Many consider the Glock 19 to be the best dual handgun, working anything from duty to concealed carry. For years, it was a popular choice for the latter, but when the 43 was introduced it became the company’s preferred concealed firearm. Now, the popular comparison is the Glock 19 vs the 43X.
The SIG Sauer P365, with its 10-round capacity and similar size to the 43, displaced the 43 on the concealed carry market until Glock introduced the 43X variant with 10 rounds of capacity as well. This gun featured a grip with a similar length to the 19 but a much slimmer profile.
Shield Arms introduced a 15-round magazine that would fit in the Glock 43X, giving it the same capacity as a 19. This magazine in particular is why we are comparing the Glock 43X vs the 19.
While it may appear there’s an immediate advantage for the 43X when it comes to capacity and size, there are other differences as well. Each gun has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll cover in this comparison.
|Metrics||Glock 19||Glock 43X|
|Weight w/ no mag (Oz)||21.4||16.5|
|Weight w/ empty mag (Oz)||23.9||18.8|
|Weight w/ full mag (Oz)||29.4||23.1|
|Height (top of slide to bottom of magazine baseplate) (Inches)||4.89||4.92|
|Width of grip (Inches)||1.18||1.02|
|Width of slide (Inches)||1.00||0.86|
|Width across controls (Inches)||1.33||1.05|
Glock 43X vs 19 Concealed Carry
For concealment, the two most important dimensions of a gun are almost always the height of the firearm from the magazine to the top of the slide and the width of the grip. The width of the grip is three-sixteenths of an inch slimmer on the 43X compared to the Glock 19.
The length of the grips themselves is almost identical. The width of the grip is going to be the most significant factor in concealment in comparing the Glock 19 vs the 43X.
Depending on your body type and clothing, it may not be easier for you to conceal a 43X than a 19. That said, if you are someone who has trouble concealing a 19 due to the thickness, the 43X might be your answer. Both of these guns will work well for either inside or outside the waistband carry.
One thing to take into account is the shorter slide on the Glock 43X. This is going to make the gun less comfortable for appendix carry.
While this may seem counterintuitive, remember that most of the weight of the 43X will be sitting above the beltline. Your stomach will then push the gun’s grip outward and gravity will want to pull the grip away from the body. This will force the muzzle of the gun into your groin.
Pistols with longer slides can spread out that pressure, making those guns more comfortable to carry than short ones like the 43X. Of course, you can always carry a Glock 43X in a Glock 48-length holster, which is what I would suggest as it will make carrying a lot more comfortable.
Another significant factor for concealed carry is weight. It’s not as big of a deal if you’re carrying a gun with a sturdy belt and a good set of pants, but if you’re carrying a gun with something like gym shorts, then the weight is significant.
The Glock 43X is about four ounces lighter than the 19. The importance is going to vary depending on the type of magazine you’re running. Suppose you’re running a 43X with a center-Glock mag.
The gun is going to be six ounces lighter than a loaded 19. But if you’re running a Shield mag with 15 rounds of 9mm, the gun is still going to be five ounces lighter. That’s over a quarter-pound, which can be significant when you’re carrying all day long.
Ergonomics of the firearm are critical as they allow you to control the gun effectively—many people like ergonomics that feel good in the hand alone. While feeling good is nice, it’s not the most critical thing to look out for.
You want to make sure the ergonomics of a gun allow you to shoot it very well.
The frames of the Glock 19 vs 43X are pretty different. We’re going to compare the Glock Gen5 to the 43X. The Gen5 Glocks can add extra back stress.
The grip itself could be considered your small backstrap, and then you can add medium and large ones as well. There’s no modular way to do this on the Glock 43X. Another feature of the 19 is adding medium and large straps with a beavertail. These backstraps on the 19 will also increase trigger reach, which is a nice feature for those with larger hands.
The ergonomics of these two guns seem almost identical except for the width of the weapon. I have larger hands, so the Glock 19 feels right at home with me.
The 43X feels good too, but you get more meat on the grip with the Glock 19. If you have smaller hands, the Glock 43X will likely work better, but if you have larger hands, the Glock 19 is going to win out.
There is no noticeable difference in the length of the grip itself and how much finger placement you can get on it. I have medium to large hands, and my hands fill-up the grips on the 19 and 43X identically.
The Glock 43X has a Gen5 texture similar to that on the 19. There’s no real difference here, except I might say the texture does feel a little bit more aggressive on the Gen5 19. That said, it could be just because the grip itself is wider and I can get a more authoritative hold.
The slide is much narrower on the Glock 43X. Both the Glock 19 and 43X have forward-cocking serrations, which are great. However, I do find it easier to rack the slide on the 19 as it’s much wider and just easier to get my hand on.
