 7 bad primers. The primers had good indentation, but simply failed to ignite. Bad ammo, good guns.

      If the Glock 42 runs 200 rounds of your pet SD load without an issue, then I consider it reliable. Rounds that are +P, reloads, abnormally light or heavy, exotic, etc. should not be used as the basis of reliability in a semi auto firearm. If it runs standard pressure 90 grain Winchester, Federal, and Hornady JHPs and FMJs that’s good enough for me. Of course, it would be nice if it ran absolutely everything, all the time. Many guns don’t actually do that in the real world. Match 1911’s can choke on JHPs, for instance.

      My duty pistol has jammed with 135 grain frangible .40 and will very rarely (I’d say once every 400-500 rounds) jam with duty 180 JHP loads. And by duty loads, I mean industry standard premium Winchester PDX and Golden Sabre (which we no longer use due to jacket separation issues).

      So while this is cause for concern, I consider it to be a learning opportunity. Shooters need to test their individual guns with their individual ammo before deeming them reliable.

      • I shoot freedom munitions 9mm in idpa out of a glock 19 with a 3lb striker spring and have had no misfires. I had plent from some of the Russian stuff though. I know I should use a heavier striker spring but it’s a range toy.

      • I’m thinking you had a bad batch. I’ve shot many hundreds (thousands?) of rounds from Freedom Munitions in 9mm, .40, .223, etc. without a malfunction.

      • Freedom munitions, on the other hand, has been the worst ammo I’ve ever shot

        The Freedom Munitions I have (but haven’t shot any yet) are “remanufactured” if that affects anything.

        • Mine were re manufactured as well. Maybe just a lot of bad primers. Since they’re topped with Hornady XTP, I’ll probably just pop the defective primers, check the brass, clean the cases, and reload the ammo.

      • Great start on the review Chris and Dirk.

        Thanks A81 – very useful comments and btw echoes what I have heard from at least three very experienced trainers with long LEO and MIL experience-
        1. find the gun that fits your hands and shoots well for YOU, and
        2. then find the ammo that the gun likes best.
        3. Practice, with good coaching, to avoid learning bad habits up front.

        You wont have the experience or ability to discern the differences between one good gun and another in same caliber, until you have done those first.

        Since you are gonna burn thru a lot of ammo, it makes sense to standardize on one brand of target that works and one brand of PD, after to get 8 of 10 bullets inside of one “minute of man” at the range that matters in your set of likely scenarios. For me thats WWW, which works fine, and the only cheaper is bulk range reloads that doesnt have steel in it, which has given a couple of malfs- maybe my error too.

        For HD, been using the Golden Saber Ranger (like), – as reliable and low enough cost.

        Now I am curious- was that head separation issue a bad lot like CHP and other CA LEOs said when they recalled some Ranger a couple years ago, or was it bad design on the round/combination of use in Glocks that resulted in separation issues?

        Any other brand similar you’d recommend, in its place for the G23?

  6. First runs always have minor issues. Seems like most companies these days, including gun companies, use early adopters as beta testers.

    Glock will probably tweak the components involved, and have this resolved by the end of the year.

  7. CC’d a Glock 30 for over 10 years; shot thousands of rounds in that time without a problem. I buried it in sand as a test and shot a couple of mags without cleaning the gun; flawless! I still have the gun and OC it at times.

    Gaston should have tested it some more; if they couldn’t get it to work perfectly; they should have just locked it up in a dark dungeon, chained to a wall and kept this terrible creation a closely kept shameful secret.

  8. it just goes to show you the quality of Glock has dropped significantly since Gaston died. Rough edges where there stamping plates haven’t been resurfaced which creates they’re manufactured parts not to fit well in the guns and due to the fact that gun techs and not gun smith assemble the guns they’re pretty much junk now.I had a Glock 36 completely jammed up a magazine from it delaminating badly I had to take the slide off and pound out the magazine with a. hammer at the range.

  9. I just got back from Wally. If you wonder where all the 9mm the military purchased ,it’s there. I got a 250 box for $72..It is in a plain box from UMC ?Remington with the Israeli crown on it. They also just got in some made in TURKEY ,not even our measurements on it. Interesting.

