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Glock 43: The Best Concealed Carry Gun In The World?

Glock 43 Concealed Carry
Image: Creative Commons.

Have you ever wanted a Glock, but small?

The Glock 43 is just that, a subcompact 9mm with stealthy and comfortable carry in mind. The 43 was a precursor to the upgrade 43x, which made considerable improvements to major aspects of the original Glock 43. The question is if the Glock 43 is a great firearm all on its own. Keep reading to see my thoughts on the Glock 43.

The Specs

This pistol is tiny. And of course, it was designed this way with concealed carry in mind. The Glock 43 is remarkably small and can fit in pockets (or a safe) nicely as well as ankle holsters and bags of all sorts. This pistol is the perfect size for really any kind of way you want to carry it, but it does have its limitations.

The stock magazine doesn’t hold much. You’ll only have six rounds to work with which is a big problem for me. In a dire situation, I don’t think six rounds will cut it especially with adrenaline running heavy and pistol rounds propensity for requiring more hits than you might think. You could grab up a revolver that has virtually no chance of jamming up and getting you hurt.

It’s worth noting that the Glock 43x remedied that problem entirely by including a 10 round mag.

Recoil An Issue? 

Let’s talk about recoil. Bottom line for subcompacts: it always sucks. The frames are not big enough to mitigate some of the acute force from a 9mm, so you’ll find that recoil is actually a little more of a struggle than with a compact. The kick is snappy, but not uncontrollable. With that being said I don’t really bring my 43 out unless it’s to drill.

The 43 has retained Glock’s trademark reliability. I only experienced a couple of jams in 1000 rounds. Reliability is a big aspect of choosing a carry pistol; the 43 provides that if you’re inclined to carry it. It’s not likely to fail on you.

Accuracy is decent. I’m typically not shooting past 25 yards when it comes to subcompacts and the Glock 43 performed just fine within that range. I did personally have an issue where I noticed I was flinching a little bit as a result of the snappier recoil. After resolving that, the 43 performed just fine at 25 yards.

I must admit that I really do like the look of the Glock 43. I’ve always been enamored with a tiny version of my favorite pistol. It’s identical to the compact G19 and the full-size G17, just scaled down a bunch. It’s still very much a Glock in both function and looks.

I do have to mention that the price is absurd at $499, the same as a Gen 4 Glock 19. There is zero chance I buy this as anything other than a collector’s item or to review.

Glock 43x

Image: Creative Commons.

Glock 43

Glock 43. Image: Creative Commons.

Glock G43X Black

Image: Screenshot.

Glock G43X MOS

Image Credit: Glock.

The Glock 43 is alright, but definitely not something I’d rush to buy. It functions fine but lacks decent capacity and the recoil is unpleasant (something especially important when considering purchasing this for someone as a gift), but if you like Glocks, then this would be a pretty good addition to your collection if you don’t mind forking out the money.

Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense, and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at the National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller, and other publications.

Written By

Richard Douglas is a long-time shooter, outdoor enthusiast, and technologist. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, Cheaper Than Dirt, Daily Caller, and other publications.



  1. Art

    September 18, 2021 at 4:34 am

    I carry one EDC. IMO six +1 shots is enough. A second mag is always an option, and there are a few nice 8 round mags that work well and make the grip a bit more secure. But concealment, size and weight, are always factors and I figure six is likely more than enough.

    I wish it had a safety. I grew up with revolvers and 1911s. I like the idea of having the leave to get my ducks in line, and then, only then, do I drop the safety and go live.

    Ya-sure, always keep fingers away from the trigger but this assumes you know where the trigger is. A fair enough assumption if your holster is hard-bodied and right out there. A soft holster concealed under clothing is much more likely to keep you guessing. So I carry without one in the chamber.

    I got the hairy eyeball over this from the guys but a friend came up and said he agrees. His story is that he was practicing drawing his Glock 43 from his EDC concealment holster and accidentally got his finger down in the holster and pulled the trigger. He said he felt the striker fall. Fortunately he was practicing with snap-caps so no need to rush to the ER. So my assumption of what might happen played out.

    I’m too old to play quick-draw. Racking the slide is a bit slower than flipping a safety but not by much. I kind of miss the extra round but really think age, experience, guile, and knowing more ways to cheat will make six rounds enough. That and an eight round magazine in my pocket.

    Still, I’m thinking of switching to a Sig 365 simply because they are available with a safety.

    As far as shooting goes:
    The Glock 43 will never be my sweetest shooting pistol. The need for a light and compact weapon makes it a compromise. With the smallest magazine, without the pinky shelf, the grip is always a bit iffy. I have a medium-size hand and an above average grip strength and the grip is never feels entirely secure. This also makes the perceived recoil a lot harsher. The Glock magazines with the pinky flare helps. An after-market 8 round magazine makes it a full-sized grip and much more manageable both for control and perceived recoil. But it also adds bulk and weight. Defeating the reason for a concealed-carry firearm.

    The trigger is pretty good. Not as bad as most full-sized Glocks I’ve tried, except the G17L, but not as good as my favorite 1911. The sights are pretty bad from the factory but adequate for close work. I added a laser, same one as in the picture. Another reason to think six might be more than enough.

    Reliability has been great. It stove-piped the first round fired and seemed to want to do the same with the first dozen. But by the third magazine and a cleaning it was very positive. I talked with a Glock guy and he told me the tolerances are sometimes a bit tight and it takes a few rounds to limber up. That, and I think there was a slight burr on the extractor.

    My one complaint was that fresh out of the box the slide lock was very stiff. It is a small button and even with strong hands I had to use both to work it. After a box of ammunition this too went away. Works easy even if it can be a bit hard to find in the dark. I went ahead and got an aftermarket slide release. It only sticks out an extra millimeter but it makes the operations requiring use of the slide stop flow. Easy installation.

    The Glock 43 is a good gun. It will never by my favorite simply because what makes a gun easy to carry every day and conceal easily are not entirely compatible with comfort, capability, and smoothness. It is an acceptable and effective compromise.

  2. Steve

    September 19, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    I have been a Glock guy for over 30 years. I had, and carried, a 43 for several years. When the Sig P365 was released, I tried one, loved it, and soon bought two, one for me and one for my wife. We both love the P365. We sold our 43’s. For concealed carry the Sig P365 is far superior (IMHO).

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