[Review+Video] Glock 43: Concealed Carry Perfection?

Glocks…love them or hate them…they are massively popular and widely adopted by police and military for a number of great reasons.

But does the Glock really hold up as an every day carry CCW firearm for the average person trying to defend themselves and their loved ones?

G43 Banana
G43 Banana

In our opinion…YES, the Glock 43 delivers exactly what you need from a good EDC CCW (every day carry concealed carry weapon).

We’ll give you the lowdown on just what it does right, our top reasons to carry it, and what some of the drawbacks might be.

Now in both video and written formats!

If that helped, please subscribe to our YouTube channel since we’re adding new videos every week!

Table of Contents

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Glock: The Baskin-Robbins of Firearms

From a small CCW in .380 Auto to a full-sized bear killer with 20 rounds of 10mm, Glock literally offers basically every option you could ask for from a handgun.

They’ve even started offering mutant versions of their own guns with the G19x and G45.

New Glock 45
Glock 45, brand new to the market and very cool!

Even within the category of “Small 9mm CCW” Glock has several options, and while you can’t go wrong with any of them – the G43 might be the best of the bunch.

The G43 is what you would expect from a Glock in most ways, featuring a polymer frame and a steel slide, the casual observer might mistake this to just be a down-sized version of their G19 or G17.

But they would be wrong!

G43 Banana
G43 and a Banana

While most Glocks are double-stack, the G43 is one of Glock’s rare entries into the single-stack world.

single stack vs double stack magazine
Left: Single Stack, Right: Double Stack.

This cuts the size of the Glock 43 down by a large margin and makes it much easier to conceal (and a lot more comfy to carry for some people).

G43 Vs G26
G43 (left) Vs G26 (right)

However, since it is a smaller magazine you are left with slightly fewer rounds at your disposal. A standard Glock single stack magazine holds 6 rounds giving you a 6+1 capacity.  The +1 means you have one in the chamber.

From Austria, Sometimes Made in America

Designed and often built in Austria, Glock has been solving problems all over the world since the mid-1980s and have become the number one choice for law enforcement and militaries.

All of that for one simple reason – Glocks are reliable.

Glock has built their long-standing reputation for making some of the most reliable and literally bomb proof firearms to ever be produced, and as you would expect – the G43 is no different.

Like all Glocks, the G43 comes in a hard plastic storage case with two magazines. While prices can range depending on where you live and what time of year it is, you’ll generally find it in the $450-500 range.

Ultra Reliable Single-Stock CCW
449
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Before You Call Us “Fanboys”

Full disclosure – while many of us at PPT have used and carried Glocks for decades, some of us don’t really like Glocks. We would trust them with our life or the life of our families, but for a gun we enjoy taking out to go to the range with – Glock falls short.

G43 in CCW
G43 in appendix carry holster

The reason we still choose a Glock though is because of the unbeatable reliability and ease of use they offer. It’s kind of like vegetables, they’re good for you – but most of us don’t actually enjoy them for the sake of the experience.

Safety, Sights, Triggers, and More!

Safeties First

Just like every other Glock in the catalog, the G43 has no external safety to fiddle with, you just need to rack the slide and you’re ready to go. But that doesn’t mean that Glocks aren’t safe…

…They just have internal safeties!

Glock Safe Action Safety System
Glock Safe Action Safety System

Every Glock, including the G43, comes with 3 passive, independent, internal safeties to ensure that it only goes off when you pull the trigger.

Glock Trigger Safety
Glock Trigger Safety

Load the magazine, rack the slide, line up the sights, and pull the trigger – that’s all you need for a Glock to work when you need it most.

Glock Sights and What You Should Know

Glock has another feature that many people love to hate – the U-shaped rear sight.

G43 Rear Sight
G43 Rear Sight

Sights are often the first thing that people replace with some aftermarket option, while there isn’t anything wrong with the U-shaped rear sight – a lot of people just don’t like it.

