Massad Ayoob On The Glock 43

Massad Ayoob has taken a look at the Glock 43, over at Glock headquarters in Smyrna, Georgia:

The takeaways:

  1. Full power 9mm +P.
  2. Low “pistol course” suitable recoil.
  3. Issued with 1 “shooting” extended floorplate magazine.
  4. Trigger reach adjusted “just right” for all finger lengths.
  5. No gun-related malfunctions; one ammunition malfunction, and one “human error” malfunciton

This is essentially a “laundry list” of features that folks have been hoping for with the Glock single stack 9mm handgun. In this author’s opinion, Glock has used their (considerable) time in developing this handgun wisely to create the best shooting 9mm single stack compact handgun they could, contingent on more extensive and well-documented reviews, of course.

Will this be enough to overtake the lead Smith & Wesson, Walther, and Kahr have over Glock in this category? Only time will tell!

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Yohei556

    I been happy since i got rid of all my Glawks….but I may buy the 43.

    • Man


  • Jack Morris

    But can it compete with the Kahr CM9 in price? Answer: no. Not even close, but people will still buy it because it’s a glock.

    • Ted Unlis

      If Glock could have pulled off making it even close in size to the Kahr CM9, I’d want one, but they didn’t, the Glock 43 is considerably larger than the CM9. Despite Massad’s opinion, I see the 43 as a 6 shot pistol only marginally smaller than the Glock 26, and when compared to the size of the CM9/PM9, it’s not enough to make a difference. As far as current CM9 owners, few will give up the Kahr for the larger more expensive Glock 43. Glock coming out with what is basically a thinner version of the 26 is a big let down for me.

      • Jack Morris

        I completely agree. I still don’t understand why Kahr doesn’t completely dominate the “micro 9mm” market. The only way to get anything smaller is with some of the $1,000+ boutique brands and even then, we are talking about a few millimeters difference. The CM9 is an amazing pistol and can usually be found for under $400.

        • Ted Unlis

          I am definitely underwhelmed with the G43, but since I just learned that the LE Dealer I frequent is taking orders on the new Glock 43 for $358, I might just have to order one.

        • Mark N.

          The reason is that many people do not care for Kahr’s DA trigger. I have a CW9 that I bought for under $400 (before taxes and fees). Half an inch more barrel, one extra round, and yes, it fits in the pockets of my 5.11’s.

      • I have a few pairs of shorts that my PM9 just barely fits in. The G43 is about an inch longer, so it definitely won’t work there.

        Will I buy one immediately? Nope. Will I buy one eventually? Possibly, at some point after I can buy a good set of Straight 8 night sights for it.

      • uisconfruzed

        I’ve got the PM9 and Glock 27 & 23’s. Love my Glocks because they point perfect in my hand and work every time their tried.
        I want to put my hands on the 43, I do not like the PM9’s trigger l-o-n-g pull with my larger hands.

        • Ted Unlis

          I’ll give you $350 for your PM9

          • uisconfruzed

            I’ll keep that in mind, I need to put the 43 in hand first.

      • n0truscotsman

        It better do something amazing for me to give up my smith shield. I mean, something mind blowing. Because that is a high bar to jump over.

  • tony

    Wasn’t he on G42 as well last year?

  • GTP

    I dunno. I’m still liking the Shield. Ergos feel better for me. It’s significantly thinner. And the grip is tall enough for me to get my full hand on. And 8 rounds vs 6. And an MSRP of $130 less than the Glock.

    • Nicks87

      I know two guys that I work with that are already planning on trading in their shields for the new glock. Glad you like yours but I thought the trigger in the shield felt like garbage. I won’t be buying a glock 43 either I prefer the capacity and the compatibility of the 26. I agree on the price, the shield is more moderately priced but the glock will sell like regardless of the higher msrp.

      • GTP

        Yeah. The Shield is much better with the Apex trigger.

        I just feel like the 43 sacrifices too much from the 26. Only a tad smaller, but loses a lot on capacity.

        Of course it will sell like crazy because it’s a Glock.

