The “mini” Glock 42

The "mini" Glock 42

The first Glock compact, slim frame, single stack pistol has arrived.  What many have wanted, but most considered would never arrive, has finally materialized in the form of the Glock 42 in .380 caliber.  The long awaited “mini” Glock is finally a reality.

Meet the Glock 42:

Overall Length – 5.94”
Barrel Length – 3.25”
Width – 0.94” (0.836” slide width)
Height – 4.13”
Weight – 12.35 oz. (without magazine); 13.76 oz. (with unloaded magazine); 14.36 oz. (with loaded magazine)
Sights – Polymer white dot front, white bar notch rear
Caliber – .380 ACP
Capacity – 6+1
MSRP – $475

Up close with the "mini" Glock 42.

Up close with the “mini” Glock 42.

You may notice that the length and weight are slightly different than some adds released prior to SHOT, but I’ve provided the information listed in the 2014 Glock SHOT Show magazine.

The Glock 42 has been received with mixed emotions and reviews.  For many, so much anticipation had been put into a 9mm version, that the Glock 42 in .380 has been received without as much fanfare as would be expected of a mini Glock.  Regardless, I had to visit the Glock booth at Media Day to see if the wait was worth all the trouble.

The long awaited "mini" Glock ... only in .380.

The long awaited “mini” Glock … only in .380.

My first impression upon seeing this mystery gun was that it looked exactly like a Glock, just shrunk down into a “mini” form.  Even the sub-compact Glocks have a tapered barrel at the muzzle that gives them a slight distinction, but not the Glock 42.  Many of the competitors’ .380 handguns have little resemblance to larger pistols from the manufacturer, however, there is no mistaking the Glock 42 for where it belongs.

The left side of the Glock 42.

The left side of the Glock 42.

Holding the Glock 42 in my hand I couldn’t help but notice how familiar it felt.  Despite being much smaller and thinner than even my sub-compact Glock, the design is kept so similar that I imagine I would recognize this pistol as a Glock even if I picked it up blindfolded.  My hands were a little more crowded grabbing the smaller frame than the larger Glock frames.  My fingers had more wrap around than usual, however, with a little adjustment I could establish a similar grip to the larger frames.  The weight distribution feels comparably the same as the larger frame Glocks, though obviously in a lighter package.

Holding the Glock 42 is amazingly familiar to the larger versions.

Holding the Glock 42 is amazingly familiar to the larger versions.

All of the standard Glock features are present on the Model 42.  The frame has a less aggressive texture but is similar in design as the latest Gen IV line.  The grip also comes without finger grooves or interchangeable back straps.  For as small as the Glock 42 is, I actually think this was a smart move by Glock making the pistol more adaptable to a greater audience of shooters.  Those features really are not necessary on the Glock 42.

Notice the absence of finger grooves or add-on back straps.  The texture is similar but less aggressive than the Gen IV style.

Notice the absence of finger grooves or add-on back straps. The texture is similar but less aggressive than the Gen IV style.

The Glock 42 trigger has the same feel as any other Glock trigger, except for perhaps one feature.  In my opinion the length of pull is slightly shorter than my other Glocks, actually making the Glock 42 even more pleasant to shoot.  Trigger pull felt the same as my other Glocks, and trigger reset is just as crisp as one would expect on a Glock.  Recoil was very manageable, and noticeably less snappy than some competitors.

Like the Gen IV line, the magazine release catch is enlarged, which is a great benefit for  easily acquiring the release on this small pistol.  The magazine is single stack, but with a very Glock appearance.  The Glock 42 comes with standard Glock single dot front sight and the white bar notch rear sight, but in polymer instead of steel.

Standard Glock white dot and bar sights in polymer.

Standard Glock white dot and bar sights in polymer.

Shooting the Glock 42 was very nice.  The familiar and consistent trigger made shooting easy, and accuracy was very good.  Though the frame is noticeably thinner, the similar angles made gripping the 42 fairly easy.  Hitting steel poppers at 15 yards was not a problem.  I believe the familiar Glock trigger will be a huge advantage over several competitor’s .380 triggers that tend to have an overly long length of pull.

The business end of the "mini" Glock 42.

The business end of the “mini” Glock 42.

