As Glock established their reputation for quality and full reliability, many handgun owners would include them in their shortlist when looking for new concealment pistols. Among their lineup, one popular line of discussion is Glock 42 vs Glock 43.
Will the two single-stack, striker-fired subcompact pistols measure up against each other? Let’s see from the information below.
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What’s the Difference Between Glock 42 & Glock 43?
The difference between the single-stack subcompact Glock 42 vs Glock 43 carry pistols is evident in their size measurement and caliber type. G42 is a .380 ACP pistol that is slightly slimmer and shorter than the 9mm G43.
At first glance, you might fail to notice the full differences between either carried weapons. But when you compare them side by side, it will be easier to spot that the sub-compact G43 has a longer barrel and a slightly extended overall length.
Although both sub-compact weapons may be light due to their polymer frame material, G43 is relatively heavier than its little brother. Check out the table below for a full comparison.
- Caliber: .380 ACP Auto
- Barrel Length: 3.25 inch
- Overall Length: 5.94 inch
- Overall Width: 0.98 inch
- Height (including magazines) : 4.13 inch
- Weight (with empty mag): 13.76 oz
- Weight (with loaded magazines): 15.87 oz
- Trigger Distance: 2.40 inch
- Round Capacity: Standard: 6 / Optional: 6
- Caliber: 9 x 19 mm
- Barrel Length: 3.41 inch
- Overall Length: 6.26 inch
- Overall Width: 1.06 inch
- Height (including magazines) : 4.25 inch
- Weight (with empty mag): 17.99 oz
- Weight (with loaded magazines): 20.64 oz
- Trigger Distance: 2.56 inch
- Round Capacity: Standard: 6 / Optional: 6
Are There Similarities?
After the sub-compact G42 successfully hit the market in 2014, another sibling, the Glock 43, shortly followed. But before the introduction of G43, Glock 26 has been one of the default baby Glocks. G26 is also almost similarly-sized as G42.
Consequently, most Glock users will agree that both earned Glock’s reputation for having the best reliable track record for their high precision. Besides customer following, there is one massive supply of the best aftermarket accessories available and after-purchase support—no doubt why these are popular enough options for civilians and even law enforcement members, both for home use and outdoors.
Since both guns came from the same reputable brand, you might observe a lot more similarities than differences listed as follows:
- Single-stack, striker-fired sub-compacts
- Lightweight made of a polymer frame
- Safe Action System
- Magazine capacity
- Ultra-concealable carry
Glock 42 & Glock 43 Pricing
For various concealed carry owners, G42 .380 ACP might be far more pricey for a small .380 than other similar Glocks.
But still, based on experience, you get the best value back, given the specifications.
When comparing Glock 42 vs 43, the pricing of the 9mm ammunition is somewhat lower on the average. But even when G43 is our easy winner for the Glock 42 vs 43 battle, both have a manageable price range that won’t hurt your pocket, especially if you’ll consider their many barrel, grip, and magazine round features. You might also see them as cost-effective as you give them a try.
Similar In-Depth Comparison: Glock 19 vs HK P2000
Design & Ergonomics
For some people who bought and tried heavy testing on both pocket guns, it is hard to identify the accurate difference in their grip feel when holding either weapon. However, to some, Glock 43 feels more natural and comfortable in hand, given that it is slightly thicker than the other self-defense pistol model. With this, stability-wise, you might see G43 as a good enough option.
However, if you’ve got really big hands, you might want to think about using a magazine with a pinkie finger add-on for increased comfortability and better feel. But for smaller and slightly bigger hand shooters, both guns make the best fit. Regardless, Glock designed their 42 and 43 to shoot targets well within your range accurately.
Based on our research, we found out that most single-stack Glock pistols customers and enthusiasts do not have any problem with ejecting, feeding, or firing the said guns. Although ballistically-speaking, G43 can be the more favored one.
When you load a G43 pistol with 124-grain bullet ammo, the most common bullet weight for a 9mm self-defense loads, the average velocity is 1168 FPS. The result is muzzle energy of 376 ft-lbs. A G42 gun, on the other hand, when loaded with a 90-grain bullet ammo, has an average velocity of 976 FPS and muzzle energy of 190 ft-lbs.
Glock 43 is like almost double of the G42 .380 ACP.
Since muzzle energy roughly indicates the destructive potential of a pistol, G43 gets the ballistic advantage.
Depending on your needs and preference, you might think about adding the best Glock accessories like a holster to the G42 or Glock 43. For instance, as mentioned earlier, a pinky extension-equipped magazine might be needed to shoot better, especially if you have large hands. Some compact pistols users also prefer changing the factory-supplied sights.
For both the concealed carry Glock 42 vs 43 pocket pistols, you get to purchase the best aftermarket supply accessible. For instance, from alien gear IWB holster to non-slip grip extensions, you can expand to several options that are easy to buy with just one click, any time of the day. Thus, the result calls for a tie in this round.