        • sianmink

          The flatness vs the 26 is a big deal though, honestly.

          • GTP

            I can kinda see what you mean, I guess. I don’t see much difference the profiles, though, except for that swell-thing in the frame just in front of the trigger guard.

          • sianmink

            It’s one of those differences that’s hard to see, but when you have it in your hand it’s bloody obvious.

          • Nicks87

            I will have to wait until I can hold them both side by side but I doubt the 43 has any features that will get me to trade off the 26.

          • maodeedee

            Try putting both in an IWB holster and carrying each one for a 14 hour day. At the end of the day, the 26 will feel like a piece of 2×4 lumber cut down to the size of a gun, while a flatter, thinner gun won’t be digging into the side of your body as much.

          • Steve

            I took a nap on our sofa and felt nothing from my glock 26. It all depends on your body size. I would rather have 12 rounds at the ready than 6.

          • maodeedee

            Agree 100%, but they could have made it even flatter and smaller and that’s where they missed the boat. The 42 was large for a 380 so they could have made the 43 closer to the size of a 42.

            If Keltec can make a nine smaller than Glock’s 380 then Glock should have been able to make the 43 closer to the size of the 42.

          • sianmink

            I don’t think the PF9 has quite the reliability that Glock is requiring though. It’s possible they really can’t make it smaller without compromising that.

  • James

    “Trigger reach adjusted “just right” for all finger lengths.”
    That’s a logical impossibility. People with long fingers/big hands can use the double stack. Why ruin it for those who have to use the single stack?

  • Vitsaus

    Looks like Glock bought another respected figure in the firearms scene.

    • He’s been writing articles for the Glock Annual magazines for many years, and fawning articles about Glock pistols for Guns Magazine and American Handgunner, and for various other periodicals.

    • Nicks87

      Get a life dude. Glock doesn’t need to buy anyone. Respected people in the firearms community gravitate towards glock not the other way around. R. Lee Ermy is a paid spokesperson but not Mas.

      • Tater

        You really don’t get how the whole thing works. Whether it be with free stuff, cash, luxurious shooting trips, everybody with a well known name gets payed to sing the praises of new guns. Remember the R51 that was so great even though it didn’t even work?

        • sianmink

          I’m sure the pre-production R51’s, that had been gone over by hand before being sent out to writers, worked fabulously.
          they just couldn’t reproduce that at a production scale.

        • Nicks87

          No, I do know how the whole thing works. Most gun writers are schills, I get it. I’ve met Mas Ayoob, he’s a decent guy. I’m sure he has enjoyed plenty of perks over the years but he’s not known to put his seal of approval on garbage.

          • Bill

            Do you think that any “decent guy” who gives a bad review to a gun will be able to sell that article to a magazine? Do you think the company will continue to send them samples or invite them to press events, with all the goodies those involve?

            The answer is “no.” Gun reviews are garbage in general, usually based on a sample size of one. If a dozen guns are purchased anonymously through normal retail channels and then tested, maybe that might be worthwhile.

      • Bill

        Yeah, but R. Lee Ermy is a Gunnery Sergeant. Oh, wait, I forgot, he’s an actor who is an honorary Gunnery Sergeant. And I’m didn’t know Ayoob was a “respected” figure in the firearms scene. He’s a part-time cop who’s convinced people to give him lots of money.

        • JK

          R. Lee Ermey is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant who became an actor after his medical retirement And was later given an honorary promotion to Gunnery Sergeant by then Commandant of the Marine Corps General James L. Jones.
          If you are going to bash him know the facts. Because he is a United States Marine.

      • n0truscotsman

        Hey dont interfere with the progress of a newfangled conspiracy theory…

  • David

    Many days late, dollar short. The Shield is awesome and capacity is one round greater than the Block. The Shield’s slide is slightly angled so it does not get caught in the pocket for pocket carry.

    • Patrick Mingle

      eh I dunno about that (the days late, dollar short part; I love the shield) people have been asking forever and if Glock could sell 200k .380s imagine what they could do with this. Not to mention the Glock fanboy effect

      • GTP

        The fact that people have been asking forever and are only finally getting it after almost every other major manufacturer proves the days late part.

