I had the chance to handle the Glock 43 recently during a IDPA practice event at a local indoor range. I have felt the Glcok 42 in .380 on multiple occasions and felt like it was a little small for what I wanted in a daily carry gun. The 42 is a great little piece but needless to say I had high hopes for the new 43 model in 9mm.
The gun shop employee handed me the rental 43 they had, it was dirty and had been shot quite a few times already. I fondled it for a few minutes, then asked to see the Glock 42 at the same time for a side by side comparison.
The 42 still felt small in my hand, the 43 was a much better fit. I have average hands and holding the 43 my hands didn’t cover the entire gun. I felt like I could operate the gun without accidentally pushing one of the controls when I didn’t mean to. One thing I did notice was that the grip checkering on the 43 wasn’t as pronounced as on the 42. The 42 felt like it had the right amount of grip checkering for a carry gun where the 43 felt much smoother in the grip. Maybe it was that particular gun or I’m used to my RTF2 Glock 17. The other thing I had trouble with is the mag release, it just felt like it was in a weird location compared to the full size Glocks. I find this common with many smaller guns and it takes practice and some awareness to easily overcome.
When compared to my Glock 19, the 43 just seems like a perfect match when you don’t desire to lug around the larger gun. With the holster options that will be out soon the 43 makes great sense for a inside the waist everyday carry gun.
When compared to the S&W Shield, either gun is a great choice. Both are similar size, weight and price once the newness of the 43 calms down. My choice would be the Glock 43, my personal reason is because I own Glock models 34, 17, 19 so the Glock 43 fits right into my wheelhouse. If you own and shoot the M&P line from S&W I would recommend the Shield for your collection.
Full range report and tear down with images coming soon.