Gun Review: Glock 43 Singlestack 9mm

Glock43 Singlestack 9mmIn this article, I will review the new Glock 43 Singlestack 9mm pistol. Through the course of the text and photos, I will provide an overview, discuss the Fit, Function, and Finances in regard to this model, and then conclude with a Range Report and personal observations.

Whether you love ‘em, hate ‘em, or have chosen to ignore them since their introduction in 1982, there is no doubt that Glock pistols have made their mark on the firearms and shooting industries. Designed in 1981 by Austrian engineer and polymer tool pioneer, Gaston Glock, the Austrian Army commissioned the 9mm Glock 17 in 1982. The venerable G17 was introduced into the U.S. in 1985 and its simple operation and extreme reliability immediately caught the attention of Law Enforcement and commercial markets.

G17 gained near-instant fame when Bruce Willis incited a myth about Glock 7 in Die Hard2However, it wasn’t until 1990 that the G17 gained near-instant fame when Bruce Willis (playing the role of John McClane in the second Die Hard movie) incited a myth when his character stated: “That punk pulled a Glock 7 on me. You know what that is? It’s a porcelain gun made in Germany. Doesn’t show up on your airport X-ray machines, here, and it cost more than you make in a month.” Although the dialogue is factually incorrect in nearly every account, it launched a legend. (there is no Glock 7, no parts are made of porcelain – the slide is steel while the frame and some small parts are polymer, it most certainly WILL show up in an X-ray machine, and even in 1990 dollars, it didn’t cost more than the other character made in a month)

Since the company’s founding in 1981, they produced their 5 millionth pistol in 2007 (source: and it is estimated that Glocks dominate 65% of the U.S. Law Enforcement market (source: Sweeney, Patrick (2008). The Gun Digest Book of the Glock (2nd ed.).

Iola, WI: Krause Publications).

Built on a foundation of extreme reliability, affordability, and superior function, Glock expanded their line of pistols to include a myriad of calibers, slide lengths, and frame sizes to accommodate a wider variety of law enforcement, military, recreational shooting, personal defense, and competition markets. Although it is a fine handgun for personal defense, concealed carriers often lamented the sheer width of even the “smallest” Glock models. Let’s call it what it is… the majority of the line-up can be best described as “boxy” and difficult to conceal.

A New Era?

During this year’s SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade) Show, Glock unveiled the Glock 42… a Single-Stack (read: thinner) sub compact handgun chambered in .380 auto. Many flocked to the new offering with abounding joy while others decried the marginally performing .380 auto designation while crying: “if they only made it in 9mm!”

Well… the shooting world waited 27 years for a single-stack Glock, so the mixed emotions stemming from the Glock 42 turned into rapturous joy a few short weeks later in mid-April when Glock unveiled the G43 at the NRA Annual Meeting held in Nashville, Tennessee. Finally, the shooting community had its Glock single-stack sub-compact chambered in 9mm!


Aegis Academy Pistol Training in San Diego

Introducing the Glock 43

Even though the sub-compact carry-pistol (or pocket pistol) market left little room for another entry, the Glock 43’s introduction was heralded with fanfare and eager anticipation. For weeks after its introduction in Nashville, gunshops around the country were flooded with requests and inquiries: “so… when WILL you get one in stock?” In most cases, they departed through the front door of the shops within hours of hitting the receiving dock. A few internet entrepreneurs on Gunbroker and Gunsamerica were taking advantage of the flurry of activity by charging premium prices exceeding the $600.00 range.

Although I’m generally lukewarm to Glocks and use either a customized 9mm Glock 34 for competitions or the G17 and G19 for instruction, I was also caught-up in the excitement about the new single-stack offering. I managed to purchase a Blue Box (military and law enforcement sale) for a little over 4 bills and I’m impressed with its fit and function.

By the numbers, the Glock 43 has an overall length of 6.26 inches, barrel length of 3.39 inches, height of 4.25 inches, and width of 1.02 inches… all with an unloaded weight of just under 18 ounces. All other features of the Glock 43 remain both similar and true to the original design… including the plastic “front dot” and “rear U-notch” sights.

The traditional Safe Action trigger initially measured a little over 7 pounds using a wheeler trigger-pull scale. However, after firing 500 rounds and conducting a thorough cleaning, the same scale measured closer to the advertised 5.5 pounds. Trigger travel and positive re-set are similar to other Glock models.

The pistol ships in the standard hard case with a gun lock, polymer cleaning rod and brush, magazine speed loader, and two magazines. Both magazines can hold 6 cartridges, but one is flush and the other has a finger extension.

Taking a closer look

The Glock 43 both functions and breaks-down in a manner nearly identical to the flagship G17. Also, the internal parts are NEARLY identical. The two most notable differences can be found in the dimensions and shape of the safety plunger and the tip of the striker. The photos depict the visual differences. Continue Reading »

Author – Howard Hall

Disclaimer: I have no personal or professional connections to Glock or its affiliates and I was not compensated in any way by them for this review. I purchased the pistol through a military and law enforcement retailer. The observations and opinions expressed are mine alone provided for your information only.

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