Your sight options on these guns are going to be almost identical. The most common sights you’ll see on Glocks are the plastic slot fillers from the factory.
These slot fillers bring the gun price down so you can then have the sights of your choice and not have to waste a good set. Glock does seem to offer more factory options for the Glock 19, including Ameriglo. These are pretty good sights and most shooters won’t have any complaints.
The aftermarket options on these two are nearly identical. The Glock 19 sights will technically fit the 43X, but most of them will likely hang out on the sides of the slide. The front sights are 100% interchangeable as long as you have the proper sight height.
Either way, there are a ton of aftermarket options for both guns, but you are going to see a few more Glock 19 rear options than you will for the 43X.
Both the Glock 19 and the 43X are offered in MOS variants. The Glock 43X MOS comes with a rail that sets it apart from the regular model.
There are a variety of aftermarket mounting plates for the Glock 19 and factory MOS plates. You can mount pretty much any handgun-designed optic imaginable to the Glock 19.
Glock 43X options are much more limited.
The Glock 43X MOS is designed off the Shield mounting pattern, but they’ve added a recoil boss to make it compatible with a unique shield optic. This is an oversight on Glock’s part, in my opinion. I assume this is something that was decided in Europe vs the American facility, which probably understands that the aftermarket is a massive part of Glock’s success.
Limiting the aftermarket option with these recoil bosses has taken away the ability to run the gun with the popular SIG ROMEO Zero or Holosun 507K.
There are also aftermarket mounting plates for this system, but they’re going to add extra height to your optics. Additionally, multiple shops will modify the Glock 43X MOS mounting system to work with the red-dots I mentioned earlier.
The controls on these guns are nearly identical with a few exceptions.
The triggers on these guns are more different than you would think. The Glock 43X has a much stiffer trigger, while the 19 has more of a rolling break. However, the reset on these triggers is nearly identical with the most significant difference coming down to the triggers’ break.
The Glock 43X is technically a Gen4-style gun with the trigger to match. I really would like to see Glock upgrade the 43X to a Gen5-style trigger.
The slide lock on these guns will be the most significant difference when it comes to controls. The Gen5 Glock 19 has an ambidextrous slide stop whereas the 43X only has this slide stop on the left-hand side of the gun.
Both of these stops are easy for the user to reach and are nearly identical in every way. However, I find the slot stop on the Glock 19 to be a little easier to use due to the frame and slides themselves being just a hair wider.
Both of these guns have reversible magazine releases. The release on the Glock 19 Gen5 is a little more rounded and I find it more comfortable for my use.
Regardless, they’re both a little bit hard to reach for some users. You’re more likely to have to break your grip on the Glock 19 vs the 43X to drop the magazine. These releases are easily reversed or replaced with another option.
The Glock 43X has no real magazine well to speak of. There’s just the slightest angle inside the magazine well, whereas the Glock 19 Gen5 has a massive bevel inside the well that works well to feed magazines quickly.
I like what Glock’s done with this, and it’s one of the better magwells in its class.
Both of these guns are Glocks and the quality is nearly identical. I think the Gen5 guns seem slightly higher than the Gen4, but we’re splitting hairs here. These guns are just so close together that it’s hard to tell the difference.
There are going to be more aftermarket options for the Glock 19 by default since it’s been around since the 90s while the 43X has only been around a couple of years.
That said, you probably have 80 to 90 percent of the options for the 43X that you have available for the 19. Both guns have massive aftermarkets.
Aesthetically, I think the Glock 19 looks a little more balanced. The slot and barrel on the 43X are just a little bit short for my taste, but your mileage may vary.
Shooting these guns, there’s no comparison. The Glock 19 is a much softer-shooting firearm. The 43X, on the other hand, is pretty darn snappy and its fitter profile imparts a lot more recoil into your hand.
Unless your hands are so small that they have trouble gripping the grip on the Glock 19, I think most users are going to find the 19 significantly more straightforward to shoot than the 43X. You can still hit the Glock 43X well, but it takes a lot more effort.
Overall, the 19 just seems so much easier to shoot when you shoot it right beside a 43X. It’s almost like switching from a full-caliber centerfire gun to a .22. The difference is that significant.
The Glock 43X has an MSRP of $538 for the standard and $582 for the optics-ready variant. Alternatively, you’ll find the standard 19 has an MSRP of $647 and the MOS version is $745 comparatively.
Street prices on these can be found for less. The 43X is a more versatile gun than the 19 for most people since it’s easier to conceal, but it could also be used for home defense. If price is a concern, then the Glock 43X might be a better value for you. It really just depends on what you’re looking for in a gun.
Glock 19 Pros
- Stock capacity
- Aftermarket options
Glock 19 Cons
Glock 43X Pros
Glock 43X Cons