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[Video+Review] Glock G43X MOS: Best CCW Pistol?

We test out the Glock G43X MOS to see if this optics-ready 9mm is truly concealed carry worthy. Spoiler, we think it is. Come see why!

    As I’ve mentioned a few times, when it comes to choosing a concealed carry gun…you’ve got a ton of options.

    That decision doesn’t get easier, considering manufacturers constantly push out small improvements to their concealable catalog.

    Variety of CCW Handguns
    Lots of options when it comes to guns…

    And that subcompact arms race continues, but this time it’s Glock’s newest pocket rocket on the ole choppin’ block.

    Today, we’re looking at the G43X MOS.

    Glock G43X
    Glock G43X

    I know, I know, it’s a Glock but hang with us. We’ll take you on a tour of this optics-ready 9mm and look at the things we liked and some things we didn’t.

    Ultimately, we’ll help you decide if this Gat is worthy of your time and money.

    Glock G43X in IWB Holster
    Glock G43X in IWB Holster

    If you want to skip the words and go straight to the action, check out my video review below.

    As always, click over to Pew Pew Tactical’s YouTube channel to catch up on all our videos.

    Table of Contents


    G43X Origin Story

    Every superhero needs a good origin, right? So, let’s dive a bit deeper into the G43X’s.

    The OG Glock 43 has been on the block for a hot minute now. In fact, it was one of the first pistols we reviewed when this channel started up back in the good old days…of 2018.

    Glock G43
    Glock G43

    While Glock’s entry into the concealed carry game was largely met with positive reviews, some folks griped that the diminutive length of the grip caused issues.

    Namely, they couldn’t get a good purchase on the gun.

    Add on that the G43 limits you to just 6-round magazines, and well…the G43 struggled to keep pace with the likes of the Sig Sauer P365 – Glock’s main CCW competitor.

    Sig Sauer P365
    The Sig Sauer P365 really shook the industry up.

    Yes, aftermarket mags now exist, but throwing on an extended magazine sometimes impacts concealability.

    I mean, 50-round mags are cool, but on the single-stack G43, it feels…dare we say, excessive.

    Bit Much

    What we do know is that Glock eventually decided to update the G43, unveiling the G43X with a 10-round capacity.

    Essentially, this pistol sprouted up to directly tackle the above gripes and more.

    With the G43 in the rearview, let’s dive into the G43X and see what changes you can expect to see.

    at Guns.com

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    The G43X: Specs & Stats


    • Caliber: 9mm
    • Barrel Length: 3.41-inches
    • Overall Length: 6.06-inches
    • Overall Width: 1.10-inches
    • Trigger Distance: 2.64-inches
    • Weight with Mag: 23.07-ounces

    Slide & Sights

    Up front, you’ve got the signature “slim” Glock 43 slide with front serrations. These serrations weren’t present on the original G43.

    This gun shipped with stock Glock sights, but we added a set of XS tritium night sights.  

    Glock G43X Front Sight Upgrade
    XS Sights

    The XS sights give you a really big, obvious blaze orange dot up front with a smaller tritium glowy dot inside of it.

    Overall, the XS sights are a decent out-of-the-box upgrade for a carry gun.  

    at Amazon

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    The front of the 43X’s frame features the standard Glock railed frame you’d expect.

    Worth mentioning, though, that the rail itself is not a standard Picatinny-style attachment system. Even our smallest Streamlight TLR-7s and 8s aren’t compatible.

    Glock G43X TLR 7 on Rail
    TLR-7 looks a tad too big for this gun.

    You’re going to need something G43X specific, such as the even smaller TLR-6 that gives off 100 lumens. Not much…but enough for most cases.

    G43x TLR-6 Button
    G43x TLR-6 Button

    Compared to the original Glock 43, the G43x also adds another ~10th of an inch in the distance between the backstrap of the gun and the apex of the trigger.

    at Gunmag Warehouse

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    If you’re still bummed about your 43x not fitting the original TLR-7…there’s now the TLR-7 Sub that gives off a nice 500 lumens.

    G43x with TLR-7 Sub
    G43x with TLR-7 Sub

    It’s what I’m keeping on my 43x.

    at Gunmag Warehouse

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Trigger & Glock Marksmanship Barrel

    While I don’t feel it’s relevant going too far into the weeds here, the G43X features the same Glock Marksmen Barrel technology found on all Gen 5 Glocks.

