I’ve been carrying a concealed pistol now for just about thirty years. I’ve gone through more than my share of different pistols and holsters during that time from a S. & W. Chiefs Special 5 shot revolver to Glocks. The Glock pistols have become my favorite over the years due to its lightweight, easily replaced parts, and reliability. I started out with a Gen 1 model 17 when they first came out and the anti-gun crowd was saying that they could pass through metal detectors and were a threat to national security. Over the years my main carry pistols have generally been either the Glock 19 or 26, although I dabbled with the .40 caliber models and even had a Glock 30 in .45 ACP for a while but have always returned to the 9mm models.
After I retired from law enforcement in 2001 my go to Glock for concealed carry was the model 26. I always appreciated the model 26’s smaller size and concealability but it still felt blocky and was hard to conceal in light summer clothing. Enter the Glock 43 single stack 9mm pistol introduced in 2015. I was able to get one pretty early on and it has been my primary carry pistol ever since. Specifications are as follows from the Glock website:
- Length (Overall) 159 mm | 6.26 inch
- Slide Length 154 mm | 6.06 inch
- Width (Overall) 27 mm | 1.06 inch
- Slide Width 22 mm | 0.87 inch
- Height incl.Mag.108 mm | 4.25 inch
- Line of Sight (Polymer) 133 mm | 5.24 inch
- Trigger Distance 65 mm | 2.56 inch
- Weight: without magazine 460 g | 16.23 oz
- Weight: with loaded magazine 585 g | 20.64 oz
- Magazine capacity: 6
The slim profile and light weight of the Glock 4 make it a pleasure to carry year round. It conceals easily and doesn’t feel like you have a brick on your side. My favorite holsters are as follows:
- Comp Tac paddle holster and magazine pouch
- Blade Tech Classic OWB
- High Threat Concealment Vantage holster and mag pouch
- DeSantis to include both their leather belt holsters and the pocket Nemesis to include the cargo pocket model. These holsters give me options for just about any time of year and attire.
The only modifications I’ve made to my 43 has been to change the sights, I run Ameriglo Hackathorn sights, aside from that I added a Hogue HandAll. I have fairly large hands and the HandAll gives me a better purchase on the grip while shooting. For carry, I stick to Glock manufactured magazines. I carry a flat bottom one in the pistol, my reason is that the idea of a small pistol is for concealment so why would I add an extension that reduces the concealability of it. The flat bottom magazine does leave your pinky hanging out in the air but after years of carrying and shooting a model 26 with flat bottom magazines, I don’t find this to be a hindrance to my grip, accuracy, or follow-up shots. I carry at least one extra magazine and often two they are factory magazines with a Pearce +1 extension this aids in reloading and provides an extra round in the magazine.
I also have a blue gun model Glock 43 and magazine for use in training. One of the often missing links in handgun training is pressure testing your ability to protect your weapon when under physical attack as well as drawing and employing it. Having a blue gun allows you to also safely practice drawing when indoors.
Shooting the 43 is as much a pleasure as carrying it body shots at 25 yards are no problem and at 7 yards it is quick and accurate. Recoil is more than acceptable with most loads but can be a little snappy with the higher pressure loads. The most important issue I believe in quickly deploying the pistol to get accurate shots on target is to get a good solid grip right from the start, so that you are not adjusting the pistol in your hand when you should be focusing on the sights and firing. Reloads can be challenging if you have large hands due to the short grip causing the palm of your hand to be pinched when inserting a fresh magazine, practice will alleviate this issue. I like this pistol for everyday concealing carry, I’ve carried a lot of different pistols over the years and the only thing that has come even close was my S. & W. single stack 3813 that I carried as my Off Duty pistol when I was still on the job. If you’re looking for a concealment pistol and are a Glock fan I highly recommend the model 43.
Art Dorst is the owner of A. Dorst Consulting & Training Services and is a Senior Consultant for LaSorsa & Associates. He served in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard, and is a retired municipal Police Officer, NRA Instructor, and is currently a security provider/trainer.