Love it, love it, and love it! Ok, now that I have gotten that out of my system let’s talk about why I love the new Glock 43 9mm. Although frequently misunderstood, women want more than a pretty and small gun for their concealed carry handgun. They want a gun that is all business, one that will do what it is supposed to do when they need it to do it, and one with the stopping power they need in a package that they can carry, grip and shoot comfortably. The Glock 43 has it all.
I have struggled some with Glock’s, primarily due to the bulk, larger grips and my inability to work the controls one handed. They felt like I was driving a Mac Truck!
The Glock 43 solves these problems while providing me with a substantial 9mm option. I realize that to have the higher capacity of a double stack would be ideal, but the reality for me and other women with smaller hands is, it just isn’t a current option. The 43 does leave me a bit wanting in the area of capacity. It comes standard with two 6 +1 capacity magazines. (Each has a capacity of 6 rounds, and then with loading one in the chamber, you add 1 more) One of the two magazines that come with this gun has a pinky extension, which could have offered me 1 more round. I feel this is wasted space and for me, that extra round means a lot. I need to have at least 1 more round than the bad guy! It also comes with a speed loader, which is nice but honestly, the magazines load like a dream and I didn’t need to use it.
So let’s start with the fit. My hand easily found that ‘perfect place’ with the web of my hand high on the back strap and my fingers wrapped comfortably around the grip. I appreciated that the front strap didn’t have finger grooves, which in most cases don’t fit the lay of my fingers, requiring me to squirm and or spread my fingers into these preset locations. I could get a firm, comfortable and functional grip quickly and easily. I preferred the magazine with the pinky extension, which gave me a solid landing place for my pinky and a more solid grip.
My thumb reached the magazine release and slide release effortlessly, which are of real importance to me when making the selection for a defensive firearm. I require a gun that I can manipulate all of the controls one handed, should my support hand be unavailable for any reason.
The reach to the trigger is ideal, no gyrations are required to find that sweet spot on the pad of my trigger finger. Moving my trigger finger from the frame to trigger was smooth and unencumbered.
I love the standard Glock front dot with rear notch sights. They are a wonderful bright white and because I have some difficulty focusing on the front site it doesn’t get any clearer or simpler for me than with these. You KNOW when you are on target!
The gun measures 6.26 inches long, a skinny 1.02 inches wide, and 4.25 inches high. It has a 3.39 inch barrel and a welcomed 5.2 inch sight radius for better accuracy. It weighs 17.95 ounces unloaded and 22.36 ounces loaded and is remarkably similar in size to the .380 ACP Glock 42 which is 1/4 inch shorter, 4 ounces lighter and 1/10 inch shorter in overall length. Even though a bit smaller, which might make the 42 a bit (I mean just a bit) easier to conceal, I prefer the 43 to the 42 for two reasons. One, I liked shooting the 43 A LOT better and I personally want to carry the highest caliber I can. Yes, .380 is adequate and with premium defensive rounds that make it even better, which by the way is what I currently carry most often, I would prefer more than adequate. Unfortunately, there are not too many options that fit this bill. The Glock 43 just might do that for me.
The only suggestion I would have to the overall fit of this gun would be to increase the aggressiveness of the grip surface. For my defensive gun, I would prefer a real “non-stick’ surface to help maintain a solid grip in the duress of an attack. This however can be accomplished with after-market products
Now, let’s talk about shooting this gun. I really expected to be distracted by recoil shooting such a small and light 9mm gun, but it was surprisingly and pleasantly very manageable. I was able to control the muzzle flip like a pro and was able to get back on target instantly. It shot like it had more mass than it does! I felt like I was shooting a larger, heavier firearm. Sometimes when shooting reviewing smaller carry guns, my first shots can be a bit all over the place and I have to pull out my personal gun and shoot a few just to make sure it isn’t me! Not with the Glock 43. My first shots fired were dead on, which is always a great way to start off a relationship with a firearm! Magazine reloads were smooth and fast as the magazine release button, which I could reach with ease, responded with just the right amount of pressure. The slide release was quite stiff when I first handled and manipulated the GLOCK 43 out of the box upon its arrival and I was a bit concerned that this could be a serious issue for me, but I am very pleased that it eased up substantially after putting some rounds through it and I had no further issues with it.
The 43 has the classic Glock trigger pull. In a nutshell, you know when it is going to break and you know when it resets but with a 5.5 pound trigger pull there was no ‘tug of war’ pulling the trigger. As goldilocks said “it was just right.”
I also had no trouble racking the slide, which can be a real issue for many women or shooters with weaker hands. Now, it wasn’t like racking the slide of a .22, which can feel like butter, but it was very manageable and substantially easier than my S&W MP Shield, which I don’t carry for this reason along with loading the Shield magazines is a b _ _ _ _.
I put over 300 rounds of ammo through my 43, feeding it a variety of factory loads, including: HPR, Lellier & Bellot and both Winchester Train and Defend rounds with not one malfunction. I even loaded my magazines with a variety of rounds at one time to see if that could throw the 43 off. There can be subtle differences and some not so subtle difference between manufacturers and batches and some guns don’t like it when you ‘mix it up.’ But not the Glock 43! I even intentionally limp wristed some shots to see if I could ‘create’ one, and even going a little soft didn’t create one.
The Glock 43’s slimness, size and light weight make it extremely well suited for concealed carry on a woman’s body. The skinny 1.02” width of this gun is a substantial benefit as women are not easily willing to add much bulk to their waistline. With the many clothing styles and differing fabrics women have to work with, a gun this thin and this small overall, allows for numerous concealed carry options. At The Well Armed Woman, we encourage all women to find an ‘on the body’ carry solution first and for it to be the foundational mode of carry and to lean on other off body options for those occasions when their on the body option just won’t work. A gun like this one makes it easier for women to accomplish this goal.
Typically, to get this size of a concealed carry gun, meant it had to be a .380, so the Glock 43 offers a very welcomed option to have the conceal ability, shoot-ability along with a higher 9mm caliber. With the sales we are seeing of The Well Armed Woman IWB holster and the OWB/Convertible – looks like the Glock 43 is going to be a big hit with women shooters!