    Allegedly, the GMB enhances overall accuracy. Maybe that matters for you; maybe it doesn’t.

    I would hazard a guess that the vast majority of folks probably aren’t limited by the accuracy of older generation Glock barrels.

    Glock G19 Gen 4
    Jacki says her Glock 19 does just fine with its regular, ole barrel.

    Moving on, let’s talk about the trigger…and oohhh boy.

    I’ll preface this by saying I’m probably a bit spoiled by my personal Glock. It’s got an Apex trigger in it with a 3.5-pound connector.

    John Custom Glock
    My custom Glock with Apex trigger.

    So, with that in mind…hot damn is the G43X spongey.

    But that’s par for the course with just about any Glock. Yes, even a fancy upgraded Glock still has some bit of leftover sponginess to it.

    That is the penance we Glock lovers sign up for. 

    Glock G43X Trigger Press
    It offers a 5.4-pound trigger.

    The ~5.4-pound trigger features a short take-up before you hit the wall. You’ve still got a few millimeters of travel before the break.

    Reset feels decent, and it’s audible, so no real complaints there.

    John Custom Glock

    While I had some relatively small complaints about the gun’s trigger, I’ll leave the idea of swapping it out up to you.

    But there’s an entirely justifiable school of thought regarding leaving your critical trigger components stock on guns you intend to carry daily.

    G43X Grip

    For starters, Glock altered the grip a bit. While it actually winds up slightly thicker than the original G43 girth-wise — barely noticeable like a tenth of an inch — it’s now about a full inch longer.

    This means you likely get a full three-fingered grip on the gun without the magazine inserted.

    Glock G43X Shooting
    G43X grip

    That concept itself was essentially born out of Glock’s G19X program – Glock’s submission for the recent U.S. Army handgun contract.

    Although the G19X ultimately got the boot from the Army in favor of a Sig Sauer, the 19X’s combination of a full-sized Glock 17 frame with a compact Glock 19 slide proved pretty popular.

    And we have suspicions it might have played some part in the decision to incorporate that same design methodology into Glock’s concealed line of guns.

    The Glock 19X with the Included Case and Magazines
    The Glock 19X

    Moving back to the grip itself, you’ve got that longer overall length that allows for a much better grip on the gun than its predecessor.

    I found the G43X fits my medium hands pretty well.

    Glock G43X Shooting
    Fits pretty well.

    The more aggressive beaver tail at the rear of the grip allows you to get your hand a tiny bit higher up on the frame than you might be able to otherwise.

    Glock did away with the finger grooves on the grip for the G43X. This complete deletion of the finger grooves works surprisingly well, considering I’m pretty accustomed to them on my G17.

    Glock G43X Grip
    No finger grooves!

    Magazine Release – Prepare to Yeet!

    The magazine release strays a bit broader than what you’d find on a full-size Glock.

    Allegedly, it’s capable of flipping for left-handed shooters. But we didn’t get the opportunity to test this.

    Glock G43X Mag Release
    Prepare to fight with the mag release.

    The mag release spring is pretty damn hefty for a gun this small.

    I imagine that’s an intentional decision to cut down on the chance of the gun slipping its mag inside your pants when concealed.

    That said, it also meant I literally yeeted my spent mags out of the frame when reloading.

    Glock G43X Mag Yeet
    In the process of slinging this to get the mag to drop.

    Over long-term use, this problem likely solves itself as the spring gets broken in. So, it likely won’t be a huge deal.

    It just struck me as bizarre the first time I hit the mag release, and nothing happened.

    MOS Optics Attachment System

    We grabbed the G43X MOS, an optics-compatible G43X. Basically, the rear of the slide comes pre-cut for Glock’s MOS optic attachment system.

    We directly mounted a Shield RMSC.

    Glock G43X Shield Red Dot
    Shield RMSC view through.

    Keep reading for how this performed on the range, but for now, know that I enjoy the option of a red dot on the G43X.

    The platform does a decent job of supporting the red dot without broaching that tipping point of too big to conceal.

    at Brownells

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Field Strip

    If you’ve had any experience with other Glocks…the field-strip of the G43x is the same. Check it out in our video.

    To the Range with the G43X

    But all of the above doesn’t matter if the gun doesn’t shoot, right?

    Thankfully, we ran a few hundred rounds through the G43X with no issues whatsoever.

    Even when shooting the dreaded, chalky, Winchester white box 9mm, the G43X ran great.