        It’ll still sell though. It says “Glock” on it.

  • Parnell

    I own three Glocks but I’ll stick to my LC9s Pro. Smaller, about the same weight , holds more rounds and quite a bit cheaper(MSRP). Unless my math is off, $449 is a lot less than $580.

    • Ted Unlis

      News flash. The street price for the new Glock 43 is $449 civilian price, $358 law enforcement price. The $579 price is full retail, no one with any sense is going to shell that out knowing that when the new wears off in a few months, the only dealers that will still be trying to gouge for full retail will be Gander Mountain, Bass Pro, or some other retailer where dumb@$$es go to buy their guns.

      • J.T.

        $449 is still $100 more than what I can get an LC9s Pro, Shield, or XD-S for locally. I might buy if they could get them down to $400, but realistically the $358 they are going to be charging for blue label guns is what they should be selling them all for.

      • GTP

        News flash. It’s silly to compare one gun’s street price to another gun’s MSRP. Comparing MSRPs of two guns is reasonable, although comparing street prices is better.

        Still. He has a point. The Glock is going to be on the more expensive side of single-stack 9s without offering enough advantage to justify the price. It’s just a hair smaller than the 26, but you lose 40% of the 26’s capacity.

    • maodeedee

      Ruger wised up with being able to see a need for a striker fired DAO gun that didn’t need a safety any more than a DA revolver does, and that under some conditions a magazine safety could get you killed, and they responded to a legitimate need.

      I’ve shot the shield and liked it, and I’ll be trying the LCS Pro as well. Someone else can take my place in line for one of these new Glocks.

  • Travis

    Glock Inc. is shrewd if nothing else. The 42 was the beta prototype for the 43, and they will sell truckloads and truckloads. Regardless of Kahr, S&W or anyone. This will be a huge success. I have a Kahr CW9 modified to covert height, and I am considering this glock, just for the trigger if nothing else. When you have several other glocks it makes sense.

  • Bill

    I don’t get it: I was hoping for a Commander/single stack 19/Sig P225. First the market was inundated with .380s, now we have a glut of tiny 9s. A single stack mid-size pistol that could be used on and off duty is missing from Glock’s line-up, and the market in general, and now Kahr comes closest.

    • Patrick Mingle

      I would love something like a single stack G19

      • GTP

        But why? You just lose out on capacity. Unless you’re looking for something thinner as well. But then, is it really worth it?

        • Bill

          Sure it is. For some people it’s a matter of grip girth (I just made that phrase up and will be trademarking it). Their hand size makes it difficult for them to get a proper grip on a fat-butted pistol, and face it, nobody likes a fat butt. Thus we get all manner of pistols with interchangeable butt straps, which sounds like something from a porno and is an intermediate cure at best.

          Gun fit is probably the main argument. People hit better with a gun that fits. I can palm a bowling ball, but nothing fits me better than a 1911. Capacity isn’t a substitute for solid hits.

          • GTP

            Truth. I only have my hands, which makes it a little harder to understand someone else’s preferences. I should know this – my old college roommate’s hands are bigger than mine, but prefers a baretta nano to a S&W M&P.

    • IZinterrogator

      A modern-day 9mm Commander 1911-sized pistol is desperately needed in today’s market. I want slim, I don’t necessarily need small as well.

      • sianmink

        Have you looked at the CZ-75b, Ruger SR9, Walther PPQ or Browning BDM? They’re slimmer than some single-stacks with the right grips.

        • GTP

          I’ll vouch for the CZ-75! Great gun. And if you want thin, snag some of the super-thin aluminum grips.

    • Duray

      I carry an XDS-4.0 for work and on my private time. It’s the exact length of a G19.

    • sianmink

      ” A single stack mid-size pistol that could be used on and off duty is missing from Glock’s line-up, and the market in general, and now Kahr comes closest.”