The front sight though…well, if you’re planning on using this as an EDC or CCW – then we would always highly recommend getting some Tritium Night Sights for your Glock.

Installing them is easy, we can even guide you through it!

Bang Switch (Triggers)

For a time Glock had only one thing that tarnished their good name and that was the quality of their triggers. No, there wasn’t anything wrong with the triggers – really. They were just gritty, long, heavy, and people spoiled by match grade triggers in 1911s hated them.

But you have to keep in mind that Glocks are really designed for duty and defensive carry, that heavy trigger is part of what makes them safe to carry – kind of like a revolver heavy trigger, but without the double-action.

Johnny G43 Gif

Glock has really come a long way and their Gen 5 models sport triggers that are FAR nicer than their older versions.

Give yours time to break in a bit and it will do just fine.

Seven Reasons to Love the G43…and 3 Reasons to Not

First let us look at the awesome side of the Glock 43:

Number 7

Glock’s history. Law enforcement and military folks, you know, people who carry and use firearms for a living, have put decades into field testing the Glock.

And with every Glock generation that comes along, changes are made and the Austrian engineers have refined the firearm to what it is today. And that’s part of the reason I have so much faith in the brand.  

Number 6

Concealability. If you need to carry your firearm concealed, the 43 is a fantastic choice. You can easily hide it in a vest pocket or on your waistline. Now you’ll hear the super tactical guys talk about body geometry and get all serious about this topic.

Let me break it down without using fancy words…if you have a tactical dad bod or you’re a huggable lady with a body like a back road…then sometimes it’s difficult to carry a chunk of metal inside your waistband.

Regular sized guns are big. And that’s where the Glock 43 shines. It’s much easier to tuck inside your waistband and still be able to breathe.

Number 5

It’s a 9mm. I love 9mm for the price. And the ginormous selection of ammo on the market is fantastic…but where the 9mm shines is that it is right in the sweet spot for size and punch.  The 9 may just be the most perfect round ever made.

Don’t forget to read our picks for The Best 9mm Ammo, we did the testing and found what is best for defense and for the range!

Number 4

Aftermarket support. There are TONS of peripherals on the market…you can upgrade everything from mag extensions to night sights to triggers. Lot’s of support for you out there…and YouTube is loaded with Glock information.

And the holster choices are staggering.

This one is a single clip for inside the waistband from Concealment Express. It’s all plastic.

35
at Concealment Express

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

For comfort you can get one with a leather backing, here are two from CrossBreed…one with a single clip for inside the Waist, or IWB, and the other is for outside the waist that uses a belt.

68
at Crossbreed

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

You can find more holster options in our specific Best G43 Holsters Roundup.

Or brush up on other guns by reading our Best CCW Holsters guide, and ladies – we even have one tailored just for you: Best Ways to Conceal Carry for Women

Number 3

The G43 is easy to own and easy to maintain. Glocks need very little maintenance. They perform just fine when they’re dirty and because they are mostly plastic, they are simply easy. If you’re new to guns or don’t want a finicky firearm that needs maintenance, Glocks are a good choice for you.

Number 2

Price tag. Protecting yourself and those you love is important…but it’s great that you can do it affordably. While there are tons of upgrades and peripherals on the market, you really don’t have to do anything to a Glock.

Buy as much ammo as you can, get yourself trained properly from a professional, and that’s it. At 475-ish dollars, you’re ready to go on day one.

Number 1

No big surprise here. The reliability. It feels good when I go on a road trip…to put a tool in the console of my vehicle that I know will perform. Even though I’m not a fanboy…they are fantastic.

But wait, there’s more!

Now, life is full of choices…and most decisions are a double-edged sword. The Glock 43 in many ways is outstanding…but there’s a price to pay. Here are our three biggest short-comings with this gun.

let the hate flow through you

Number 3

The capacity. If trouble goes down, most folks want to have more than a six plus one capacity. It is why I often carry a holster with a sidecar for an extra magazine…which doubles my capacity.

