The Glock 43 is one of the top options for self-defense.
In the world of concealed carry, people are concerned about two things. One is that your carry weapon is light and easy to conceal and two, that your weapon has the firepower to save your life in a defensive scenario. Glock pistols are some of the most popular carry guns out there because they check both of those boxes.
There are a lot of Glock models out there but one that always gets a lot of attention is the slim, single stack Glock 43. This handgun may only have a 6-round magazine, but the ergonomics and concealability are off the charts, especially for anyone carrying inside the waistband (IWB).
Today we will look at the Glock G43 in depth and answer all your burning questions about this popular semi-auto from the various specs to a short comparison on other models in the Glock line. This is everything you ever wanted to know about the G43.
What is the weight and length on a Glock 43?
Let us go over the specs of this firearm first because comfort in conceal carry usually comes from the overall size of the firearm. The overall length of the Glock 43 is 6.26 inches with the slide being 6.06 inches and the barrel length coming in at 3.41 inches. That length is going to give a bit more accuracy than a snub-nosed revolver with similar dimensions. The weight of this firearm with an empty magazine is just 17.99 ounces and 20.64 ounces with a loaded one.
Wide is important too when you are carrying IWB. The big thing the 43 has going for it is that the slide width is just 22 mm or 0.87 inches. The overall width of the gun comes in at 1.06 inches. When it comes to something you want to use for EDC, this gun is extremely slim, and thus easy to conceal. This gun has a reputation for being slim enough to even conceal under a T-shirt, which makes it ideal for summer carry.
The overall height of the gun is 4.25 inches. This all gives the Glock 43 an extremely small profile. Glock classifies the 43 as a subcompact pistol along with the .380 ACP Glock 42. It makes this firearm ideal for those with smaller hand sizes too. The 43 has proven extremely popular with female shooters for this reason.
How many bullets does a Glock 43 hold?
As we have already mentioned, the Glock 43 is chambered for 9mm Luger and holds up to six rounds in the single stack magazine. This magazine capacity is much lower when compared to other offerings in the Glock line, but the reduced capacity is also what helps keep the overall size and weight down.
One thing to keep in mind with this firearm is that most self-defense scenarios are fast and brief. The data on average number of shots needed is a little hazy, but you will find plenty of incidents that were over in only two to four shots. It is worth noting that not every encounter is going to be the same. There are plenty of documented incidents where even trained law enforcement needed more shots than that to stop a threat.
It really comes down to each person weighing the pros and cons of the 43's limited capacity for themselves and what they feel will be best for them. If you feel like you would be more comfortable with a larger magazine, there is always the Glock 43X. The overall size is comparable to the 43, but the X model offers a 10-round capacity while adding only about three ounces to the overall weight of the firearm when fully loaded.
We should also address the lethality and effectiveness of 9mm rounds. There is a huge, and ever-raging debate on 9mm as a self-defense round. Some people believe the round is underpowered for self-defensive purposes, which seems silly when you consider the number of militaries, law enforcement, and even the FBI have or are currently using the round these days. Unless they are wearing heavy-duty body armor, which is unlikely, a Glock 43 will stop an attacker wishing to do you harm. Anyone who still feels the 9mm is not up to snuff should probably check out the Glock 27 chambered in .40 Smith & Wesson instead. It has similar specs to the 43 but fires a much hotter round. However, realistically, either one is a solid choice for self-defense. Keep in mind that 9mm ammo will likely be a little cheaper and more readily available than .40 S&W.
Is the Glock 43 a good carry gun?
The polymer frame Glock 43 is an excellent concealed carry gun for anyone who is looking for a reliable, accurate pistol that is light on weight and easy to conceal under any sort of clothing. These firearms are incredibly easy to use because Glocks do not have manual safeties. Instead, they rely upon the company's "safe action" system. Basically, it is a is a trigger safety system combined with a firing pin safety and a drop safety. To fire the gun, you simply pull the trigger.
Most self-defense experts will advocate heavily for Glocks based on this feature. Because in a self-defense scenario a person's mind is going to race a bit. You will probably be frightened, and it is not unheard of for people to totally forget how to flip off the safety in the moment. It is easier to just draw and fire until the threat is either neutralized or runs away. The Glock's design helps facilitate just that sort of thing.
We should mention that many people have a love/hate relationship with the trigger pull of all Glocks. You will likely hear some people say they are "mushy" as opposed to the crisp feeling you might be used to with a shotgun or rifle. However, there are plenty of aftermarket trigger systems that can be used to improve the feel.
We already talked about how the gun's slim design makes it a breeze to cover while carrying, but we should mention a few other features like the magazine release. Glock made it reversible, which effectively makes the gun ambidextrous. The front sight and rear sight are more than adequate for most people. However, if you are looking for a little more precision, consider one of Glock's MOS (modular optic system) models. These allow you to mount different types of optic sights to the gun that will make it easier to get on target faster, especially in low light.
We should talk a little more about hand size. The Glock 43 does have a smaller frame that some shooters might find uncomfortable. It is probably worth going into a local gun shop to handle one for yourself before you buy. However, we should mention one of our favorite online gun gurus, hickok45, has larger hands and loves the gun. He did recommend adding a bit of extra grip tape to the handle to make it a little easier to handle.
How much does a Glock 43 cost? And how does it compare to other Glock models?
Depending on which model you go with and the retailer you purchase from, the 43 runs between $480 and $700. Pricing for a bare bones Glock 43 starts on the low end and the price increases with the 43X or 43X MOS variants. Used firearms can often be found for even cheaper than that.
We did want to do a brief comparison when it comes to other popular 9mm offerings like the Glock 19 or the 42. The 43 is easily the most concealable of all the 9mm Glocks thanks to the slim size and weight. Guns like the G17 offers a much more generous 17-round capacity and the 19 offers a 15-round capacity. The downside is that the weight on the G17 is 32.28 ounces and the weight of the 19 comes in at a healthy 30 ounces. That may not seem like much, but when carrying them around all day concealed inside the belt, they can get a bit heavier.
The trade-off is that the G17 and G19 may be a little more comfortable for shooters with larger hands who want a longer grip for more control. If you are looking for something even more compact than the 43, the Glock 42 weighs about five ounces less and comes with an extremely tight 5.94-inch overall length that effectively makes it a pocket carry gun. The trade-off is that it is chambered in the less powerful .380 ACP caliber.
At the end of the day is up to each shooter to weigh the pros and cons of each firearm to determine which best suits their style of carry and which has the type of firepower they are looking for.