Updated: Nov 17, 2022
The ubiquitous Glock; Some love them, some hate them.
The subcompact G43 and it's big brother, the 43X.
I have run into folks in Permit to Carry classes that have never held a gun before that knew what a Glock was... And the proof is in the product.
I will be honest; In the beginning I used to hate them.
They always felt wonky in my hands. To be fair, they were always the chunky .40s that I had interactions with. This is one of the first subcompacts that felt really good in my hands.
Now, Glocks tagline is "Perfection" and without a doubt their products are some of the most highly lauded on the market.
They are most well known for their "Safe Action" system. This is a 3-point mechanical safety system consisting of the Trigger Safety, the Firing Pin Safety and the Drop Safety.
They work in tandem with each pull the trigger, and then reset upon release of the trigger.
This practically ensures the firearm will not fire unless there is a deliberate pull of the trigger. Below you can see the tab on the inner portion of the trigger that, once depressed into the trigger, lifts up into the notch and allows the trigger to be pressed all the way back to the frame. Otherwise, the tab would hit the frame and keep the gun from firing unless some decent pressure would be applied to it.
A close up of the trigger safety mechanism.
As stated above, it is a subcompact; at about 6.25 inches long and 4.25 inches tall it is a super easy package to conceal without printing terribly. Fully loaded it weighs just over a pound. This makes it super comfortable for long periods of time. For a subcompact the barrel length is only about a quarter inch less than average (4in/average), so you aren't losing much in terms of performance. And the solid hitting 9mm round doesn't feel too hefty when firing.
Taking them apart is actually really simple, however I do need to find a trick to hit both sides of the slide release at the same time.
Once you remove the slide, the barrel and recoil spring come out super easy as well, so worrying about a lot of small widgets to keep track of is a no-worry.
This one could use a bit of a scrub simply because it is fresh off the line. Folks were having a time trying to keep guns in stock during Covid. I have the fortunate pleasure of an account executive that looks after me as a small business.
But anyways, once you get the slide off it is easy to get the rest of the parts out for a basic field strip and clean.
Even in the small package, the Glock frame is the standard ergonomic cut. It feels good in the hand, but I highly recommend the magazines with the grip extension plate otherwise it does run a bit small. (Or get the 43x, which doubles the capacity, without doubling the size.)
The nice thing about the Striker-fired platforms is there are no hammers and externals that can get snagged on clothes or holsters. It is a very streamline fit, and with the internal safeties it practically ensures a safe carry pistol with fewer steps to worry about making it function.
Sights are pretty standard for carry pistols.
Something nice and bright that contrasts well against the frame. Not the best when it comes to low light or spot shooting, but that can easily be fixed with some new sights.
Personal recommendation? Tritiums (Either XS or Ameriglo have really solid reputations), but there are others that may be more suited to your personal needs. For a subcompact the accuracy isn't to be scoffed at. It performs well, and the cut and texture of the grips helps retention from a natural position rather than applying a death grip to the pistol like in some tiny models.
Some folks will complain about the lack of rails on the subcompacts, but Crimson Trace has a light or laser (or combo) that attaches to the trigger guard so that negates the complaint pretty easily.
Subcompacts really aren't meant for the bells and whistles that you can pile onto larger frames. They are supposed to be discreet carry items.
The standard package Glock sends out with the G43 is not only the gun and case, but two 6-round magazines; one with the grip extension and one without. A quick-mag loader, and rope lock.
Do I recommend this gun? Heck yeah.
Would I carry this gun? Definitely.
Does it perform better than other subcompacts?
Personal opinion: It definitely gets the job done but having experience with platforms like the Hellcat and the Shield lineup, it is one of the better choices for a well-rounded, no-nonsense setup.
Maybe given more time with the platform I would be even more knowledgeable about the ins-and-outs of the gun and how well it carries and performs under varying conditions, but it definitely helps Glock keep their track record of adaptive, performance driven products.