Now, there’s obviously going to be an immediate preference for the Glock 19 vs 43. For years before the 43 was introduced, the 19 was considered Glock’s standard concealed-carry firearm. The Glock 19 has been around forever and is a “Goldilocks”-size firearm that many consider perfect for both duty and concealed carry.
However, the 19 was also introduced in an age when there weren’t many truly small concealed-carry firearms. At one point, it was one of the only smaller firearms that you could conceal carry in a 9mm caliber. The Glock 43 was one of the few guns that changed the micro-9mm market alongside the Smith and Wesson Shield.
So, if you’re a Glock fan, you might be wondering, what should I get for concealed carry or even home defense? Should I get a Glock 19 or a Glock 43? If you want a gun to do it all, either might work for you. It’s really going to depend on your situation and what you’re looking for out of the gun. To help you decide, we’re going to do an in-depth comparison of the Glock 19 vs. 43 and show you all the pros and cons of each gun.
Table of contents
- Glock 19 vs Glock 43: Size Comparison
- Glock 19 vs 43 Concealed Carry
- Ergonomics Overall
- Glock 19 vs 43 Aesthetics
- Shooting Glock 19 vs 43
- Glock 19 vs 43 Price/Value
Glock 19 vs Glock 43: Size Comparison
Size plays a large role in every aspect from concealment to shooting. We go over Glock 19 vs Glock 43 size Comparison in detail so you can decide what works best for you.
|Metrics||Glock 19||Glock 43|
|Weight w/ no mag (Oz)||21.4||16.5|
|Weight w/ empty mag (Oz)||23.9||18.3|
|Weight w/ full mag (Oz)||29.4||20.9|
|Height (top of slide to bottom of magazine baseplate) (Inches)||4.89||4.10|
|Width of grip (Inches)||1.18||0.92|
|Width of slide (Inches)||1.00||0.87|
|Width across controls (Inches)||1.33||1.07|
Glock 19 vs 43 Concealed Carry
Right off the bat, there’s going to be an immediate weight difference. When you look at the two guns, there are almost nine full ounces of difference between them. Now, you’re also getting an extra nine rounds of ammunition with the Glock 19 over the Glock 43, but you’re also adding over three-quarters of an inch to the length of the firearm and around a quarter of an inch in width. That may not sound like a lot, but those are both significant numbers when it comes to concealing a firearm. There is no doubt that it is much easier to conceal a Glock 43 than a Glock 19.
That said, based on the way you’re dressing, the holster you’re using, and your body type, that difference may not make a difference for you. Personally, I can carry a Glock 19 in 98 percent of situations without issue, but there are some situations where the size of the Glock 43 is a major advantage.
Sometimes when you’re carrying in an environment where you really can’t have anybody know that you’re armed, you need a gun that not only conceals well but within an extremely small margin of error. That’s where the 43 really comes into its own.
Both of these guns are Glocks, so they both have the same outline. The biggest difference is going to be the width and overall size of the guns. The Glock 19 in Gen3 and Gen4 doesn’t feel quite as good as the Gen5 Glocks do in my opinion, mostly due to the removal of the finger grooves on the Gen5 model. The Glock 43 does not have finger grooves either despite being a fourth-generation firearm.
Most people seem to find the Glock 43 feels a little more ergonomic in the hand than the Glock 19, but the 19 is simply a larger, more substantial firearm. If you have an average-sized hand, you can get your entire hand on the grip of the gun. You also have the ability with Gen4 and Gen5 Glocks to switch out or add backstraps to increase the overall size of the grip, making it even friendlier for shooting with larger hands. The Glock 43 has no such provisions.
Now, grip length is very important as the strongest finger in the hand when it comes to controlling recoil is actually your pinky. That’s perfect because it provides the most leverage on the grip itself. I myself can not fit my pinky on the grip of a Glock 43, whereas I can get it on the grip of a Glock 19.
Now, if you have much smaller hands than I do, you might actually be able to get a better grip on the Glock 43 than you can on the Glock 19. I will go over a personal story in the shooting segment that explains why, but neither the Glock 43 nor the Glock 19 is the best choice overall.
The texture on the Gen3 and 5 Glock 19s are going to be different than the texture on the Glock 43 and Glock 19 Gen4. The texture on the Glock 19 Gen5 is going to be a little more aggressive than the texture on the Gen4, and the texturing on the Gen3 guns is completely nonexistent. It’s just a very slick frame.