Though not the pistol everyone was expecting, I can say that my impression of Glock’s first single stack, slime frame, compact pistol have dramatically improved sense the first announcements made their way into the public arena.  The demand for compact .380 handguns continues to be very high, despite the popularity of the single stack 9mm’s, so Glock may have made a sensible business decision in its first entry into the market.  I’m sure, however, that the long-awaited single stack 9mm pistol is just around the corner.

Aaron is a life-long firearm enthusiast and hunter. He has been a police officer for nearly 19 years, and currently is a Sergeant in Special Operations. He has served on the department’s SWAT Team for 14 years, with 8 years as the Sniper Team Leader. When not fussing over fractions of inches, and gut-less wonders, he can usually be found sipping from a ridiculously large coffee mug. Aaron is also the editor and main writer at


  • gunslinger

    i thought glock was making a “mini” version of the 42 per the headline.

    • Aaron E

      Sorry gunslinger, I thought the quotes would clue everyone in that this was about the new compact, single stack pistol.

  • Leigh Rich

    $475 is high priced for a large plastic 380.

    • maodeedee

      It would be better if they made the same sized gun in 9mm. But barring that, I’d be happy if someone made a 9mm Mak barrel for it. Underwood and Buffalo bore both make 115 grain Plus P+ loads for the 9mm Mak.

      The only reason they made this gun in 380 was for women and the elderly and sissies who wouldn’t like the recoil of a 9mm in this size gun.

  • Mark W. Mumma

    Picked mine up today and it ROCKS.

    • maodeedee

      They’re fun little guns that’s for sure. but Glock needs to make one the same size chambered for 9mm.

      Can’t we have both rather than Either/Or???

      • Aaron E

        I’d be surprised if we don’t see the 9mm version at least by next year’s SHOT Show – if not sooner!

        • maodeedee

          I’m afraid old Gaston Glock might disappoint us. He may be of the mindset that this gun is too small to be a 9mm since he seems toi think that it’s just the right size for a .380.
          .He may want to be stubborn in that conviction and give us a single stack nine but it will be larger.

      • maodeedee

        I’d be happy if someone made an aftermarket barrel for these guns in 9mm Makarov. Underwood and Buffalo bore make 115 grain Plus+P loads for the 9mm Mak.

  • Ecksfactortactical Pictures

    I could not help myself and comment on this pistol..I wanted the 9 like everyone else. I even talked a little mess about our little Austrian American. But then I shot it. Boy did I shoot it! The accuracy being reported is not doing it justice. It performs way beyond anything in its class and believe me because I own or have owned them all. There certainly is an intersection between your ability to quickly/accurately engage targets and the power you can deliver to that spot in time. Time will show why Glock built this little gun. It is the best bug I have seen to date. This weapon WILL be a huge hit with LE in the face of those who don’t want to like it because of the caliber..It is REALY soft shooting, maybe 40 % less perceived recoil than my Taurus TCP or 3AT. Sights are good for this type of gun and follow ups are quick. I feel very confidant that I could fight with this gun if I had to. But remember, this was designed for deep cover or as a bug. It does both VERY well. BTW, it eats everything with the exception of 90g PMC Bronze . All others had zero malfunctions.

    Be safe!

  • TheAmericanJedi

    I picked up my Glock 42 last Friday. It is awesome, I’ve carried a gun since 1992 when I was in the Marine Corps through my current position as a Police Officer. I’ve owned other small frame pistols such as a Bersa 380, Ruger LCP and LC9, Keltec 380 and 9mm, Sig P238 and none of them fit well in my hands. The Glock 42 fits great, points great, and shoots great. I put 250 rounds through it on Saturday and it was spot on. The grip was not aggressive enough for me, so I stippled the it and put touch pads for my thumb and index finger.

    • TheAmericanJedi

      Here is the stippled version:

      • Aaron E

        Very nice!

  • petru sova

    I think this gun will go over like a lead balloon. First why would anyone buy it when you can conceal the small Glock 9 mm gun models just as well. Also many people buy a .380 so that they can put it in a coat pocket. This gun would be unsafe to carry that way because it has no manual safety nor does it have a hard double action pull. If put in a pocket without a holster it would go off guaranteed just like the bigger Glocks do when stuffed in the waist band without a holster. No this gun makes little if any sense as it is not that much more concealable in the waist ban and not safe to carry in a pocket without a holster.
    And of course we are speaking of a weak .380 cartridge as well. Why carry a gun that is a weak .380 when you can carry a more lethal 9mm that is just as concealable. Again this .380 Glock model just does not make much sense. It may have been developed for export to foreign countries that have banned calibers like the 9mm. So with the gun in production anyway why not also sell it on the American market as well.
    People always want the “latest and greatest” new gadget that is out without bothering to think about its more practical use, if indeed there is a practical use for it. As P.T. Barnum once said, “There is a sucker born every minute” unfortunately his statement proved all to true since he made it many years ago.

