Glock 43X Review [2021 + Video] 9mm Single Stack CCW

by Ryan Cleckner

January 11, 2021

16 comments

4.7
(73)

The Glock 43x is a hybrid between the newly released Glock 48 and the smallest 9mm pistol offered by Glock, the Glock 43.
Th G43X, along with the G48, is one of Glock’s new “slimline” pistols designed for concealed carry.

This appears to be Glock’s attempt to increase the capacity of the G43 while not fundamentally changing the conceal-ability of the Glock 43.

We spent some time shooting the G43X at SHOT Show and we really like it!

Glock 43x Background

Glock 43x Specs

  • Cartridge 9mm Luger
  • Capacity 10+1 Round
  • Barrel Length 3.39″ or 3.41″
  • Weight 1.17 lbs
  • Length 6.5’’
  • Width 1.06″
  • Height 5.04″

Many concealed carriers, even those who were normally “glock-shooters” opted for a non-Glock firearm for concealed carry.

This is not because Glocks are bad handguns – in fact, they are arguably the most reliable firearms available!

Instead, it’s because Glocks were fat.

Yes, an averaged-sized male could conceal a Glock 19 (the mid-size Glock 9mm and the most popular model they offer), but it was even easier to carry and conceal something a bit smaller and lighter.

Popular options were the Smith and Wesson shields, Ruger LCPs, and small-frame revolvers like Smith and Wesson J-Frames and Ruger LCRs.

Glock finally got the message and came out with teeny-tiny Glock pistols… first the Glock 42 in 380 ACP (which drove people crazy but they still bought it for a year) and then (finally) the Glock 43 in 9mm.

I knew enough to wait for the Glock 43 and I’m glad I did. I thought that it was the best possible CCW gun for me – Glock reliability, decent 9mm capacity, and competent “shootability.”

In fact, it was my CCW choice for a couple of years until the Sig P365 was announced at the 2018 SHOT Show.

For many, the Sig P365 was a superior choice because it was effectively the same size as the Glock 43 but it had DOUBLE the capacity.

The Glock 43 held 6+1 rounds of 9mm while the P365 could hold 12+1.

It took Glock a while to catch-up and it appears that this G43x is their attempt. The G43X holds 10+1 round of 9mm in a slighter larger package.

The “X” in G43X stands for the gun being a cross between the Glock 43 and the new Glock 48. There’s only one other “X” Glock model (so far) and it is a cross between the Glock 19 and the Glock 17.

What is the Glock 43x?

The Glock 43x is effectively a Glock 43 with a slightly wider and taller frame to increase the grip size and capacity from 6 rounds to 10 rounds of 9mm.

It is one of Glock’s two slim-line pistols introduced at the 2019 SHOT Show.

The Glock 43X is intended to be a concealed carry gun.

Glock 43x Features

1 The Grip

The G43x’s grip is the goldilocks of the two previous options for a 9mm

2 Front Cocking/Slide Serrations

Glock has finally been introducing these on their handguns and they are a nice feature

3 Accuracy

This baby can shoot!

Glock 43X Review – Our Take

The Glock 43x is an interesting move.

On one hand, the news has hit the industry with a bit of a thud. A “new” Glock that is bigger than the Glock 43 (and the P365), but still less capacity than the p365.

On the other hand, kudos to Glock! They are one of the rare manufacturers who are actually listening to their customers.

Let me try to make sense of this…

People (me included) have been begging Glock to come out with a slimmer mid/full-size 9mm pistol for years now. Glock listened and here it is. That’s actually pretty awesome.

So why the collective…meh?

Perhaps it’s unfair. After all, this pistol is going to be reliable and accurate… it’s a Glock.

Let’s dive into our experience with it…

We enjoyed shooting this little baby-Glock at the 2019 SHOT Show. I’ll be honest, my “meh” turned into a “oh, I get it” after I held it and send some rounds downrange.

Why did I like the G43X?

One big reason and a couple smaller ones:

The Grip of the G43X is Just Right

The G43x’s grip is the goldilocks of the two previous options for a 9mm Glock, the slightly too small to effectively handle (for me) and the slightly too big to comfortable to carry concealed Glock 19.

One of the reasons I migrated from the earlier Glock 43 to the Sig P365 was that I could competently shoot the P365. The Glock was just a bit too tiny for my hands. Yes, I could shoot it, but it was difficult to truly “run the gun” through drills.

I carried the G43 knowing that it was better than nothing and I liked the concealability. This G43X is still small enough for me to easily conceal while being just the right size in my hands to effectively control and shoot.

Front Cocking/Slide Serrations

Glock has been known, much like Apple, to come out with incremental upgrades to products.

This can be frustrating to consumers but both of these companies know way more about how to manufacture and sell products than I do. And, it must work – both produce quality products.

