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Glock G43 Single-Stack 9mm

Photos courtesy of Glock USA

A Long Time Coming
In an Exclusive, We Get Our Hands on the Highly Anticipated Single-Stack 9mm G43

The single-stack 9mm Glock 43 has been a long time coming. No other Glock pistol to date has been quite so anticipated or talked about — nor the subject of such speculation, grumbling, and contention. Many people were dismayed, even angered, when it did not show up this year at the SHOT Show.

So let’s answer the two most obvious questions: “Is it worth the wait?” and “Why now; what took so long?” We’ll get to the former question in a bit; first we’ll answer the latter.


Why Now?
Of course, part of it is the juxtaposition of import laws and Glock USA’s recently developed production capacity at their facility in Smyrna, Georgia. Before, when they were assembling and distributing handguns from components built in Austria, smaller pistols like the 42 and 43 could not be imported into the United States. There’s a BATFE-driven point system in place (a largely arbitrary and in many ways inexplicable point system) that must be used to bring a handgun into the country. That obstacle was removed once they were able to build the weapons right there in Georgia.

However, according to Glock Vice President Josh Dorsey, it mostly came down to the allocation of resources in response to their customer needs. They only have a finite amount of resources to apply against numerous areas on which end users would like them focused. For instance, in addition to addressing the commercial market in the USA, Glock was addressing DoD’s modular handgun system (MHS) program, the law enforcement market, and the export market.

Being a predominantly Big Army project, the MHS program comes with a litany of requirements, as well as the certainty of ambiguity and delay. As for the commercial market, it’s important to remember that while the clamor for a single-stack Glock 9mm has been unceasing here in the States, on an international scale it was the .380 model that Glock says required attention first.

Many have been dubious of the timing. The G42 was released last year, the thought goes, so they could make more money. After all, who would buy a .380 G42 if a 9mm G43 was available, right?

That would be a great theory if the G42 wasn’t selling so well, in so many places.

We asked Dorsey the question point blank, “Did the 42 preempt the 43 so the former didn’t impact sales of the latter, or so people would buy both?” He shook his head dryly. He’s aware of the grumbling of the U.S. customer base. He’s a realist.

“Way back when we decided the timing of everything, the driving force was not the commercial market, it was the allocation of resources to other events. If they’re going to say that — one, we don’t believe the cannibalization is going to be that bad, maybe some, but there’s not going to be 50 percent, 60 percent of the .380, and two, it’s not the answer. We were focused on another program that, at the time, a year ago, year and a half ago, was…in theory…going to start in January of this year.”

As it turns out, the G42 is the highest-selling handgun Glock makes right now. It’s not just concealed carriers in the USA buying it (though they are, in great numbers) — there are whole continents full of countries with a tradition of gun ownership where owning 9x19mm is illegal because it’s considered a military round. The G42 is extremely popular, for instance, in Brazil, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Is it Worth the Wait?
There’s a very good chance the G42 will be supplanted by the G43 here in America. At just a bit over 6 inches long, with a slide width of less than an inch and a weight of about 1 pound, the G43 is extremely easy to conceal. Its magazine capacity is 6 rounds.

It also shoots very nicely. Put a few rounds through it and you too may find yourself grinning like an idiot. The trigger pull is crisp, smooth, and consistent, and with a distance from backstrap to trigger of just 2.6 inches, it’ll be very appealing to shooters not just looking for a hideaway or a backup, but to those with smaller hands.

We put several magazines through a G43 at the Glock Professional indoor range facility a few weeks ago with some of the Glock USA staff — they were as excited to shoot it as we were, as many of them hadn’t handled one yet. We shot it two-handed, strong side only, support side only, stationary and moving.

So what’s the verdict? Yes indeed, it is absolutely worth the wait. It’s exactly what so many of you have been wanting for years, and it’s an absolute pleasure to shoot. Look for it to debut in April at the NRA Annual meeting in Nashville, and to start shipping immediately after that.


G42 Top – G43 Middle – G26 Bottom

Spec Box
Glock G43
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Barrel Length: 3.39 inches
Overall Length: 6.26 inches
Magazine Capacity: 6 rounds
Weight (Empty): 1.12 pounds
MSRP: $580

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