Regardless of whether you identify as a Beretta, SIG, or 1911 fan, a Glock is good addition to your personal arsenal. Most shooters eventually find that a certain Glock fills the bill perfectly for one chore or the other. For me, it was the Glock 43X.
The Glock is affordable. The pistols are simple to use well. They strip down easily and seldom give trouble. While handling and accuracy may be debated, reliability is unquestioned. And that is a big deal for personal defense — a very big deal.
Among my favorite Glock handguns, and among the very few Glock handguns I own, is the Glock 43X. This slimline 9mm pistol strikes me as an ideal concealed carry firearm. The Glock 43 is a good pistol, but features a grip that is a tad too small for the best shooting performance — at least in my hands.
The slightly elongated Glock 43X offers a superior gripping area and a 10-round magazine. Yet, the pistol remains slim, trim, and easily carried. I have fired the Glock 26, but simply cannot accommodate the ‘mini Glock’ handle to my average-sized hands. I see folks carrying the Glock 26 that could easily be carrying the Glock 19 with proper holster choice, but that is another choice.
The Glock 43X is only .87-inch wide at the grip. That is darned thin. The pistol’s overall length is 6.5 inches and 5.3 inches tall. The barrel is 3.4 inches long. Relatively speaking, the pistol has a lot of barrel for such a compact gun. This provides a full powder burn with most loadings. The full powder burn is important because it limits muzzle flash.
At just about 17 ounces unloaded, this is a light handgun. The 43X features forward cocking serrations, more helpful in a light pistol than a larger handgun, in my experience. The pistol comes in the classic black Glock box with two 10-round magazines.
The trigger action broke cleanly at 6.1 pounds. This was a little heavier than the average Glock, but not difficult to control.
As for sights, the pistol is supplied with a set of standard, white-outline Glock sights. They work well enough for most uses. I prefer TruGlo night sights. I grabbed my Real Avid sight pusher, and it was out with the old and in with the new. The new 3-dot tritium/fiber-optic sights are excellent — as good as it gets for personal defense.
I also added a Streamlight TRL-6 weapon light for the Glock 43X. The Glock 43 and 43X do not have weapon light rails so the TRL-6 mounts to the trigger guard. This isn’t an instant on-and-off light, but rather a semi-permanent attachment that I like very much. Draw, hit the big button, and you have illuminated the threat.
Shooting the Glock 43X
Firing the pistol, I started with Blazer Brass 9mm loads. I loaded the magazine with two or three rounds, tapped the back of the magazine, and continued until the magazine was full. Loading the pistol is accomplished by locking the slide to the rear, inserting a loaded magazine, and actuating the slide lock/slide release.
I addressed man-sized targets at 5, 7, and 10 yards. The pistol came on target quickly. Recoil was modest, largely due to Glock’s dual magazine spring design. Recoil was controlled and function was aided by the design. While recoil was more noticeable than the wide-gripped Glock 19, it was never snappy.
I also fired a quantity of Federal Syntech loads. This lead-free load is intended for safe use at indoor ranges and is among the best choices in this regard. Accuracy was good to excellent. The firing session reconfirmed my confidence in this credible, light handgun.
As for absolute accuracy in the benchrest sense, the pistol was about as accurate as the Glock 19 9mm in slow fire, braced on the MTM K Zone shooting rest. At 15 yards, the Federal 124-grain Hydra-Shok sent five shots into 2.4 inches; the Speer 124-grain Gold Dot broke 2.0 inches. This was a good showing for such a light handgun.
During the firing test, as well as the entire time I have owned this pistol, there have been no malfunctions of any type.
It is important to choose a proper holster. For many years, the Avenger-type OWB with belt loops that cinch the holster close to the body has been a standard among professionals. Another, less common, design is a holster that combines steel reinforcement to ensure a rapid presentation from the holster. Jason Winnie’s J 142 combines the best elements of the two and offers light-bearing capability. I like this holster a great deal and find it ideal for concealed carry under a light garment.
The Glock 43X is so trim and light, it invites an OWB holster under an untucked sport shirt. The Jason Winnie holster shows the strong advantage of leather — not to mention steel.
For inside-the-waistband, appendix, or tuckable use, the DeSantis Slim Tuck is ideal. This holster accommodates the light-equipped Glock easily. This holster holds the long bearing surfaces of the Glock 43X firmly in place with a tight grip.
The 43X locked into the DeSantis Slim Tuck with the distinctive snick! of a well-fitted holster. The belt clip offered a rigid platform with plenty of adjustment. There are some things that cannot be done in leather. This is among the better designs for deep concealment, and an offering that is surprisingly affordable.
The Glock 43X is my favorite deep-carry pistol. It is chambered for the powerful 9mm Luger cartridge. Reliability was not in question. The addition of TruGlo night sights and the Streamlight combat light, made for an uncommon combination of 24-hour utility. Plus, it rode light on the hip.