    Glock G43X Concealed Draw
    Glock G43X in holster.

    While the G43X feels quite snappy — essentially what you’d expect from anything in the sub-compact family, I daresay it’s much more controllable than the likes of something like Sig’s P365.

    (Although, obviously, something like the P365XL might be a more apt 1:1 comparison.)

    After a brief period of thinking, we had the Shield optic zeroed but watching rounds hit considerably off our point of aim; we realized the mounting screws had walked themselves out of place.

    Glock G43X Shooting
    Ringing steel!

    For the unfamiliar, definitely make sure you Loctite the mounting screw when attaching a red dot to a handgun.

    This small step goes a long way in preventing the red dot from coming loose as you shoot.

    Once cranking those screws down and double-checking our zero, the G43X began to shine once more.

    Glock G43X Shooting
    You’ll want to Loctite the mounting screws on the optic to keep it from moving while shooting and losing zero.

    Standard disclaimer here, I’m by no means a handguns expert, riding solidly in the “average” box skill-wise.

    But once I warmed up with the G43X, running the plate rack felt reasonably easy. I made strings of hits on 15-yard steel with no problem.

    It’s worth mentioning that if you ride your thumbs high on the frame as I do, there’s pretty much zero chance you’re going to get the slide to lock on that last round.

    Glock G43X Shooting

    Such is the nature of Glocks.

    On my full-size Gat, I’ve got the Kagwerks Slide Release that gets that lever up and out of the way to solve that issue. But I’m not sure if any comparable products exist for the G43X family.

    Glock G43X and Custom Glock
    Note the upgraded slide release on my personal Glock versus the stock one on the G43X.

    By the Numbers

    Ergonomics: 4/5

    The G43x feels a lot more comfortable than its predecessor, the G43, without sacrificing concealability. That said, slide lock rarely worked for me, given the position of my hand. Not a huge deal, but a gripe, nonetheless. Also, that trigger…gross.

    Reliability: 5/5

    It’s a Glock. It runs, and it runs well, no matter what kind of dirty ammo you feed it.

    Accuracy: 5/5

    Who knows, maybe that fancy GMB barrel really does make a difference. Either way, the G43X shot and shot well. I was ringing 15-yard steel with the G43X/Shield RMSC combo.

    Customization: 4/5

    Glocks enjoy a large aftermarket with plenty of odds and ins you can incorporate into your chosen platform. While I don’t know every accessory available to the G43X, I can imagine you won’t have much issue finding something you want to add.

    Concealment: 5/5

    Even with a red dot, the G43X brings an easy-to-conceal design to CCWers. This fits comfortably in an IWB or AIWB rig.

    Glock G43X Concealed Draw
    Even when drawing from concealment, nothing could slow this bad boy down.

    Value: 5/5

    Considering the generally sub-$600 price tag, if you can find them in stock, there’s a lot of value in this small package. 

    at Guns.com

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Overall: 4.5/5

    If you, like me, are already inclined towards Glocks as a platform or tried the original G43 and found it a bit small for your liking, I’d absolutely recommend giving the G43X MOS a look.


    So, where’s all that leave us? Concealment-wise, the G43X feels like it hits that sweet spot.

    It’s small enough to reasonably carry inside-the-waistband while not being so small as to feel uncontrollable when shooting.

    Glock G43X
    Glock G43X

    The fact that you can achieve that while also sporting a micro red dot makes the deal even sweeter, in my opinion.

    To see the Glock G43X MOS in action, check out my video review below.

    And learn how to field strip the Glock 43X MOS as well!

    What do you think of the Glock 43X? Let us know in the comments below. For more Glock goodness, check out our round-up of the Best Glock: Across Calibers & Sizes, as well as the Best Glock Upgrades.

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    3 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar
      Bill Blanton

      I'd like more information about the Shield red dot. Which dot did you use, the 4 MOA or the 8 MOA? Also, it looks like the iron sights on the gun are high enough to co-witness with the red dot. Is that correct? Are they the ones you mention in the review? Thanks for help.

      May 8, 2021 2:45 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I'm interested to hear more about, "It’s worth mentioning that if you ride your thumbs high on the frame as I do, there’s pretty much zero chance you’re going to get the slide to lock on that last round." What's going on with hand placement and Glocks?

      I've experienced this with a new G45.

      May 7, 2021 1:06 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Wallace Bryant

      check out Shield 15 rd mags for G43x & G48

      May 6, 2021 11:59 pm
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