Before we review what is in my opinion an exceptional handgun, the Glock 43, let’s take a brief look at the history of Glock as a company. Originally, Glock was not in the firearm production business. Glock started out manufacturing curtain rods, knives and trench tools for the Austrian military.
It wasn’t until the year 1980 that Gaston Glock overheard an interesting conversation. The need for a more effective and dependable sidearm was being discussed by Austrian military top brass. After hearing this, Gaston Glock, who was an engineering genius, began to toy with the idea of producing the perfect pistol that would satisfy all needs of the Austrian military. He committed to building an easy to use, simple, dependable lightweight pistol with a large ammunition capacity.
After one year of design and development, Glock patented with the Austrian government his original state of the art polymer pistol, the Glock 17. Because of its simplicity, durability and large ammo capacity, the Austrian military adopted this new concept pistol as the standard sidearm for its soldiers. One year later, the Austrian police departments began to equip all of its officers with this new unique polymer framed pistol, thus, the beginning of Glock.
Glock’s introduction to America came in 1988. The Glock lightweight pistol with all of its features was presented to the American law enforcement community. The genius marketing campaign included heavy discounts and because of this, Glock was able to gain its first foothold into the vast American market. Today, 60 to 70 percent of American police personnel carry Glock as their sidearm of choice and the Glock semiautomatic is one of the most popular choices of the American gun owner.
Now, let’s take a look at this newcomer to the Glock family, the model 43. The 43 is what I call a “niche” pistol. It readily satisfies most concerns of the concealed carry “niche”. This pistol was specifically designed to place Glock in the ever-growing market of semi-automatics that are small, slim and easy to conceal. The 43 is a close cousin to the Glock 42. The 43 however steps up to the highly popular and effective 9mm round compared to the 42’s more lightweight 380 round.
Now, let’s look at some good and bad features of this pistol. The 43 is designed to handle the +P ammunition and it does so very well. In fact, from my personal experience, it will eat whatever it is fed. It is not too picky when it comes to ammunition. I have owned this gun for almost one year and have yet to experience any malfunction.
The durability and dependability of this gun is off the charts.I have seen a demonstration where a fully loaded 43 was submerged in sandy mud, when it was removed, it successfully fired every round. It’s just like most things in life, you usually get what you pay for. Although the price point is higher than many of its subcompact competitors, its functionality under extreme conditions cannot be surpassed.
Let’s look at accuracy for a moment. The 43 is about as good as it gets in this subcompact semi-automatic arena. It does take some practice in order to establish an adequate grip due to its slim and compact design; the standard sights on all Glocks in my opinion are some of the worst in the industry. The first modification I made to my 43 was the addition of some quality night sights.
Also, in my opinion, the texturing on the Grip is way too light, making it hard to hold while firing. My next modification will be a grip sleeve or tape that will help me maintain a more secure hold on the gun. While shooting the 43, because of its feather weight, small frame and slim design, you do feel much of the energy produced upon firing. The recoil is especially heavy when shooting the more powerful +P rounds. The gun is pretty snappy and because of its non-aggressive grip texture, taking an accurate second shot is pretty difficult. Again, this is a specialty pistol and it will never compare in comfort and shootability with larger framed handguns.
Because all Glocks are produced with only a trigger mounted safety, the trigger pull is pretty heavy to help alleviate accidental discharge. The trigger pull according to Glock is five and one-half pounds; however, realistically it is somewhere north of seven. The heavier trigger does lend itself to safety but does affect accuracy for sure.
This gun doesn’t have a rail for easy mounting of laser sights or lights but again, concealability was Glock’s main goal. The 43 comes with two magazines. Both carry six rounds. One magazine is a flush fit mag; the other mag comes with a small extension to partially accommodate your pinky. There are aftermarket base plates and magazines available for the 43 that offer a one or two round increase in capacity; however, these mags will definitely hinder concealability. I would only use these aftermarket products as backup mags due to this issue.
This 18 ounce, one inch wide handgun is approximately six and one-fourths of an inch long and four and one-fourths of an inch high. These specs in my opinion make it highly concealable with a fairly small footprint. Like I said earlier, this is a specialty pistol. The 43 will never satisfy all of your handgun shooting expectations. It was created for concealment and Glock has been very successful in fulfilling most of the expectations of this subcompact semi-automatic platform.