HIT Show: Glock 43 in 9×21 mm

Shooting the Glock 43 in 9x21 mm.

At the Italian HIT Show 2016 Glock showed the Glock 43 in 9×21 mm. HIT Show = Hunting – Individual Protection – Target Sports. The 9×21 mm caliber also known as the 9×21 mm IMI or 9 mm IMI.

In Italy the 9×19 mm Parabellum ammunition is banned for civilians, therefore the need for another caliber. In fact, the EU is looking at banning “military calibers” all over. I’m surprised Glock didn’t invent another name for it, but I suppose the quantities are very limited.

There seems to be both Glock 17s and Glock 19s in 9×21 mm as well, so Glock didn’t bother to invent another name for them either. Don’t know which model number that is next in line to be used otherwise, Glock 44?

Personally, I’d love to see what Glock could bring to the table if they designed something like a HK MP5 or Rifle-like. Bring on the Glock Rifle 1…

The Glock 43 in 9×21 mm

Glock 43 9×21 mm at the HIT Show.

Notice the 9×21 mm ammo box and text on the the slide. (above)


From the Italian distributor Bignami’s homepage: €609 is about 680 USD.




A few stills from the Youtube video showing the recoil.


From the YouTube clip. Shooting the Glock 43 9x21 mm.

From the YouTube clip. Shooting the Glock 43 9×21 mm.

Recoil seems plentiful.






Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with an European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatic firearms, optics and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too.


  • Maxpwr

    Too bad Italy, which has otherwise “good” gun laws in comparison to most of the rest of Europe, has to deal with a ban on 9x19mm ammo. Mama mia! Glad to know the manufacturers are responding to the market. Beretta calls their 9x21mm version of the 9x19mm 92FS the 98FS. Guess Glock thought it was OK to keep the same model number as the 9×19 Glock 43.

    • JK

      The caliber is still marked on the barrel and slide, and I don’t imagine they’ll be marketed much in the same geographic areas. Shouldn’t be too much confusion. Will the 9×21mm version even be available in the U.S.?

      • Paul B.

        I can’t imagine why–seems like the only real reason for the 9×21 is to evade restrictions on 9×19. IIRC, the overall length loaded is the same (and presumably case capacity too)–the 9×21 case is just 2mm longer to prevent it from being chambered in a 9×19 gun. Kinda like .45 acp and .460 Rowland.

        • Bill

          But will a 9×19 chamber in a 9×21, or will it seat too far forward for the firing pin to strike?

          • ItalianAmerican

            No; you CAN chamber (and fire) 9×19 into a 9×21 gun; but you can’t chamber 9×21 into a 9×19 gun. So the crazy reality is that say for example, if an Italian policeman ran out of bullets he couldn’t use civilian ones, but civilians could use 9×19. I know, it’s freaking crazy. Crazy, I tell you. And I lived through this.

    • Matt

      before 45 acp ban was lifted, there was also 45HP, 1mm SHORTER case lenght.


    • Matt

      every gun available in 9mm in italy have been chambered in 9×21.
      UNFORTUNATELY also all vintage guns such as Lugers, P38 and so on…
      This is the sad part of these law.
      And to set records straight, is not the caliber per se which is banned, but guns chambering it (semi-autos).
      There was a S&W revolver in 9 para (decades ago) legally available on the italian market (few guns) but you can only shoot lead ammo…not FMJ….

  • Dickie

    I always wondere why “mililtary calibers” were banned in EU. Anyone know why exactly.

    • Sianmink

      I’m guessing about the same reason nunchaku and ninja stars are banned.

      • theNextGuy

        …exactly! For example, .308 here is ok but 7.62×51 NATO..

        “…no no no! 7.62×51 is military, meaning mean, and nasty, and therefore not for you plebes I mean civilians because if you had military grade stuff you would go all.. umm.. military or something.

        “WTF? But they’re virtually the same cartr…”

        “Bad Mario, I sed NO NO NO!!”

        Still shaking my head… the stoopid, it hurtses my brain so very much

    • iksnilol

      Multiple reasons I’d guess:

      -milsurp guns are cheap
      -ammo in military calibers is cheap.
      -wide variety of firearms are chambered in military calibers
      -military ammo has more variants (AP, API, etc.)

    • Ken

      So you can’t legally buy and stockpile “military” caliber ammo for illicitly imported military weapons or weapons captured or stolen from government forces.

