Glock 43 Review: The Perfect Glock for Concealed Carry?

Last Updated on December 10, 2023.

Glock showed up to the single-stack, subcompact game a tad late. However, they brought a solid product to the slimline pistol market.

Glock 43

But is the Glock 43 the perfect concealed carry gun?

Well, it’s not quite the perfect concealed carry gun. But it’s a very solid performer in the concealed carry space. There’s no reason to recommend against using the Glock 43 as your CCW gun.

To help you decide if the Glock 43 is the right gun for your holster, we’ll cover the good, the bad, and the basics. Check it out.

Glock 43 Review: Size vs Shootability

The Glock 43 is one of the smallest pistols in the Glock lineup. These are the baseline stats, so you can get a sense of its size and capabilities:

Caliber: 9x19mm

Barrel length: 3.41 inches

Overall length: 6.26 inches

Height: 4.25 inches

Width: 1.06 inches

Weight: 20.64 ounces (loaded)

Magazine capacity: 6 rounds

As you can see, it’s a small package. This makes for excellent concealability. But, concealability comes with tradeoffs. We’ll talk about those.

Here’s what we like:

Not only is the Glock 43 compact in terms of length and height, it’s also very thin. The narrow frame makes it an ideal carry gun for thinner concealed carriers and those who wear slim fitting clothing.

However, this gun is so small that it’s actually more concealable than some people need. It’s best to carry the largest gun that you can comfortably conceal.

We’ll talk about why a bigger gun might be better a little further on. For now, just know that if you can conceal a larger gun, you should carry a suitable gun belt.

Even though not everybody needs as much concealability as the Glock 43 offers, this is still a strength of this gun because the whole point is maximum concealability.

Regular gun maintenance and cleaning should also be done to keep it on top condition.

Pro: Reliability

Even though the Glock 43 is smaller than nearly every other Glock pistol, it retains Glock’s trademark reliability.

Yes, this gun will fire under almost any conditions.

Since reliability is one of the most important aspects of any gun you use for personal protection, this gun is instantly a legitimate contender for a go-to concealed carry gun. It will go bang every time you press the trigger.

Learn more about the glock types on this definitive guide.

Photo by Glock

Pro: Greatly Improved Trigger

The Glock 43 features Gen 5 trigger technology, which makes the trigger much better than the Gen 4 models you may be familiar with.

The trigger press is much smoother than the old Glock trigger. The break itself is crisper. The reset is still as loud and definitive as ever. Overall, a solid trigger for a defensive gun.

It should be emphasized that it’s a good trigger for a defensive gun. This is not a super smooth, precision trigger. Fortunately, this is probably the last gun you’d bring to the competition table, anyway.

Photo by USCCA (Kat Ainsworth)

This might seem like a subjective thing. But 9mm really is the best round for a defensive handgun.

Reasons being:

  • The difference in wounding capacity between 9mm and other popular rounds is negligible.
  • It’s affordable.
  • It’s available anywhere ammo is sold.
  • The recoil is easy to control.

So, Glock made the right choice in offering this gun in 9mm, since it’s slated as a concealed carry gun.

It will work for anyone who wants extreme concealability, regardless of shooting ability or budget.

Now that we’ve said lots of nice things about the Glock 43, where does the Glock 43 leave something to be desired?

Con: Magazine Capacity

Greater concealability always comes with lower ammo capacity. However, the standard Glock 43 magazine holds just 6 rounds, which is a tad low, even for a slimline pistol.

Photo by USCCA (Kat Ainsworth)

The two most popular competing pistols, the Springfield XDs and the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, have 7 round capacities.

As with any small pistol, it’s best if you carry an extra magazine with the Glock 43, which will net you 13 total rounds. But that’s still two fewer than other slim guns.

Read more about glock bullet capacity.

Con: Felt Recoil

We won’t get crazy with the physics and stuff. But, small guns are harder and less comfortable to shoot. This is very true for the Glock 43.

Now, please understand that the recoil is completely manageable, and achieving defensive accuracy will be no problem. But, this gun won’t be fun for blasting cans for hours on end.

The recoil impulse is a bit snappy, and you can really feel it in the meat of your hand behind the beavertail. You’ll probably get a bit of soreness from long shooting and training sessions.

This pistol is best used as a purely defensive gun. The small frame is designed for concealability. That concealability comes at the cost of shootability.

Con: Plastic Sights

This is a pretty standard complaint about Glock sights. The plastic sights just aren’t durable.

For competition and recreation, this isn’t a big deal. But for a defensive gun, you want tough sights. To manipulate your gun with one hand, you use the sights to rack the slide. You’ll just rip plastic sights off your gun when you do one handed operations.

So, the sights are the first thing you should replace when you get this gun. Put some decent steel sights on it.


In the end, the Glock 43 is best as a dedicated concealed carry gun. It’s too small and holds too few rounds to work well in any other shooting context. It’s best for those who have the need and the budget for a purely concealed carry pistol.

If you need deep concealment because of your clothing or body type, the Glock 43 could be the gun for you. The simplicity and top-tier reliability make it an excellent defensive gun.

Those that want a gun they can use for concealed carry and also for recreational shooting or home defense may want to look at a larger pistol.

Now that you know where it excels, check out the Glock 43. Rent it. Shoot it. It might be everything you need from your defensive gun.

Whether to carry publicly or concealed, you are rest assured that it is a reliable gun.

If you're considering on joining competitive shooting, you might want to read our article on Glock 17 on why it is a such a popular handgun among Glock users. Still not convinced? We recommend you try reading our review on glock 48 famously known as an all-purpose handgun.

While you're reading this, you can also take a look at these glock comparisons and this Glock 19 Gen4 review.

You can also check out:

Ways to Disassemble a Glock

How Does Glock Safety Works

True Value of Behind the Pistols Cost

Pistol 101: Zeroing a Pistol

What is a Centerfire Pistol?

Glock Frame Sizes Explained