The Full Hand Single Stack Glock 43X – My Central AC of Handguns

Glock, Glock, Glock, you own the market, and you know it. Glock’s popular pistols dominate the law enforcement and concealed carry world, and heck, a vast number of military forces carry Gaston Glock’s plastic fantastic. Glock’s entry into the single stack world started years ago and continues to this day with the latest two guns, the G43X and the G48. Today we are taking a peek at the very irregular Glock 43X.

The Glock 43 was a real winner for Glock and marked the first time they designed a single stack 9mm. Glock expanded on this concept, and I mean that both literally and figuratively. They expanded the single stack grip to accommodate a ten-round magazine rather than a six-round magazine. When they were released, I saw the point of the Glock 48, and it was a single stack Glock 19 essentially.

A gun in the palm is better than one left in the safe

The Glock 43X left me perplexed in its design. It utilized the same barrel length as a Glock 43 but the grip length of a Glock 19. That’s what drew me to the gun, and I needed to find out exactly why the G43X exists. So I got my hands on one and hit the ground running. Well, I guess I should say I hit the range running.

Glock 43X – First Impressions

The Glock 43X looks odd and reminds me of that N-frame S&W 8 shot revolver. It’s got a big grip but a stubby little barrel. We get a short slide with a 3.41-inch long barrel with an overall length of 6.05 inches. With an empty mag, the gun weighs a light 18.7 ounces. It’s 5.04 inches tall, and the grip absolutely fills my hand.

I won’t lie, it’s quite comfy in hand. I hate a hanging pinky, and the Glock 43X doesn’t leave my little digit ignored. However, it’s no pocket pistol. Don’t expect to shove this thing into a sticky holster in your pocket. It’s too big for that, but not too big for a standard holster. At its widest, the gun is 1.10 inches wide, and it’ll fit right into an IWB or AIWB holster naturally and comfortably.

The Glock 43X is a snub nose Glock

These single stack magazines hold ten rounds and fit flush inside the grip. I’m not going to lie, and this isn’t impressive to me. The SIG P365 is shorter and holds the same amount of rounds. However, the Shield S-15 magazines pack a punch with 15 rounds in a flush-fitting magazine. However, that’s an aftermarket option and not something Glock came up with.

Finally, as you’d expect, you get the same Glock sights Glock has always used. If I was going to change one thing on this gun, it’s the sights. To hell with them! Why Glock clings to this idea of cheap plastic sights on combat pistols blows my mind.

The Glock 43X is one of two new slimline pistols.

At the Range with the Glock 43X

The gun comes with two magazines, and I loaded them up to capacity and hit the range. While I complain about the sights, they are functional on a square range. At 15 yards, I began practicing with some headshots from the low ready. That poor IPSC target didn’t stand a chance, and he’s now resigned himself to a short life of being a paper target. The sights are easy to see and track between shots, and scoring accurate hammer pairs made it fairly easy to engage the target rapidly at this range.

The Glock 43X is seriously fun to shoot.

After I warmed up, I began shooting one of my favorite drills, Dot torture. Dot Torture tests a wide variety of skills, including slow fire, one-handed shooting, drawing, reloading, and more. It gives you great training and is a great way to evaluate a firearm. I blasted my way through the Dot Torture target and shot it almost perfectly clean. My biggest weakness being one-handed shooting with my non-dominant hand.

I ran through Dot Torture and felt impressed with the Glock 43X. In the accuracy department, I had zero issues putting 9mm holes into those two-inch circles. The big grip made the gun very easy to control, and I’ll admit the short barrel made the weapon well balanced for one-handed shooting.

The big grip makes reloads intuitive

Recoil is slightly snappy, but no more so than any other small firearm. The weapon was extremely comfortable to shoot due to that long grip and also easy to draw. The big grip made establishing a good, solid grip on the gun possible before I drew.

Built For Comfort

I committed several different drills with the Glock 43X. I ran four gongs in under five seconds, shot a decent failure to stop drill, and passed a 10-10-10 drill. Admittedly I just barely passed the 10-10-10 drill, but I passed, dang it! My hand never felt beat up, beat down, or tired. The gun never failed, faltered, or gave up on me either. It’s got that Glock reliability we all know and love.

Is 10 rounds enough for you?

Over the next few hundred rounds, I came to a realization. This is a gun built for comfort. It’s comfortable to shoot and easy to carry. The shorter barrel pokes and prods less than most and provides a weapon that’s comfortable to carry. The Glock 43X’s longer grips make it easier to control and less snappy than most.

Tossing a new mag in is easy.

It’s all about comfort. In all honesty, it’s a great option for new concealed carriers and those who are looking for a competent firearm that’s just comfy. The shorter barrel ensures you can comfortably carry the weapon in any way you choose, including OWB. When carried outside the waistband, the shorter barrel keeps the weapon concealed, but the big grip makes it easy to grip, rip, and rock and roll.