Really, the point where the texturing is sufficient starts with the Gen4 guns. I don’t think anybody’s going to decide where they get a Glock 19 Gen5 or a Glock 43 Gen4 based on the pistol’s texture, but it’s worth noting you’re going to get a little more aggressive and better texture on the Glock 19 Gen5 than you will on any of the Glock 43 variants.
Both of these guns are Glocks, so the slide’s pretty similar to manipulate. It’s going to be slightly easier to manipulate the Glock 19 just due to the slide being slightly larger. The serrations are equal in depth and feel on both firearms. Don’t really think into that too much; the Glock 43 slide is still reasonably easy to manipulate.
Both these guns are going to have similar sight options. You have the option to get basic plastic slot fillers that you can then upgrade later with your preferred aftermarket sights, or you can get the gun from the factory with AmeriGlo night sights. The AmeriGlo sights from the factory are absolutely an awesome option if you don’t want to deal with replacing the sights on the gun. They had a bright orange tritium sight that’s really easy to see in the daylight and then a three-dot night sight set up for nighttime. The rear sight is blacked out with the exception of the two tritium vials. Overall, it’s just a really good sight set that is available for both the Glock 43 and the Glock 19.
You’re going to have more aftermarket sight options for the Glock 19 than you will for the Glock 43, but Glock 19 sights will actually fit the Glock 43. They’ll likely just hang over the sides of the sight. Honestly, this is probably a wash for most people as most of the companies that we’ll be looking at like Trijicon, AmeriGlo, Heinie, and Dawson Precision are going to make the same exact sights for the Glock 19 as they make for the Glock 43, but there are a few more sight options for the 19 overall.
Currently, mounting a red-dot optic on a Glock 19 is fairly easy because Glock has their modular optic system (MOS) that is widely available and you can mount pretty much any red-dot pistol optic on the market on a Glock. They come with mounting plates as well as there are a bunch of aftermarket manufacturers that make even higher-quality mounted sights for the Glock 19 MOS.
Unfortunately, the 43 does not have any current red-dot options. Glock’s recent 43X MOS release uses a standard Glock 43 sight but now has the capability to add a red-dot. Maybe we’ll see Glock offer that sight on the regular 43 frames in the future, and if they do, that is going to be a great option. A lot of people can’t see the point in putting a red-dot on a gun this small, but I can see some perks. If Glock comes out with that model, I will likely be buying one.
The trigger on these guns is going to be slightly different, but overall, they are a Glock trigger which means you’re going to have very light take-up, reach and pull more resistance, and then the trigger will break before a fairly short reset. The resistance is what’s going to change on all these triggers.
Now, the Glock 43 and Gen3 triggers are very similar despite the Glock 43 technically being a Gen4 variant. I’m going to go over the Glock Gen3 and Glock 43 triggers together and then cover the Glock Gen4 and Gen5 triggers.
Glock 19 Gen3/43 Trigger
The biggest difference between these triggers from the others is going to be their very hard, stiff wall. There’s almost no creep once you reach that point of resistance, and then it’s going to be a stiff, heavy wall to get the trigger to break. Personally, it’s a shootable trigger, but it’s not going to win any awards.
Gen 4 Trigger
The Glock Gen 4 trigger does not have nearly as stiff of a wall, but it doesn’t have a rolling break either. It’s somewhat of a hybrid.
Glock Gen 5 Trigger
The Glock Gen 5 trigger is their newest variant and probably their most well-liked. The Glock Gen5 trigger has a rolling break, which makes them a little bit more shootable for most gun owners.
The Glock 43 has a left-side-only slide lock in approximately the same position as the regular Glock 19 slide locks. If you have smaller hands, this is obviously going to be a lot easier to reach. The Glock 19 Gen 5s have ambidextrous slide locks, so that is going to be an advantage if you have larger hands or are left-handed.
Again, if you have smaller hands, it’s going to be much easier to reach the magazine release on the Glock 43. I am a six-foot-tall male with average-sized hands for a guy my size and the Glock release is easy for me to reach without breaking the grip including a backstrap mounted on the gun to increase the finger reach. There are no issues there for that size, but again, I have a story that I’ll come to in the Shooting analysis which will make more sense in regards to my rating.
Magazine Well Glock 19 vs 43
There is no magazine well or bevel to speak of on the Glock 43. There’s technically a slight one, but I don’t even think you can call it a bevel. The Glock Gen 4 and Gen 3 19s aren’t much better, but the Glock Gen 5 19 has this massive bevel on the inside of the mag well that really will help you speed up your reloads.