If this is a major concern you may consider the Glock 26 which takes you from 6 + 1 up to 10 + 1.

Number 2

The sights. You don’t have to upgrade sights…but for a bedside gun, I feel strongly about having tritium installed. I replaced the plastic sights that came on this gun on day one. The upgrade is an additional expense.

But the good news is that the install is easy…we even have a tutorial on installing it! And for glow in the dark sights, there are tons on the market at different price points. 

Number 1

It is no fun to shoot! I’m not going to get into the physics behind it…and I’m not going to talk weight or bore axis…but I do want to state clearly that the Glock 43 is snappy and is just too small to have fun with.

Don’t misunderstand!

Dirty Harry
Go ahead, make my day.

It’s not some Dirty Harry hand cannon …no…it’s easy to handle and is a great gun to learn on…but after you practice and get comfortable with it, I don’t think you’ll find yourself burning box after box of ammo.

By the Numbers

Reliability: 5/5

This is why you buy a Glock because they work. Always. Period.

Accuracy: 4.5/5

For a small gun with Glock standard sights, it is reasonably accurate. It won’t win an Olympic event, but it doesn’t need too either.

Ergonomics: 4/5

Most small CCW pistols don’t feel great in the hands, but the G43 is surprisingly ergonomic once you get used to it a little. This can also be modified a bit with grip tape or stippling.

Looks: Potato (1/5)

If a potato and a Lego brick got together and made a little baby Glock, the G43 would be it’s name. Sure you can Cerakote it a cool color if you want, but out of the box…bleh. Thankfully, since it is a CCW pistol – you won’t have to look at it often!

Customization: 3.5/5

Lots of options out there for Glock firearms, but much of that is lost since this is a small CCW. It’s also better not to mess with it much since you don’t want to risk compromising that famed reliability.

Bang for the buck/value: 4/5

It does what you need when you need it. And at a price that most of us can afford. When you think about it, weighing the cost against protecting yourself and your family – can you really afford not to get the most reliable firearm on the market?

Overall rating 4.75

Parting Shots

In all – the Glock 43 is what you would expect and require from Glock, a reliable firearm that you can trust your life to.

For that and other reasons, we highly recommend it as your next CCW option.

Ultra Reliable Single-Stock CCW
449
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Don’t forget to take a look at the Pew Pew Tactical YouTube for more in-depth and hands-on reviews!

Do you carry a Glock for duty or as a CCW? Made any upgrades? Tell us about it in the comments! Looking for other great CCW guns…check out Best Concealed Carry Guns in Popular Calibers.

27 Leave a Reply

  • Sam

    I love this gun - have both 365 and this and I carry the 43. HOWEVER - (5 + 4.5 + 4 + 1 + 3.5 + 4)/6 = 3.6667. How on earth did you get 4.75?

    1 second ago
  • Dennis

    I have been a glock fan for a long time. Tried to customize my 43 trigger with a ghost trigger. I am not impressed. The brake on the connector broke. No pun. Intended. I love my Glock 43 and loved the +/- 4# pull “ghost” trigger until the connector broke after only a couple hundred rounds! Not crazy about spending $179.00 on a pyramid triggerjust to find out if I might like it for near half price what the entire weapon costs. do you have any suggestions In the way of alternatives?

    4 months ago
  • RJ87

    For those adding +2 extensions, the glock forums are chock full of people who have no problems with ball at the range but then get an unacceptable number f failures when they run 50 rounds or more though with SD HP with all the makes of +2 extensions So if you are going to get an extension I would test it with HP and not just two mags worth

    5 months ago
  • Jerry Poole

    What manufacture is the holster with mag holder in your video review?

