Glock 43X Review: The Ideal Concealed Carry Handgun?

The Glock 43X is a subcompact pistol that has quickly become a favorite among firearms enthusiasts who prioritize concealability and firing capacity. As part of the Glock family, it inherits a reputation for reliability and durability, which are non-negotiable traits in high-stakes scenarios. With a frame that supports a comfortable and secure grip, the Glock 43X balances ease of handling and the practical requirements of daily carry.

Engineered for both seasoned shooters and those new to concealed carry, the 43X offers features that cater to a broad audience. Its slimline frame makes it particularly suitable for users with smaller hands without compromising on firepower. The standard 10-round magazine capacity, with options for higher-capacity magazines, provides ample ammunition for a subcompact firearm. The firearm's 9mm Luger chambering is a testament to its design for self-defense situations where precision and stopping power are crucial.

Key Takeaways

  • The Glock 43X is a highly regarded subcompact pistol tailored for concealed carry.
  • It boasts a comfortable slimline frame and a standard 10-round magazine capacity.
  • The pistol is designed to be a reliable and precise self-defense tool suitable for everyday carry.

Design and Ergonomics

The Glock 43X's design thoughtfully blends comfort and functionality. Its frame and grip ensure secure handling, while the slide and barrel are engineered for steady aim. The Modular Optic System adds a layer of customization for various sighting preferences.

Frame and Grip

The frame of the Glock 43X is a polymer construction, which aids in reducing the overall weight, making it ideal for everyday carry. Its grip is adorned with a detailed texture that enhances purchase and control, reducing slip during use. Notable is the built-in beavertail design of the frame, which helps to eliminate slide bite, and the grip's ergonomics ensure a stable hold, promoting accuracy. Furthermore, the Glock 43X features a reversible magazine catch, accommodating right- and left-handed users.

  • Grip Texture: Detailed for firm hold
  • Ergonomics: Designed for secure grip and control
  • Beavertail: Built-in to prevent slide bite
  • Magazine Catch: Reversible for ambidextrous use

Slide and Barrel

The Glock 43X slide is crafted from steel, providing a sturdy and reliable platform. It features precision-milled front serrations that allow for a better grip when racking the slide, contributing to its ease of operation. These forward slide serrations are a critical ergonomic enhancement for quick and secure slide manipulation. The Glock marksmen barrel (GMB) is accompanied by the slide, engineered to deliver precision and accuracy.

  • Front Serrations: Precision-milled for enhanced grip
  • Glock Marksmen Barrel: For improved accuracy

Modular Optic System

The Glock 43X's Modular Optic System (MOS) allows users to attach a variety of optics without the need for custom slide machining. This system accommodates different sight preferences while maintaining a low profile and minimal impact on the firearm's recoil management. Integrating the MOS feature adds customizability, enhancing the user's shooting experience.

  • MOS: Supports various optics
  • Recoil Management: Maintains low profile for steady shooting

Performance and Precision

When evaluating the Glock 43X, it is essential to consider the firearm’s trigger mechanism, accuracy, and reliability, as these factors greatly influence its performance in various shooting applications, from defensive scenarios to competitive shooting.

Trigger Mechanism

The Glock 43X features a striker-fired trigger system. This mechanism provides a consistent trigger pull, usually between 5 and 6 pounds, ensuring precision with every shot. The trigger is designed with a safety lever that prevents accidental discharges and is integral to the overall safety design of Glock pistols.

Accuracy and Recoil

The Glock 43X’s Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB) is engineered for increased accuracy. This precision barrel enhances the pistol's ballistic performance, providing tighter shot groupings. The benefits of this barrel are most apparent when engaging in defensive shooting, where accuracy is of the utmost importance. Regarding recoil, the design of the Glock 43X, including its ergonomic grip, helps manage recoil, allowing for quicker follow-up shots and better overall control during rapid firing.


Reliability is a cornerstone of Glock pistols, and the Glock 43X is no exception. It maintains the brand's reputation for producing robust and dependable firearms. This is apparent in its consistent cycling and ability to perform in various environmental conditions without significant maintenance. The Glock 43X’s reliability is critical, primarily when used in high-stress scenarios such as defensive shooting where failure is not an option.

Ammunition and Capacity

The Glock 43X is recognized for its synergy between compact design and effective ammunition use. This section delves into its magazine options and the caliber and cartridges suitable for this firearm model, focusing on capacity and compatibility details.

Magazine Options

The standard magazine for the Glock 43X holds ten rounds of 9mm cartridges. However, aftermarket options, such as those from Shield Arms, offer a 15-round capacity. Notably, these magazines maintain a flush fit, ensuring the firearm's sleek profile. When using Shield Arms magazines, it is recommended that they use their steel magazine release to enhance reliability and durability.