These guns are both Glocks and I really can’t find a difference in their quality. So this won’t be a deciding factor for Glock 43 vs 19.
There’s got to be more aftermarkets for the Glock 19, but there still are a ton of aftermarket options for the 43. You definitely won’t find a shortage of aftermarket options for either of these guns, but just for sheer number’s sake, the Glock 19 is going to be the winner here.
Glock 19 vs 43 Aesthetics
Personally, the aesthetics are also about the same. The Glock 43 is something that I would actually say is kind of “cute,” but I can’t really say that about the Glock 19.
Shooting Glock 19 vs 43
Shooting these guns is going to really depend on hand size. It’s much, much easier for me as a six-foot-tall male with average-sized hands to shoot the Glock 19. It’s simply a lot more shootable as a firearm. However, I was in a class once with a woman who was under five feet tall, very fatigued, and had come to the class with a Glock 17. At the time, we were still dealing with Gen 3 and 4 Glocks.
The difference in the trigger was actually slightly shorter on the Glock 17 than the Glock 19s. She was having a very hard time running that pistol — not because she was an incompetent shooter, but because her hands were so small that she could barely reach the trigger, magazine release, and the slide lock. She had to go to extreme measures of breaking her grip to manipulate anything on that firearm and was having a really hard time just shooting the gun.
The shooting part wasn’t what was intimidating to her. It was the weapon’s manipulation in relation to her size making it insanely hard for her. Her shooting that gun was similar to somebody with normal size hands shooting a Desert Eagle all the time. It’s doable: the Desert Eagle doesn’t have a ton of recoil and I can handle it, but it’s a massive gun to try to manipulate and get the slides back. My fingers just don’t reach that well. Shaquille O’Neal and his massive size hands likely shoots a Desert Eagle like a normal person would shoot a Glock 19.
Pairing Shooter To The Gun
I handed her my Glock 43 at the end of class and the instructors let her fire some rounds through it. She cut her group size down by a factor of four. She was shooting the Glock 43 immediately as well as I was shooting my Glock 19. The gun just worked for her because it fit her hand. It was sized to where she could manipulate and reach everything as easily as I can reach and manipulate everything on a 19 respectively.
On the inverse, it’s much harder for me to manipulate that Glock 43 than it would be for her because my hands are larger. If you are an individual with smaller, more petite hands, and you’re looking for a gun that you can perform the highest with, don’t look at the overall size of the gun, but at the gun itself and how well you can manipulate the controls.
The instructors in the class were believers of the idea that a larger gun has more mass and less recoil, so it would be easier for a woman to shoot. That’s true if you are a woman who is five-foot-nine or taller with normal-size hands, but when you have a very petite woman who is under five-feet tall, the Glock 43 was a much better choice for her. Despite the increased recoil from the gun, she was able to shoot better because she was able to get control of it.
In closing, I would say, get the guns and go off and shoot them if you can before you buy. But if you can’t, check and see how easy it is for you to lock off the slide, drop the magazine, and manipulate all the controls on the firearm before your purchase just to be sure.
Glock 19 vs 43 Price/Value
The Glock 19 is going to be more expensive than the Glock 43. You can normally pick up a Glock 19 anywhere from $599 to $620 depending on the sights and optic mounting features. A Glock 43 will normally go for about $450 with plastic sights, so there is a $50 savings right off the top.
That said, the Glock 43 is a lot less versatile than the Glock 19. The 19 can be used for carry, duty, home defense, and more while the 43 is really optimal for carrying concealed. If you’re looking for a small gun, get the 43. If you want a larger gun, get the 19. I don’t think the price will be the deciding factor here.
Glock 19 Pros
- Ergonomics for large-handed shooter
Glock 43 Pros
- Ergonomics for small-handed shooter
This is an opinion piece, but I always aim to eliminate bias. Look, we’ve all read them before. Gun reviews that claim to be helpful, but they’re really thinly veiled hit pieces trying to get you to buy something before you’ve even started your research. Or, even worse, a review put together by a content writer who has never even held a gun.
I’ve trained with some of the best in the business to learn various shooting styles and ideologies to better serve our customers. I’ve purchased guns of all price points, calibers, and action types to build the best products for the market. I want you to walk away knowing you have the information you need to make a sound purchasing decision.