The Glock 43X: Why It Makes Sense

— Travis PikeCADRE Dispatch

It’s undeniable that Glock has influenced a massive percentage of the firearms being produced to this day. How many guns today are striker-fired, polymer-frame, semi-auto handguns? While Glock wasn’t the first to create that combination, they were the most successful.

Glock was a latecomer in bringing concealed carry guns to the modern market. When they released the Glock 48 and Glock 43X, I was a bit skeptical.

This was doubly true for the 43X. The 48 was a single-stack Glock 19, so that made sense, but the Glock 43X seemed to be an odd amalgamation of the Glock 43 slide with the longer grip of the Glock 48.

Glock 43x on concrete
The Glock 43X represent Glock’s entry into the micro compact world.

I failed to see the point of the gun. If you want small, just go with the normal Glock 43; If you want something larger, go with the Glock 48.

Say what you will, but being skeptical meant I was interested in the gun. I wasn’t a naysayer, but I lacked understanding. With that in mind, I decided to satisfy my curiosity by borrowing a Glock 43X and hitting the range to figure it out!

Glock 43X Features and Specs

The Glock 43X is part of the slimline series and exists outside of the typical Glock generations. It’s almost akin to a Glock Gen 5. Its 10-round single-stack magazine translates to a rather slim and lightweight 9mm handgun. The Glock 43X isn’t quite a micro-compact, but it could arguably be the most advanced of the single-stack 9mm handguns.

Glock 43x in nature
The G43X is oddly sized, but is that a bad thing?


  • Weight: 16.5 ounces
  • Weight Loaded: 23.1 ounces
  • Barrel Length: 3.41 inches
  • Overall Length: 6.27 inches
  • Grip Width: 1.02 inches
  • Height: 4.92 inches
  • Capacity: 10 Rounds
  • Caliber: 9mm

The G43X isn’t a big gun, but it is far from the pocket pistol genre. It is an odd duck with the short 3.41-inch barrel paired with the Glock 48-length grip. It still carries well, but don’t expect the convenience of the Glock 43.

There are two models of the G43X: standard — which I have — and the MOS model. The MOS is optics-ready and offers a rail. The standard model is fairly plain. The gun comes with two ten-round magazines and not much more. It’s a partially cocked striker-fired design that utilizes a trigger safety. The stock sights are the Glock U-shaped rear and single front dot.

Glock has a formula, and they stick to it.

Glock 43X At the Range

With some plain old brass-cased FMJs, I hit my range to test my skepticism about the G43X.

I started with some plain old accuracy testing using the B8 as my target of choice. I started at the 15-yard line and punched the black center out of the target pretty easily. At this range, the front sight looks pretty big against the 9-ring of the B8. I was still able to place every one of my rounds in the black.

Glock 43X Small Size
The Glock 43X handled really well for a small gun.

At 20 yards, I couldn’t see the black of the target, and at 25 yards, the target almost completely disappeared. I switched to a larger 10-round gong and let it fly once more. I could keep the gong swinging most of the time, but even the slightest fault in my sight alignment meant a miss at 25 yards. The short sight radius of the gun strikes hard.

glock 43x magazine
This single stack Glock 43X holds ten rounds

When I swapped to a full-sized IPSC target, my ratio of dings to silence escalated quite a bit. It’s a much larger target that represents a man-sized torso. At 25 yards, a small pistol hitting a target at 25 yards isn’t bad.

The Glock trigger is pretty good and always has been. It’s light and short, with that plastic-on-plastic feel. What really helps with repeatable accuracy with the G43X is the longer grip. It completely fills my hand and allows for a consistent grip.

Going Fast

I used the B8 again and fired a Bill Drill. That’s six rounds at 7 yards as fast as possible. Normally, you’d use the A zone of an IPSC target, but I used the black of a B8 instead. It’s a good test of basic shooting skills, and aiming for a two-second Bill drill from the holster is the goal. I can’t do that (yet), but I keep striving.

Glock 43X profile
The thin nature of the gun makes it easy to conceal and shoot

I ran the drill several times, and my average amounted to 3.5 seconds. Almost every run was clean. I dropped a round every so often, but I took my time to avoid it when possible.

The Glock 43X proved to be very easy to control when fired rapidly. The sights suck, but that’s Glock sights for you. They work well enough, but the MOS model and a red dot would be on the money.

Glock 43x sights
Glock sights will never be impressive

The longer grip on the Glock 43X really is nice. It gives you that rock-solid control. The recoil isn’t snappy, and the lithe nature of the grip makes it comfy to hold onto. I feel a bit more confident drawing a gun when my pinky isn’t hanging in the wind.

The longer grip also keeps my hand from pinning the magazine in place when it comes time to reload. The magazines drop free and allow for a pretty efficient reload.

Ergonomically, my only complaint is that my big hands get hit by the slide, resulting in slide bite. In terms of reliability, the Glock 43X lives up to that legendary Glock reputation. It’s a problem-free gun.

Glock 43X profile
The Glock 43X began to make a bit more sense after some range and carry time

What’s the Point of the Glock 43X?

After carrying the gun daily for a couple of weeks and training with the weapon at the range, my skepticism is gone.

I understand, now, the reasoning behind the Glock 43X. It’s designed to be easy to carry and easy to shoot. Concealment isn’t tough, thanks to the shorter barrel, and you can use an appendix holster or IWB holster without it being uncomfortable, bulky, or pokey.

With the longer grip, recoil isn’t snappy, and it’s much easier to shoot and control than the G43. It’s all about how easy the gun is to carry, shoot, and control. This gun appeals to new shooters, but experienced shooters can certainly appreciate the Glock 43X, too.

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