Six Reasons I’m Sticking with the Glock 43 (Over the Glock 43X)

The new Glock on the block is the G43X. If you haven’t heard, the Glock 43X is a G43 with G48-like width and a slightly larger frame to accommodate a magazine holding ten rounds of 9mm.

Glock 43X (Photo: Glock)

Back in the olden days, Glocks were fat. While most people can conceal a Glock 19, it was wider than a 1911. When Bill Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, United States federal law prohibited the manufacture of magazines for civilian use which held more than ten rounds.

During this dark period, Glock built a compact double stack 9mm, the Glock 26, which made a virtue of necessity, using a 10-round magazine, the new maximum.

The G26 was genius because the internals and magazine profiles for all 9mm Glocks were the same. The differences were the lengths of the barrels and magazine wells.

The problem: the Glock 26 was still fat. Many shooters wanted a thin and light gun for everyday carry. Competitors lined up their tiny guns against Glock.

The G-42 (.380) and G-43 (9mm) were Glock’s answer to concealed-carry optimized, single-stack pistols. Both models have been highly successful.

Let me start in praise of the Glock 43. In a previous post, I gushed over its concealability and reliability. The 43 became a great carry gun for me inside the waistband, on an ankle or anywhere else I needed it when bulk and weight were at a premium.

Life was happy in concealed carry world until SIG came out with their very clever P365. Many shooters, enamored with additional capacity went over to the 365’s sexy new size.

I am not swayed by the SIG P365 or the Glock 43X. I will be sticking to the Glock 43 in the foreseeable future. The Glock 43 runs, I have good magazines and holsters and the Glock armorer’s class taught me everything I need to know to keep it running.

Here are six reasons why I am NOT going to the G-43X:

1. It’s New: New guns often have unforeseen problems until shooters get them out on the range. Meanwhile, the G-43 is a proven design. Glock recently produced the one-millionth Glock 43.

2. Magazines: The magazine capacity of the G43X is 10 rounds, this is good. The problem is that I already have perfectly good, highly reliable G-43 magazines, some with extensions and I would have to replace them. For example, you can purchase Vickers Tactical +2 mag extensions ($10.95 from TangoDown.com).  That bumps up capacity to 8+1 as opposed to the standard 6+1 of the G43.

3. Holsters: I already have perfectly good, fairly expensive holsters for the G43 and I would have to replace them as well. For belt carry, I use a Jim Weber IWB Custom Kydex holster. For ankle carry, I love the Galco Gunleather Ankle Glove (MSRP $129).

4. Size: What can I say but I like the size of the G43 and I can live with the capacity, especially with the mag extensions.  I find the G3’s dimensions to be optimal for every day carry.

5. Finish: This is highly personal, but I just don’t like the silver finished slide of the G43X. In my mind, the silver is a retro fashion faux pas associated with cheap handguns. The classic black or new wave brown are more my thing.

6. Training: I have become comfortable with the G43 in its role as an everyday carry gun. I have trained with it and know its strengths and weaknesses. It is a big decision to change guns and sign up for the thousands of repetitions needed for unconscious competence with manipulations. There has to be a big advantage to switch platforms — one that I just don’t see swapping in the G43X for the classic G43.

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 43 Dimensions

  1. Overall length: 6.26 inches
  2. Slide length 6.06 inches
  3. Overall Width 1.06 inches
  4. Slide Width 0.87 inches
  5. Height (with mag): 4.25 inches
  6. Line of Sight: 5.16 inches
  7. Trigger reach: 2.56 inches

If the Glock 43X fits your hand better or meets your needs for greater magazine capacity, jump on the X train. It is a solid Glock design and it will likely provide reliable service. But as for me?  I’m sticking with the Glock 43.

Visit Glock to learn more about the G43 and the G43X.

This is my belt carry EDC. G43, SlideBelt Survival Belt, Jim Weber Custom Kydex holster, SIG V-Crown +P ammo, Spyderco Slysz Bowie and Streamlight ProTac90 300 lumen mini light.

***Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!***

About the author: Mark Miller is a former Customs Agent and a Green Beret who served in Afghanistan and a number of other live fire locations. A student of firearms and shooting, he is an FFL and a SOT. The guiding philosophy of his life is that terrain and situation dictate tactics and the enemy always gets a vote on any plan.

