Compact Shoot Off (Glock 43 vs. Springfield XDS vs. M&P Shield 9)

Our friends at the Off Target Youtube channel have just posted a video comparing the Glock 43, Springfield XDS, and M&P Shield 9. For most people looking for a single stack 9mm concealed carry pistol (and not wanting a subcompact) these are probably the first three pistols they would consider.

What are y’all’s thoughts on the new Glock 43?

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • J-

    XDS – squishiest trigger, best stock sights, grip safety is the best feature.

    S&W – best grip, no slide bite, thumb safety is a plus, most expensive/difficult to install aftermarket sights.

    Glock – Not a fan of the grip angle or slide bite, accessories are cheap and can be installed at home, trigger safety only means most likely gun to accidentally shoot yourself in the butt with.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      “… trigger safety only means most likely gun to accidentally shoot yourself in the butt with.”
      Speak for yourself.

      • J-

        I know, I know, real men don’t use safeties. Safeties are for liberals, lawyers, and sissies.


        I’ve seen more AD’s that result in a shot in the butt or thigh with Glocks than any other brand of pistol. The fewest I’ve seen are from DAO revolvers.

        I have come to the conclusion that a light, short trigger pull, striker fired pistols (which really aren’t DA compared to something like a S&W 6946) without an additional manual safety are much less safe for CCW.

        I’ve never heard of someone blowing a hole in their leg and car seat re-holstering a snub nose revolver or a pistol with a thumb safety, because of a well worn leather IWB holster. I’d say 9 times out of 10, when I read a story along the lines of “gun owner was re-holstering CCW gun after coming out of the post office/bank/kid’s school and shot himself” if the story identified the gun, it’s a Glock.

        If you want to carry one fine. I’m sticking with my LCR. If a .38 SPC snubbie was enough for Sargent Joe Friday, it’s enough for me.

        • TheNotoriousIUD

          I never said any of that.
          I think that if you have a brain and use it you are not likely to accidentally shoot yourself with anything. Idiots will always find a way to hurt themselves.
          Carry what you like, Ive carried Glocks for years and have had no problems keeping the bullets out of my butt.

          • J-

            In all fairness, you didn’t go that far. I just have gotten into a lot of gun blog arguments with the safety haters and “lawyer gun” critics.

            I don’t like Glocks. Not a fan of their ergonomics, I get slide bite, and don’t trust the trigger-safety only design. My three favorite sub compact 9mm pistols are my Ruger SR9c, SIG P250sc, and M&P9c with the thumb safety.

            I know that any gun can cause an accident if it is mishandled, but what I have noticed reading the blogs, or if I search “accidental discharge” in Google, what I see the most is Glock accidents. Some of that maybe due to the popularity of Glocks, but I think part of it is due to the lack of secondary safeties.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Fair enough, those are all good weapons.
            My other favorite carry gun is a Sig P-238.
            Lets be happy we live in a country where we have so many choices.

          • J-

            The P-238 is the nicest of the itty-bitty .380’s. I had one for a while. I traded it when I moved north. It was a great gun for running around in shorts and a t-shirt but come cold weather, I couldn’t shoot it with gloves on. Which is one of the main reasons I jumped to a snubbie. At the time I couldn’t afford much so had to give it up. Now I’m a little sad that I did, but I think if I went down that road again I’d have to go to a range and rent a P-938 and see if it’s worth stepping up to the 9mm version.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Yeah, Im in Houston and it fits perfectly in the front pocket of my cargo shorts.
            Ive thought about moving up to the 9mm but I figure if six .380’s don’t work then six 9’s wont either.

          • J-

            Yeah, I got mine in Miami. Didn’t impress me as much in South Dakota.

            My switch to 9mm is mainly motivated by ammo price. I’m not a reloaded. I just don’t have the time and space, or the desire to do it with a baby in the house. 9mm is about half the price of .380 for practice ammo, I’ve gone to shooting 9mm almost exclusively for semi autos. I have a few .45’s that just live in the safe because feeding them is expensive.

          • Dan

            Yay another person from SoDak woohoo

          • David

            BS. Any way u look at it 380 is a subpar cartridge

          • ostiariusalpha

            Lehigh Xtreme Penetrator rounds get the job done nicely in .380.

          • nobody

            Protip: all handgun ammunition is subpar and can take several seconds to stop a determined person even on a shot to the heart as even completely severing the aortic arch (which at 1.4″ in diameter is larger than the largest expanding .45 ACP hollow point that will reach the FBI minimum penetration) will take about 4.6 seconds for the person to lose enough blood that their body can’t compensate for it and physiological effects of the blood loss to become noticeable (from “the physiological effects of handgun bullets” by Ken Newgard) longer still for them to actually pass out from blood loss, the blood pressure in the rest of the heart is much lower and will take even longer for a person to lose enough blood. In addition to that, if someone’s heart stops they can still continue going for up to 10 seconds with the oxygen still in their brain and muscles unless they were doing some hard work for more than a minute to use the energy stored in their muscles. I also have yet to see any evidence of psychological stops being more likely with more energetic handgun ammunition (though I have seen claims of the opposite backed by some data from ShootingtheBull410).

