Instructor Zero and Daniel Shaw got the chance to take a first look and shoot the new Glock 43 single stack 9mm just prior to the 2015 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits.
I walked into the Glock 43 launch event and found myself being greeted by a familiar face. The kind Italian gentleman presented me with kisses to cheeks, a smile and a handshake. I complimented him on his shoes; he complimented me on my beard. After getting the formalities out of the way, we stepped to the door to a training room and were called in.
A representative from Glock moved to front and center and began to explain how the Glock 43 was born and then developed into the firearm that many have been asking for.
The Glock 43 is too slim for standard Glock 9mm sights, but it was pleasing to hear that it requires sights with the same specifications as the Glock 42. There is already a large variety of sight choices available for the Glock 43 at launch.
The 42 sights fit, but the holsters, at least the form fitted ones, do not. How do I know? I was carrying my ATEI modified Glock 42 at the event and had to try it.
Once the brief was complete, Zero and I were led into the range and took positions in shooting stalls where 3 filled magazines and Glock 43’s were waiting. I fired one mag (6 rounds) in a slow fire to gauge accuracy and came up with a 1 inch group (25.4mm). I then fired the next mag, still aiming at high center chest, but at a much more rapid rate to check my control of the handgun. With a slightly larger group, I found the gun very controllable for a gun in its class.
Relative to the Glock 17 I shoot most often, I would say the 43 is a bit snappy with substantial muzzle flip that makes it challenging to fire quickly with a high level of accuracy. Obviously, that is a completely unfair comparison. Fair comparisons would be putting the Glock 43 against the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield or the Springfield Armory XDS 9mm. I have used them both on many occasions and have owned the former and used it in high round count classes.
To me, the trigger on the 43 beats both the XDS and the Shield with its positive reset and standard Glock trigger feel, but with a shorter trigger reach that my big hands liked and my wife’s little hands loved.
The recoil feels very similar to the XDS and Shield. Without having all three guns in the same place I can’t present a completely fair comparison, but at first glance, or in this case shoot, I would have to say that the recoil feels less punishing than the XDS, but there may be slightly more muzzle jump from the 43 than I have experienced with the Shield. That being said, I found it more comfortable to shoot than the Shield and my wife who has carried a shield for a while, found the same.
I realize that this post and my method for comparing the Glock 43 to the XDS and Shield are…less than scientific. Until my 43 arrives for testing, it’s the best I can do to get what i know to you.
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