The Glock 43x is a continuation of Glock’s G43 line. With the introduction of the Sig P365, Glock’s Glock 43 was majorly outclassed for the six-round capacity compared to Sig’s 10 round capacity in a similar-sized gun.
While the Glock 43x might not have been in direct competition with the Sig P365 when Glock started development, but the Glock 43x is definitely a competitor to the Sig P365. One of the differences between the Sig P365 and the Glock 43x is the Glock 43x is a lot larger than the Sig P365 and the grip, but it has a similar width to the Sig P365. So, let’s start talking about features.
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The Glock 43x has a 10-round capacity considering the height of the gun which is similar to a Glock 19 that seems somewhat substandard. One thing to take into account is the Glock 43x is under an inch thick, while the Glock 19 is 1.2 inches thick at the widest point.
So, the Glock 43x is much slimmer than the Glock 19, yet it still allows you to get all three fingers on the grip of the gun. Something that shorter guns like the Glock 43 and the Sig P365 do not. Glock uses its standard polymer-coated metal magazines which is one of the reasons it can’t fit any more ammunition than 10 rounds in a gun of this size.
Shield Arms makes a 15 round all-metal magazine body for the Glock 43x that holds 15 rounds instead of the factory 10. Those 15 rounds make the size to captivity ratio better than similar guns like the Sig P365XL and the Springfield Armory Hellcat. Now one thing to take into account here is the Glock factory mags cost 20-25 dollars in most places, while the Shield Arms mags cost close to forty dollars.
So, there’s definitely an increased cost using the shield arms but they have a great reputation from most sources and in my personal testing I have not had any reliability issues with them. The cost is similar to what Sig P365 and Sig P365XL magazines costs but they are more expensive than the Springfield Hellcat Magazines.
One thing to note is if you’re planning on running the Glock Shield Arms magazines for the 43x, then you’ll want to add a metal mag catch. As the magazine release on the Glock 43x is plastic and the metal magazines will wear out that part over time. With the Glock OEM magazine, there are multiple extensions offered.
So, you can get more capacity out of the gun, but it’s probably going to be cheaper and easier just to convert the gun to shield mags unless you plan on buying a ton of magazines for the gun and just want one or two extensions.
The Glock 43x has a surprisingly decent mag well. It’s not great but it seems a bit a little bit better than most of the other guns in its class considering the gun is under an inch thick. It’s beveled on all four sides and there’s just enough to help you guide the magazine into the gun.
The grip on the Glock 43x is not in any way modular. As we stated before, the length of the gun is roughly the same size as a Glock 19, so most people will be able to get all three fingers on the gun. There are no removable back straps and there is no beavertail of which to speak on the gun. You could call the slight little nub at the top of the tang of the slide a beaver tail, but I think that would be stretching it.
The tang of the gun is very comfortable and fits the hand very well. Some could even say this might be the most ergonomic Glock out there. There are no finger grooves and it’s a design that just tends to fit a lot of people’s hands well. The middle sections of your fingers align very well with the front strap, and the backstrap sits into your palm in a way that you get very good pressure on the grip allowing you a lot of control over recoil.
Texturing on the Glock 43x is somewhat subpar. It’s standard Glock gen 5 texturing. The texturing is just enough to give you a sufficient grip, but if your hands get wet and sweaty the grip may just not be enough with this texturing. I would probably suggest having the gun stippled by another source if you’re serious about shooting this gun a lot. That said, the grip will be sufficient for most shooters and it won’t cause discomfort to their hands.
One thing to take into to note is the design of the trigger guard is very similar to a normal Glock. So, if you get Glock knuckle with other guns, you’ll likely get it with this Glock 43x as well.
The Glock 43x comes standard with multiple side options Glock night sights, Ameriglo sights which include a black rear with two tritium vials and a front Sight with an orange or yellow fluorescent ring around the night sight vial. You can also get the gun with just basic plastic sights.
I personally went with the plastic sight option because it’s cheaper and I was able to immediately replace the sights with Ameriglo Defoor sights which have a night sight vial on the bottom half of the front sight with a blacked out rear sight. This is the type of sight fixture I prefer on a gun of this size and use.
The Glock 43x MOS has been introduced so if you want to mount a red dot to your Glock 43x that is an option. There are also a couple of companies milling these guns for an optic, but it’s very expensive and a little more time consuming to put an optic on these small slim slide guns than it is a full-size gun like the Glock 19.
The Glock 43x MOS has a couple of issues. Namely the fact that it is only designed to work with a product called the Shield RMSC that Glock specifically set for the Glock 43x. The reason Glock spec’d that optic for the Glock 43x is likely a result of the European side of Glock wanting to own the red dot market for that pistol.
Americans like aftermarket things and this was a major oversight on Glock Europe’s part. They are unlikely to sell that optic and will probably lose some sales, due to the fact that this handgun is only set up for that optic without modification to the mounting system on the gun or buying an aftermarket plate.
There are other optics with a similar mounting pattern such as the Sig Romeo Zero and the Holosun 507k. But there are two little recoil bosses installed on the mounting pattern that is not compatible with the two-affirmation optics. Due to this, Glock will likely have some issues selling as many 43x’s as they would like to sell. If you wish you can file off the recoil bosses yourself, but do so at your own risk.