    5 months ago
  • Zhang3

    I hate doing this --- this is the first time I write comment on pewpew and I am going to disagree. (I feel bad.) But let me be clear -- I ABSOLUTELY love pewpew and have read practically every reviews word by word. It is my go-to place before I buy anything related to firearm. Thank you for all those -- I mean it!!! Having said that, this review is .... "forced". Forget about every other guns out there. With now Sig P365 on the market (and supposedly got the "issues" ironed out), how can you label G43 as "perfection"? I am not saying Sig P365 is a perfection. I am saying that now with a 10+1 P365 out there, no one else can be consider perfection., not G43, not Shield, not any other single stack sub-compact carry gun. G43 6+1 vs P365 10+1 (8+1 vs 12+1 in ext mag) and P365 is actually physically smaller (mostly). G43 is not a perfection. Not until Glock catches up with the mag design of something close 10+1 too. And then we can debate again. Didn't pewpew run a review in July labeling P365 "the complete carry gun"? Now 3+ years after G43 is on the market, this review out of nowhere calling it a "perfection". I don't get it. For the record, I own both G43 and P365. I used to carry G43 but now I have carrying P365.

    5 months ago
    • RJ87

      We have a G43 and a P365 and we've had a lot of problems with the G43 and no problem with the P365. Our g43 has the well documented mag catch problem it has had to go back twice for that.

      5 months ago
    • Jim

      I have a Sig P365 and had to send back the flush fit magazine, as if would not allow the slide to lock back every time it was used. After 800 rounds I have sent the gun back with a broken firing pin. Build date was July 2018. I have a Glock 43 with 1600 round, and it has been flawless.

      5 months ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hey Zhang, thanks for writing in and for being a long time reader. The labels of "concealed carry perfection?" (G43) and "complete carry gun?" (P365) are rhetorical questions that each individual author attempts to answer (these were written by two different people). We'll try to get one comparison article in the future where an author has both. Thanks again for reading and please comment more!

      5 months ago
      • Zhang3

        Thank you Eric. Pewpew continues to be my favorite place. Thanks again for all the insightful reviews.

        5 months ago
  • John Public

    Do you prefer the G43 over P365?

    5 months ago
  • Hammer

    Meh. Glocks may be reliable, but they've never felt as good in the hand to me as other options. I'd rather carry and shoot my P938. It shoots and fees like a much bigger gun than it actually is, and isn't bad to put a hundred rounds through in a range session.

    5 months ago
    • Dennis

      Who makes the p938 and can you offer some pros and cons compared to the G43?

      4 months ago
  • Bo M

    Have carried Glocks for almost 30 years as duty weapons. Ergonomics are subjective,. For me, I have always said that I might as well be holding a brick, so I found the brick and potato comment amusing. Having said that, the 43 is the best Glock I've handled, and I have relatively large hands. Like a previous comment made, for years I carried .40's and maybe because of that I find the recoil of the 43 to be negligible. By occupation I shoot A LOT of varied handguns and the Glock is the best small 9mm I've found for shooting comfort. And it is very much more concealable than my previous Glock 27's, but I am concerned about capacity as an off-duty weapon. Concealability and capacity are in direct conflict with one another, so make your choice.

    5 months ago
  • Glenn de los reyes

    Best off duty carry, IWB. Very easy to conceal. Mag extensions 8+1 and always an extra mag in back pocket.

    5 months ago
  • Deetizzle

    The recoil, really? Compared to other sub compacts it’s actually soft. Now the Sig 365 is snappy, still an awesome little gun, but very snappy. I shot them side by side and still chose the 43 even with the lesser round count. Throw some Taran Tactical mag extensions and springs on it, you’re good to go! Disclaimer: My duty gun and off duty gun have been a .40 for years now so maybe I’m just numb to it?

    5 months ago
    • John

      I added Taran Tactical mag extensions too. Fantastic on what it does as far as capacity not to mention a little extra realestate to hold on to with it. No printing when using as CCW.

