This review comes to Beyond the Sights from one of our local members, Dave Dunn. Dave put together a nice comparison between the Glock 43, Springfield XDs, and S&W Shield over at the Carolina Shooter Club.
My Glock 43 came in today so I thought I’d take some pics comparing it to the main competition. Basically it boils down to the 43 being lighter and smaller in all dimensions except for thickness at the slide stop lever. I weighed all 3 guns with 7 rounds of my carry ammo (124gr +P Gold Dots) to keep it fair. The carry weight of the other 2 will actually be higher than what I show since you will have 1 more round in the gun than I show.
The difference between the S&W Shield and Glock 43 isn’t great except for height. The Shield is the tallest of the 3 guns and this has always been my main complaint with it. The Springfield XDs is noticeably heavier than the 43 (over 1/4lb) with a slide that feels as thick as it really is. The XDs is in the middle for height being just over 1/4″ taller than the Glock 43. Since height is one of my main concerns when carrying, I’m excited to see what the 43 can do once I get it to the range so that I can start carrying it. I found the Shield to be no easier to conceal than my Glock 19 (more comfortable but not more concealable FOR ME). The XDs was better, but I never could get to where I liked it so it’s going to a new home.
My 43 was one of the ones with a ~8lb. trigger pull. I looked at Ghost connectors to get the trigger pull close to my Glock 19 (my other ccw). I ended up buying a Ghost Edge connector to drop the pull weight to about 5 lbs with a very nice reset. I also put sights on all carry guns and since my go-to sights, Warren Tactical, weren’t available yet I decided I would try out some Trijicon HDs.
At a recent outing with some shooting friends, everything was a raging success. Lots of Glocks, some Sigs, Berettas, Taurus, S&W, etc. and the 43 was the most popular pistol there. Everyone loved it. We shot steel and paper at 10-30 yards and the 43 is one sweet shooter. I shoot for speed and accuracy rather than group sizes, and running drills with it was very easy. Everyone was knocking steel & bowling pins over at 15-20 yards with ease. We ran a total of 300-350 rounds (Gold Dots, Blazer, Freedom Munitions, & some Federal) through it with zero failures.
It’s not the perfect carry gun but it’s the closest I’ve found so far. I wish they had squeezed 1 more round into the mag and it had the standard Glock trigger feel. Otherwise, I love it. I paid less for my Shield but it really needs an Apex trigger to get it to match the 43’s new $20 Ghost connector. That negates a bit of it’s price advantage. The XDS didn’t mesh well with me
and I would have had to put a Powder River Precision trigger in it to be completely satisfied (which prices it way over the 43 & Shield set up the way I like them). So, the 43 isn’t for everyone but it’s definitely for me. Based on the report from a few of the guys, they were going home to order one. I guess it’s for them too.