The only external safety is the trigger safety that is everything you would expect out of a stock Glock. It keeps the gun safe and from going off if dropped from a high height, but that’s about all it does it doesn’t impede function in any other way. There are some people that hate these trigger safeties while other peoples are agnostic to them. I am personally agnostic to them and just don’t care either way but your mileage may vary.
Now as far as the mag release it comes stock with a plastic mag release that is very similar to what you find on all other Glocks. It’s slightly sharp on the top, but most shooters will be able to reach it without breaking their grip and it frankly fits in well with the rest of the gun. There’s nothing spectacular about it but it works and it works well.
Again, I would suggest changing out to a metal release if you plan on running the shield mags for more capacity. That magazine release can also be switched around to the opposite side if you’re a left-handed shooter but not all shield magazines have an ambi cut.
One thing to take into account is the slide stop. The slide stop is only on the left-hand side of the gun thus it is set up for a right-handed shooter. So, lefties will not really have any advantage from this. It’s too far back for them to access using their firing finger, their trigger finger.
It’s a standard Glock slide stop as Glock calls it and using it to drop the slide is quite easy using your right-hand thumb. Overall, the only thing I can complain about is it could stick out just slightly more as it’s kind of hard to access from the top for some people. If you train around it you won’t have any issues with this design.
Overall ergonomics of the Glock 43x are frankly very good. They’ll work with both large and small hand sizes. And while the gun is thin it feels fairly substantial in the hand.
The slide itself is a Glock 43 slide, but it changes in one area, and that it has forward cocking serrations. These forward cocking serrations are a mirror depth to the cocking serrations on the rear. The front cocking serrations provide you with just enough leverage to do a press check.
But I would not suggest manipulating the slide beyond that using the cocking serrations at the front of the gun. The serrations at the rear of the slide are more capable when manipulating the slide of the gun.
The trigger on the Glock 43x is pretty much a Glock 43 trigger; there is nothing special about it one way or the other. When you go in and you go to pull the trigger you get some spring slightly heavy take up. Then you reach a wall and then you reach a very heavy semi-rolling brake.
The wall on the Glock 43 is pretty definite but you really don’t get any creep in this trigger pull that said it’s still not a great trigger. It’s very heavy and abrupt would be the way I describe it. Now from the reset it resets right to the wall with no travel past that point. And then again you get the very heavy brake.
Now the good news is using a Glock 43 trigger shoe there are tons of options out there and most companies that were making Glock 43 triggers quickly came and offered a trigger for this gun just changing it out to a Glock 43x/48 trigger bar which is different from the 43 series. The 43x also uses Glock 43 connectors, so there are lots of aftermarket options out there if you want to change the feel of the trigger pull.
Maintaining the Glock 43x is fairly simple; it takes down just like any other Glock. So, you have two levers that you have to pull down each side of the frame using your support hand thumb and index finger and then let the slide drop forward. Now before you can let the slide drop forward, the sear does have to be disengaged which means you must pull the trigger. So, if that’s an issue for you, this gun may not be for you.
Now one thing I will note is the Glock comes in two different slide colors. One is a silver finish that shows dirt like crazy. From a distance, the slide looks really good because it’s just something different than a normal black Glock. That said if you actually plan to use the gun put it in a holster and shoot it. It’s going to show carbon and holster material like crazy.
The finish on it does not seem great. It does do a great job protecting the metal, but it is not a beautiful finish like you would expect on a silver sided gun. The black melonite finish on the Glock 43x which is black is standard Glock melanite and it usually performs pretty well, although there have been some issues with it in the past in certain batches.
Overall, the Glock 43x looks like a Glock. It’s not an overly attractive gun and it’s not ugly by most people’s standards, but some might consider it ugly. The silver slide is a nice touch when looking at it from a distance, but it’s not great up close. No finger grooves I think really adds to the look of this gun. But it’s not as well balanced as its Glock 48 brethren. The extended slide on the Glock 48 just looks a little more balanced with the length of the grip.
Now shooting the Glock 43x is a fairly good experience in my opinion. The short slide really helps you on close fast follow-up shots. If you’re shooting the gun for speed and not for accuracy, you’ll find the short slide actually helps quite a bit in keeping a more accurate pattern on target.
Now when you start moving back at further distances with a slower rate of fire having a little bit of a longer sight radius would be nice. The gun does have a fair amount of recoil similar to other guns in its size class. In my opinion, that’s about what you can expect. Many would look at this gun and say well if you’re using shield mags you have a smaller gun and a thinner gun than the Glock 19.
Why would anybody ever carry a Glock 19 when the 43x is available? Well to that I’ll answer the Glock 19 is a much larger gun and just easier to shoot, and that is not just due to the barrel length. For example, the Glock 48 which has a slightly longer barrel and slide than a Glock 19 and the Glock 48 is still harder to shoot than a standard Glock 19.
The Glock 19 is just a much softer shooting gun and the extra mass really helps soak up the recoil. The Glock 43x is a gun that you can do almost anything with shooting wise, but you’re going to have to have a good understanding of the fundamentals to complete those tasks. As long as you understand those and keep your expectations realistic for the Glock 43x you’ll be in good shape.
One thing I really do like about the Glock 43x is there are a lot of aftermarket options, probably more so than any other gun in its class. That means you can really turn this gun into what you want it to be. I plan on adding a Holosun 507k and a Parker Mountain Machine Comp to my Glock 43x MOS. And I think then I’ll probably have one of the perfect slimline carry guns.