As you’ve probably heard by now, Glock has announced the availability of its long-awaited single stack 9mm pistol – the Glock 43.
According to Glock VP Josh Dorsey, “The G43 is the most exciting product release to date because it addresses a variety of issues that many shooters face with pistols in the concealed carry category. It will be the pistol of choice for law enforcement and civilians. The G43 sets a new standard for concealed carry pistols.”
Well, I hate to disagree with Mr. Dorsey, but the Glock 43 sets a new standard for Glock, but not necessarily for the concealed carry pistol category as a whole. My current CCW is the M&P Shield.
I’ve found it to be reliable, accurate, and very carry friendly. Given that, should I replace my Shield with the new kid on the block? Many Shield owners will be facing the same decision.
Here are the stats for the new pistol.
Out of the box, the 43 will be smaller than the Shield. Triangle Tactical did an approximate size comparison between the 43 and other popular pistols including the Shield. In the grid below, the Glock 43 is the red pistol.
The Shield isn’t the smallest single-stack 9mm you can find, but here’s the thing. The Shield holds 7+1 rounds (8+1 with the extended base plate) versus the Glock’s 6+1. Glock fans are already making excuses for the loss of rounds by saying that Glock will ultimately release extended magazines for the 43. Well, guess what? Effectively lengthen the grip of the 43 by adding an extended magazine and the gun gets closer to the Shield in size. The frame width of the Glock 43 is slightly narrower than the Shield by a scant 2 mm. The Shield’s barrel is 7 mm shorter and the gun is shorter in overall length by 4 mm. Overall, I don’t expect the 43 to print much different from the Shield. Especially if you run it with an extended magazine. Sorry, not exactly breaking new ground there.
The Glock 43 weighs 3 ounces lighter empty. That’s significant enough to notice. However, I hardly notice when I’m wearing the Shield now. It’s pretty light even when fully loaded.
I expect the 43 trigger to be very Glock-like, which is a compliment. Many criticize the Shield’s trigger as being “gritty” and too heavy. Mine has smoothed out over time and I believe it breaks around 7 lbs, which is heavier than the 5.5 lbs Glock trigger but not unreasonable for a carry gun. In fact, I favored the Shield over alternatives like the Kahr PM9 and the Beretta Nano because of the trigger. I’m more than fine with it.
Glocks are ultra-reliable but so is the Shield. I’ve run every type of ammo imaginable through my gun without issue.
Accessories should be widely available for the Glock. The same can be said for the popular Shield. A draw in my opinion. The guns will be a different story. I suspect limited availability for the 43 in-year. The new pistol will MSRP at $589 and prices won’t drop much until supply catches up with demand. The Shield’s street pricing hovers around $350-400 so there will be a pretty significant price gap between the two in the near term.
I think the Glock 43 will be wildly popular with law enforcement (as an approved back-up and off-duty weapon) and civilians who like Glock and think this is a significant improvement over what they carry now. Personally, I can’t justify moving away from a pistol that has worked well for me to shave 3 ounces and 1.5 lbs in trigger pull while losing 2 rounds of capacity and paying at least $140 more for the privilege. Tempting but I’ll pass.