Glock pistols remain the same polymer-framed, utterly reliable handguns they have always been. Every Glock features the Safe Action system with multiple internal safeties as well as a polygonal-rifled barrel. What has changed is the caliber and size of the company’s pistols in recent years, and recently one more notable change arrived as well—the single-stack Glock.
Glock continues to produce very compact versions of its standard pistols, but for the ultimate in concealability and pocket carry, you need a thin grip. Given the exponential growth in concealed carry in the U.S., especially among women, it was only a matter of time before American shooters could finally get their hands on a single-stack Glock pistol chambered in .380 ACP, which arrived in the form of the Glock 42.
The G42 is not the first .380 ACP pistol made by Glock. The first two were the G25 (essentially a Glock 19 chambered in .380 ACP) and the G28 (the compact version). These were never available to American civilians and limited to law enforcement sales. They were developed for sale in European countries where military-caliber ammunition is restricted.
But we are better off now and the G42 is smaller and thinner for concealed carry. It is in fact the smallest pistol Glock has ever made, but it has all of the same advantages and ergonomics of a full-sized Glock. The semi-automatic pistol features a 6+1 capacity and the shortest barrel available in the pocket-pistol class. The .380 ACP cartridge keeps the recoil very manageable in this lightweight gun that weighs less than 14 ounces unloaded.
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The width is also less than 1 inch at the widest point, making the pistol virtually disappear inside a pocket, and the smaller, thinner frame makes it easy to grasp for anyone with smaller hands. The checkering on the grip also helps the user retain the pistol, even in inclement conditions, and the triggerguard is undercut for a higher and more comfortable grip. This also helps bring the hand higher up on the gun and lowers the bore axis for better recoil management.
The enlarged reversible magazine catch allows for faster and easier magazine changes, and there is a fully functional slide lock/slide release. The rear of the grip has a pronounced beavertail that protects the web of the shooter’s hand from “slide bite.” The gun’s wide slide serrations also help with slide manipulation, and since the .380 ACP produces less recoil and requires a lighter recoil spring, even those with diminished hand strength will be able to operate this pistol comfortably.
If people were excited about the G42, the arrival of the Glock 43 a year later was even more heavily celebrated. The Glock 43 is the first single-stack 9mm pistol that the company has ever produced, and it is dimensionally almost identical to the G42. This ultra-slim and ultra-compact pocket 9mm pistol gives users the same benefit of an easily concealable pocket pistol that lays flat and resists printing with the added power of the larger round. While the .380 ACP and 9mm may look similar on the outside, they are anything but. The large 9mm round produces on average 80 percent greater energy.
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Penetration is a factor of many things, most notably bullet design, but the improved velocity of the 9mm round will in almost every case provide better penetration than the .380 ACP. Of course, this also produces increased recoil, but the trade-off is worth it for many who are less recoil sensitive. The G43 pistol itself has a 6+1 capacity and is about one-third of an inch longer and just slightly wider. The G43 is also a little over 4 ounces heavier, which helps absorb some of the added recoil. The slightly longer barrel also provides added velocity.
The subcompact Glock 26 has always been a popular pistol for concealed carry. This semi-automatic is chambered in 9mm and features a 10-round magazine, and it will accept longer 9mm magazines as well. At 6.41 inches long and 4.17 inches tall, the G26 stows away easily in pockets or bags, and it can ride comfortable all day in an inside-the-waistband holster. The light weight of the pistol, at 21.71 ounces, is also an asset. In terms of handling recoil, the slightly extra weight over the G43, and most importantly the slightly wider grip, do a great job of keeping the gun manageable and your shots on target.
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The G26 Gen4 pistol offers even more intriguing features. The magazine catch has been made reversible so that the pistol is easier to use for left-handed shooters. The new G26 Gen4 also has a redesigned frame with more aggressive texturing that really helps keep the pistol in hand better. The backstrap has also been modified so that it is now modular and the gun comes with different sized backstraps that are easily interchanged. This allows the user to customize the grip size for a better fit. Finally, the Gen4 features a new dual recoil spring assembly that significantly increases the pistol’s operational life.
Big-bore fans who want to keep their pistol out of sight have navigated over to the Glock 36 with its Slim-Line single-stack design. For a while this was the thinnest pistol Glock made, and it is still the thinnest the company makes in this caliber. This semi-automatic pistol features 6+1 capacity and a polymer frame with finger grooves that also sports aggressive checkering in the front and rear. The front of the slide has been narrowed to reduce weight and the pistol’s overall slim dimensions also make it easier to reholster the gun.
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The G36’s high-visibility sights get you on target fast, and night sights are optional for use in low-light conditions. At 22.42 ounces, you will feel the recoil, but it is no worse than smaller and lighter 9mms.
Glock continues to innovate and produce outstanding, accurate and reliable pistols for law enforcement, home defense and concealed carry.
For more information, visit http://us.glock.com or call 770-432-1202.
These aftermarket magazines give you maximum capacity and undeniable reliability.
by William Bell / Apr 28, 2016