Keep The Gun Comfy

The Glock 43X provides shooters with a compact, easy to carry, and easy to shoot firearm that also inhabits that famed Glock reliability. I started confused by why the gun exists, but now I get it. Why couldn’t a concealed carry gun be focused on being comfortable and competent?

That’s exactly what the Glock 43X accomplishes.

It’s admittedly not as impressively small and as competent as the Micro Compact firearms, but it’s carved its place into the concealed carry world. What say you? Does the Glock 4A3X appeal to you? Let me know below.

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{ 26 comments… add one }
  • JP Hamilton November 29, 2021, 10:21 pm

    Wow, I didn’t realize just how many haters are out there. It’s a poor craftsman that blames the tool. I’ve carried a G17 my entire career, and have never been disappointed. No failures/malfunctions and I find it to be a tack driver. My only criticism of this G43X is the one I have regarding all of the single-stack Glock offerings: the size difference is minimal, so why not enjoy the benefits of a double-stack of comparable size? The only benefit I can see is the narrower grip being more comfortable in smaller hands.

  • Ej harbet November 28, 2021, 9:07 am

    My friend and has had one since the debut of the stom mags and swears by it. I still like my 19 but I’m a bit of a tightwad. Also I built and speced my 19 from a naked frame and im used to it. I used to run a 26 and if this had dropped back then I would have jumped the 26 ship.

  • Gene November 24, 2021, 11:33 pm

    Got one, like it!

  • Willis Cockswell November 23, 2021, 5:39 am

    Also forgot to add this piece of information.
    Glock and it’s enthusiasts both, bashed the 1911 for its single stack magazine design for decades, only to design one of their own due to consumer demand.
    Just like our liberal government, they have fallen to hypocrisy.
    More than likely falling to the demands of the liberal government than that of the consumer.
    Also like to add that the untold number of 1911 manufacturers continues to grow while the number of Glock design manufacturers ceases to exist. That fact speaks for itself. Sure there are many polymer framed handguns out there, but only one has the plus 20 degree grip angle that makes the Glock both uncomfortable and inaccurate for this design flaw. Could be the reason so many discharge upon re-holstering.
    And before you raise Caine on me, yes I have tried many different models to give them a fair chance. They were all justification of a poorly designed firearm.

    • Ej harbet November 28, 2021, 10:16 am

      Haters of any sort are childish.
      I point and laugh at them! I’m perfectly happy with my choice though like women I find many different guns have their own unique qualities. I choose my weapons but I don’t bash others unless they break often and cause harm to their owners.

  • Willis Cockswell November 23, 2021, 5:26 am

    Looks like someone got some free Glocks for their clouded opinion.
    Outside of being second to high point, Glocks are inaccurate because of their uncomfortable shooting position. Held with a standard grip, points the gun at 20 degrees high and shoots over any target at 3 yards. Once you get past the terrible trigger pull and quality. Then when re-holstering, hold the record for firing into the leg of the user.
    Glock has an incredible advertising campaign that fools the same amount people that watch cnn. They believe anything on the internet because They never do their research themselves. So I’ll have to agree with many responses to this article and say with upmost confidence that Glocks are pieces of sh!t.

    • Ej harbet November 28, 2021, 10:21 am

      Stupid people should choose simpler weapons. Baseball bats and hammers come to mind.
      Avoid knives because we don’t want your blood borne pathogens spattered all over.
      Better yet stay home and survive on uber eats. It’s safer

  • Larry Harrell November 22, 2021, 4:27 pm

    I have a 43X, and I love it; I guarantee you, people who throw down on the 43X, have never picked one up!

  • Kenn Womack November 22, 2021, 3:43 pm

    There is one overriding reason why Glock would make the decision to manufacture their pistol with a large grip in combination with a single stack magazine limited to 10 rounds. Something that the article’s author and email responders did not recognize or comment on. Glock is responding to the political reality of Left Wing gun control politicians who insist on imposing magazine capacity regulation on the citizens of this country. With states like California and others passing magazine capacity laws, companies like Glock have the option of withdrawing from those markets or producing a product that will meet the restrictive laws being imposed. Glock and its pundits may attempt to disguise the real reason for the innovations, however the bottom line decision remains the same.

  • Bob Wikert November 22, 2021, 3:27 pm

    I know you asked about the 43X, and when I went to purchase one my dealer didn’t have any in stock, he suggested the G48, explaining the only difference was the longer barrel. So with that in mind I looked and bought. I have owned many Glock 19’s over the past 20 or so years and used them for EDC for the better part of the time. I tried the Glock 26 but like you I don’t like my pinkie hanging over the bottom of the grip and even with the extender it just never felt right. Ended up trading it in on another 19. So far, and sadly, I haven’t had the chance to hit the range with my new acquisition except to put a magazine through to make sure it did work. Won’t carry an untried weapon, doesn’t seem like a very good idea. Anyway, this weapon has been my EDC now for a while and so far I am loving the lighter weight, one of the primary reasons for wanting one, I am just slightly concerned about the smaller capacity magazine as I am unable to go to the range nearly as much as I used to, due to being a caregiver for a handicapped wife. I’m sure my accuracy has decreased as it is, after all, something that does decline over time. I started carrying Glocks way back when at the suggestion of a LEO friend, who’s only comment when I said what about the S&W striker models, his response, “is it a Glock?” I am also retired Navy so am eligible for Glock’s special purchase program for first responder’s, LEO’s, and active and retired military members. Having said that, my walk away price with added night sights and taxes was under $600. All in all I am very pleased with my newest EDC.

