There’s a saying that dynamite comes in small packages, and Glock has certainly given truth to that with the new Glock 43 in 9mm. While the G42 in .380 ACP was an astonishing commercial success last year, the seemingly insatiable market for Glock pistols was demanding something similar in 9mm. This is one of the most anticipated pistols in the decades-long history of Glock, and the suspense of the wait is over. This may be the perfect concealed companion: From across-the-room distances, it is almost indistinguishable from its slightly smaller brother. The small size, however, belies enormous performance.

Backup Nine

Glock 43, glock, g43, glock 43 9mm, g43 pistol, glock 43 pistol, g43 9mm, glock 43 shooting
The Glock 43 is a perfect choice for those who need a backup gun.

Looking at the technical data, we have an overall length for the G43 of 6.26 inches, a width of 1.02 inches and a loaded weight of just 20.6 ounces. While offering 9mm stopping power, the G43 is only slightly larger than its .380 subcompact sibling, the G42.

The magazine capacity is the same at six rounds, which gives the user a total of seven rounds total when fully loaded with one in the chamber. The G43 comes with two 6-round magazines, one with a flat baseplate and the other with a small “pinkie” extension. The barrel length of the G43 is slightly longer at 3.39 inches as opposed to the G42’s 3.25-inch barrel.

RELATED: 8 Subcompact GLOCKs For Pocket-Friendly Security

The pistol’s major metal components (i.e., slide and barrel) sport Glock’s surface-hardened finish, which makes the pistol extremely durable, corrosion resistant and gives it a non-reflective, matte black color. The barrel has cold-hammer-forged rifling in a hexagonal pattern that creates a 1-in-9.84-inch twist. This is a locked-breech design, which contributes accuracy and comfort to shooting. The fire control system is the Glock “Safe Action,” which features three independent, automatic safeties.

The pistol’s frame mimics the full coverage found on the G42 through a Gen4-like pattern that features a built-in beavertail for the web of the shooting hand. The mag catch is also reminiscent of the Gen4 design, and is reversible in the frame. A slide-stop lever is present for proper manual-of-arms handling, and the trigger pull weight is a nominal 5.5 pounds. Field-stripping is classic Glock, with the slide lock above the triggerguard and just forward of the (single) trigger pin. The pistol carries the now-iconic Glock profile with its recurved triggerguard and classic, clean lines.

Beauty is in the eye of the shooter, perhaps, and here the G43 shines distinctly.

Pocket Champ

Glock 43, glock, g43, glock 43 9mm, g43 pistol, glock 43 pistol, g43 9mm, glock 43 target
During testing, the author produced this tight group with Hornady’s 115-grain Critical Defense ammunition at 15 yards.

The G43 was tested with several loads and the results were notable. In particular, note that the loads were non “+P.” It is a reasonable opinion that subcompact pistols don’t necessarily need the extra pressure, as a good deal of the power will expend itself outside the confines of the barrel where it does little good, as it is no longer pushing the projectile. Bullet construction has progressed to the point where engineers have a good understanding of forces involved in regards to testing protocol, and can design bullets to meet the challenge. Consider the “short barrel” offerings by several manufacturers.

RELATED: Massad Ayoob Tests The Brand New GLOCK 43

The G43 was shot in testing with “heavier” loads and the result was increased blast and recoil. A common-sense approach would be to find an efficient load, test it and then practice for shot placement, which, in the end, is of primary importance anyway. All that said, the Glock 43 is tested to the same standards (+40,000 rounds) as its larger brethren by Glock for extreme reliability.

Glock 43, glock, g43, glock 43 9mm, g43 pistol, glock 43 pistol, g43 9mm, glock 43 disassembled
Like all Glock pistols, the new G43 is easy to take down for maintenance and cleaning. It also features a dual recoil spring assembly like Gen4 models for softer shooting.

As far as maintenance goes, the field-stripping procedure is all Glock. Check and double-check for unloaded status (as with all firearms), pull the trigger to the rear, slightly retract the slide, push the slide-lock down and dismount the slide. With the recoil spring assembly compressed slightly, lift the barrel from the slide. It takes less time to perform it than to read the preceding directions.

Your correspondent has, over the years, carried Glocks in ankle holsters in dusty conditions (G19/G26 over dirt and gravel roads, and off-road) and, for 15 months now, carried a G42 in a Talon Tactical pocket holster. The design of the G43 is very similar to its predecessors, and the famed Glock reliability can be expected throughout this pistol’s service life. Years of reliable service can be expected, even with a minimum amount of lubrication after cleaning.

Undercover Protector

Glock 43, glock, g43, glock 43 9mm, g43 pistol, glock 43 pistol, g43 9mm, glock 43 holster

Like its slightly smaller sibling, the G43 in 9mm lends itself to comfortable shooting and practice. I look forward to “clean” scores on such drills as “Dot Torture,” “Three-Second Head Shot Standards” and the “4567 Drill.” These and many others can be found at Undoubtedly, a skilled operator will be able to almost effortlessly qualify on various state-dictated courses in the law enforcement and/or concealed-carry realm, even out to 25 yards. The Glock 43 pistol can deliver at that range, and operators can look forward to hits at 50 and even 100 yards!

As noted before, this is a “full-sized” design in a subcompact, slim-line package. The locked-breech operation contributes both to accuracy and comfort. This, in turn, translates into confidence on the shooter’s part.

RELATED: New Holster Options For The GLOCK 43

The slimness of the G43 is one of its most remarkable qualities. At just over 1 inch in thickness, there are few environments in which the Glock 43 pistol cannot be carried concealed.

Belt/waist, shoulder, pocket and ankle—all are options for carrying the new G43. It takes dedication to covertly carry a sidearm. In the case of law enforcement officers, especially those in uniform, vest holsters, ankle holsters and or concealment under (or on) the duty belt would be natural homes for the new G43. Because of its slim, subcompact qualities, the same is also true for those of us in “plainclothes.” This is a case where life begins to imitate art: Bogart in Casablanca, James Bond’s various iterations and Scarlett Johansson, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., all appreciated a slim, subcompact weapon. In these instances, the G43 would have slipped smoothly under a suit, tuxedo or evening gown. As a backup for uniformed officers or a convenient, constantly carried defender, the Glock 43 in 9mm covers all the bases!

For more, visit or call 770-432-1202.

Up Next

New Shipments of Meprolight Tru-Dot RDS Now Available In The U.S.

To meet increasingly high demand, Meprolight has advanced production of the True-Dot RDS and...