{ 46 comments… add one }
  • Keith October 9, 2020, 9:26 pm

    When I started police work in 1986, my chief told me, when asked if we could carry a .45 auto. That we would never switch to semi-auto handguns as we are not in the business of killing people. He said, … if you can’t stop someone in six rounds (we carried the .38 S&W revolver) then your in the wrong business.”

    I carry a Glock 43 and still believe that if I can’t stop a threat in 8+1 (even though I carry a spare mag) I need to quickly locate the nearest exit.

  • Dawson August 25, 2020, 12:26 pm

    EDIT: You seem like a person who is afraid of change, You posting this article gets people in the mindset that the Glock 43x is unreliable and all around crappy. It’s proven just like the 43 is, its an identical gun minus the frame size.. What are you on about?? This is the most biased review I have ever seen, not only do you complain about it not being all black (Which it is now, slimline is discontinued) but you complained about it being a “new gun so it’s bad”. I want everyone who reads this to ignore either of the messages you’ve read, both mine and the OP’s article. Go to the shooting range near your house and try out all the different guns in the rental case, find what you are proficient with and pick it up. At the end of the day it’s what works for you. Don’t listen to the “Oh, my gun is way better than that brand so you should pick this one up, it works great for me”. Find what is comfortable to you, because it will save your life in the thick of things.

  • Dawson August 25, 2020, 12:16 pm

    When you realize Shield Arms makes a 15 round, flush fit magazine for the Glock 43x. This review is useless. The 43 has been replaced, and if you are aiming to “mame and not kill” you are going to have your firearm yanked out of our hands and shot with it yourself. Keep shooting until the threat has stopped. Either to run or to stop coming towards you. For the exact same size of the grip as when you have the extended +2 mag in your 43, 43x can hold 15. It’s a no-brainer.

    • me September 28, 2020, 7:28 am

      I totally agree, the glock 43 became obsolete when Shield Arms came out with the 15rd glock 43x magazines. He can keep his 43(I would take a P365) over that gun. For me and my friends that carry it is a glock 43x or 48 that get carried every day.

  • Gary Stolp May 18, 2020, 5:24 am

    When are we going to get a bigger capacity magazine for the Glock 42? 6 rounds is pretty stingy and the grip is too short to accommodate the pinky finger.

  • frank bank April 1, 2020, 4:40 pm

    Great article. This guy’s is so conservative I bet he lives in Alabama.

  • Travis January 19, 2020, 1:09 pm

    Also, if you want to shoot in the “Pocket Glock” division of GSSF, the 43x is not permitted (also the 48 not permitted. GSSF is fun. Y’all should get out and give it a try!

    -Travis
    From KY

  • Daring 53 December 8, 2019, 10:15 am

    imo, Mark Miller’s, “. . . terrain and situation dictate tactics and the enemy always gets a vote on any plan.” philosophy is intelligent and indicates depth. Raising his defense survivability stock. Green Beret Afghan. veteran, especially if with full combat mobility intact, furthers proof, that brains matter, when it comes to human evolution.

    I respect Miller’s opinion here. G43 mission profile appears to be stealth, friendly, non-threatening, security.

    The reality is, points 1 and 6 are crucial, and most important imo. That Mark listed them encompassingly, is artful.

    Point 2, further diminishes the advantage of higher capacity, at added expense, and bulk, ie. points 3 and 4.

    Given the stealth profile, friendly, no cause for alarm mission profile the G43 was intended to serve, non eye catching finishes are also crucial.

    If I’m in the market for a G43 type of tool, what matters most is neutralizing the immediate threat without deadly force if possible, while maximizing plausible deniability. Saving the day with minimal damage. Low to no post draw administrative legal hassle would be perfect. I’d rather walk away uncredited, safe, sound, unknown, and back to normal.

  • Scott Braasch October 20, 2019, 7:55 pm

    You have not added one single negative comment regarding the Glock 43x. The only comments are related to you not wanting to spend money on a new magazine, holster, or training.

    So basically you don’t like the new Glock because it would cost you money. And it does come in a black finish.