      Ahem sig 239? Small but not too small, 8+1 single stack, shoots great. Only problem is it costs as much as two Kahrs or Glocks.

      • Bill

        I know of one agency that approves the P239 for duty carry. I haven’t shopped for it, but duty holsters might be a problem. But I know plenty of plainclothes guys who carry them. My preference has always been the P225.

        And the first person who mentions “high bore axis” gets disemboweled with a can opener.

        • sometrend

          I am a 225 fan myself. I have 2 225`s and I bought a P6,for a beater gun. As it turned out,that surplus P6 that I paid 275 bucks for,is one of the most accurate semi auto pistols I own! Like most early P6`s it won`t feed reliably with carry ammo but it`s a lazer with 124gr RWS ball….

        • Richard Lutz

          I love the P225 but it’s about the same size as a Glock 17 and had issues with their magazines. The P239 is a much better carry gun than the P225 and safer than any Glock with a round up the spout. The Model 19 is the best Glock IMO, and arguably the best handgun of the 20th century.

  • Mark N.

    I have two reasons for not buying one of these. Maybe three. First, it is not and unless things change will never be on the California roster. Two, I have a Kahr CW9, and I like it very much. And three, I have never liked shooting Glocks, and have never owned one for that reason.

  • Mark Everett

    Why does it say “issued” with 1 extended floorplate magazine? It’s sold. When and if police agencies ‘issue’ the Glock 43, ‘issued’ would be correct terminology. I don’t see anything compelling about this gun. I have an XD(s) (which was sold to me with 3 magazines and Springfield gave me 3 extras during a promotional event. I think it’s everything the Glock is, with the addition of that extra little safety.

    • GTP

      Does springfield hold these promo events often?

      I’d love to snag a gun and a few extra mags for free.

      • Mark Everett

        At least twice a year. They are running one now as a matter of fact.

        • GTP

          I got all excited, but 3 free mags are for an M1A, at least this time around. I totally would if I could afford it.

          • Mark Everett

            With a little machining you could probably squeeze them…. 🙂

  • somedongus

    Is there really a big argument to be made for a single stack subcompact? I guess it makes sense if it reduces the size of the gun but is single more reliable? With similar capacity why not just go with a revolver?

    • dan citizen

      It is a bit flatter in profile than a revolver.

    • Jack Morris

      These micro pistols have a much thinner profile than a revolver cylinder. Also, they’re much faster to reload and easier to keep extra reloads. Semi auto pistols designed for concealed carry also typically hold 1 or 2 more rounds than a similarly sized revolver.

    • Internet Browser

      Most pocket-sized revolvers have bad sights on them. You can put whatever sights you want on a Glock. There’s a huge selection.

    • MrEllis

      The gun you carry is worth more than the ten in the safe. So they say.

  • dan citizen

    For the price I’d just pick up a p64 or a makarov.

    • GTP

      For the price, you’d pick up two.

  • I dont get why this is a big deal. Like seriously, I have no idea.

    • GTP

      It’s like when the hot popular girl shows up “fashionably” late to the party and everyone flocks her way.

      Even when there are plenty of attractive women already there.

    • MrEllis

      My friends are complaining about their Shields and XDs’ now as if a huge tsunami of buyers remorse has swept through. I just stare at them, I’m sure this is a good pistol, I have no issues with Glock and I’ve owned some, but I’m not seeing a huge improvement over the subs we have now and I love my XDs. Of course no one is allowed to use this statement against me when I buy new computer parts, camera gizmos or electronics of any sort…

    • n0truscotsman

      Glock basically did something they should have done 20 years ago.

      It aggravates me that they waited until 2015. After introducing one of this type in frickin 380. WTF over…

    • maodeedee

      Well, Glock made that 380 exactly the size that the perfect 9mm would have been just so that people would buy the 380 out of frustration.

      Then they wait a year and come out with the 9 that’s no different from any other compact nine in size but because they got everybody worked up with the 380 now everyone want the 9mm even though it isn’t the same size as it should be.

