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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prices accurate at time of writing
Prices accurate at time of writing
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s what I’m keeping on my 43x.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prices accurate at time of writing
Prices accurate at time of writing
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By the Numbers
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.
It’s a Glock. It runs, and it runs well, no matter what kind of dirty ammo you feed it.
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.
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.
Even with a red dot, the G43X brings an easy-to-conceal design to CCWers. This fits comfortably in an IWB or AIWB rig.
Considering the generally sub-$600 price tag, if you can find them in stock, there’s a lot of value in this small package.
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.
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!