  10. Glad to see you guys reviewing this piece. I only got to shoot 2 magazines through one, it was loaded with Hornady critical defense 90gr FTX. Did alright, would like to have pushed a bunch more and some different stuff, did not have the chance.

    One another note, got to shoot a Ruger LCP yesterday, using the same loads. Friend had just bought it and felt that something was wrong, it being very stiff to move the slide against an uncocked hammer. In the store when he tried it I am pretty sure it was already cocked. He does have issues with hand strength from years of working as a machinist and pipe fitter and he is 72. It cocked fine for me and did not hang up through 50 rds. He had a hell of a time getting that first rd chambered. I am also not to wild about the idea of carrying it loaded. He carries and old Jennings .25 auto loaded in a vest pocket and has never had an issue with it, I just don’t think the LCP is a good option for that. I told him to get a decent holster if he is going to carry it. I also tried to convince him that perhaps he should take it back and look into something else if he is determined to replace the .25. We will see how it works out.

    • Beretta Tomcat perhaps? The tip up barrel would bypass the need to rack the slide. If he likes 380 I love my little Taurus M380 revolver. Soft shooter, very small, and good short range accuracy.

      • I suggested a Beretta or a small revolver. The sales guy hooked him on the Ruger. His hand strength kinda is why he was looking to begin with and I showed him a couple of revolvers at another gunstore, my regular Hard Rice vendor, and we discussed the possibilities. He wanted to shop around price wise so I was not there when he got this.

    • +1, beat me to it.

      There’s no such thing as +P 380 ACP. I don’t know how they don’t get sued out of their shorts for selling out of spec ammo or why anyone would shoot the stuff except with some sort of remote firing rig.

      • As I said before, “exotic” ammo should not be the basis for ammo reliability considerations. However, there is also no SAAMI spec for .40 Smith +P, and I’ve shot Underwood .40 +P through my Glock 27 and 23 with no issues.

        Ideally, a good SD pistol should shoot everything within reasonable cartridge specs. I like to shoot +P ammo from time to time. It makes a .308 (Hornady light mag and Superperformance) hit as hard as a .30-06, a .30-06 (Hornady light mag)like a 300 H&H, a .40 (Underwood 165 grain XTP) close to a 10mm, etc.

        Since a .380 is a weak cartridge, using +P would definitely be a bonus, if it could be done reliably. I wonder how the Underwood ammo would perform.

        • Perhaps the way to think about this, then, is that it’s a nice bonus when the gun will fire somewhat-out-of-spec ammo. And in this case there was no bonus.

          It’s also possible that at least some people designing guns for .40 S&W tried to anticipate the eventual advent of +P.

          I can’t quite call this a piece of junk. Not yet anyway. (But even if I end up doing so, it will be because it’s unreliable. I refuse to side with the bigots who not only hate it but think no one should be interested in it just because it’s .380 or because it’s a Glock; see the top of the comments.)

          I do note that dinky firearms seem to be fussier in general than full sizes or even compacts (which certainly seem to be closer in size to full size than they are to those “two finger grip” subcompacts) when it comes to which specific loading they will have trouble with; my Beretta Nano was having fits with weak ammo though I *may* have finally succeeded in breaking it in; at least it was trouble free the last time I shot a bit of weak stuff through it. Of course I still can’t shoot it well enough to satisfy myself.

          Which is why I carry a full-size (or compact) whenever possible/practical.

