Introduction

When it comes to choosing a concealed carry handgun, the options can be overwhelming. However, Glock consistently stands out as a reliable and trusted name in the firearms industry.

Among their impressive lineup, the Glock 43X has quickly become a favorite for those seeking a balance of size, capacity, and performance. As someone who has spent considerable time with this pistol, I’m excited to share my insights and experiences in this comprehensive review.

Overview of the Glock 43X

The Glock 43X is part of Glock’s Slimline series, which focuses on creating handguns that are easy to conceal without sacrificing functionality. It’s essentially an enhanced version of the original Glock 43, featuring a longer grip and increased magazine capacity.

Chambered in 9mm, the 43X combines Glock’s renowned reliability with a design tailored for concealed carry. This pistol aims to provide users with a compact yet powerful option that’s perfect for everyday carry.

Feature
Glock 43X
Dimensions Compact and slim profile
Magazine Capacity 10 rounds
Caliber 9mm
Materials High-strength polymer frame, steel slide
Finish nDLC coating for enhanced durability
Sights Glock white dot sights (upgradeable)
Trigger Consistent pull with short reset
Safety Features Glock Safe Action System with three passive safeties
Grip Design Extended grip for full-hand hold
Recoil Management Minimal recoil, manageable muzzle rise
Price Range $450 – $550 (MSRP may vary)

 

Design and Build Quality

Dimensions and Weight

One of the first things that struck me about the Glock 43X is its ideal size for concealed carry. The pistol measures 6.5 inches in overall length, 5.04 inches in height, and has a slim width of just 1.1 inches. These dimensions make it easy to conceal, whether you’re carrying inside the waistband (IWB) or outside the waistband (OWB).

Weighing in at about 18.7 ounces unloaded, the 43X is light enough to carry comfortably all day. This weight also contributes to its overall balance, making it easy to control during firing. Despite its compact size, the 43X feels substantial in the hand, offering a sense of confidence that’s crucial for a concealed carry weapon.

Materials Used

Glock’s reputation for using durable materials is evident in the 43X. The frame is made from high-strength polymer, which keeps the weight down while providing excellent durability. The slide is crafted from steel and finished with Glock’s proprietary nDLC coating.

This coating not only enhances the slide’s resistance to corrosion and wear but also gives it a sleek, non-reflective finish.

In my time with the 43X, I’ve found the materials to be exceptionally resilient. Whether it’s been exposed to sweat during hot summer days or carried in wet conditions, the pistol has shown no signs of rust or significant wear. This durability ensures that the Glock 43X can handle the rigors of daily carry and maintain its reliability over time.

Aesthetics and Finish

While Glock pistols are often described as utilitarian in appearance, the 43X has a certain appeal. The clean lines and simple design exude functionality, which is a hallmark of Glock’s design philosophy.

The pistol is available in a few different finishes, including the classic black and a silver slide variant. I personally opted for the silver slide, which adds a touch of uniqueness without compromising on the stealthy look.

The matte finish on both the slide and the frame not only looks good but also serves a practical purpose by reducing glare. The textured grip adds to the aesthetic appeal while providing a secure hold, even in wet conditions. Overall, the Glock 43X strikes a nice balance between form and function, with a design that’s both practical and visually appealing.

Ergonomics and Handling

Grip Design and Comfort

One of the standout features of the Glock 43X is its grip design. Unlike the original Glock 43, the 43X offers a longer grip that accommodates a full-hand hold. This extended grip length makes a significant difference in comfort and control, especially for those with larger hands.

The grip texture is just right—not too aggressive, but enough to ensure a secure hold during firing.

From my experience, the 43X’s grip provides excellent comfort for extended shooting sessions. The beavertail design helps prevent slide bite, and the overall ergonomics make the pistol easy to control. Whether I’m at the range or carrying it concealed, the 43X feels natural in my hand, enhancing my confidence in its handling.

Controls and Accessibility

The controls on the Glock 43X are intuitive and easy to reach. The magazine release is positioned perfectly for quick and effortless magazine changes. It’s also reversible, catering to both right-handed and left-handed shooters. The slide stop lever is straightforward to operate and located in a position that’s easy to access without adjusting your grip.

Glock’s minimalist approach to controls means there’s nothing superfluous to get in the way. This simplicity is part of what makes the 43X so user-friendly. Even for those new to Glock pistols, the layout is intuitive and easy to master. Personally, I appreciate the lack of unnecessary controls, which streamlines the handling and operation of the firearm.

Ease of Use for Different Hand Sizes

One of the concerns with compact pistols is their ability to accommodate different hand sizes. The Glock 43X excels in this area. The slim frame and extended grip make it accessible for shooters with various hand sizes.

For someone like me, with medium-sized hands, the 43X offers a perfect fit. However, I’ve also seen shooters with larger hands find it comfortable to handle, thanks to the full-hand grip.