    • Paul

      I love how folks complain about the “weak” .380. If you think it’s so weak, let me put two in your chest right now and then you can tell me how weak it is.

      • Louie T

        If a lowlife high on meth was charging your wife and little girl and the only thing between them and the meth head was you would you rather be pointing a 357 or 45 acp at his chest or your 380 ? If you say the 380 i think your kidding yourself. I hope nothing like this ever happens to you or yours, this is only an example. Take care my friend

        • gunslinger

          If a lowlife high on meth was charging your wife and little girl and the only thing between them and the meth head was you would you rather be pointing a 380 acp at his chest or have a phone calling 911 in your hand ? If you say the phone i think your kidding yourself. I hope nothing like this ever happens to you or yours, this is only an example. Take care my friend

  • darkdestroyer

    The glock 42 is a bit large to hold only 6+1,my Makarov is the same size and holds 8+1.

    • maodeedee

      The 9mm Mak is also a slightly more effective caliber and Glock should offer that chambering as an option. But I also think this gun is a little more compact than a Makarov and weighs less as well.
      But regardless they need to make one just SLIGHTLY larger in 8mm.

  • Blake

    My 2 cents– looked at one this weekend and yes it is super comfortable to hold and very familiar for glock shooters. But it is too big for a pocket gun (for my pockets anyway). As a BUG why not go with a 9mm since you can — i love my Kahr P9. About the same size as this new Glock. 17 oz empty and i can get all my fingers on the grip. The trigger does take some practice but that’s true about everything.

    I can see this Glock as a good intro/learning gun if it is soft shooting, but otherwise it would be just an expensive plinker. So why not a .22 version for practice/plinking like all the 1911s. I would rather have a dedicated .22 than buy a conversion kit for my 17.

    i would still probably buy it just for fun, but it won’t be high up on the list.

  • justpassinthrough

    Should have made it in 9mm, it would have sold like hotcakes if they did. Nobody really asked for a slim easy to carry .380 (at least not as much as a 9mm) as there already plenty of options for that. Besides that their competition have already rolled out small single stack 9mm models (M&P Shield for example), and yet Glock who has been in this industry for a long time, have yet to hit the nail on the head.

    • Aaron E

      As a multiple Glock owner and user, I thought the same thing. However, a Ruger forum was talking about over 1.2 million LCP’s being sold after 3-4 years of release. If Glock has even half that success (which will likely be as successful) that’s a whole lot of Jack!

  • maodeedee

    These are really neat really guns and I know a lot of guys who are buying them just for the “Fun” factor.
    And they have a serious purpose as well, for people who can’t handle the recoil of a 9mm the size and weight of a Keltec PF9 or A keltec P3AT or a Ruger LCR which is why Ruger recently came out with a 380 the same size as their compact 9mm.

    All fine and good, BUT! when are they going to come out with a 9mm this size for those of us who want something the size Of a Keltec PF-9???? I have a PF9 but I’d much rather have a single stack Glock the same size. And my fear is that if Glock finally breaks down and makes a single stack 9mm It will be a lot larger than it needs to be.
    I’d love to have one of these cute little toys, but I’m on a fixed income and can’t afford something that has limited applications for me personally, being chambered for ammo that is not as common or inexpensive as the 9mm, and even for a reloader, both cases and projectiles for 9mm are much cheaper and more plentiful thanwith the 380.

    Everything about defensive handguns is a trade-off and if I’m going to carry a pistol in a caliber less powerful than a 9mm, I might as well carry a 32 Keltec that holds 8 rounds and can be carried daily for longer periods of time much more comfortably than anything larger.

