Starting in the early 2010s, one of the emergent trends in concealed carry guns was semi-automatic 9mm pistols with single stack magazines and ultra-compact dimensions. While this category was initially dominated by models such as the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield or the Walther CCP, Glock eventually released a single stack subcompact 9mm of their own in 2015: the Glock 43.
In this Glock 43 review, you’ll discover the Glock 43’s origins and learn everything you need to know about its features, design elements, handling, and shooting characteristics.
Origins of the Glock 43
Although it was introduced relatively late compared to its competitors, the Glock 43 was officially announced in March 2015 in a company press release and unveiled for the first time at the 2015 NRA Annual Meeting.
The Glock 43 is a subcompact semi-automatic pistol with a single stack magazine and slim, easily concealable dimensions nearly identical to its predecessor, the Glock 42. The only significant difference between the G42 and the G43 is the chambering: the former is a .380 ACP pistol, while the latter is chambered in the more widespread 9x19mm.
Like the Glock 42, the G43’s primary purpose is concealed carrying, equally suitable for lawfully carrying civilians and law enforcement officers looking for a backup gun.
Following its release, the Glock 43 became an instant success with shooters of all kinds, fast becoming one of the most popular subcompact pistols of the era. Glock has since released additional variants, the Glock 43X and the Glock 48, which feature the same concealability as the original Glock 43 but mated to a frame with a taller grip and a higher-capacity magazine. The Glock 48 is a version of the G43X with a slightly longer barrel and slide.
Glock 43 Specifications
- Chambering: 9x19mm Parabellum
- Action: Semi-automatic, Glock Safe-Action
- Overall length: 6.26”
- Barrel length: 3.41”
- Height: 4.25” with a magazine inserted
- Weight: 18 oz with an empty magazine, 20.64 oz with a loaded magazine
- Width: 1.06”
- Capacity: 6+1
- MSRP: $589 at release
Glock 43 9mm: Review and Features
As one of the most popular Glock concealed-carrying handguns ever released, the Glock 43 was designed to prioritize its small size and lightweight design, ideally suited for IWB or appendix carry holsters.
However, if you are used to shooting Glock pistols or typically carry a full-sized, standard Glock, you may find the G43’s features and handling are similar to the larger guns. In our Glock 43 review, you’ll find a breakdown of the G43’s most critical features and why they matter to shooters.
Grip and Frame
Like most subcompact pistols, the Glock 43 features a slim frame with a short grip. Unless you are a shooter with smaller hands or install an aftermarket magazine with a tall baseplate, this grip size means you may have trouble obtaining a three-fingered grip around the Glock 43. In contrast, you get a small gun that is very easy to conceal, especially with the right holster.
The sides and backstrap feature Glock’s proprietary square stippling for its slimline pistols, identical to the type found in the Glock 42. While this texturing is easy to feel with ungloved hands, it isn’t overly aggressive.
Trigger and Controls
If you’ve ever pulled a pre-Gen5 Glock trigger, the Glock 43 will feel very familiar. The G43 features the same Safe-Action system as all other Glock pistols, complete with the same type of trigger-mounted safety. The average trigger pull weight on an unmodified Glock 43 ranges between 5.5 and 6 lbs, comparable to the double-stack Glock 19.
Besides the trigger, the Glock 43 features the same basic controls as all other modern Glock pistols: a reversible magazine release button, a slide stop/slide release lever, and a takedown lever. The mag release is nearly identical to the type found in other Gen4 and Gen5 Glock pistols, helping shooters used to Glocks feel at home shooting the G43.
Glock 43 pistols ship with the same standard sights as any other Glock pistol: a pair of polymer sights comprising a U-notch rear sight and a single-dot front sight.
On the G43, the sight radius is approximately 5.24”, just 0.15” shorter than the Glock 26. If you own a G26, you should have a similar experience aligning the sights and acquiring targets with the G43.
The Glock 43 comes with a standard flush-fitting magazine with a capacity of 6 rounds, plus one in the chamber, making it one of the lowest-capacity Glock pistols available on the market.
The only OEM alternative is a 6-round magazine with an extended baseplate, improving ergonomics but not increasing the handgun’s capacity. Many third-party manufacturers offer baseplates and replacement magazines capable of accepting more ammunition.
Handling and Shooting the Glock 43
If you’re considering purchasing a Glock 43 for personal defense, concealed carrying, or as a backup gun knowing how a firearm performs is crucial. Our Glock 43 review explains everything you need to know regarding the G43’s accuracy, ergonomics, recoil, comfort, and overall reliability.
The Glock 43 is a reasonably accurate handgun for its size class. Its 3.41” barrel can print groups of 3 to 4 inches at distances of up to 25 yards with standard, high-quality ammunition.
While accuracy is highly dependent on ammunition quality, the “statistically perfect gunfight” engagement distance is about 3 yards. In other words, the Glock 43 is more than accurate enough for self-defense situations.
While the Glock 43 has a short grip that may be unsuitable for shooters with larger hands, it is a typical tradeoff for subcompact handguns, allowing them to achieve better concealability. Despite that, the G43’s frame is slim and may feel much easier to grip than its double-stack counterparts.
Racking the slide should be fairly easy for most shooters. Its factory recoil spring weight is 17 lbs., identical to a Glock 19.
Recoil and Comfort
You should expect snappier recoil and more muzzle rise as a smaller, lighter handgun than classic Glocks such as the G17 or G19. Despite that, the Glock 43 is comfortable to shoot and relatively easy to control, as long as the shooter maintains proper grip and stance.
Most products from the Austrian gun manufacturer have the reputation of being highly reliable, and the Glock 43 is no exception.
Despite being one of the smallest designs Glock has created, the G43 makes no compromises on reliability. It should fire every time you pull the trigger without issues and with virtually any brand of 9x19mm ammunition, including inexpensive steel-cased cartridges.
Find Your Ideal Concealed Carry Guns at IFA Tactical
The Glock 43 remains an excellent choice for shooters looking for a small, lightweight, easily concealable self-defense pistol. Although competing models offer higher capacities, few handguns offer the simplicity and reliability that made Glocks famous.
IFA Tactical is a retailer of high-quality firearms, ammunition, and accessories in Sterling Heights, Michigan. We aim to provide you with everything you need to exercise their Second Amendment rights and become responsible gun owners, including CPL training and comprehensive firearm reviews such as our Glock 43 review.