      5 months ago
  • Charles Parker

    Love my 43. Changed springs to get the trigger down to 4.5 lb pull. Much better. Also have 6 mags. I aint running out. :) 50 rounds this past weekend and thats 500 TROUBLEFREE 9's downrange. Yes it is snappy but light weight and small size makes it easy to control and get back on point. This is the first pistol I have owned. Shot a 1911 in basic. Didnt like the looks (still don't) and it wasnt enjoyable to fire.

    5 months ago
  • Bryan B

    I was surprised to read the comment about it not being fun to shoot; I quite enjoy it and find the recoil no more than I would expect. Then again, I grew up on 40S&W Glocks with full-house ammo so it is probably all relative. Also: good +1, +2 and even +3 magazine extensions exist out there with most +1's adding almost no additional length to the grip. I highly recommend getting at least a +1 for EDC. Thanks for posting.

    5 months ago
  • Jim M.

    I carry the G43 w/ the mag extension. It IS harder to conceal. I've teetered back and forth with the "less printing or more ammo" conundrum and have settled on more ammo. My biggest issue with the G43 is the "cheese grater" trigger shoe! It's like squeezing the tip of a sharpened pencil! (I think my sausage finger is getting pinched between the end of the shoe and the guard.) I wanna switch to a flat trigger but I can't get past the paranoia of possibly affecting the reliability of the factory trigger. I DO like the heavy pull for EDC. I feel like it gives me a little margin of error in regard to my trigger finger's physiological responses to stress. I think I'd ultimately have to give the G43 a 4.25, subtracting 1/2 a point for 6+1 capacity and a quarter for the trigger shoe. I may give an apex shoe a try. It's winter here in WV so I'll carry full size while the 43's "in the "lab." P.S. Love you guys at PPT. Nothing better than some good pew pew reading over the first cup o' joe. THANKS!

    5 months ago
  • Steve Gonzales

    I have four Glocks. 17, 19, 26, and 43. My 19 is by far my favorite. But for edc-ccw, since I’m an older out of shape kind of guy unless you consider round as a good shape, my 43 is my go-to gun. Love it. Small, concealable, light, and at least for me very good shooting. I don’t seem to find the same heavy recoil that many dislike. I’m almost as good with it as my 19. I do carry +2 mags both on board and extra. The mods are a flat faced trigger and tritium sights. All this from a guy who hated Glocks a few years ago. I was all about my DA-SA guns. I guess time found me wanting the reliability and ease of use that Glock provides.

    5 months ago
    • Dennis

      I own several different Glocks and will have to admit that I favor my 19 as well. I do enjoy the 43 with +2 mags as well. Love the conncealabilityof it and the dependability of all Glocks. Can you offer some specifics on added sights and or triggers?

      4 months ago
  • Johnny

    "While most Glocks are double-stack, the G43 was Glock’s first entry into the single-stack world." The Glock 42 is also a single stack, and was released in 2014.

    5 months ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      Updated, thanks!

      5 months ago
    • Harold Callahan

      And the Glock 36 is a single stack 45.

      5 months ago
  • Charles Hutson

    I own one because at the time it had NO real competition in the CCW 9MM world. It too hoppy for sure and NOT enough rounds. The Sig P365 is the Glock 43 improved. Until something else comes along I'll continue to carry the sig

    5 months ago
  • Rocky

    I added a +2 round magazine extension to my G43 factory mag. These are inexpensive and easy to install yourself. The downside of doing this is that the increased grip length makes it a tad harder to conceal. The obvious upside of doing this is the increase to an 8+1 CCW. But the REAL improvement is in the feel of the grip. Being able to wrap all of my fingers firmly around the grip transforms this small CCW into an entirely new shooting experience. Much better control. Much more comfortable. Much more fun to shoot.

    5 months ago
  • Jack Higby

    Bricks are much better looking (and probably more ergonomic) than the G43. I’ll keep my HK P30sk with LEM trigger (oh, and 10+1) any day, thank you!

    5 months ago
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