        • I wonder when you think about who the G42 is likely marketed to,
          ie the biggest NEW market niche that seems to be growing more rapidly than ever…
          (thank you MDA!),

          WOMEN and other smaller framed FIRST TIME GUN BUYERS.

          and what would sell to them best-

          a. proven, safe platform with long reputation for simple, reliable, easy to clean
          b. wont scare them to shoot with loud, snappy recoil

          So, if Glock probably deferred on adding the extra metal or springs or whatever, in favor of slimness,

          and NOT bulking it up in order to satisfy that relatively (extremely) narrow niche of the opinionated, borderline OCD, cranky crowd of crusty gun guys who argue ad finitum about 9mm/40/45 and piss on one anothers legs in the meantime (guilty!), who might NEVER buy the gun anyway…whilst opining darkly on Glock kaboooms of the past…

          Well! MAYBE, just maybe, they didnt intend it to shoot elephant killing loads or exotic frangible firing darts with deployable bat-nets and laser tracer tracking charges included,

          JUST so you dont need fireplug wrists to hold it steady.

          Ok, so I made up that last part.
          Dirk sorry – no insult intended- your wrists are actually rather dainty.
          I mean…uh, maybe its the sweater.
          Never mind.

  11. Boo – second review with jam problems on this Glock 42. I was hoping for something better from Glock.

  12. If self sefense ammo runs through the piece “like crap through a goose” then stop your “batching.” This a close range self defense gun, not a Kimber 1911 in 10mm. It gets the job that it was intended for done. The Glock is not a precision instrument. It is a piece of Tupperware that does what it is supposed to do.

    • I like it. Next we will move on to cast-iron cookware in the more traditional Dutch oven method from the 1800s, relies on heavier construction like the 1911.
      This item requires more maintenance and a light coating of oil cooked on to finish after every meal, but can also be used to hammer nails, beat off the ravaging savages, and so on…

  13. I also took my 42 out to the range yesterday and was very pleased with it. I put over 100 rounds through it (Federal Hydrashock and Winchester target ammo) and only have one malfunction, which was down to one of the Winchester rounds being faulty. My wife put several mags through it and had no problems at all. A friend (female) who came with us had a few failures due to limp-wristing it. It was still the most popular (and accurate) gun for them, beating a S&W .38 snubbie and my Glock 26 (I didn’t even bother to bring my Kel-Tec). Today my wife carried it while we went out (while she has a carry permit, she usually doesn’t like to carry)
    This gun is good for me because I like the consistency of having the same platform for all my carry guns. But it is going to be really good for new shooters, especially women. And if you want the the right to keep and bear arms to survive, you should be glad for that. Not everyone can carry a 1911 plasma rifle in the 40 watt range (and some who can don’t want to, or at least not yet).
    Are there legitimate criticisms to be made of this gun? Sure, but some of the dick-waving is getting pretty ridiculous, and when it leaks into the awareness of potential new shooters, only hurts the cause.

  14. Guns Save Life is featuring the Glock 42 in our March 2014 Rantoul, IL general meeting monthly gun drawing. Get yours for as little as $5 per ticket and the proceeds benefit the GSL’s all-volunteer advocacy of the 2nd Amendment and your right to defend yourself.

    For more information, visit us


  15. Like most gas operated guns chambered in “diminutive” cartridges (makarov or below), I am thinking this Glock needs brass cased, round-nosed FMJ to even stand a chance at being reliable.

    While it is possible to limp wrist non direct blowback pistols it is much harder to do so. The guy in the vid does not appear to be limp wristing.

    How many rounds have been thru this glock?

    • Personal observation only. Small semi’s that are all metal, such as the Mak, have a reliability edge over small semi’s that are polymer.

    • again – hollow points fed fine. no problems. tight groups. no worries. +p fmj and some freedom munitions fmj – problem. Now, I have about 8,000 rds of freedom and have never ever ever ever experienced an issue (which is why I bought so damn much). I really think it is the recoil spring.

  16. the other twist is I was shooting right handed instead of lefty as I am. I have a G26 and a bunch of other guns and shoot ambi – never had a problem. So . . . . I don’t think I was limpwristing. Dan shot one handed and managed to get a misfeed. At first we thought it was a bad mag, but i just think the recoil spring is a hair too light.

  17. Dirk, did the FTF arise reliably on a particular round in the magazine? ie, was is the second round from the mag, the last round, the second to last round, that sort of thing?