For those with smaller hands, the slim frame and reduced width make it easier to maintain a firm hold. The grip texture further aids in providing a secure grip, regardless of hand size. This versatility in ergonomics makes the Glock 43X a great choice for a wide range of users, ensuring that everyone can handle it with confidence and ease.

Performance and Accuracy

Shooting Experience

From the first time I took the Glock 43X to the range, I was impressed by how it performed. The 43X is a joy to shoot, largely due to its excellent ergonomics and balance. The pistol fits naturally in the hand, and the grip texture provides a secure hold, even when my hands are sweaty or gloved.

The overall shooting experience is smooth, with the 43X offering a level of control that’s often missing in other compact handguns.

Firing the 43X, I noticed how manageable the recoil is, allowing for quick follow-up shots. The sights are easy to acquire, and the trigger has a consistent pull that makes it easy to stay on target. Whether I’m shooting at the range or running drills, the Glock 43X delivers a reliable and enjoyable shooting experience every time.

Accuracy Tests

When it comes to accuracy, the Glock 43X doesn’t disappoint. In my tests, I found it to be exceptionally accurate for a compact pistol. Shooting from a distance of 7 to 15 yards, which is typical for self-defense scenarios, the 43X consistently delivered tight groupings.

Using a variety of ammunition, I tested the 43X’s accuracy under different conditions. From slow, deliberate shots to rapid-fire sequences, the pistol maintained impressive accuracy. The factory sights, while basic, are adequately aligned for precise shooting.

However, for those seeking even greater accuracy, upgrading to night sights or fiber optic sights can provide enhanced target acquisition, especially in low-light conditions.

Recoil Management

One of the most pleasant surprises with the Glock 43X is its recoil management. Despite its compact size, the recoil is very manageable. This can be attributed to the well-balanced design and the extended grip, which provides a firm and stable hold.

During rapid-fire sequences, I found that the muzzle rise was minimal, allowing for quicker follow-up shots. This is crucial in a self-defense situation where every fraction of a second counts.

The overall design of the 43X helps mitigate the snap that is often felt with smaller handguns, making it more comfortable to shoot over extended periods.

Features

Sights

The Glock 43X comes equipped with standard Glock white dot sights. These sights are serviceable and provide decent visibility in normal lighting conditions. However, they are not the best in low-light scenarios.

In my experience, they work fine for range shooting, but for a defensive pistol, I prefer to upgrade to night sights or fiber optic sights.

Night sights enhance visibility in low-light conditions, which is critical for a carry gun. Fiber optic sights, on the other hand, offer better visibility in daylight and are also a popular choice.

Upgrading the sights can significantly improve target acquisition and accuracy, giving you greater confidence in your shooting abilities.

Trigger

The trigger on the Glock 43X is typical of Glock’s design. It features a consistent pull with a slight take-up before a clean break. The reset is short and tactile, which is beneficial for quick follow-up shots.

While some shooters may prefer a lighter or crisper trigger, I find the stock trigger to be more than adequate for its intended purpose. It’s predictable and reliable, which are key factors for a self-defense firearm.

For those looking to customize, there are numerous aftermarket options available that can offer a different trigger feel to suit personal preferences.

Magazine Capacity

One of the standout features of the Glock 43X is its magazine capacity. It holds 10 rounds in a single-stack magazine, which is a significant improvement over the original Glock 43’s 6-round capacity.

This increase in capacity provides a greater sense of security, especially in a self-defense scenario where every round counts.

The 10-round magazine is compact enough to maintain the slim profile of the 43X, making it easy to conceal. Additionally, the magazine is easy to load and provides reliable feeding, which is essential for any defensive pistol.

Safety Features

The Glock 43X includes Glock’s Safe Action System, which comprises three passive safety mechanisms: the trigger safety, the firing pin safety, and the drop safety. This system ensures that the pistol will not fire unless the trigger is deliberately pulled, providing peace of mind for users who may be concerned about accidental discharges.

I appreciate the simplicity and reliability of Glock’s safety system. There are no manual safeties to worry about, which means fewer steps to remember under stress. The built-in safeties provide a high level of security while keeping the operation straightforward and intuitive.

Maintenance and Durability

Cleaning and Maintenance

Maintaining the Glock 43X is straightforward and hassle-free. The disassembly process is simple and can be done without any special tools. Regular cleaning and lubrication are key to ensuring the pistol operates reliably, and the 43X makes this easy with its user-friendly design.

In my routine, I field strip the pistol after every range session, clean the barrel and slide, and apply a light coat of oil to the necessary parts. This keeps the firearm in excellent condition and ready for use.

The ease of maintenance is one of the reasons why Glocks are favored by many shooters, including myself.