    And just FYI, I am not buying a new car because I would have to pay for it.

  • Rod Combs September 24, 2019, 7:09 pm

    I bought a Sig P365XL, originally owned the 365 but like the lenght of grip and 12 rounds. I do not like Glocks

  • Brian September 20, 2019, 8:33 am

    Why not both? The 43 slide will work on a 43x frame.

    Since the slide is the same, some of your holsters will likely be interchangeable.

  • Thomas June 29, 2019, 3:38 pm

    So you’re attributing your lack of wanting to buy a holster, the slide color, and already hvaing some mags for your current gun as the reason you wont buy this one. So im assuming you’ll never buy a pistol again by those reasons. Also, if you have big sausage fingers, the X is where its at because i cab actually hold it with a full grip.

  • Titus Mohler June 2, 2019, 9:53 am

    I shot the 43x the other day and was disappointed. I’m sticking with my 43. I shot the 43 better then the 43x. I also shot the 26 for the first time and decided if I ever feel I need more rounds the 26 is the way I will go.

  • Thomas Joyce May 26, 2019, 3:23 pm

    OP said, in reference to the silver slide: “In my mind, the silver is a retro fashion faux pas associated with cheap handguns.”

    I mean, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I don’t agree! Maybe the OP was thinking of the S&W Sigma series (now SD9VE), or some of the cheap two-tones like SCCY.

    Either way, if you look at higher-end firearms (lots of $1200+ 1911’s) or mid-level two-tones (like the FN FNS-9, Beretta APX, Ruger SR45, etc), they often have stylish silver slides paired with black frames.

    I personally don’t usually prefer anything but all-black firearms for concealed carry, but I do like my 43x. In this case, the size is too perfect for me to pass up, and I can always get it cerakote’d black.

  • Rodney March 31, 2019, 6:35 pm

    I went with the 43x over the 43, because of the 10+1 capacity. I do find that the slide on the
    43x is a little gritty feeling over the 43. I also had mag extension on my 43, but with my pinkie finger
    on the mag, it was not releasing and it was grab and pull to make sure the mag was cleared.
    And the 43x does fit all 43 holsters.

  • Larry Shaffer February 20, 2019, 9:22 am

    I with you on staying with a proven product. The 43X as well as the Sig. P-365 have initial problems so why should we have to deal with them up front. I like the 43 except for the short grip. This, of course is handled by the new 43X model. Capacity, well both the Sig. and new Glock will give you more, however is it needed. Think practicality. Most of us are not in law enforcement or the military so how many fire fights are we going to get in where 10-15 rounds are needed? The average person will never see this. We may get 3 shots off with a personal attack and if so, with a 9mm. I HOPE that is enough. Sticking with a S&W M&P Shield, Glock 43 or even a Sig. p938 gives more confidence until the others are around a few years.

  • Roy Baker February 1, 2019, 12:08 am

    I like the XDS better.

  • Charles Hobbs January 26, 2019, 9:02 am

    I love the comments for each guns. Both after good In my opinion either you want black on black g43 or sliver on black with the 43x . There are 9 round Taran tactical For 43 , plus a 12 round ETS mags as well.

  • Baba Looey January 25, 2019, 7:40 pm

    Does anyone know how GSSF will treat the 43x and 48? I bought a 43 just to have another match to shoot.

  • Stu Cluff January 25, 2019, 3:52 pm

    I downsized my edc from a Browning High-Power to the G43 and agree with the statement. I like the non printing style of the original verses the X model.

  • Lawrence A Mudgett January 25, 2019, 1:30 pm

    I currently carry the G 43 with a plus 2 magazine in the pistol and a plus 3 magazine on the belt. The package is about the same size as the G 43 X expect that the X is 1 mm wider in the grip frame. Switching to the X will give me a total of 3 additional rounds, 2 in the pistol and 1 in my spare magazine. The cost of the new pistol and magazines is hard to justify. I do see the authors point. Never the less I am still considering changing to the X. The trigger on the 43 X is said to be be about a pound lighter than on the 43 which contributes to a little better accuracy in rapid fire. In the meantime I feel well armed with my G 43 with the plus 2 magazines.

