Range Report: Glock 43X

By Wilburn Roberts published on in Firearms, Range Reports

Glock introduced two exciting, and well designed, pistols at the 2019 Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show. Glock, as much or more than any manufacturer, understands that concealed carry is a very important part of the market. history has show that Glock’s service pistols are renowned worldwide for reliability and combat ability. The Glock 17, Glock 19 and other models are widely respected. In concealed carry, the search was on for a viable improvement over both the Glock 19 and the Glock 43.

Glock 43X handgun left profile

The Glock 43 X is a well made and attractive handgun.

The Glock 19 is an excellent piece and one of the best-balanced handguns in the world. The Glock 19, and its close variants the Glock 19X and Glock 45, offer big gun reliability control and accuracy with a good reserve of ammunition. The Glock 43 is a slim line 9mm that offers real concealment with 9mm power, but a limited capacity.

Glock came up with the Glock 48 9mm. This is what might be called a long slide Glock 43, with a longer grip than the G43 that holds a 10-round magazine. The Glock 48 is thinner than the Glock 19 as well. The Glock 43X is standard slide Glock 43, but this one features a long grip that holds a 10-round magazine. Each has its place.

The slide isn’t stainless but a silver nPVD coated product. The look appeals to some, others would like to have an all black Glock. The Glock 43X features forward cocking serrations. I am glad I waited until Glock 43X pistols with night sights became available, as my pistol features a nice set of self-luminous iron sights with an orange front dot surrounding the radioactive ampule.

Glock 48, left and Glock 43X, right

The Glock 48 9mm, left, is slightly longer than the Glock 43X, right.

The pistol will fit Glock 43 holsters. The Glock 48 requires makers to tool up for a longer slide that is thinner than the Glock 19. The Glock 43X gives up a little velocity to the longer barrel Glock 48 and Glock 19, but then it is small and more easily concealed. The Glock 43 will fit some pockets. The 43X isn’t likely to fit pockets except large Crew types. There are no grip inserts and no light rail. As a former cop, I would say the Glock 48 is a good off-duty handgun. As a reasonable choice, the Glock 43 is a good backup piece and the 43X a gun for folks that like the 43, but would like to fire it just a little more accurately.

I took the Glock to the range, with a good mix of ammunition to test its reliability and practical shooting. I drew from a Tuck-It Complete Concealment Kydex inside the waistband holster. This company is among a few up and running for the Glock 48. This holster accepts the shorter Glock 43X fine.

In executing rapid presentation from concealed carry, the Glock 43X is fast, very fast, and clears the holster quickly. With the short frame Glock 43, it is more difficult to affirm a good firing grip quickly. The Glock 43X offers a better firing grip. However, the short slide clears the holster just as quickly as the Glock 43.

I dry fired the pistol extensively before going to the range, and also practiced the draw. The result was good speed and rapid hits on the target. I drew and fired at man-sized targets at 5, 7, and 10 yards. The pistol is fast on target and tracks well. The longer grip is an advantage over the standard 43 during firing drills. No, it isn’t up to the speed and control of a Glock 19, but it is a good shooting little gun.

Glock M45 9mm, left, Glock 43 X, right

Compared to the Glock M45 9mm, left, the Glock 43X, right, is much slimmer.

The primary loads used during the initial testing were handloads using the Hornady 124-grain HAP practice bullet and enough WW 231 powder for 1,050 fps. I also used a general purpose handload using the Hornady 124-grain XTP at 1,100 fps. Titegroup powder supplied the fuel for this load. I used the factory Hornady 115-grain Critical Defense, the Hornady 124-grain XTP +P in the American Gunner line, and the Hornady 147-grain XTP. This covered practice loads, light- and heavy-bullet 9mm loads, and heavyweight loads.

The Glock 43X fed, chambered, fired, and ejected each load without a problem. In firing at man-sized targets, quickly, the orange dot front sight was an aid in getting a fast hit. As for sight regulation, the pistol seemed dead on the money with 115- to 124-grain loads and the 147-grain load struck slightly high.

As for recoil the Glock 43X is a pleasant handgun to fire. The pistol is lighter and thinner than the Glock 19, so recoil impulse is higher, but it is an easier handgun to fire comfortably than the Glock 43. A 9mm just doesn’t kick much and the Glock 43X is a comfortable handgun to fire.

Combat accuracy is more practical, but absolute accuracy is always interesting. I fired the handgun from a standing barricade at 15 yards with the Hornady Critical Defense and also the Hornady 147-grain XTP—firing five shots of each load. Both settled into groups of just less than two inches. The Glock 43X is accurate enough for any personal defense chore, reliable, light, and a good choice for personal defense.

How does the Glock 43X stack up against your favorite concealed carry pistol? Share your answer in the comment section.

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Comments (1)

  • OldGringo

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    I picked up the model 43 the instant they hit the market. I fire mine as well as the Glock 19 I bought in 1990 and carried in law enforcement and as a CCW for many years. The 43 barely fits a front pocket and has all the rounds I might need as a retired person, but I also carry spare mag so a bigger mag in the gun has no value to me.

    I carried the G19 for many years concealed inside the pants and really never had any issue with it printing. To me there is just not much need for the version with a longer grip when the G19 give you so much more capacity.

    I am not a Glock fan and have many I prefer to carry, just that for law enforcement purposes they were the best thing on the market for a very long time. While copies by many other makers are as good, they just work, easy to fire well, and need virtually no maintenance. The only thing a stock Glock needs is night sights and a good holster, nothing more.

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