MAKING IT PERSONAL
Stock or custom, the Glock 43 makes for an excellent everyday carry pistol.
By Mike Searson
STOCK OR CUSTOM, THE GLOCK 43 MAKES AN EXCELLENT EVERYDAY CARRY PISTOL
When you buy a new pistol, should you keep it stock—the way it came from the factory—or does it pay to customize it? I tried the Glock 43 single-stack 9mm both ways and found that either way it makes an excellent EDC handgun.
The Glock 43 debuted in April 2015 at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting (NRAAM) to great fanfare, and in the past three years it has been one of the hottest selling pistols for concealed carry in the United States.
I was one of a handful of journalists who received the pistol in advance of the NRAAM to provide reviews the day the pistol was launched. Three years later, I now have two of them: one that’s nearly stock and another that has considerable custom touches. They are among my favorite concealed carry handguns that make it into my regular carry rotation. But in the beginning, I wasn’t sure it was going to work out that way.
AT FIRST LOOK
When I first opened the box containing the Glock 43, I was disappointed. It felt top heavy, I thought the grip frame was too small, and it was still too big for pocket carry. To make matters worse, a somewhat freakish three-day rainstorm in Northern Nevada kept me from being able to go out and shoot it, causing me to hate on the polymer-framed pocket pistol even more than was necessary.
I was convinced that I was going to write an article telling people to run from this pistol and the folks at Glock had completely lost their minds. Then the rain let up and I made it out to my shooting spot in the desert. I tacked up a target stepped back to the shooting line and emptied the sixround magazine, forming one ragged hole on my target. The group was about 2.5 inches at 10 feet and all the rounds were touching.
Over the next few days, I pushed the target farther and was achieving outstanding groups. There was something special about this little pistol and, as is the case when I get a performer like this, I asked Glock if I could buy the pistol from them when the review was over.
I was told, “No.” The pistol had to go back because they were completely sold out. So, some lucky shooter out there has a refurbished writer’s pistol that is a total tack driver.
“FOR MY ALMOST-STOCK GLOCK, ALL I NEEDED WAS A HOLSTER AND A WEAPON-MOUNTED LIGHT.”
As soon as I sent the sample gun back, I began my quest for a G43 of my own. For a year this proved to be an extremely elusive pistol. The local shops sold out of them as soon as they hit the sales floor and they seemed to be backordered everywhere. It did not help that the pistol was such a hot item that no used ones were being traded in either. Eventually I found one and it came to me with a set of Trijicon night sights installed. For my almost-stock Glock, all I needed was a holster and a weapon-mounted light (WML).
A WML ON A COMPACT CCW PISTOL?
After attending a pair of low-light courses with LMS Defense, I came home with two takeaways from the training: Any serious self-defense pistol needs a WML, and night sights were for the most part useless outside of a few hours.
It does not help that the sights on most factory Glock pistols are plastic place holders for real sights, but
The semi-custom G43 with textured frame, threaded barrel, custom slide and Streamlight TLR-6 is functional artwork that out-performs the author's factory G43.
The addition of a Streamlight TLR-6 is a "must-have" on these subcompact Glocks. Minimal bulk is added in exchange for a light and laser.
Left: The G43 slide by Grey Ghost Precision (Tactical Tailor) is a limited run of precision-made slides.