Long-Term Durability

The Glock 43X is built to last. The combination of a high-strength polymer frame and a steel slide with nDLC coating ensures that the pistol can withstand extensive use and harsh conditions.

Over the time I’ve owned the 43X, I’ve put several hundred rounds through it without any signs of significant wear. The finish on the slide remains intact, and the internal components show no signs of excessive wear. This level of durability is reassuring, especially for a firearm that’s intended for daily carry.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

While the Glock 43X is generally reliable, no firearm is without its potential issues. Some users have reported occasional feeding problems, which are often resolved with proper cleaning and lubrication. Ensuring the use of high-quality ammunition can also minimize the risk of malfunctions.

In my experience, the 43X has been a reliable performer with very few issues. On rare occasions, I’ve encountered a failure to feed, but a quick clean and check of the magazine usually resolves the problem. Regular maintenance and attention to detail go a long way in ensuring the Glock 43X continues to operate flawlessly.

Comparisons

Glock 43X vs. Glock 43

When comparing the Glock 43X to its predecessor, the Glock 43, the differences become quite apparent. The Glock 43 is a compact single-stack 9mm pistol with a 6-round magazine capacity, while the 43X offers a 10-round capacity.

This increase in capacity is a significant advantage for the 43X, especially for those who prioritize having more rounds at their disposal for self-defense.

The grip length is another major difference. The Glock 43 has a shorter grip, which can be less comfortable for those with larger hands. In contrast, the 43X features an extended grip that accommodates a full-hand hold, providing better control and comfort. Personally, I found the 43X’s grip to be much more ergonomic and conducive to accurate shooting, especially during rapid fire.

In terms of concealability, both models are highly concealable due to their slim profiles. However, the 43X’s slightly longer grip may print more under tight clothing, though this is a minor trade-off for the added capacity and comfort. Overall, if capacity and grip comfort are priorities, the Glock 43X stands out as the better choice.

Glock 43X vs. Glock 48

The Glock 43X and Glock 48 share many similarities, but there are key differences that might influence your choice between the two. The Glock 48 has a longer slide and barrel, measuring about 6.85 inches in overall length compared to the 6.5 inches of the 43X.

This longer slide and barrel can provide slightly better accuracy and reduced recoil due to the increased sight radius and weight.

In my experience, the 43X is easier to conceal due to its shorter length, making it a more practical choice for daily carry. However, the 48’s longer slide can make it a bit more comfortable to shoot, particularly for those with larger hands or those who prefer a bit more weight up front.

Both models have the same 10-round magazine capacity and share similar grip dimensions, so the choice between the 43X and 48 often comes down to whether you prioritize ease of concealment or slightly enhanced shooting performance.

For my daily carry needs, the Glock 43X strikes the perfect balance, but I can see why someone might prefer the 48 for its added performance benefits.

Glock 43X vs. Competitor Models

When comparing the Glock 43X to competitor models like the SIG Sauer P365 and the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, the competition is fierce. The SIG P365, for instance, offers a similar size and capacity with a 10-round flush-fit magazine and a 12-round extended option.

The P365 is known for its high capacity in a very compact frame, which is a significant advantage.

However, I find the Glock 43X’s grip to be more comfortable and better suited for extended shooting sessions. The P365’s grip is a bit narrower, which can be less comfortable for some shooters over time.

The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield also competes closely with the 43X, offering similar dimensions and a 7- or 8-round capacity, depending on the magazine used.

The Shield’s ergonomics are highly praised, and it offers a manual safety option, which some users prefer. Yet, the Glock 43X’s simplicity and reliability are hard to beat.

From my perspective, the 43X offers a perfect blend of capacity, comfort, and ease of use, making it a standout choice in the crowded field of compact carry pistols.

Price and Value

MSRP and Street Prices

The Glock 43X has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $500, but actual street prices can vary. In my experience, it’s common to find the 43X priced between $450 and $550, depending on the retailer and any promotions or discounts available. It’s always a good idea to shop around and check multiple sources to get the best deal.

Considering the features and reliability that the 43X offers, I find the pricing to be very reasonable. It’s competitively priced within the market of high-quality compact carry pistols, making it accessible for many shooters.

Value for Money

When evaluating the value for money, the Glock 43X stands out as a solid investment. You’re getting a pistol that offers Glock’s renowned reliability, durability, and performance in a compact, easy-to-conceal package. The extended magazine capacity and comfortable grip add to its appeal, making it a versatile option for everyday carry.

In my personal experience, the 43X provides excellent value. The minimal maintenance, ease of use, and the aftermarket support for customization options all contribute to its overall value.

Whether you’re a new shooter looking for a reliable carry option or an experienced enthusiast seeking a dependable addition to your collection, the Glock 43X delivers on its promises, making it worth every penny.

