Concealed Carry

Glock 43X: Concealed Carry Perfection (with a couple small changes…)

Glock 43x left profile with Streamlight TRL 6 weapon light

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.

Glock 43x right profile with Streamlight TRL 6 weapon light
Building on Glock’s reputation for reliability, the Glock 43X is a formidable handgun.

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.

Glock Trigger

The trigger action broke cleanly at 6.1 pounds. This was a little heavier than the average Glock, but not difficult to control.

G43X Sights

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.

Glock 43X with TruGlo night sights
TruGlo’s impressive night sight setup is an ideal addition to the Glock for 24-hour 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.

Shadow Systems 9mm MR920, top and Glock 43X, bottom
Compared to a Glock 19-sized handgun — in this case the Shadow Systems 9mm MR920 — the Glock 43X is a compact handgun.

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.

Holster Selection

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.

DeSantis Slim Tuck Kydex holster with Glock 43X pistol inserted
The DeSantis Slim Tuck is offered for a wide range of firearms. This is among the most credible of concealed carry holsters.

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.

Small enough to easily conceal or use for deep carry, but stout enough to grip and fire accurately. What else could you ask for in a subcompact pistol? Share your review or experience with the Glock 43X in the comment section.

  • TruGlo front sight on a Glock slide
  • Field stripped Glock 43X pistol right profile
  • GLock 43X magazine with four loose rounds of 9mm Luger hollowpoint ammunition
  • Jason Winnies OWB holster with Glock pistol inserted
  • Glock 43x right profile with Streamlight TRL 6 weapon light
  • Glock 43X with TruGlo night sights
  • Streamlight TRL 6 weapon light mounted on a Glock pistol
  • Glock 43x left profile with Streamlight TRL 6 weapon light
  • DeSantis Slim Tuck Kydex holster with Glock 43X pistol inserted
  • Shadow Systems 9mm MR920, top and Glock 43X, bottom

About the Author:

Wilburn Roberts

When Wilburn Roberts was a young peace officer, he adopted his present pen name at the suggestion of his chief, as some of the brass was leery of what he might write. This was also adopted out of respect for families of both victims and criminals. The pen name is the same and the man remains an outspoken proponent of using enough gun for the job.

He has been on the hit list of a well-known hate group, traveled in a dozen countries and written on many subjects, including investigating hate crimes and adopting the patrol carbine. He graduated second in his class with a degree in Police Science. It took him 20 years to work himself from Lieutenant to Sergeant and he calls it as he sees it.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (8)

  1. What are those grips? Where can I get some?
    I have already added the Apex trigger and want to add grips like yours and the front sight upgrade.

  2. Block 123XYZ…. geez, can’t they just pick normal numbering or naming systems? Either way, it’s a Block so it’s a hard pass for me. I’ll stick to my S&W Shield Plus… sorry but just a better gun all the way around IMO… better trigger, sights, grip angle, overall feel… and it has a 13 round capability. I know plenty of people like their Glocks but I’m just not one of them.

  3. I have been carrying one for a couple years now. I agree it fits the bill for what majority of people are looking for when it comes to a slim, moderate capacity pistol. I carry a Glock 19 in the winter and on days when I need to really deep carry a p-365 with the extended magazine. Prior to the 43x, I could not find a single stack that o didn’t have to compromise in some way.

  4. A huge plus for any Glock is how easy they are to deep strip, and clean, and that a spare complete internal parts list is under $100, to keep in the bag for backup repairs. Glock accuracy seems to be just average at best, and in the 48 series, unlike the compact series where the magazines can be swapped out with other, i.e. G26, G19, G17, G17L, G18, G34, etc., as well as other manufactures PCC’s, it seems in the 48 series, Glock forgot to do that. As I understand it; the 43, the 48, and the 48X do not have magazine good interchangeability, however they do still share the ease of deep clean takedown with affordable backup parts. Still waiting on a Glock Pistol Calibre Carbine, hopefully one, like many other manufactures, that uses Glock magazines on the G18/19 platform. How about a MICRO PCC on the 43, 48/48X platform? Now there is an industry innovative idea, a concealed carry PCC.

  5. I too have purchased a Glock 43x for AIWB carry. Stock sights for now but will upgrade to Tru Glo’s. Upgraded to Shield mags with 15 capacity. Glock perfection for CCW!

  6. I carry this gun daily and also highly recommend Shield Arms mags. The Glock mag carries 10 rds, but the Shield Arms mags give you fifteen rounds in a flush fit or twenty in an extended mag! No one can argue with more capacity in the same size package…

  7. The 43X is the perfect carry option for EDC. Shield Arms offers high cap metal 15 round Mag’s that work perfectly in this pistol. A very interesting addition, the Shield mags fit flush and give you G19 capability. For those who are interested, the G48, longer slide fits perfectly onto the G43X frame. This represents unlimited options for training, combat, and every day carry.

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