The New Glock 43

Glock 43

Massad Ayoob takes a look at the new Glock 43. I may be interested in this firearm. I tried the .380 caliber 42 when it came out, and thought it was a bit large for not being a 9mm. This may be something I could carry in summer, I’d have to see. I may have to get one, just to see what can be done. I’ve found Bitter’s SIG 239 to carry easier than my Glock 19, but I’d prefer something like the 43 over a SIG, since I’m used to Glocks.

I carry a Glock 19 in the winter when it’s easy to conceal under a jacket. Once upon a time, when I was younger and thinner, I successfully concealed a Glock 19 in the summer with just an untucked shirt. I’ve found as I’ve gotten rounder, the 19 is hard to conceal without a jacket, since my waist is no longer thinner than my shoulders. Maybe the 43 is small enough as to not print. I usually carry the 19 at 4:00. I used to be able to carry it at 2:00 without much problem, but again, being rounder makes that much less comfortable these days.

I’ve been looking for a alternative to the Ruger LCP for pocket carry, even if it’s a little bigger, but these single stack offerings from Glock seem too big for the pocket. My major complaint about the LCP are the front sights are useless. If you buy an LCP or its twin the Kel-Tec P-3AT, you really really need the laser option. I should have gotten the laser, but then Bitter went and got me a lovely Mitch Rosen pocket holster to go with the LCP for Christmas, and it won’t accommodate the laser. I hated for it to go in the dead holster drawer ahead of its time, but to this day, I still can’t find the front sight on the LCP when I draw it, so it’s time for a change sometime in the not so distant future. Whether that’s a laser and a new holster, or another pistol, I don’t know yet. I’ve looked at other options, like the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380, but it’s a bit bulkier, even if I like the feel better than the LCP.

Anyone out there successfully pocket carrying a firearm that isn’t an LCP or P-3AT? Keep in mind I don’t like deep concealment options. Pocket carry is slow enough on the draw as it is.

36 thoughts on “The New Glock 43”

  1. I pocket carry a Kahr P9 (not a PM9) or a Kahr CW380, depending on the pockets. The Kahr 380 is not quite as light as the Kel-Tec or the Ruger, but I find it much easier to shoot: lighter trigger pull,better sights. The available 7-round magazine with its extra finger purchase makes it even better. The P9 offers the same smooth trigger and good sights and 7-round magazine while adding 30% heavier bullets fired at 200fps greater velocity.

    1. I pocket carry a Kahr CM9 (budget version of the PM9) all summer long in shorts and I like it a lot. The only one gripe I have is that the magazine doesn’t sit completely flush with the butt of the grip – which is part of the design as I understand it, not something wrong with my gun in particular. A little annoying to look at but doesn’t impact the mechanical function of the gun nor does it seem to snag at all.

      I carries very well in the pocket, even in cargo shorts in the summer. Dimensions wise is is slightly smaller and slightly lighter than the new G43 but is much easier for me to hold and shoot than an LCP.

      I have many of the same problems you have carrying slightly larger guns since I am about 30lbs overweight. I can’t conceal my XD Compact very well in light summer clothing.

    2. Another vote for Kahr. I’ve had my PM9 for well over a decade. Usually carry in a DeSantis Superfly pocket holster. In Central TX summers fits fine in jeans or shorts, works well in business attire as well. I’m pretty interested to see how this single-stack Glock compares dimensionally.

  2. Maybe try a Sig P238 or P938 (.380 or 9mm, respectively), though I prefer carrying them IWB instead of in-pocket. Other options I have tried: Kahr PM9; Beretta Nano. They hide well and are good guns, but they are full DA triggers and I just didn’t put the effort into shooting them when I started carry. Today I am solid with them and just ordered dedicated holsters for each.

    My waist/chest ratio is V shaped, but I cannot hide a Glock 19. A Glock 26 can even be hard, but I am not a tall person and a lot depends on how form-fitting my shirt is. My wife carries the P238 almost exclusively. She is tiny and doesn’t hide much of anything well, but that gun disappears on her (same size as the P938, FWIW).

    So I’d agree that single-stack “mouse guns” are great for concealment. That little difference makes a big deal, for us (we are small people, though).

    As for the G43, we probably don’t need another single-stack mouse gun in our wardrobe. But I bet we end up with one anyway, just so we can teach people with them. That’ll be our excuse, anyway…

  3. Please educate me. I can never understand why anyone cares about the sights on a .380 carry gun. Can you hit a man-sized target at 7 yards? If so, it is accurate for carry needs. I can’t really think of a scenario where you would need more than that.

    1. It’s not hard to miss at 7 yards if you misjudge the front sight on a pistol that small. I’ve done it. It’s the difference between hitting the target and winging it. You don’t want to miss with a 7 shot .380.

      1. I guess. Honestly, even at 7 yds. I’d like to think I have other options. Of course, I live in an area where the preferred mode of attack is to come up hit you/grab you.

      2. No instinctive shooting skills eh?
        Try finding a place with soft ground and toss a tin can on the ground 5 or so yds away from you and just point and shoot. If you look at the sights you’re doing it wrong. You should be able to dance that can about 20-30 yds away.

      1. Yeah…. the tough part is on an LCP there’s just not much of a front sight. It’s more like a bump in the front, and I don’t quite have the touch to get the paint in just the right area.

        1. I’m guessing you have the older model. And a little masking tape on the sides before you paint makes all the difference.

        2. What he said.. I’ve had both the early version and a more recent version, and the later version of the LCP came with much better front sight than the 1.0 version of the LCP.

