No GLOCK pistol has been more anticipated than the GLOCK 43. The GLOCK community has been asking for a single-stack 9×19 model since the GLOCK 19 was introduced in 1988. With the introduction of the GLOCK 43, the wait is finally over. It is fair to say that the G43 has been taking the law enforcement community by storm, and GLOCK is working hard to keep up with the demand.

GLOCK classifies the G43 as a “subcompact slim-line,” with the emphasis on slim. The G43 is 6.26 inches in length and 4.25 inches in height. What really sets the G43 apart is its width, which is a mere 1.02 inches. The pistol’s 3.39-inch barrel features GLOCK’s right-hand, hexagonal rifling. Weighing in at 17.95 ounces unloaded, the G43 was made for concealment. By comparison, the GLOCK 26 Gen4 is 6.41 inches in length, 4.17 inches in height and 1.18 inches in width. The G43 is not only smaller in every dimension but weighs 3.76 ounces less than an unloaded G26 Gen4 pistol.

Ultra-Tough 9×19

The G43 features the same SAFE ACTION system that has made GLOCK the most prevalent pistol in the U.S. law enforcement market. The SAFE ACTION consists of three active safety features, and the trigger safety lever and trigger must be depressed simultaneously to fire the pistol. The firing pin safety extends into the firing pin and blocks its forward movement. The firing pin can only move forward and strike a cartridge when the trigger is moved to the rear and the trigger bar disengages the safety. Finally, the G43 is equipped with a drop safety that ensures that the pistol will not discharge even when dropped on its muzzle.

Externally, the G43 grip shares the same grip texture as found on the Gen4 family of pistols. A large magazine catch is easily manipulated when loading and changing the six-round magazine. While the G43 is smaller overall than GLOCK’s other 9×19 pistols, the trigger reach is dimensionally equivalent to the other models. The beavertail is appropriately sized to provide protection from the cycling slide while allowing the shooter to obtain a high purchase on the pistol.

Like the rest of the GLOCK family, the G43 is ideally suited for law enforcement use. From an agency viewpoint, the GLOCK is one of the easiest pistols on the market to maintain. With only 34 component parts, GLOCK pistols are simple to maintain. The only tools needed to maintain a GLOCK pistol are a punch (GLOCK Armorer’s Tool) and a sight pusher. The number of parts needed to maintain a fleet of GLOCK pistols is minimal and mainly consists of springs, pins and sights.

Durability has long been a trademark of GLOCK pistols and the G43 is no different. The polymer frame reduces weight, absorbs felt recoil and is not affected by climate conditions and lubricants. GLOCK’s surface-hardening treatment is almost impervious to wear and corrosion. Just as tough are the legendary GLOCK barrels, as polygonal rifling tends to reduce wear while creating a better “bullet-to-barrel” fit and improved accuracy.

Ultimate Backup

I had an opportunity to spend some range time with the new G43. While smaller in size, I found the grip fit my hand well. I also appreciated the fact that the trigger reach was approximately the same as my GLOCK 19 Gen4. This made the transition between the two pistols much easier. Recoil was very manageable, even with stiff +P duty loads. As expected, the G43 was 100-percent reliable with a wide range of ammunition and bullet weights.

After more than 37 years in law enforcement, I have come to appreciate the simplicity, reliability and durability of GLOCK pistols. For many years, my primary backup and off-duty carry gun was a GLOCK 26. The new G43 is a welcome addition to GLOCK’s subcompact lineup that can serve in that role as well as other situations that require a small, concealable pistol with proven stopping power.

Smaller-statured officers can conceal the slim, lightweight GLOCK 43 very easily. It’s also an ideal backup option when carried in an ankle rig or a vest holster. For officers working in an undercover capacity, the G43 almost disappears when carried in an inside-the-waistband holster or during appendix carry. The G43 is also ideal for administrative personnel who need to be armed but do not want or need to carry a full-sized duty pistol.

Regardless of duty assignment, the G43 has found a home in America’s police departments, and it’s already become a popular choice with self-defense-minded civlians. I know I will be carrying one.

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This article was published in the GLOCK AUTOPISTOLS 2016 magazine. To see the rest of the issue, please visit

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