          • David

            If we agree to call 9mm, .40 and .45 subpar, that makes .380 sub, sub par.

          • nobody

            Not really, it’s unlikely that you would even notice the difference in any situation that isn’t a drawn out shootout (which most people who carry a pistol don’t carry enough ammo for anyways).

          • romney2011

            I am not an expert, but every negative remark about Glock I agree with. The thing has pitiful balance, grip, there is NO SAFETY, I CAN incorporate a manual safety into my presentation, the damn GLOCK .40 have a crappy proprietory barrel, why have to buy a superior after market barrel to get safety and performance? That is $100 plus. This issue should be a damn RECALL and be redesigned. Does Glock even recognize and/or publish it? NO! Rumor has it they have been investigated not as gun mfgrs., but as criminal activity. Police departments are dropping them. I will never remotely consider any Glock weapon or product. Next purchase for me will be the S&W Shield in 9 mm with laser. That thing for me fits like a custom gun; small, solid, balanced, and for me….sweeeeet. Glock? POS! Shield is cheaper and much better. You do as you wish. I say NO to any Glock.

      • scaatylobo

        Been CCW’ing for over 40 years and carried just about any and every handgun you can name [ and a few you never heard of = C.O.P. for example ].
        And then became an LEO,and a firearms instr = saw only ONE butt shot and that was after I retired and it was a retired C.O that did it during a H.R.218 qual.
        I edc a Glock 23 and own and carry 6 more,still never shot my butt —- and I will be 68 in a few months.

    • supergun

      Pretty good analysis.

  • Dukeblue91

    I have shot all 3 and now own the Shield in 9mm.
    Enough said lol.
    But I don’t have a problem if somebody likes one of the others better for whatever reason.

  • derpmaster

    What ever happened to the Walther PPS? It more or less got rave reviews upon release, but I haven’t seen any press at all on it in at least two years.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Same thing that’s wrong with all Walthers. The company. They are absolutely content to sell 1/10th what they could if they really pushed their product and expanded manufacturing.

      Well, maybe Walther years ago, up to the P99/PPQ. The PPX and CCP are jokes.

      Fwiw, had a PPS, and it wasn’t nearly as good overall as the shield or 43. No support and it was clunky.

      • TXgnnr

        I believe they are also too busy making all the .22 LR models for Colt and a couple of other brands to concentrate on their own line of product.

  • Bob

    Ive gotten to handle one and im not a fan of the grip texture because it has none pretty much. It seems way less then any other glock. I want to be able to get as firm of a grip as possible in a variety of situations. To me in summer i would guess the 43 would move around in alot of peoples hands. I understand people will say you can get it texturized as an after market but why didnt they do it to begin with? Shields 400 give or take and was designed right, xds about the same and also designed all around why would anyone pay more for something that really doesnt do anything better besides it has the name glock? Unless you only shoot glock in which case youd be better off with it.

  • ShootingFromTheHip

    Good lord, did these dudes know the camera was rolling? Why even make a video if trying to get them to discuss the guns is like pulling teeth?? “Do you want to talk about the sights?” “Oh, i wasn’t looking at the sights.” “How about the triggers?” *Shrugs shoulders*

    • Omar The Water Buffalo

      Good comments.

      Also – for those looking for their first pistol, it would have been helpful if they had placed cards/labels/etc next to each pistol so that the viewer would understand what “This is 1st, this one second, this one last” meant. From the angle and distance of the camera to the guns, it isn’t that easy to identify one pistol from another unless you were familiar with each model.

    • Steven Parker

      I agree they didn’t really rate anything they just pointed and you had to guess the one they were talking about.

    • Justadumb Montanan

      I was for one very excited to see these guns compared. What a disappointment. No comparison of weights of sizes. Yes we were warned this ” test” would be somewhat subjective but put the target out a little farther and at least give us a gestalt of hits! I agree changing camera to shoe the uninitiated the close up of each gun side by side would be helpful. Thanks got trying but I finished the video wondering why I watched it? I guess I learned that 3 guys thought maybe kinda sorta the Glock had a little more perceived recoil. Of course since we don’t know if we can blame ergonomics.

  • Will

    I have a Glock 43 that i like a lot. If it could cook I’d marry it.
    My S&W shield is so-so. Better than no gun I guess. It shoots okay but I’m just not crazy about it.
    XDS don’t like anything about it.
    And that’s just my humble opinion.

    • ostiariusalpha

      Any particulars that set the G43 apart from the Shield for you?

  • I own a PPS and I would agree with that conclusion.