  4. I watched the review. Kind of disappointing to see Massad shilling for Glock. Come on. He does his review inside Glock HQ?

  5. I carried an LCP for several years, upgrading to an LC9 when they came out. You’re right about the need for a laser on an LCP, which I added to mine. The LC9 doesn’t have a laser, but it carries in the same Uncle Mike’s holster as the LCP did. I like the LC9’s manual safety, it adds a bit of well, safety, especially if a Bad Guy gets it in a grab. He has to figure out the little lever before he can shoot me.

  6. I second the motion for the CM9. Excellent choice. You might also look at the Melted DB9. Only marginally larger than the P3AT. I have one of each and use the same holster. DCP

      1. The Kahrs I fired flung the casings back into my face. Not pleased with that, though shooting them was otherwise fine.

  7. I am too cheap to purchase laser sights for a “belly gun”, so I painted the LCP front sight fluorescent orange, and the rear sight fluorescent green. I can now pick up the sights rapidly and shoot accurately out to seven yards. I recommend this option.

      1. Nail polish (don’t get the cheap crap) works very well for gun sights, I had my daughter go with me to steer me to a good brand that holds up well. Worked :-)
        If you are handy with a dremil you can use the micro sized rotary burrs to cut dimples for 3 dot sights, then use a toothpick to put the nail polish on them.

      2. As I mentioned above, mask off the area before painting. You can find some youtube vids of it.

  8. I have a Glock 42. It’s accurate and soft shooting. I carry it in a pocket holster and never had a problem, it fits well. I’ll have to check out the review for the 43.


    I’m 6′ 1″ and 395 pounds, I carry a 1911A1 with 2 spare mags and nobody notices it.
    My skinny and fit son is always complaining how hard it is to conceal his Beretta 92!

    1. He probably isn’t using the right kind of holster/belt/whatever, and he certainly isn’t using the right gun: The Beretta 92 is gigantic — it’s bigger than a Glock 17, and the Glock still has a longer sight radius and more capacity.

      As a man, roughly 6’1″ and 170 pounds, the largest gun I’ve been able to conceal strongside is a Glock 19, although I’ve had good luck with appendix carry with my Glock 17 of late….

  10. I like my Springfield XDS’s – I’ve got both the 9mm and .45. The S&W MP9 & MP40 are similar size. The new Glock should be the same size, near enough. Odds are that whichever full size gun you like will be the single stack you like.

    One of the things I like about the XDS .45 is the way it shoots – the axis of the recoil is so low that to most folks it feels almost like shooting a 9mm. My ever-indulgent wife is tiny enough to feel the difference but with my ham hands I have to really pay attention to feel the extra ‘oomph’ of the .45 over the 9.

  11. Not that it’d be cheap, but is there any reason a gunsmith couldn’t grind off the nub front sight and drill and tap the slide for a shotgun florescent bead?

  12. I used to pocket carry a SIG 238. No issues.

    I got rid of it to get the 938 which is not easy to pocket carry.

    I used to pocket carry with my 238 in the summer in cargo pants but the regular pocket not the thigh pocket.

    Great gun…

  13. I have both an LCP & a Glock 42. The 42 is my EDC (pocket carry in a TUFF holster). The 42 is far more comfortable to shoot & much easier to be accurate with as it has “real” sights. I also have upgraded my magazines with Mag-Guts parts kits, increasing capacity to seven rounds while maintaining factory length. While the 43 looks interesting, I recall the issues that affected early run 42’s. (I have a “mark 2”, after the corrections were made. I have never had a problem with it). I will wait a while and see if the 43’s have similar “teething pains”. Btw, I am 6’3″ and 320lbs, so my 42 disappears very easily in my pants pockets. If I feel the need for a more powerful cartridge I go to my Glock 30 with either IWB or OWB.

  14. I’ve been carrying a a Glock SS 9 mm for the last year — well, it’s marked as an S&W Shield, but it feels and points like a slim version of the Glock you’d get if the 26 and 19 had a baby. With the 7 round mag, it’s a bit shorter (in the mag baseplate to rear sight dimension) than the 19, and a bit taller than I remember the 26 being. With an 8 round mag it’s about the height of the 19.

    Slide it into a Milt Sparks Executive Companion II IWB and it carries a lot more comfortably than the G19 in the same model holster.

    The Shield with a seven rounder in place is pocketable in blue jeans and dockers — but a little on the large size for that. Still, when IWB isn’t an option — this can work.

    On the range, it shoots like a Glock, and seems to be as reliable as one. Disassembly is a little different, and the mags are metal. I like it. A G43 is tempting though — but it would involve another 3-4 month with for my favorite IWB holster. Decisions, decisions…

  15. my priority was concealability and budget–so the LCP won on both counts. However, if I had the money I would love to get a p238. I think those are great guns.

  16. The closest thing I carry to a pocket gun is my PPK/S, everything else is 1911 pattern based.

  17. My j-frame revolver is the only gun I pocket carry, but the front site probably isn’t much better than the lcp’s…and accuracy for most people is on par with the lcp. Super easy to carry in a pocket holster, though.

  18. I sold my LCP and picked up a Sig P238, which I carry at work every day in slacks/khakis. My only complaint is that I needed to find a holster that covered the rear sights, as the edges are sharp and they quickly wore holes in my pockets. The Blackhawk! #2 works.

  19. I’ve got a S&W bodyguard with lazer. I put it in a DE Santis 110-U7 wraparound & I really like it. It gives a little more grip + it sucks up a lot of the recoil snap. Makes it actually pleasant to shoot.

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