  • jerry November 22, 2021, 3:21 pm

    After reading my post, I noticed I mistakenly referred to the S&W M&P having a “standard” 10 round magazine. What I meant was the S&W M&P Compact 40.

  • jerry November 22, 2021, 3:16 pm

    You guys aren’t considering the advantages of the 10 round mag. I have several pistols and I like the Glock. For every pistol I have at least one 10 round mag. Why? When you are carrying and travelling, you are almost certain to pass through a state or municipality that has banned any mag over 10 rounds. I even have 10 rounders for 7 round 1911s. There is a certain advantage to be able to have a pistol that is loaded with every round that pistol is designed to hold. One of my favorites is my S&W M&P 40 in which the standard mag is 10 rounds. So I really appreciate Glock’s efforts to produce a “true” 10 round carry piece. Stay safe and God bless.

  • bill ric November 22, 2021, 2:28 pm

    BOTTOM LINE ITS A (POS!!!)

  • dave November 22, 2021, 1:56 pm

    To heck with all of this Glock nonsense. I keep my SIG 553 in my pocket. I have big pockets.

  • KMacK November 22, 2021, 1:34 pm

    New pistol. Not like others. No Specifications, just opinions. Not good.
    So, rather than using GA’s data, I’ll have to goto the Glock website for usable data.
    Opinions, 12 for $0.10. Data and specs and price…worth a fortune.

  • Mike in a Truck November 22, 2021, 12:04 pm

    NO THANK YOU.

  • Ken November 22, 2021, 10:42 am

    I put my G 43 slide on my G 48 frame with a 15 round Shield mag. Same deal. Can also work the other way.

  • FirstStateMark November 22, 2021, 10:26 am

    You say “The Glock 43 was a real winner for Glock and marked the first time they designed a single stack 9mm”. In fact this was the worst thing Glock could have done. The Glock world criticized Glock for only making a 6 round magazine while Ruger made a 7 round magazine in there LC9s. I guess you figure we have a short memory span to publish such a bullshit statement. This is why I cancelled my handgun magazines. You people who evaluate handguns don’t read the forums of real gun users. You just get paid to praise anything. What did gun owners do when that bought the G43? They want out to buy an aftermarket one round extension for the magazine. The 43 was a big disappointment. Yes, I’m a Glock fanboy.

  • COLTguy November 22, 2021, 10:19 am

    Cmon it’s a downgraded 19X. If you had one you would love the night sights and extra rounds (9).

    • Ej harbet November 28, 2021, 10:30 am

      19x aka g45 is great for big hands. The 43x is great for small hands. If you want a subcompact for deep ccw get a 43 and convert spare mags with a fab 10rd extension. Test and roll.

  • bkb November 22, 2021, 9:05 am

    Great shooting glasses…..

  • Bernardo Bestard November 22, 2021, 8:23 am

    Just bought one and I agree with your evaluation of the weapon

  • C J November 22, 2021, 7:07 am

    Agreed. I love the Glock single-stacks. My buddy bought a 48 when they came out. He didn’t like it, so I bought it. I love it. I get the longer slide is little long sitting in the car IWB, but I do like the longer sight radius. For me it’s about the damn near perfect size overall. The 48 & 43x shoot like bigger guns. The 48 is like my 19’s skinnier little brother!

  • Slim November 22, 2021, 6:59 am

    This guy must not be around guns much! He says “new” G43X and G48 in every sentence I skimmed. These little GLOCKS in my opinion are just meant for back up pistols, not as a primary weapon which the round count also reflects to be true. Maybe you should do a column on the new generation four GLOCKS to go along with this post.

  • Yep yep November 22, 2021, 6:02 am

    That’s why I love my xd-45 service. Full size grip with a 4in barrel. Concealable with a quick draw out of the holster.

  • Sivispace November 22, 2021, 4:03 am

    I couldn’t wait to buy one. I added a Ghost trigger extension, Ameriglo sights, and the Shield Arms steel magazine catch. I have bought three of the Shield Arms magazines so far and will buy many more. In my opinion, this is the Glock Glock should have produced. The steel mags are far more durable and easy to eject than the polymer-coated Glock magazines. The steel mag catch is way better than the plastic one; although it is difficult to install. As modified, this is my favorite carry gun. It disappears into my Galco Royal Guard holster and it so comfortable to carry, I almost forget I have it on.

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