  • Standard Capacity: 10 rounds
  • Extended Capacity: 15 rounds (with aftermarket magazines)

Caliber and Cartridge

The Glock 43X is chambered for 9x19mm ammunition, also known as 9mm Luger. This caliber is a popular choice for self-defense due to its balance of power and manageable recoil. The cartridges recommended for the Glock 43X include a variety of types, each with their intended purpose:

  • Full Metal Jacket (FMJ): Ideal for target shooting and practice.
  • Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP): Preferred for self-defense, offering stopping power and expansion.

Recommended cartridges for the Glock 43X, based on performance and suitability, are:

  • CCI Blazer 115 grain FMJ: A top choice for overall reliability.
  • Federal Premium HST 124 gr JHP: Known for its effectiveness in self-defense situations.
  • Hornady Custom 147 gr XTP JHP: A subsonic option suited for suppressed shooting.

Concealment and Carry

The Glock 43X excels in concealment due to its slim profile and appropriate grip length, offering a balance between comfort and capacity for concealed carry practitioners.

Carry Comfort

The Glock 43X's subcompact design lends itself to comfortable daily carry. Its grip width is a mere 1.02 inches, allowing for a nonintrusive presence against the body. The 3.41-inch barrel contributes to a compact frame while maintaining ease of draw. Users find that, whether carried inside the waistband (IWB) or outside the waistband (OWB), the gun's ergonomics maintain comfort, even when worn for extended periods.

Holster Choices

IWB Holsters:

  • Facilitate deep concealment
  • Variety of materials available (leather, kydex, hybrid)

OWB Holsters:

  • Offer quick access
  • Preferable in cooler climates or with looser garments

The market offers a wealth of holster options catering to the Glock 43X, which means users can select their preferred carry style without compromising on weapon security or accessibility. Whether one prioritizes stealth or accessibility, the ideal holster exists for the Glock 43X.

Accessories and Customization

The Glock 43X facilitates various customization options, especially in optics and lighting. Shooters can enhance their Glock 43X with multiple accessories that improve precision and utility, ranging from micro-optics to tactical lights and lasers that attach via rails.

Optics and Sights

The Glock 43X is compatible with various optics and sight systems. It can be made optics-ready, allowing users to mount micro-optics for enhanced accuracy. A popular choice includes the Shield RMSc, a compact reflex mini sight designed for subcompact pistols. Additionally, AmeriGlo sights provide high visibility and are a preferred upgrade for many shooters looking for quick and accurate target acquisition.

Popular Optics and Sights for the Glock 43X:

  • Shield RMSc: Compact reflex mini sight for subcompacts
  • AmeriGlo Sights: High-visibility iron sights

Lights and Lasers

The Glock 43X's rails allow the mounting of various tactical lights and lasers. These accessories aid in low-light conditions and can significantly improve shot accuracy. Brands like Sig Sauer offer compact laser modules that can be easily attached to the Glock's rail. Adding both a light and a laser gives users the tactical advantage of illumination and precision aiming in a single setup.

Commonly Mounted Lights and Lasers:

  • Sig Sauer: Manufacturer of compact laser modules
  • Tactical Lights: A range of options that provide illumination and sometimes integrated lasers

Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides clear and informative answers to some of the most common questions regarding the Glock 43X.

What are the differences between the Glock 43X and the standard Glock 43?

The Glock 43X offers a slightly larger frame for increased grip area and a magazine capacity of 10 rounds, an improvement over the standard Glock 43's 6-round capacity. The 43X's slide and barrel remain the same length as the Glock 43, but the grip is extended to accommodate the more prominent magazine.

How does the Glock 43X compare to the Glock 19 in size and performance?

The Glock 43X is designed to be a slimline subcompact pistol, making it more suitable for concealed carry than the larger Glock 19. Performance-wise, the Glock 43X maintains similar reliability but with less capacity and a smaller form factor than the Glock 19, which sports a 15-round capacity.

What kinds of accessories are available for the Glock 43X?

Accessories for the Glock 43X include a variety of sights, holsters, and magazine extensions to increase capacity. Furthermore, there is a range of aftermarket upgrades, such as triggers and grip enhancements, to improve the shooting experience.

Can you provide an overview of the Glock 43X MOS features?

The Glock 43X MOS comes with the Modular Optic System, which allows users to mount a variety of reflex sights directly to the slide. This feature enhances the user's ability to acquire targets quickly and improves shooting accuracy in various lighting conditions.

What holster options are recommended for concealed carry in the Glock 43X?

Holster options for the Glock 43X range from inside-the-waistband (IWB) to outside-the-waistband (OWB) and pocket carry holsters. IWB holsters are most famous for concealed carry due to their ability to hide the weapon comfortably under clothing.

Are there any notable color options available for the Glock 43X?

The Glock 43X is typically available in a standard black finish; however, variants with silver slides and frames can come in different colors, such as flat dark earth (FDE), grey, and even custom patterns offered by third-party retailers or manufacturers.

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