Glock 43 vs 43X: A Detailed Comparison of Concealed Carry Choices

The choice between the Glock 43 and the Glock 43X is a common dilemma for those seeking a reliable concealed-carry handgun. The Glock 43 established itself as a go-to option for concealed carry, offering a balance of portability and firepower in a slim, single-stack design. However, introducing the Glock 43X brought a new variant with subtle differences, particularly in grip length and magazine capacity, which potentially improved shootability and ammunition capacity without severely impacting concealability.

The Glock 43 shined due to its tiny stature, making it almost invisible when carried discreetly. The 43X, while maintaining the same slide length, extends the grip size, allowing for a fuller hold and an increased capacity, holding ten rounds as opposed to the Glock 43’s six rounds. Though these pistols share many features, including their caliber and overall width, the nuances in their design cater to different preferences and needs regarding comfort, carrying ease, and firepower. For users who appreciate a more substantial grip and additional rounds, the 43X may offer a notable advantage, while those prioritizing maximum concealment might lean towards the original Glock 43.

Key Takeaways

  • The Glock 43 and 43X provide options for concealed carry, with variations in size and capacity.
  • A fuller grip and increased magazine capacity distinguish the Glock 43X from the more compact Glock 43.
  • Despite their differences, both models are committed to reliability and ease of concealment.

Design and Ergonomics

In comparing the Glock 43 and Glock 43X, one will find notable distinctions in their design and ergonomics, particularly in frame and grip, size and weight, and trigger mechanisms. These factors contribute significantly to the handling and user experience of each firearm.

Frame and Grip

Glock 43:

  • Frame: Utilizes a single-stack design, which contributes to a slimmer profile.
  • Grip: Provides a shorter grip length suitable for smaller hands or concealed carry purposes.

Glock 43X:

  • Frame: Features a slightly wider frame to accommodate a higher-capacity magazine.
  • Grip: The grip has been extended to improve control and comfort, particularly for shooters with larger hands.

Each model's grip texture enhances the shooter's hold and stability during use. The materials and stippling patterns are crafted to secure grip even in adverse conditions.

Size and Weight


Glock 43

Glock 43X


6.26 inches

6.5 inches


4.25 inches

5.04 inches


1.06 inches

1.1 inches

Weight (Unloaded)

17.95 ounces

23.1 ounces (Loaded)

The difference in size is subtle yet impactful in terms of concealability and comfortable carry. Weight varies accordingly, with the Glock 43 being lighter, making it more convenient for extended periods of carry.

Trigger and Control

The Glock 43 and Glock 43X are designed with a focus on a consistent and reliable trigger pull. Each trigger mechanism is built for crispness and predictability to ensure that shooters can maintain control and accuracy. While similarities exist, some shooters may perceive a slight difference in the overall feel of the trigger, which can influence quick follow-up shots and overall comfort during firing.

Performance and Handling

In comparing the Glock 43 and Glock 43X, one must carefully consider factors such as recoil management, accuracy, and overall reliability. These attributes significantly influence the firearms' performance and user experience during handling.

Recoil Management

The Glock 43, with its compact size and lighter frame, may present increased felt recoil compared to its slightly larger counterpart. Users often report that the Glock 43X, due to its increased grip size and marginally heavier weight, helps to mitigate recoil more effectively. This can be attributed to the greater mass absorbing more of the recoil and the fuller grip, allowing for better handgun control.

Accuracy and Precision

Although both the Glock 43 and 43X are designed to be concealed carry weapons and not precision target pistols, the Glock 43X's slightly longer sight radius may offer slight improvements in accuracy. The extended grip provides a more stable platform, aiding precision when aligning sights and executing follow-up shots. Both models will satisfy in a self-defense scenario where practical accuracy is more critical than pinpoint precision.


Glock firearms are renowned for their reliability, and both the Glock 43 and 43X embody this reputation. They have been rigorously tested to ensure consistent performance across various conditions and scenarios. Engineering and manufacturing quality speaks to their ability to function reliably when it is most needed. Users can trust either model for everyday carry, with the assurance that both handguns will perform effectively, cycle after cycle.

Concealability and Comfort

Choosing between the Glock 43 and the Glock 43X for concealed carry involves assessing each pistol's dimensions and weight, as they directly influence concealability and comfort.

Concealed Carry Considerations

When an individual opts for concealed carry, the physical characteristics of the handgun are paramount. The Glock 43 and 43X differ in size, affecting their ease of concealment and comfort. The Glock 43 is more miniature, measuring 6.26 inches in length, 1.02 inches in width, and 4.25 inches in height; it weighs 17.95 ounces when unloaded. These compact dimensions facilitate deep concealment, making it an attractive option for carry where minimally visible imprinting is crucial.

In contrast, the Glock 43X provides a marginally more significant frame with an overall length of 6.5 inches, a width of 1.1 inches, and a height of 5.04 inches. It weighs 18.7 ounces unloaded. This increased size and weight might impinge on concealability to some extent but potentially enhance grip comfort, particularly for individuals with larger hands.

Holsters and Carry Styles

The choice of holster plays a significant role in the comfort and convenience of carrying either firearm. A well-designed holster should:

  • Support the firearm securely
  • Allow for ease of access
  • Minimize printing to maintain concealment

Diverse holster styles are available for both Glock models, including IWB (Inside the Waistband) for maximum concealment and OWB (Outside the Waistband) for comfort and easier access. Since both guns are popular for concealed carry, manufacturers offer a wide range of holsters to suit different carrying preferences, ensuring that users can carry confidently without sacrificing comfort.