      Think of it this way: If they had come out with the 9mm first, they wouldn’t have sold as many 380’s. And by tantilizing everyone with the 380, now they’ll sell more 9mm’s.

      Pavlov and BF Skinner would have been impressed with such a marketing strategy.

      • noob

        oh my god.

        that is the kind of diabolical genius that makes empires.

        It’s not enough to know engineering, it seems that Glock’s success is because they know humans.

  • Internet Browser

    I’ll stick with my G26, but I’m happy for the people who have been patiently waiting for a single stack Glock 9mm all this time.

  • S

    Is it just me or does it seem too early to be singing the praises of this gun? I mean have we not seen glock put out products that were ‘awesome’ then only to encounter problems after it hit the consumer market?


    While I like glocks (or any gun that shoots reliably) I think Glock was late to the party with this one. I mean how many 9mm single stacks are out there? All I know is that I won’t buy one, I have a springfield XD sub-compact that has eaten over 6,500+ rounds and not one malfunction.

    • Nicks87

      “I have a springfield XD sub-compact that has eaten over 6,500+ rounds and not one malfunction.”
      …and with that statement, all your credibility goes out the window.

  • Patrick Karmel Shamsuddoha

    do they think they could move half a million units in the fiscal year ???

  • idahoguy101

    Is it better than the SIG 938?

  • sometrend

    yeah, I think I need 1! No such thing as too many guns…unless you ask the wife of course!

  • Cea

    Glock…late to the party!
    I think that now, much of the allure of the”mythical” single stack nine has been outed.
    Glock will not enjoy the sales that they would have if the brought this out two years ago.

  • maodeedee

    Only problem is that it’s essentially the same size as a smith and Wesson Shield except that it’s thicker and holds less ammo.

    The Glock 42 was larger than it needed to be for a 380. they should have made the Glock 43 closer to the size of the 42. Impossible, you say? Kel-tec makes a 9mm that’s even smaller and lighter than the 42. Only problem with that is that the extractor on those guns is stamped steel and can’t be relied on.

    There’s still a need for a 9mm that’s going to be carried much more than it’s going to be shot and is so small and light that even after a 14 hour day it will feel like it isn’t there.
    The next best thing would be to offer the 42 in 9mm Mak since underwood makes a 115 grain plus+p load for that caliber.

  • Bal256

    I like how there is a list of “features”, as if there was no such thing as a reliable polymer framed single stack 9mm before the announcement of the G43.

  • Richard Lutz

    The Glock 19 rules, why settle for second best?

  • jyo

    Well, here in Kalifornia, where our guns are available only if they are on the dreaded “safety” list—that means I will just have to go on with my two Kahr CW9s (wife and I) and a 9mm Walther PPS that somehow weaseled it’s way into the state

    • the_duck

      A LEO could buy one then sell it to you later on, say in a few years.

      See, not that bad here after all!

  • DarylCoda

    I’m looking forward to reviewing this gun. It will be interesting to see if Glock dominates the single-stack market with it.

  • Sulaco

    The desire is out there, only announced acouple days ago and already we have had multiple people come into our shop wanting to see one!

  • Nicks87

    Wow that’s a lot of hate for two people that are actually pretty cool in real life. I’ve met them both and both are decent, easy to talk to, down to earth folks.

    • Bill

      Not at all, I just appreciate substance over style. Noted in your description of both of them is no mention of any real skill or knowledge. If anything, I applaud their ability to develop their own cults of personality and making a boatload of money on very thin qualifications

      • Nicks87

        Pretty sure they can both shoot quite well… So if Chris Kyle was trying to sell you a Glock instead, you would be ok with it?

        • Bill

          That would be tough, if Chris Kyle can rise from the dead and shill for a gun company, I’d have to give that some serious thought.

          It’s advertising, dude, designed to con you. Looks like it worked.

  • scott will

    Look at the oz difference between this gun and the original 17.weight to power ratio ,throw in the 19.The 19 is easy to carry.All these new gun people want to forget they have it.Carry is comforting,not comfortable.Even the 26 still makes more sense.