    So come on, Glock, give us serious armed citizens what we really want

  • castawayjoe1

    I can’t believe how much people complain about the 380 and the size, Glock meant to tap the 380 market and they did that with a quality #42 that will go bang every time . You guys sound like a bunch of school girls talking about the girl who wore the wrong sweater to the dance. Maybe Glock should invite each of you to the factory, for the Glock “Build a Christmas Gun” (like build a Christmas Bear) then you could all get your very own perfect gun! They probably have as many models as any company, just pick one and stop complaining, the 42 has been out for 2 weeks and it’s getting old. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, go get a PF9 instead. That’s why there is more than one company, at least till Obama get’s his way….then it won’t matter will it. Castawayjoe1

    • maodeedee

      “You guys sound like a bunch of school girls talking about the girl who wore the wrong sweater to the dance.”

      Yeah, and you sound like the goody-goody hall monitor who tells everyone to “Grow up and do what the teacher tells you”.

      And I already bought a PF9 and it isn’t as reliable as a Glock. I’ve already sent it back once and have to send it back again.

  • Mike

    As someone involved in international trade I am always amused how most people think that the world ends at our borders. 🙂 In many countries, citizens are not allowed to own a gun chambered in a military caliber (read 9mm) so the .380 is top dog for civilian carry. Pair this with the still high demand for small .380 pistols as Ruger stated when they came out with their LC380, and Glock made a smart marketing decision which gave it a much larger worldwide market for the 42. Unlike their other guns, there is no mass market of government agencies to sell the new gun to so they had to expand their market to the world and not just the U.S..
    I am a senior citizen with medical problems with my hands. The Glock 42 is a very welcome addition to my small collection of guns. I can deliver more shots, more accurately with the Glock 42 than I can with any other of my guns in .380 and 9mm. I am a big believer in shot placement and the 42 allows me to achieve that goal. I keep in mind that I may have to shoot more than once or twice with a .380 but with this gun that is a breeze.
    Here in Florida, a place with a lot of senior citizens, it is not uncommon to read about people shot with a .380 and stopping what they are doing or dying. Just a few weeks ago a retired LEO shot a viewer in a movie theater after an argument about texting on a phone and a box of popcorn being thrown. One shot from a .380 that went through a woman’s hand (the wife) entered the man and penetrated deeply enough to hit a vital organ and stop and kill him. Last year another senior thwarted a robbery by shooting and hitting two armed men trying to rob the gambling establishment. They did not shoot back or laugh at the .380 round. Instead they ran as soon as they heard the shots and later on in the day, had to go to the hospital where they were arrested. The .380 protects a lot of people around here who cannot shoot anything else and never have a read a story where the owner of the .380 was hurt after shooting the bad guy. Heck, many of the shootings at bad guys are done with a .22. It seems that most people really do not want to get shot and the chances of running into someone who does not mind, is much smaller than the already small odds that you will ever have to shoot your defensive gun. Just ask anyone who has shot someone in the gun forums, if you can find one. 🙂

    • There is the potential that a .380 HP round may not penetrate as well. I stack my G42 magazine alternating hollow points and ball ammo this way:

      HP (in the chamber)

      Alternating the projectiles means I have the best of both worlds in my G42.

  • Ali Abi Talib

    To all the people who are asking why it isn’t in 9mm, the reason is that Glock does not want to cannibalize the existing sales of its other 9mm handguns.

  • ThunderBullets

    Bought one myself from a local dealer, offered a $419 cash price. First, it’s a .380, and a pretty good one. Feels good in the hand, and easy to conceal. If you’re already a good marksman with smaller guns, you’ll have no trouble with this one. You’ll tend to shoot “low” if you’re used to a larger gun, so by a bunch of ammo and practice. It’s well made and reliable. Only comment to the negative is that for the money, why only two mags instead of three? Already after-market upgrades include a Mag Guts 7 round spring. Can’t help but wonder why Glock didn’t make it a 7 round in the first place, but there’s room for 3rd party improvements for almost any gun. General dissatisfaction is “why not a 9 mm,” and as with most, I think this will come to fruition in 2015. For now, the 42 is a fine extension of the Glock line, I’m very happy with mine. My wife has a Ruger LCP, which is also a great firearm, but for a little larger size I get an “easier” to shoot .380. Even Massad Ayoob (sp) says that .380 is the bare-bones minimum caliber to carry for SD, but Jeff Cooper also says the best gun to have is the one you have with you. .380 is a viable CCW, and Glock makes a good one.

  • scott will

    You know whats more annoying than big brother wanting to breath down free Americans necks? Know it all gun guys bitching all the time about why they cant get exactly what they want when they don’t even realize what they can get. This gun shoots like a dream.