Does Glock's "Perfection" claim carry over to the 43X? Quite possibly.
The Glock 43X and Glock 48 series pistols were an interesting departure for Glock. These larger-than-average single-stack 9mms gave shooters thin but easy handling weapons. While the Glock 43 and Glock 42 gave shooters pocket pistols, the Glock 43X and Glock 48 gave them easily-carried fighting pistols perfectly suited for IWB, OWB, and AIWB carry methods. I've been handling the Glock 43X for about a month now and have been pleasantly surprised by the pistol.
My EDC has been the SIG P365 for a few years now, and I think it's a fantastic pistol. You can't see the Glock 43X and not think of it as a response to the P365. Of course, Glock didn't dive into the single- to double-stack magazine game, but they responded with a pistol that utilizes ten rounds in a compact package. The Glock 43X doesn't reach the same small size as the P365 or ammo efficiency, and that's where my initial dismay landed. It wasn't until I handled the pistol more that I discovered the magic of the Glock 43X.
The SIG P365 is a small pistol and doesn't offer a full-sized grip for use with rather large hands. I use a 12 round magazine in mine to fill my hand. The downside to that pinky extension is that the magazine often gets pinned in place by the pinky and forces me to change my grip to reload.
The Glock 43X's full-sized grip doesn't present that problem. In fact, I'm a fair bit faster and more consistent with my reloads with the Glock. The gun is 5.04 inches tall compared to the P365's 4.3 inches. That extra height leads to a longer grip, something quite comfortable for my paws.
The Glock 43X features the Glock 43 slide with its 3.41-inch barrel. The gun's overall length is 6.5 inches, with a weight of 18.7 ounces empty. It's 1.10 inches wide at its widest point. It's not the smallest gun on the market or even the smallest gun offering ten rounds in the magazine. However, it's still very thin, light, and easy to conceal in a holster. If you want a pocket pistol, then the G42 and G43 make better companions.
As mentioned, I love getting a full grip on the gun, and the Glock 43X provides that. It fills my hand, and the thin design allows it to fit perfectly. I have easy access to the magazine release and slide lock without moving my hand much. Admittedly with a thumb's forward grip, my big thumbs pin down the slide lock, and this happens to me on most pistols outside of CZs.
Not a major issue, but worth noting for those of us with large hands and thumbs. Get used to pushing your thumbs down or slingshotting the slide when you reload. Glock's pistols are often very simple, and the Glock 43X is no different.
It's a Spartan pistol without frills or pomp. It's a gun that's very easy to carry IWB and absolutely disappears under a t-shirt. The large grip ensures an easy and safe draw. I do like that Glock has reinforced the beavertail on the pistol. The original Glock 43 would take chunks out of my hands with slide bite. That issue has disappeared with the Glock 43X. I really wish they would take a cue from the aftermarket and increase the trigger undercut, but Glock moves slow.
Small pistols always create a challenge at the range, right? Well, not if they have full-sized grips. The big full grip admittedly makes ringing a gong at various ranges a fair bit easier. The crappy plastic Glock sights are present here, and while they are far from perfect, they don't detract from accuracy.
The trigger is classic Glock. It's a little gritty but short and light with a very loud and tactile reset. I moved through slow fire to see what it could do and was impressed. I could ring an 8-inch gong consistently at 25 yards. I could also maintain consistent headshots at this range.
Slow fires great, but speed and accuracy matter, so I did a few timed drills focusing on both rapid engagement and shot placement. With a timer in hand, I pulled a 1.8 second Mozambique drill at 10 yards from concealment. Both the chest shots landed in the heart and lung area of the bad guy, and the headshot landed right above the right eye.
That accuracy remained consistent as I practiced and shaved off fractions of a second. Even at 1.65 seconds, I was landing solid hits. The consistent and predictable trigger and control of the full-sized grip offered accurate, controlled, and speedy performance.
It's a Glock! These things are boringly reliable. Even when shooters take them into the tens of thousands of rounds, they work, and the Glock 43X is not different. In my shooting, it never choked. Hundreds of rounds downrange, and it just carried on. No cleaning, no lubrication, just brass, lead, and gunpowder. Even with off-brand magazines from ETS, the gun worked without issue.
The Glock 43X provides shooters with an awesome firearm that's like the just-right porridge selection. It might not be as efficient as the SIG p365, but it provides an alternative for those looking for a full-sized grip without the need for a pinky extension. It's a little bigger, but that's not always a bad thing.
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. Travis has 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 pursues a variety of firearms-based hobbies.
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