    • Negative. Dan and I thought it was one particular mag, but we managed to get a few FTF’s out of the second mag. IIRC, it happened more on slow fire vs letting it rip. I still think it is the recoil spring. It is very small compared to a G26. Otherwise, I really liked it for a back up or deep cover primary

  18. so this comment probably constitutes web necromancy, but here it is anyway: been thinking a lot about this review and the comments. The gun shoots defensive loads reliably, but doesn’t handle some hotter loads. After thinking about it, so what? Lots of good guns are ammo sensitive. If it is reliable with brands of ammo you trust, who cares if it doesn’t like other brands? It isn’t as big a deal as some of the commentators make it out to be.

    If hot .380 rounds are important to you, maybe you should move to a 9 mm.

  19. I have the glock42. I thought it would be as good as my other glocks I own. This thing is junk and needs to be recalled. It jams and dose not eject half the time. I have so far put 300 aggravating rounds thru it. Jams and jams. I feel like I paid 500.00 to get a swift kick in the jewels. If glock dose not recall and fix or give me credit toward another full size glock I will not be a customer of glock again. Very dissatisfied right now. I hate junk. This glock might as well been made in China.

  20. Glock says that this g42 has a 5.5 lbs trigger pull.. total bs.. it is 9.1 lbs. I have tested it and others have tested it on youtube. Why lie about the trigger pull glock.

  21. After shopping around my wife decided on the glock 42. She like the weight and feel of it much better than the shield or xds. She has fired all 3 likes the trigger on the glock best, plus at has less recoil and noise than the othe 9mm guns. She like to shot but is still very new to shooting. She had owned a lc9 before, it was alright but the long hard trigger pull was too much for her and she could not shoot it fast and accurately. This little glock is perfect for her, just big enough to get a good hold of, in a caliber she can shoot fast, accurate, she can rack the slide easily and with confidence. I don’t care who you are 6 rounds of 380 to the chest is going to ruin your day! Unless you get a hit in the cental nervous system no caliber will instantly stop an assailent in their tracks. Her gun shoots very well with all ammo shot through it. Buffalo Bore +p, haven’t tried it and don’t plan on it. Maybe shits and giggles for myself to shoot! I myself really like the gun and have a blast shooting it. Loaded with federal hydra-shok as I type thls. I am very confident in this firearm for my wife to carry and protect the childs and herself! Such a fun gun I might get one or maybe a cw380!

  22. well, for fun, the wife decided she wanted a G42. . . . her best friend bought one, so that means she wanted one. . . . and into cabelas I went. spent all my points, but walked out only spending $100 out of pocket. gonna break this sucker in good.

  23. I’m not looking to debate back and forth with anyone, I’m simply responding to some of the messages because I’ve “personally” had a considerably different experience. I have several handguns I use @ the range. As far as Glock is concerned, the 27 is one of my favorites. On the other hand I also have the 42; love it as a concealed carry. I have fired over 400 rounds with this little baby and she has not had a problem yet. That is a lot of action with no trouble.

  24. the Glock 42,
    I recently shot the Glock 42 and Sig Sauer P290rs. Both of these guns are about the same size physically and are in the running to be my new carry gun. The Glock is striker fired and has a short and easier trigger pull than the Sig. The Sig has an external hammer and has a long double action trigger pull which was also harder to pull than the Glock.
    I started out with “cheap” target full metal jacket ammo. Can we call it cheap anymore, it was still expensive. Both pistols did well with the smooth round nose ammo, 50 rounds each. Next up I ran 50 rounds each of a jacketed hollow points ammo. The Glock did well no problems, however the Sig had several problems with failure to feed.
    I personally like the Glock feel better with a nice back strap on the handle. The trigger pull is easier and breaks and resets nicely. So with the Sig continuing to fail to feed the hollow points I spent the rest of my time shooting the Glock 42.
    I put an additional 100 rounds through the little Glock with no hang ups. I need to put a few hundred more rounds down range and get the extended clip for better grip before I put this as my carry gun.
    I like it, it’s light, easy to conceal and so far shoots accurately and comfortably.
    Give it a try and maybe someday the .380 will be part of the inner circle(.45,.40,10mm,&9mm)

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