  • Ejharb January 25, 2019, 12:27 pm

    Excellent article with very good points.the demension comparison is great for those considering a switch or buying for the first time.
    With a 43 you can go from compact 6rd to a 10rd using fab defense extensions.very versatile. The 43x would be for those not needing the short grips concealability.

    • Green tip January 27, 2019, 7:44 am

      ..and those who like ‘SILVER’ slides on pistols. I have 3 Glock pistols, you could say I’m a Glock “guy”. I almost always carry a G19, Gen4, fantastic pistol/model, FOR ME. I just recently, as in 2 days ago bought a Sig P365 though…a VERY tough decision especially with a G43, ‘Talo’ edition right there to compare. I’ve had it in my mind I’d eventually get the ‘43’, but “innovation AND NEW technology’ makes me take notice. Taking virtually the same size pistol and almost doubling, not quite, the rounds on-board & now available WITHOUT after-market products IS a huge deal. Now the 43 has been around awhile, that’s a plus (to quote the author), and all the ‘bugs’ have been worked out & all, they are plentiful, easy to find no problem, with a limited number of rounds as we all know (without aftermarket add-ons). I’m going to leave out the 43X, because it was NEVER a factor for me (mainly the UGLY silver slide color; WHAT was Glock thinking!?) although it does “feel” good in the hand. It just wasn’t in the running for purchasing. BUT, with a fairly hard-to-find P365 that had JUST come in to the store as an allocation (actually 1 of 2, and 1 already spoken-for) it was a no-brainer. Kind of. Even the next day I was still considering the G43. Hey, when you like a certain firearm (make/brand, etc) that’s it…usually anyway. Fact: P365’s aren’t saturated on the market, not even close. I’d never even SEEN one. Here in my small hometown some firearms are HARD to find. Sig must manufacture a certain number/allotment of firearms and have different parameters in which they come to market. Idk. Either way, 2 FFL’s where I live have received a total of 6 or 7 since the P365’s intro. That’s fairly scarce. I do have a Sig P938, the 1911-style 9mm Special Edition. Bought it just because (mainly the wife “liked it” too) but it’s not a SD/carry pistol FOR ME. A VERY NICE one too. When a company does what Sig has done with the P365, it’s pretty impressive to say the least. So I made the call…and I’m STILL a Glock guy

      • geeman521 May 4, 2020, 8:45 am

        Good thing your still a glock guy, if you sig 365 fails like my sig 938 did. Which I used as a carry gun, with plenty or rounds thru it at the range and always kept clean. Glad it failed at the range and not when I really needed it.

  • Christopher Reynolds January 25, 2019, 10:49 am

    Here’s the short version: the author already has a Glock 43 and accessories, doesn’t want to spend the money on the 43X and accessories.

  • Warren Wilson January 25, 2019, 10:37 am

    My Gen4 Glock 26 in gold Duracoat with tritium fiber sights and a pinky extended magazine in a sticky holster can beat your kung-fu.

  • Paul O. January 25, 2019, 9:00 am

    Looking at the stats, .75” greater height of the 43X over the 43 is kinda of a big deal…at least if a person pocket carries like I do. That’s going to make the draw stroke much more problematic. Yeah, I’ll stick with my 43 just purely for size issues. Now if you holster carry, I can see the appeal.

    • Jim January 25, 2019, 9:11 am

      Yeah, that 3/4″ is a lot for pocket carry. Since the author uses the mag extension I doubt his is 3/4″ shorter though.

  • Michael Chero January 25, 2019, 8:21 am

    I have two reasons to switch from the 43 to 43x. They’re called my pinky fingers.

  • David W January 25, 2019, 8:18 am

    A couple of things you mention really are not a thing, the 43X isn’t really new, the slide is the same as the 43, so all the internals are the same, uses the same trigger system, the only thing different is the polymer on the grip, its different in size. The other thing is the holsters you already have will work for the 43X, other than the grip being longer same gun. Lastly, how does it affect training, it is essentially the same gun.
    For me, this is hopefully my holy grail, I have tried the standard 43, too small, got tired of pinching my hand on reloads, the P365, again too small, I have man hands, and want something I can hold onto with a full grip and I don’t want to be constantly pinching chunks of my hand with a reload. I am picking up a 43X this weekend.

