The Glock 43X – Built for Comfort

Glock is a behemoth that moves slow. The simplistic Glock pistols have long ruled the market for duty, home defense, and concealed carry. They weren’t the first polymer frame, striker-fired pistol, but they undoubtedly define the genre. Today we are looking at one of the newest Glock pistols on the market, the Glock 43X.

The Glock 43X and Glock 48 seem to be a response to the advent and popularity of guns like the SIG P365 and Springfield Hellcat. Concealed carriers now seem to be unsatisfied with a gun that holds less than ten rounds. Both of these firearms would use 10 round, single-stack magazines. The main difference between the two guns was the barrel and slide length.

The Glock 48 gave users something some folks have wanted for a very long time. It’s essentially a single stack Glock 19 and thins out the chunky Glock platform for a more compact firearm that’s easier to carry IWB. The Glock 48 sported a slightly longer barrel, and the longer barrel allows the gun to be Canada legal.

The Glock 43X is simply a Glock 43 with a longer grip. So what’s the point of this little gun? I sought to find that out and see how the new G43X keeps up with Glock’s near spotless reputation.

Glock 43X vs. Glock 43

I did not like the Glock 43. The Glock 43 was one of the latest guns to the market of 9mm single stacks. It was a subcompact Glock pistol that held six rounds of 9mm and promised Glock’s reliability in a pocket pistol platform. Well, it was a reliable pistol, but I can’t say much more than that. For me, the Glock 43 had some nasty slide bite that made firing it uncomfortable and downright painful.

My big hands swallowed the gun, and I never felt like I could get a grip on the little guy. With every shot, it felt like the Glock 43 was trying to escape. The Glock 43X took the Glock 43 and stretched the grip to accommodate people like me with our massive hands. On top of that, Glock took a note from the Gen 5 guns and add the tiniest beavertail to eliminate slide bite.

After firing a few hundred rounds of ammo, I can certainly say that I would gladly choose the Glock 43X over the Glock 43 in every situation you’d toss at me. But that doesn’t answer the question, what’s the point?

Glock lengthened the grip but kept the same barrel length. The grip is the portion we struggle most to conceal with IWB and AIWB carry. Well, maybe the problem is focusing on IWB and AIWB carry. The Glock 43X’s pig nose makes it perfect for OWB carry.

With OWB, the longer barrel of the gun can make it harder to conceal. The shorter Glock 43X provides a rather comfortable carrying gun for the OWB enthusiast. I think the gun works perfectly for that role.

A Dash Of Ergonomics

It’s still just a Glock, so the ergonomics haven’t changed much. If you’ve ever fired a Glock, you’ll feel at home with the Glock 43X. The Glock 43X fits wonderfully in hand. The thin but long grip ensures my big paws get a grip on the dang thing. The new Glock Gen 5 texturing is nice and sticks to the hand without being rough.

You can ride high on the gun, and that little beavertail keeps your hand from getting too high and getting bit. The slide has both front and rear slide serrations that are deep enough for an easy grip, and cycling the action is easy for hands both weak and strong.

Like all Glocks, my thumb forwards grip pins down the slide lock and makes it rather ineffective. Most guns outside of CZ pistols do this for me. With my thumb pinning down the slide lock, the slide doesn’t lock to the rear when the last round is fired. As such, reloads take a hair longer.

The magazine release could certainly be larger, but it works perfectly fine for a concealed carry pistol.

Range Use

Glock sights have always sucked. Everyone replaces them, right? Well, it seems like Glock knows that and doesn’t seem to put much QC in mounting the stock sights. I’ve noticed this over several different Glock pistols, and the Glock 43X is no different. The rear sight is not evenly placed on the gun and sticks a little more to the right than being centered.

I didn’t notice until I moved back to 25 yards and kept missing wide. I applied some Kentucky windage and started scoring hits on steel without a problem. It was then I noticed the rear sight was off a hair. Speaking of accuracy, the gun shoots straight and consistently once I compensated for the rear sight issues.

At 25 yards, I rang and danged a 25% IPSC target back and forth with ease. The Glock Marksman barrel seems to do its job rather well.

Recoil was easy to control due to the fact I could get my hands on the big grip without a problem. This extended well to one-handed shooting and make this little CCW a very comfortable-to-shoot weapon. The beavertail does its job, and my hands remain bite-free.

Like any Glock, you know the gun runs. Reliability isn’t a problem at all, and the gun ate even the crappiest ammo I have, which is Winchester USA Forged. This dry ammo is absolute garbage, but the Glock 43X ate it all. I plinked along with some brass-cased 124-grain +P loads, and while the gun bucked a bit more, it never failed to fire, eject, and reload the chamber.

Getting Glocked

The Glock 43X is a weapon made for comfort, it seems. It works well for OWB carry and also seems to work well for carry in general. The big grip ensures you get a handful of guns and makes it easy and very comfortable to shoot. The shorter barrel pokes and prods are less than the longer barrel Glock 48 when carried AIWB or IWB. It might not be for everyone, but comfort is as comfort does. A lot of people won’t carry if their gun isn’t comfortable to carry. As such, there is certainly a market for guns that specialize in comfortable carry.

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.