  • Toddogg

    I haven’t shot the glock 43 ( yet ) and I’ve only dry fired the XDS @ my local arms dealers store. Grip safety aside, the trigger felt very similar to a glock 19 in my hand. For CCW I bought a Shield 9 and I’ve had fairly good accuracy @ 7 yds with it- so long as I take my time looking through the small 3-dots, but nowhere near as fast as my G19 so I ended up carrying that for awhile. Then I installed a Veridian Reactor laserguard on the Shield and wow- it’s a totally new game! I can now put 8 or 9 rounds into a fist-sized hole @ 7 yds nearly as fast as I can pull the trigger! I’m completely sold on the Reactor laser guard and holster system and I won’t hesitate to recommend it to Shield owners as a game changing upgrade to an already great carry weapon. Hell, just the sight of a strobing laser is plenty of deterrent for most folks who may be considering making a bad decision.

  • Omar The Water Buffalo

    Not all that impressed with the Glock 43. I like Glocks (particularly the Gen 4 19) and expected a better performance, but I’m not necessarily a Glock fanboy.

    I’ve fired a few rounds with a buddy’s Shield. Not bad, better than expected. I may check one out at a gun rental range soon.

    I own a XDS 4.0 9mm. While I can do pretty well (4″ pattern) at 20 ft targets while slowly moving side to side and from various heights and angles (stand still in a fight, and you die), strangely, the XDS fiber optic sights don’t do much for my aging eyes. The trigger action could be improved, too. But, for now, it’s a good carry & home defense auto.

    It’s all in what works best for you as an individual. Show me a pistol that works for me in usability, accuracy, and durability without incurring a second mortgage, and I’m open to giving it a try.

  • Steven Parker

    I am an old 1911 guy and I like the grip safety also .45 in XDS I am not a 9mm fan.

    • TXgnnr

      I’m with you on the 1911 and grip safety. I have an .45 XDs w/4.0″ bbl as my daily carry and I’m ordering the 3.3 version for my BUG next week. I also recently purchased an S&W 9mm Shield, supposedly for my daughter, but I like the way it fit my hand so much that I decided to keep it.

      • supergun

        The XDs is a fine gun. I love the M&Ps also. I have the M&P 357 with the 40 cal. barrel. I gave it to my wife because she enjoyed shooting the 40 over the 9mm Taurus 92

    • supergun

      I too have the XDs 45. This little baby is like a dragon. I feel very safe when I carry this 45. I know it is end of game for the thug who wants to harm me.

  • Nicks87

    Really? Glocks suck because Tex shot himself with one? I would lean more towards Tex being an idiot.

    • Kelly Jackson

      It’s not a Glock, it’s a 1911. The user “J-” stated:

      “Some of that maybe due to the popularity of Glocks, but I think part of it is due to the lack of secondary safeties.”

      • J-

        I said most, not all, and I also said that no matter the number of safeties, someone can still have an AD.

        Tex Grebner, in his full video, explains what he did that he shot himself. He flipped off the thumb safety while the gun was still in the holster (a big NO NO) and was using a SERPA holster and allowed his trigger finger to curl unto the trigger after pushing the release button on the holster. He mishandled the gun twice.

        Incidentally, this type of SERPA holster induced AD is why a number of law enforcement departments have banned the SERPA holster.

        The most common AD scenario is during disassembly because the shooter didn’t clear their gun. When it comes to ADs involving holsters, the most common type is during holsterin/reholstering when the shooter gets something in the trigger guard (tip of a finger, piece of shirt, holster flap, etc) before seating the gun in the holster. With DAO revolver/DA pistols, the shooter had a lot of travel and resistance to overcome to seat the gun while pulling the trigger. The hammer coming back or cylinder rotating also indicates that the trigger is being pulled. With a manual safety, the trigger wont go back. With a striker fired pistol and no manual safety, the shooter pushes the gun into the holster with the obstruction in the way and discharges the gun in the holster into himself, car seat, etc.

        Having an AD while drawing from a holster is mush less common.

    • sean

      he was using a 1911

  • Phil Elliott

    Old revolver guy, so for me my primary carry a Kahr CW9, shorts and a t-shirt, Ruger LCP .380, even my bedroom gun is a S&W #39 which is a dbl. action for the first shot.

  • scaatylobo

    I added a ‘glove’ to the G-43 to make the grip larger [ and I do NOT have large hands ].
    I see a real need for the G-43 to have a 8 round magazine as a backup and then I would carry 2.
    I do own the XD’s in both .45 & 9MM.
    prefer the G-43.
    Have shot a S&W and not a fan.

  • PlowsIntoSwords

    I’m new to CC, still waiting for permit, but not to firearms.
    I received my Xds 9 3.3″ two days ago…after 200 rds or so,…I;m glad I choose it.
    If i could make one change it would be a crisper trigger with a touch less take up,
    but I would buy it again.
    One reason I went xds was because of the grip safety. I can see this pistol being carried on person, in and out of an edc bag/sling, camping etc.

    I have a glock 17 gen 3 which I also like alot,
    These tools operate in different applications and environments.