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Glock’s 43X Black 9mm: A Smart Pick for Self Defense?

Glock 43X Black
Image: Creative Commons.

Glock 43X Black 9mm – A Short Review: Glock offers a number of pistols in long slide, standard, compact, and subcompact sizes — and their subcompact offerings stand out.

These pistols are small and lightweight, optimized for concealed carry. Why while these smaller pistols do not offer the same magazine capacity as Glock’s other compact or standard size, nor quite the same amount of firepower as other larger calibers, they’re among the best subcompact options on the market today.

Glock 43X Black: The Facts 

Particularly noteworthy is Glock’s G43X Black, one of several Slimline pistols the company offers, along with the G48. Though both pistols are similar in that they both feature compact polymer frames, the G43X has a smaller subcompact slide length, perfect for concealed carry, whereas the G48 has a slightly longer compact-sized slide.

Glock’s Slimlines offer shooters a thinner pistol frame, ideal for shooters with smaller hands or for situations when concealment is a must. This is achieved by using a thinner, 10-round standard magazine. Although a 10-round magazine certainly offers a lower capacity than some of Glock’s standard pistol sizes, it is nearly unparalleled for a subcompact pistol size.

It is worth mentioning too that the 43X is chambered in 9x19mm. Although this is by no means the most powerful handgun cartridge on the market, combined with the 43X’s 10-round magazine capacity, it’s not a bad choice at all.

The current Glock 43X Black offers a number of improvements over its predecessors too.

The heart of the 43X is Glock’s Marksman barrel, part of the Gen 5 Glocks that the Austrian company says features “enhanced barrel rifling based on the proven polygonal barrel design which delivers improved accuracy.” Glock is known for its proprietary barrel design which is said to provide a better seal between the bullet and barrel, allowing less propellant gas leakage and less bullet deformation. Glock claims that this translates into longer pistol longevity as well as better accuracy overall. In the case of the 43X, the barrel is 87mm or 3.41 inches long.

Another Gen 5 improvement is the pistol slide’s front serrations. Previous models featured serrations only on the rear of the slide, and this newer more tactile surface offers better handling even with wet or dirty hands and gloves. The slide is also slightly wider at the end, which provides better pull ergonomics. Lastly, the slide is treated with Glock’s nDLC surface treatment, essentially a non-reflective and scratch and corrosion-resistant coating.

Gen 5 pistols, including the 43X, ditched Glock’s previous grip with finger grooves and features redesigned checkering for a better grip.

Although the 43X Black is a mish-mash of several Glock pistols types, the ultimate product is a subcompact pistol with a good magazine capacity and of course Glock’s reputation for quality, accuracy, and longevity.

Caleb Larson is a Defense Writer based in Europe. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture.

Written By

Caleb Larson, a defense journalist based in Europe and holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. He lives in Berlin and writes on U.S. and Russian foreign and defense policy, German politics and culture.

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