Hands On Review of the Glock 43X

Glock 43X handgun left profile

In this post I’ll share my experience reviewing the GLOCK 43x.

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 shown 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.

GLOCK 43 vs GLOCK 43x

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 slimline 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 a 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 for 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.

Shooting the GLOCK 43x

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.

GLOCK 43x Shooting Review

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.

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 (3)

  1. I was thinking that 22.75 lbs would definitely help with recoil. I like what I’ve seen so far of the 43x and I like the width and 10+1 capacity. 10 rounds in communist country. Being a revolver guy I believe if you haven’t won in 10 rounds you’re probably dead anyway. Great

    Larry K Brwon

  2. I purchased the Glock G43 when it first became available, and then set out to improve it through several mods. The best was the Pierce Grip PG 43+1 magazine extension which gives an additional round to the stock 6 and a very secure grip for your pinkey finger. Along with this, the Hogue rubber sleeve for the pistol butt makes the fit to my average size adult male right hand perfect. The Hogue gives you a bit of a beaver tail and has finger indentations which I like. Of course, we have to replace the stock plastic Glock sights. The Ameriglo tritium dot with square phosphoresant yellow front sight was easy to install myself, but the rear square notch with yellow phosphoresant underline needed a gunsmith to use a diamond file to slim down the wedge by a few thousandths of a millimeter before it could be pressed in. The final mod was changing the back plate on the slide to one that has MOLON LABE in Greek letters. You know what that means! My G43 is now perfect for me. I have 8 rounds available versus 11 rounds for the G43X. For my money, the personalized G43 is the better choice than the G43X.

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