In fact, now that I think about it, the Glock/Apple comparison is pretty good. Other companies will come out with new features on their products faster than Glock/Apple but once Glock/Apple catch up, the features seem to be implemented smartly in a well tested and designed result.

Both companies also have intense followers who clamor over each new product iteration even though it may only offer slight improvements over prior models.

Also, both produce square-ish products with slightly rounded corners.

Back to the forward slide serrations:

Glock has finally been introducing these on their handguns and they are a nice feature on the G43X – it just wouldn’t be the same if Glock left them off this gun like they have for most prior models.

Glock Familiarity

There’s something to be said for familiarity.

When you pick up the Glock 43x, it feels like a…well…Glock. For some, that’s a bad thing but for others, like me, who are used to Glocks, it’s a welcome feature.

I’ve shot THOUSANDS of rounds through Glocks. All that practice/training is not lost when I pick up the G43X.

The controls are where I expect them, the grip angle is familiar, and the trigger is predictable with a strong reset.

Accuracy

This baby can shoot!

I’ll get some pictures of the group sizes soon, but i was very happy with the accuracy.

I am not a good “group shooter,” especially with Glocks, but I can run them at full speed well-enough.

I don’t know if it was the larger grip, the nice Ameriglo Sights (see our commentary on them below), or just the subcompact slide (yes, subcompact guns are often more accurate because of their tight barrel/slide lock up and spring tension….go figure).

I won’t win any bulls-eye competitions with it but it is clearly capable enough to put rounds where you want them.

 Now, on to some of the things that we didn’t like about the G43x:

Although the overall grip size is better than the Glock 43, it was still a bit of a Glock-brick. We’ve started to get used to more ergonomically designed guns.

Strange enough, the slimline nature of the grip worked against what I’m used to. In my hands, a tight grip seemed to make the Glock 43x want to slide/twist a bit to the left. Something about the larger (more square) Glock grips of the larger models maintains alignment better in my hand.

This may seem like a small gripe about a small grip (it is), but we want to make sure that you get the full picture.

Second, this is pure personal preference, but I think that the sliver slide makes the Glock 43x look cheap. Your mileage may vary.

Third, the lack of a rail for lights/attachments. I get that it is narrower than a standard Glock and therefore standard Glock lights won’t fit. However, by not putting a rail, they don’t allow light manufacturers to develop something for this new gun.

Based on our experience, it is going to be very popular for concealed carry. This means it will be used/intended for defensive shooting which often happens in the dark… therefore, some people are going to want a light.

And fourth, the reason that the Glock 43x news hit the industry with a bit of a thud was because this was Glock’s chance to answer Sig’s P365. By only having a 10+ round capacity in a larger handgun is was a bit of a missed shot to try to one-up the handgun that one-upped them last year.

FINAL TAKE: This Glock 43x is clearly a very competent CCW option. If you’re looking for a new concealed carry gun and you’re a fan of Glock… this may be it!

Glock 43x Dimensions

  1. Overall length: 6.5 inches
  2. Slide length 6.06 inches
  3. Overall Width 1.10 inches
  4. Slide Width 0.87 inches
  5. Height (with mag): 5.04 inches
  6. Line of Sight: 5.24 inches
  7. Trigger reach: 2.64 inches

Glock 43x Pros and Cons

  • Glock reliability
  • Glock familiarity
  • Common parts (sights, mag release, etc.)
  • Front cocking serrations
  • Unique magazines
  • Unique holster
  • Larger than competition

Report Card

Shootability

Very easy to shoot and operate – A perfect CCW but has lower capacity then others.

A+
Reliability

I didn’t experience any issues that would cause we me give any warning. Its a Glock!

A+
Accuracy

Spot on target! Remember though, sights always need changing with a Glock.

A+
Ergonomics

Feels great, however my hands are a little too big to be perfect for me.

A
Value

A little pricey, but totally worth it in my opinion!

A+

Our Grade

A+

Reviewed by Ryan Cleckner

Reader’s Grade

TBD

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The Glock 43X is a great CCW gun suitable for anyone. But owning a gun doesn’t just mean having the actual weapon. You’re gonna need some key essentials.

Once you’ve got these particulars situated, it’s time to move on to the fun stuff. And there’s plenty of customizable options for the Glock 43x.

Best Sights for the Glock 43x

So depending on the gun, sometimes you need sights and sometimes you don’t. However, with ANY Glock you’re going to need new sights. The standard sights that come with Glocks are horrible, and in truth, will probably be the first thing that breaks if you are not careful. So here’s our top sight recommendations for the Glock 43x.

Beyond that fact that this sight has nice tritium dots, I like it because of its durability. If I was to ever drop my gun (which I don’t ever suggest) I want to make sure I can still aim with some accuracy. Check Amazon Price

There are so many sights you can get for your Glock 43x. There is no way to see them all, however this is another good set that we like that also has nice tritium dots along with a lifetime warranty.