Capacity and Caliber

When considering the Glock 43 and 43X, one must examine differences in magazine capacity and the caliber they share. This will clarify how the two models align and diverge, directly impacting users' experiences with each.

Magazine Design and Capacity

Glock 43:

  • Capacity: Holds six rounds
  • Magazine: Single-stack design, resulting in a slimmer profile

Glock 43X:

  • Capacity: Holds ten rounds
  • Magazine: Single-stack design, offering a higher capacity while maintaining a relatively slim profile compared to double-stack magazines

The magazine design of both models reflects a conscious balance between concealability and firepower. The Glock 43X's increased grip size caters to a higher magazine capacity without significantly compromising its ease of carry.

Caliber and Firepower

The Glock 43 and 43X are chambered in 9mm Luger, a caliber acclaimed for its balance of manageable recoil and adequate stopping power. The similarity in caliber ensures that users have access to a widely available and respected option for self-defense. The difference in magazine capacity between the two models means the Glock 43X offers more rounds on tap — a potential advantage in firepower.

Customization and Accessories

Regarding enhancing performance and aesthetics, the Glock 43 and 43X offer various aftermarket options and accessories. Owners can upgrade their pistols with magazine extensions, improved sights, and optic solutions, each contributing to the personalization of the firearm.

Aftermarket Options

Aftermarket upgrades greatly benefit the Glock 43 and 43X. A common upgrade is the magazine extension, which allows for additional rounds; for instance, the custom +2 mag extension increases capacity and provides a better grip surface. Aftermarket barrels and triggers can also enhance the shooting experience with improved accuracy and smoother pull.

  • Barrels: Flush and crowned aftermarket barrels can improve accuracy and offer a custom look.
  • Triggers: Aftermarket triggers can improve the tactile feel and reset, facilitating a more precise and consistent shooting experience.

Optics and Sights

Enhancing the sighting system is another way to customize the Glock 43 and 43X. Shooters can install upgraded iron sights, such as AmeriGlo sights, known for their visibility in various lighting conditions. Additionally, the market for red dot optics is growing, with offerings that mount directly to the slide, providing a fast and precise aiming point.

  • Iron Sights: Upgraded sights, like AmeriGlo, improve target acquisition and are easier to see in low-light conditions.
  • Red Dot Optics: Compact optics can be installed for quicker aiming and accuracy over traditional sights.

Comparison and Context

This section delves into the technical distinctions and market positioning of the Glock 43 and Glock 43X. It examines the similarities and differences between Glock's lineup and competitor models.

Similar Models

The Glock 43 and Glock 43X are both 9mm pistols in Glock's lineup. They are often compared due to their close relationship in design and purpose.

  • Glock 43:

    • Length: 6.26 inches
    • Height: 4.25 inches
    • Width: 1.06 inches
    • Weight (unloaded): 17.95 ounces
  • Glock 43X:

    • Length: 6.5 inches
    • Height: 5.04 inches
    • Width: 1.1 inches
    • Weight (unloaded): Practically the same as Glock 43; Weight (loaded): 23.1 ounces

The Glock 42 is a smaller cousin, often not directly compared with the Glock 43 and 43X due to its smaller .380 caliber. Conversely, the Glock 48 shares similarities with the 43X but features a more extended slide.

Market Alternatives

While Glock's offerings are prominent, there are notable alternatives in the micro-9mm category. The Sig Sauer P365 is a direct competitor, with its standard capacity often surpassing the Glock 43 and closely competing with the 43X. Here's a brief comparison of their notable aspects:

  • Sig Sauer P365:
    • Known for high capacity in a compact frame
    • Often compared with the 43X for its grip size and capacity capabilities

The market alternatives aim to balance size, capacity, and concealability, much like the Glock models. These offerings ensure a suitable choice for various user preferences and conceal carry requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

When comparing the Glock 43 and the 43X, potential buyers often have questions about size, compatibility, features, and capacity. This section addresses these inquiries with concise, factual answers.

What are the size comparisons between Glock 43 and Glock 43X?

The Glock 43 is known for its compactness, measuring 6.26 inches in overall length, 4.25 inches in height, and 1.06 inches in width. The Glock 43X, while maintaining the same width, is slightly larger, with an overall length of 6.5 inches and a height of 5.04 inches.

Can the Glock 43 magazine be used in the Glock 43X?

Magazines for the Glock 43 cannot be used interchangeably with those of the Glock 43X. The Glock 43X uses a magazine specifically designed to accommodate its increased capacity and dimensions.

How does the Glock 43X MOS differ from the non-MOS models?

The Glock 43X MOS (Modular Optic System) differs from non-MOS models by offering a direct factory-milled slide for mounting optics without aftermarket modifications.

What is the capacity difference between Glock 43 and Glock 43X?

The capacity of the standard Glock 43's magazine holds six rounds, whereas the Glock 43X has a larger magazine capacity of 10 rounds, providing a notable difference for those prioritizing ammunition capacity.

Are the sights on the Glock 43 interchangeable with those on the 43X?

The sights on the Glock 43 and Glock 43X are typically compatible, as they share similar slide dimensions. Users can interchange sights across the two models without issue.

What are the reasons for Glock 43X having certain purchasing restrictions?

Certain purchasing restrictions on the Glock 43X are usually due to local or state regulations, which vary widely. Restrictions may arise from features like the increased magazine capacity or the barrel's length that categorize the firearm differently under different jurisdictions.

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