    • FarmerB

      One reason I’ve seen is to stop hunters using (cheap, inhumane) FMJ military surplus for hunting.

      • Cameron Bissell

        but you can still buy FMJ in any caliber, you are correct it wouldn’t be as cheap as milsurp.

  • JTP

    FYI, according to the book ‘Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun’, the Glock numbering system is based on how many inventions Gaston Glock has created. Before he started designing/building guns, he had 16 inventions. So his first gun was the Glock 17. Unless he dies, it is unlikely that they will waver from that numbering system.

    But yes, a Glock Rifle would be legit.

  • DIR911911 .

    you can not have a military caliber gun . . . what ? o its actually more powerful , o thats ok. government in action 🙂

    • DIR911911 .

      seriously though , 9mm magnum why aren’t we all over this? only ammo I see online is all fmj

      • ARCNA442

        Because it isn’t a 9mm magnum. While the case length is 2mm longer than 9×19, the bullet is seated 2mm deeper so there is no gain in performance. This is probably why Glock doesn’t bother changing the model number for their 9×21 pistols.

        If you want a 9mm magnum, look up 9×23 Winchester.

        • T Rex

          Then look up 357 Sig after you look up the 9×23 Winchester and you’ll see the two rounds have nearly identical ballistic performance.

          • ARCNA442

            However, 9×23 has a 0.39″ diameter (almost the same as 9×19) compared to the 0.42″ diameter of .357Sig, so you should be able to get full 9×19 magazine capacity.

          • T Rex

            Too funny ARC! No way to get around the fact that 357 Sig and the wildcat 9×23 Win are almost identical ballistically, so you simply pivot your lame losing argument to mag capacity. Shallow but funny!

          • iksnilol

            Not really pivoting. They are basically identical in regards to ballistics.

            9×23 is better simply because you can have 9mm capacities.

            .357 uses the .40 SW as parent case. If you want to bother with the 40 S&W capacities it is better to go for 10mm or 9×25 Dillon (10mm necked down to 9mm).

      • T Rex

        A 9mm magnum already exist in the 357 Sig round which is a 10mm (.40 inch) case necked down to 9mm (.355 inch) delivering a 9mm 125gr projectile at muzzle velocities from 1300 to 1450fps. The “357” number was strictly for marketing purposes by Sig Sauer to emphasize that their 357 Sig matched or exceeded 357 magnum duty load ballistics preferred by law enforcement before SA pistols displaced revolvers as the preferred duty carry handgun.

  • Bill

    A GLOCK long gun has been wanted/discussed/rumored since the mid 80s, when GLOCK first starting seeing success. At the rate they introduce what the market wants, like the single-stack 9, a GLOCK rifle/should be introduced at the 3037 SHOT Show

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Wait? Wouldnt 9 x 21 be more powerful?

    • iksnilol

      Nah, same OAL.

      I heard you can shoot 9×19 out of a 9×21 chamber due to them having the same OAL.

      • That said, a lot of USPSA shooters adopted the 9x21mm case in the early 1990s. The USPSA Board of Directors outlawed Major Power Factor scoring for 9x19mm pistols due to the fear of overpressure cartridges. It no longer mattered if you could achieve the 175pf threshold with your 9x19mm load, you would still be scored as Minor. The initial 9x21mm adopters jokingly called it the 9mm JLE – Just Long Enough. This also lead to the development of the ill-fated .356 TSW.

        The use of 9x21mm in USPSA tapered off after the high-capacity M1911-type frames and pistols became available. In more recent years, USPSA’s Board of Directors relented and lowered the threshold for Open Division Major Power Factor, and reallowed 9x19mm to be scored as Major.

      • Matt

        yes, but not headspacing. Thus your ejector hold it. Not a great idea…

        • iksnilol

          Eh, I’ve seen stupider things done.

          Such as 308 in 30-06 (luckily Mausers have the big claw to hold it.

  • Will

    They could designate the round as simply “9 GAP”.

    • iksnilol

      Why? Glock didn’t invent it.

    • The round is already known as the 9x21mm IMI.

  • Some Rabbit

    The problem Block has with designing a rifle is making the receiver look like a shoe box.

  • smartacus

    i know i’m a wimp here because i’ve only ever bought 4 GLOCKs
    but as good an idea as a 9×21 GLOCK is for people who can’t legally own 9mm Luger … it’s still a weaker round than my 357Sig GLOCK of the same size.