    • Ejharb January 25, 2019, 12:38 pm

      It’s likely just the thing for you too! Kudos on glock for adding the 43x and 48

    • Jon March 29, 2019, 5:15 pm

      The G19 will fit perfect,i have yet to find a 43x to grip. Im hoping its not too damn small. Seems like my best options with big hands and small guns are revolvers or just deal with the pinch unless you want a 19 lol

  • srsquidizen January 25, 2019, 8:00 am

    Number 7: It’s highly unlikely that a 6-round magazine won’t get the job done in a civilian personal defense situation. (Don’t get me wrong–ALL magazine sizes should be legal. Just sayin’ 6 rounds that are comfortable to carry all day every day are more likely to save your bacon than 10, 15 or more that aren’t).

  • James Widlicka January 25, 2019, 7:56 am

    I have a G43 I just bought a Sig P365 it has the best trigger, better than Glocks, it is now my EDC

  • Ira G January 25, 2019, 7:43 am

    I was going to replace my 43 with the X but decided I am too happy with my 43. Been carrying it since it’s release and it replaced my G26 as my edc. Just a great ccw gun !!

  • Caleb Licata January 25, 2019, 7:31 am

    Should fit all the same holsters. And the training thing is only partly true, being a glock it operates the same, and transitioning to slightly different dimensions will take less training than if you switched to a completely different handgun. Your other reasons were valid concerns some people have though. I’m actually quite excited for it, I carry a g19x, so I’m on the market for a smaller glock. It might be different if I already owned a g43 though

    • Ejharb January 25, 2019, 12:34 pm

      Want to go micro get a glock 42
      It’s measurably smaller than the g43 and if you get good hits 380 will get you home safe

  • Andrew January 25, 2019, 7:13 am

    I do not own Glocks so I have zero input on this topic.
    I am a Colt, Ruger, SA, Winchester and Sig snob.
    My current fav carry is the P365 with the 12 rd extension equipped with
    the Lima Green Laser. The thing is, EDC is just as personal as they come.
    I will carry whatever is appropriate for the occasion. I hate get stuck with
    a fixation of any kind, including the choice of when and what to carry.
    I hope you all the best with your Glock 43.

  • Kyle January 25, 2019, 5:40 am

    Enjoyed the article. Check out the G43 – 12 round mags by ETS. Great on the opposite ankle when you can’t carry the preferred G19 or whatever. https://gunmagwarehouse.com/ets-glock-43-extended-9mm-12-round-magazine.html

  • Jaylon January 25, 2019, 12:38 am

    The majority of your reasons for not wanting to buy a new Glock is because you would have to buy new accessories, and hardly anything to do with the G43x in it’s self. Also to the first point when have you ever purchased anything from Glock that was simply engineered and reliable?

    • Mark Miller September 9, 2019, 10:25 am

      I like the G-43, what can I say. While I am a Glock fan, over the years Glock has had problems with some of their new models including drop safety. Glock invented the “upgrade” to correct these type problems. Glock is good and when they find a problem, but they are staffed by humans. I prefer to let a new model gun get some rounds on it before I jump on the band wagon.

  • Shawn January 24, 2019, 11:05 pm

    The 43x is cool but it’s still a tad bigger than the 43. Sure, the 43x carries more rounds but if you want smaller, stick with the 43 or maybe carry it as back up to the 43x? On a side note, I still think carrying the 26 appendix rocks and you have so many magazine choices like a 15 Rd spare, etc. It’s a shame you can’t use 43x magazines in the 43. Come on Glock, you’re pulling an Apple trick here.

  • Zach January 24, 2019, 10:21 pm

    Let me save you time if you haven’t read the article. Writer likes his old Glock and doesn’t want to buy a new one.

  • Rich Walton January 24, 2019, 10:16 pm

    I can’t stand the silver either. I’ll wait until they come out with the standard black slide.

  • Chase January 24, 2019, 9:37 pm

    You wouldn’t have to change all your holsters. All my 43 holsters fit my 43x. No issues.

  • Jeff Hughes January 24, 2019, 8:22 pm

    The 43 and the 43x share slides.

    The holsters are the same.

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