User Feedback and Reviews

Positive Feedback

The Glock 43X has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from users. Many praise its reliability and ease of use. The increased magazine capacity compared to the Glock 43 is a frequently mentioned benefit, as is the comfortable grip. Users appreciate the simple, no-nonsense design that Glock is known for, which translates into a dependable carry gun.

From my own experience and interactions with other shooters, the consensus is that the 43X is a top-notch choice for concealed carry. Its performance at the range and in defensive scenarios has earned it high marks across the board.

Criticisms and Concerns

While the Glock 43X is well-regarded, it’s not without its criticisms. Some users find the factory sights to be inadequate and often opt to replace them with aftermarket options. The trigger, while consistent and reliable, is also a point of contention for some who prefer a lighter or crisper pull.

Another concern is the lack of a manual external safety, which some users prefer for added security. However, this is a matter of personal preference and training. In my view, the Safe Action System provides sufficient safety without complicating the operation of the firearm.

Expert Opinions

Expert opinions on the Glock 43X generally align with user feedback. Firearms trainers and industry professionals often highlight the 43X’s balance of size, capacity, and reliability. It’s frequently recommended as a go-to option for those seeking a dependable concealed carry gun.

From my perspective, having used and tested numerous compact pistols, the Glock 43X holds its own against the competition. Its design, performance, and the overall user experience make it a standout choice. Experts often emphasize that while no firearm is perfect, the Glock 43X comes very close in its category.

Conclusion

Summary of Key Points

After spending considerable time with the Glock 43X, I can confidently say it’s one of the best options for concealed carry on the market today. It combines the reliability and simplicity that Glock is known for with enhancements that make it more user-friendly and effective for everyday carry.

The Glock 43X’s compact size and extended 10-round magazine capacity strike an ideal balance between concealability and firepower. Its ergonomics, including the comfortable grip and accessible controls, make it a pleasure to shoot, even for extended periods. The performance in terms of accuracy and recoil management is impressive for a handgun of this size.

In terms of design and build quality, the 43X upholds Glock’s reputation for durability and robustness. The materials used and the overall construction ensure that this pistol can withstand the rigors of daily use and harsh conditions. Maintenance is straightforward, adding to the ease of ownership.

Final Verdict

In my personal experience, the Glock 43X excels as a concealed carry firearm. It offers a combination of reliability, capacity, and comfort that is hard to beat. Whether you’re a new shooter or an experienced gun owner, the 43X provides a dependable and effective solution for self-defense.

The minor criticisms, such as the basic factory sights and the standard trigger, are easily addressed with aftermarket upgrades. These small adjustments can further enhance an already excellent pistol. Considering its performance, ease of use, and value for money, the Glock 43X is a top choice that I highly recommend.

FAQs

How does the Glock 43X compare to the Glock 43?

The Glock 43X offers several improvements over the Glock 43, most notably an increased magazine capacity (10 rounds compared to the 43’s 6 rounds) and a longer grip for better handling. While both are compact and easy to conceal, the 43X provides a more comfortable shooting experience due to its extended grip and enhanced capacity.

Is the Glock 43X suitable for concealed carry?

Absolutely. The Glock 43X is specifically designed for concealed carry. Its slim profile, lightweight design, and 10-round capacity make it an excellent choice for everyday carry. It’s easy to conceal under various clothing styles and comfortable to carry for extended periods.

What are the key features of the Glock 43X?

The key features of the Glock 43X include its 10-round magazine capacity, Glock’s Safe Action System with three passive safeties, a durable nDLC finish on the slide, and a high-strength polymer frame. It also features a comfortable grip texture and an intuitive control layout that enhances the overall user experience.

Can I customize the Glock 43X?

Yes, the Glock 43X supports a wide range of aftermarket accessories, including sights, triggers, and holsters. Upgrading the sights to night sights or fiber optic sights is a popular choice, as is customizing the trigger for a different feel. This versatility allows you to tailor the 43X to your personal preferences.

Is the Glock 43X reliable?

In my experience, the Glock 43X is exceptionally reliable. It has performed flawlessly through numerous range sessions and various conditions. Glock’s reputation for reliability is well-deserved, and the 43X upholds this standard, making it a trusted option for self-defense.

How does the 43X handle recoil?

The Glock 43X handles recoil very well for a compact pistol. The extended grip provides better control, and the overall balance of the gun helps manage muzzle rise. This makes it easier to stay on target and manage follow-up shots effectively.

Is the Glock 43X suitable for beginners?

Yes, the Glock 43X is an excellent choice for beginners. Its simple operation, reliable performance, and manageable recoil make it easy for new shooters to handle. The intuitive controls and ease of maintenance further enhance its suitability for those new to firearms.

What is the price range for the Glock 43X?

The Glock 43X typically retails between $450 and $550, depending on the retailer and any available promotions. This price range makes it a competitive option in the market for high-quality concealed carry pistols.

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