Glock’s G42 a True Pocket Pistol

Folks who know me know I am not a fan of “pocket pistols”. Generally they are hard to shoot well or the grip is too small for folks with big hands. Sadly small pistols and revolvers seem to be the first ones suggested by many shops when a customer wants a concealed carry pistol. Up until now I want to pull my hair out when I hear someone tell me the guy at the gun shop said this small pistol is perfect.

            Recently a family member wanted a true “baby Glock”, the G42. It is chambered in .380 ACP and will literally fit in the palm of my hand. I knew this was their first pistol, but they had done a lot of research and handled a wide variety of firearms. Doing the paperwork, aka paying for it; I had a G42 coming to my FFL.

I was curious to see how a pistol that loaded is just shy of 16 ounces with a 4.88” sight radius would shoot. In my ammunition stock pile I have a few loads for .380s, most of it is mixed full metal jacket. This was fine to get a feel for the pistol.

Surprisingly even with its two finger length grip the G42 was wicked accurate. At 7 yards I was able to shoot a sub-2”, 6 shot group. Moving out to 15 yards the group opened up to just under 3” for 6 shots. This may not sound great but this is a small pistol that I can barely get a solid grip on with my big meat hooks. Once the TFX Pros are installed, I will shoot it again from a rest.

Even with it’s short grip the G42 is easy to shoot accurately.

With the proliferation of true pocket pistols, ammunition manufacturers have developed loads specifically for them. I am a fan of the Honey Badger solid copper loads from Black Hills Ammunition. The reason being, the solid bullet gives consistent penetration and the design gives a wicked wound cavity. Even with the new cartridges hollow points may not get the expansion through heavy winter clothing. The solid will still perform and it is a controllable if multiple shots are required. I like the bullet and trust it enough that I carry it in my daily carry Glock 19.

I primarily used BHAs 60 grain Honey Badgers and an odd box of Barnes 80 grain TAC-XPDs. Both loads were accurate.

I was happy to see the Truglo TFX Pro Sights were not delayed in getting to me. These days, most everything has been in short supply.  What I like the the TFX sights is they are both fiber optic and tritium. The Pro has a “U” notch rear sight, which in my opinion is faster than a square notch. The human eye tends to center objects faster in a round sight. The round of the U does this while the legs allow for a precise sight alignment when needed.

The “U” Notch rear sight has tritium fiber optic vials for bright and low light visibility. It is fast and accurate.
The TFX Pro front sight has a day glow orange ring for fast sight acquisition in all light conditions.

The TFX Pro has three other features that set it apart from others. First is the bright orange ring of the front sight which makes this sight as fast as many mini-red dots for acquisition. The second feature is the ledge of the rear that allows for easy one-handed manipulation should one hand be disabled. For many folks the last feature could be one of the TFX’s best; they run $89.99 for a set. This is more than competitive with other tritium sights that offer far less features. Like BHA’s Honey Badger, I use these sights on daily use pistols.

The 6 round magazine is easy to load. Do not expect to do speed reloads, you will have to shift your grip for a reload.

So how does the G42 perform with TFX Pro Sights and NHA’s Honey Badger .380 ACPs? For a pistol of this size it is a tack driver. At 7 yards from a rest, even with a sweat induced flier; the 6 shot group was 1 ¼”. At 15 yards the same group was 2”. This is on par with some 5” barreled pistols I have shot.

I shot the mini-USPSA target at 15 yards, the Shoot N C was at 7 yards. These are 6 rounds from a rest.
The Glock 42 is a class leading pocket pistol that fits in the palm of my hand. If I needed a pocket pistol, I would carry it.

If I were looking for a pocket pistol the Glock 42 would be the first pick. As a matter of fact, it will be protecting family. I cannot endorse a pistol more than that. With a small pistol like the G42 shoot it. This pistol shoots accurately, allows for fast follow-up shots and most importantly is fun to shoot.

Scott Smith
Scott is a former federal LEO who served on active duty in the Army in numerous positions and USAF Reserve Security Policeman. He is active in USPSA and three gun competition and is a charter life member of IDPA. Over the past twenty plus years he has written for numerous publications and has graduated from many shooting schools including Gunsite, Sig Academy, Blackwater. Scott passed on June 15th, 2021. He will be missed.