Check Amazon Price

Another CCW of its Class to Check Out

Still not convinced about the Glock 43X? Below is another similar CCW gun that we have written a review on, and we also recommend.

#1 Springfield Hellcat – 9MM

HELLCAT-REVIEW

Check Latest Price

  • Reliability A+
  • Accuracy A
  • Ergonomics A
  • Shooting Experience B
  • Value A-

Our Grade

A-

Reviewed by Ryan Cleckner

Reader’s Grade

TBD

Based on 0 Reviews

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Success Your Grade Has Been
Added To Our Reader’s Score

We really like the Springfield Armory Hellcat. As a matter of fact, when it first came out we had some pretty high expectations. And it not only met, but exceeded them…READ MORE

How to Care for Your Glock 43X

If you own a gun, you’re going to want to take care of it. The Glock 43X is a fun firearm to own and for that reason I actually get excited about the maintenance . If you take care of it, it will last a lifetime! We found this video to give you a good perspective on the Glock 43X and it does a good job explaining…

Important Links And Manuals For Your Glock 43X

You can never have too much info about your firearm. That’s why we recommend checking out these handy articles on the Canik–including its user manual.

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About Ryan Cleckner

Ryan is a former special operations sniper (1/75 Ranger) and current firearms attorney, firearms industry executive, university lecturer, and bestselling author of the Long Range Shooting Handbook.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. I am new to firearms. When shopping for the right handgun I held at least a dozen different ones. It was a Goldilocks thing! (Love the analogy) Some felt too big, some too small, some too heavy or fat. When I got to the Glock 43x it felt just right. I am an average sized woman with average sized hands. So I bought it… I have fired it several times and have not been disappointed. But then again I am inexperienced, so take that into consideration.
    Love your website, appreciate the great resource.

    1. You just made our day – we’re happy to hear that we’re a good resource for you and welcome to the firearm community!

  2. Now that shield arms makes 15 round flush magazines(S15) that are reliable to fit the g43x. It is now one of the best CCW on the market imo, i have put over 500 rounds thru each of my 5 magazines with zero failures. the G43x is a good pistol, but these magazines make the g43x Exceptional, 15 1 with no extension on such a small pistol, yes please take my money

    1. And if you don’t like the silver slide,then don’t get one with a silver slide. As of Aug 2019 Glock offers it in the traditional black, being this review was written in 2020 surprised this was even brought up

  3. I’d been looking for a smaller carry firearm for a while due to the “Glock girth”… I worked a little bit with the 43 that a couple of my coworkers picked up but I found them just too small in the grip.

    Before the 43x/48 came out I had been looking hard at the old S&W 3913 due to the boxes that it checked. I had a chance to handle and shoot one a while back and what I came away with was that the grip size and package was a very good set of compromises that were greater than the sum of the parts.

    I was in an armorer’s class when the 43x/48 came out and I almost didn’t pick them up thinking “meh it’s more of the same”. When I DID pick each model up it was a surprise in how well they fit/felt. To me the series fills and updates what the 3913 and some other handguns like it were. I’m still looking for a 3913 but now it’s because they’re cool in their own right.

  4. Good afternoon, my greetings and my congratulations for such an excellent website, I already subscribed and I write to you from Caracas Venezuela, although in my country the sale is totally prohibited I have always liked weapons and my favorites are P365xl, Glock 43x and Hell Cat the latter as a weapon of support, I will be aware of your next publications and news, thank you and Merry Christmas.

  5. I have had2 Glock 43x guns. Both shot very well for me WITH THE EXCEPTION that the trigger bit the stuffing out of my trigger finger on follow up shot. Then again I had at one time a Glock 17, 5th Gen that sort of chewed on that same finger. As you can probably imagine this is disconcerting. I am thinking of putting in an APEX trigger kit.

    I like the 43x as a CCW gun. Size is good. Others have shot both of mine and reported similar trigger bite experience.

    A couple of days ago I held a Mossberg MC2c in my hand. Have not shot it as yet, but the straight trigger and the shape of the trigger guard seem to fit my hand and it “tells” me it won’t bite.

    Thoughts, please, gentlemen?

    1. I know what you mean about Glocks and biting your trigger finger sometimes (I also get “Glock knuckle” where the trigger guard is painful against my middle finger knuckle. My experience with the MC2c is fairly limited but I didn’t experience either issue with it.

  6. I am going to purchase my first gun for CCW. Very much confused about what to purchase with so many options that I have looked at and held. But when I held the 43X wow it felt awesome so immediately I knew this was the one for me. Please feel free to advise or make any suggestions thanks in advance.

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