Glock 43 single stack 9mm

After years of anticipation, Glock announced the release of their new single stack 9mm pistol earlier this year in March. The first Glock 43s started shipping shortly thereafter, and ever since, you haven’t been able to throw a virtual rock here on the Interwebz without hitting a G43 review, blog post, or related comment.

In the relatively short time the Lounge has been live, I’ve given a lot of attention to the subject of single stack 9mm carry pistols. I also (unexpectedly) had high praise for the .380 ACP Glock 42 last year. So it should come as no surprise that I’m joining the crowd and giving my two cents on the new Glock 43.

I’m doing this review a little differently than normal. The review video below sums up most of my first impressions of the pistol after the first 500 rounds, but we’re not stopping there. I’m going to keep testing this gun with a variety of different self-defense and FMJ loads, and also work with a few different aftermarket accessories to see how they hold up to prolonged usage. I’ll be posting updates here on the Lounge and on our YouTube channel.

Lucky Gunner Glock 43 Review Video

Glock 43 Technical Specs

Barrel Length 3.39″
Overall Length 6.26″
Height 4.25″
Width 1.02″
Weight (unloaded)
1.04 lbs (16.64 oz)
Sights Glock white “cup and ball” style
Action Striker-fired single-action
External Safety N/A
Ammo Capacity 6+1
Measured trigger pull weight ~8 lbs
Included Accessories Two 6-round magazines; one flush-fitting, one w/ pinky extension
MSRP $529

Thoughts on Ammo Capacity

I mentioned the capacity issue in the video review, but wanted to elaborate more on the topic because the 6-round capacity of the G43 factory magazines has been the #1 criticism of this pistol since it was announced. A couple of other single stack 9mm pistols also come with 6-round magazines like the Sig P938, Kahr PM9, and Beretta Nano, but they all have 7 or 8 round extended magazines as an option.

This might seem silly to some people — am I really going to split hairs over one or two extra rounds? In a small auto, yes I am. With a full size double stack, there are very few real life situations where having 17 rounds instead of 15 is going to matter. But in a single stack, having 9 shots on board versus just 7… well, I’m just statistically a lot more likely to need those extra two. Carrying a small gun like this is already a compromise — if I’m going to risk going armed with a small, low capacity pistol as a primary, I want all the ammo that I can possibly fit into the thing.

Glock 43 with magazines

The Taran Tactical +1 and +2 extended base pads I talked about in the video seem like very nice additions. They’re machined from aluminum and attach securely to the magazine body. The +1 base pad adds very little length to the overall grip — even less than the factory mag that has the pinky extension. But I remain skeptical about its long term viability. Magazine springs are typically engineered very carefully to ensure reliable feeding and long life. Changing mag capacity without changing springs seems to me like a recipe for disaster… but time will tell.

Glock 43 w/ Taran Tactical base pads

I’d be much more confident with something like the Mag Guts kit for the Glock 42. This product, made by Corso Inc., uses the factory magazine body and base pad, but replaces the spring and follower. The steel Mag Guts follower takes up less room in the magazine body than the original polymer follower, making space for one extra round. I’ve been running Mag Guts in a couple of Glock 42 mags, which bumps the capacity up to 7 rounds of .380 ACP. They’ve worked well so far, but then, so have the G43 Taran Tactical base pads I’m less sure of.  If Corso Inc. comes out with a kit for the G43, I’ll be sure to test some out and let you guys know how it goes.

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10 thoughts on “Review: Glock 43 Subcompact Single Stack 9mm

  1. Started life with single-stack every things… Then came hi-cap Wonder 9’s… Followed by hi-cap 40’s, 45’s, etc… Now we’re back to single stack (revolver capacity) 9’s…. Progress.

  2. When you do (or redo) the comparo of the small nines again, include the Sig P290RS… I think it is more comparable to the Shield, Glock, and others… not only in price but action (as in not a cocked-n-locked SA gun)

  3. I was hoping for a discussion of the pistol not just the magazine capacity – if that is your only problem with it then I don’t think it is much of a problem – if it is a problem for you then just use the 26 – btw, in my opinion it is a great little pistol

  4. I am a beginner with very small hands. It’s the small grip size and handling that attract me. I shot a Glock 17 at my 4 day course, but I just cannot handle it because of my hand size. I am looking for something reliable that I can actually shoot. However, I don’t want something that doesn’t have good stopping power, so a smaller caliber isn’t an option. I have tried the Sig and didn’t like it as well as the 43. Are there any full size guns that someone with tiny hands can shoot out there?

    1. The m&P is good for our female officers when using the small grip panel. My wife likes hers and does great with it. Results doing precision shooting or defensive drills are both great for her.

  5. Much as I like Glocks, owning three the 43 holds little appeal for me. I own a Ruger LC9s Pro and I can’t justify a larger gun that holds less rounds. I’ll take my 7/9 rounder any day.

  6. Thanks very much. Fyi, according to the Glock website, the unloaded weight of the gun is 17.95 oz. and the loaded weight is 22.36 oz.

    1. You’re right, that was a typo on my part. It should actually be 1.04 lbs, which is the unloaded weight that we got on our scale. The article has been corrected. Thanks for pointing it out!

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