  • Sir Alec Douglas Home

    I am sorry to be a pedant, but PLEASE get your facts on EU law and legislative revisions straight. If you mangle the facts we will never be able to stand up against the daft *actual* revisions we are being faced with. There are no proposed EU guidelines to ban calibres, the proposals are more annoying and complex than that.

    Each nation in the EU is responsible for setting their own laws. However, if they want to be part of the EU, they need to adopt the guidelines of the European Commission into their national legislation. Most of the time the parliaments of member states try to wiggle out of the bits they don’t like by *forgetting* to put them to their national legislatures (‘ah gee, did I forget to propose that straight banana legislation *again*?’).

    Currently the Commission has no standardised firearms recommendation, and there is great variability in local legislation across the EU. They are insanely strict in Ireland and Britain, massively varying degrees elsewhere. Where I live we have a tiresome amount of paperwork to fill in, but in theory everything is available after a 4 month cooling off period and a clean criminal and mental health record (even full auto if you are really willing to fill in the papers… only thing I’m aware of that is actually banned by legislation is 5.7).

    Some members of the EU Parliament are all in a froth about gun legislation and have pushed the EU Commission to develop guidelines. These received a a big boost of publicity in the days following the Paris attacks.

    The cornerstone of the proposed revised guidelines is a massive clampdown on deactivated weapons. Personally I have no problem with that, I’ve witnessed extremely dodgy characters at militaria shows in Western Europe offering deactivated AKs clearly side by side with the parts to put in to the thing to reactivate it (I also saw some of them being handcuffed). I’ve done some fairly detailed reading on the use of firearms for criminality in Europe, and it does seem that the vast majority of criminals use AK-type weapons that have been certified at some point as deactivated. Legally-held firearms are rarely used for criminal activity (the lunatic in Norway being an unfortunate notable exception).

    Other parts of the legislation aim to try to prevent private sales, and sales of parts over the internet. Both of these would be a pain, but wouldn’t necessarily be terrible, and would get the annoying British anti gun lobby of the backs of the rest of us.

    A partner guideline to the deactivated firearms one, rushed into debate after the Paris attacks at France’s request, proposes that ‘all firearms that look like military firearms’ should be banned (I’m paraphrasing). However, that wording is nothing new, it is already a UN recommendation, dating from the mid 1990s if I remember correctly. The intention, once again, is to clamp down on the circulation principally of AKs (clearly the anti gun lobby would prefer to see FALs, G3s and M4/16s disappear to, but in terms of criminal behaviour they don’t really figure so much here).

    Italy, as you mention has some peculiar laws regarding calibre, the most famous one being that 9×19 is (effectively) banned there, real reason lost in the mist of time. In theory, 5.56 and 7.62 Nato are both banned elsewhere, so we are stuck with .223 and .308 (boo hoo). The EU don’t want to ban any of these calibres, they want to ban MILITARY LOOKING FIREARMS.

    The last I had heard was that the proposed guidelines were currently off the table. I understand that both Iceland and Finland as well as some of the Baltics had told the Commission that they would absolutely refuse to ratify it, and with the general state of ill-feeling against the EU Commission across the Euro zone at the moment, the revision appears to have been put on the back burner where we can hope it remains.

    Shooting enthusiasts need to familiarise themselves with their local laws, the proposed revisions and develop clear cut and rational arguments against further poorly worded legislation at a national and supranational level. The firearm blog is generally pretty good, please help us out by getting the facts right!

    • Stuart van Zee

      “and would get the annoying British anti gun lobby of the backs of the rest of us”

      Sorry. That isn’t how it works. The anti-gun lobby is all about moving the cheese. If they get what they ask for, it doesn’t “get them off your backs”. It is never seen by them as anything but a good start. They always come back wanting to restrict firearms freedom just a bit more. Rinse, repeat. We have even seen the precursors of what comes after guns are completely banned. They start asking for “stab-free” knives etc.

  • SpartacusKhan

    A 3-stage DAO 48lb. trigger with a barrel loosely tossed into a stamped-plastic housing doesn’t sound like a rifle to look forward to, but I hope the fanbois get their way anyway and try to shoot 3-gun with it, too.

  • Michele Anesi

    9×19 in Italy can’t be used only in pistols, but we can use it in rifles, it is not considered a military caliber..