Recoil of Glock 42 vs Glock 43
For recoil management, the point goes to G42. Generally, it has a bit less recoil than Glock 43.
For a small and lightweight 9mm single-stack sub-compact pistol like Glock 43, it might be slightly more lively, so some people find it enough to make a good shot, even when it’s not free of recoil.
Despite this difference, others still see Glock 43 as a pleasant weapon to shoot.
Thus, even if you consider yourself recoil-sensitive, we suggest that you try using both before coming up with a decision. Besides, a felt recoil might not be the same as the measured one.
Size & Weight
Probably at this point, you are aware that the Glock 42 .380 ACP pistol can easily make a win in the size and weight category. A G43 weighs around five ounces more with a loaded magazine. You can link a part of this weight difference to the side length of the Glock 43 pistol, which is also extended.
Additionally, a G43 gun requires a heavier weight and lengthy barrel design so it can accommodate the larger, higher-pressure rounds much easier. While if you put them side by side, you’ll see G42’s somewhat slimmer body. It also has a shorter barrel, grip length, and overall length.
In theory, you’ll probably love G42 as it’s more portable and more comfortable for concealability, but that does not mean that Glock 43 won’t be one of the best sub-compact concealed carrying weapon, as well.
Glock 42 vs 43 Trigger
G42 and 43, as in most concealed carry Glock pistols series, have the same type of trigger. Based on our research, the trigger pull also appears like one of the most common issues Glock consumers have regarding Glock guns. Many concealed carry Glock pistol owners describe it as a squishy factory trigger.
So, for added confidence, they find accessories on a gun store or turn to gunsmiths for trigger pull job enhancements. Depending on your preference, you might opt to do the same.
Regarding the trigger distance of the pistols, G42 and Glock 43 measure 2.40 inches and 2.56 inches, respectively. Therefore, for large hand shooters, G43 offers more room to move the finger from the resting position towards the gun slide.
Glock Pistol Safety
Glock uses a Safe Action System for their firearms to ensure that their customers can concentrate on shooting rather than being too concerned about disengaging and re-engaging safeties. If you visit Glock’s website, you can see how they boast about the trigger feel, firing pin, and the drop safety features of the pistols.
Both Glock 42 and Glock 43 guns have a fully automatic safety system. So, as long as you securely carry and handle them around, as experts suggest, you don’t have to worry that much.
The two pistols use the same type of factory-supplied sights. The standard Glock sights are made of plastic with a white dot in a visual box reference. Most people decide to enhance their sights because it does not work well with them.
Fortunately, you can choose from a wide selection of sights, including night sights, in the aftermarket should you think it necessary to upgrade to shoot better.
According to our research, the G42 pistol sight sets can work well with the Glock 43 gun. That may be good news if you’re considering getting both models.
Given the weight of a G43 pistol, its rounds are larger and more powerful than the .380 ACP Glock 42 rounds. However, since a Glock 42 .380 ACP gun has relatively lower pressure ammo rounds, it does not need a stiff spring system like what a single stack 9mm six-round has, in most cases.
In terms of function, the majority of G42 and Glock 43 owners seem to experience a 100% reliability when it comes to magazine rounds. Some report a few ammo malfunctions, but according to them, usually, these are user-induced.
If you want to look at ammunition, check out this comparison between .224 Valkyrie and 6.5 Grendel.
Since both subcompact guns are small, you can’t expect to hit accurately past the usual self-defense range. When shot within 25 yards from a bench rest, the pistol’s precision is unquestionable. Besides, you could have pretty decent shots with the right mag round.
Based on various customer ratings, both pistols are well-matched. Although, the G43 may come a long way with only negligible differences.
Capacity of Glock 42 & Glock 43
Glock 42 and 43 pistols have standard ammo capacity 6 + 1, but if you find this a bit lacking, use a magazine release add-on to make it more competitive regarding ammo capacity. However, if you do, you’ll compromise the size and weight of your handgun. Some users suggest that bringing an extra magazine could also be an option.
Mathematically, in evaluating the stopping power, most pistol users and enthusiasts would recommend using Hatcher’s Relative Stopping Power Index. Our research suggests that doing so would give the Glock 43 gun an advantage with 40%-45% stopping power compared to the 30% of Glock 42 .380 ACP.
If we keep the figures aside, those who carry a G42 .380 ACP gun agree that it is less likely to stop an attacker when compared to 9mm calibers. It may still have lethal stopping power for self-defense, according to some, but it depends on your shooting ability as well.
If stopping power is what you’re after, we recommend checking out Remington 783 and 700 comparison article here.
Glock 42 Pros & Cons
Glock 43 Pros & Cons
Glock 42 or 43? Our Choice is…
If we have to declare a winner between a Glock 42 and Glock 43 gun, our choice is Glock 43. For a small concealed carry gun, which is similar to the caliber compatibility of Glock 19 and S&W Shield, Glock 43 has a lot to offer, including its powerful ballistics, greater stopping power, and thicker grip. It is also cheaper despite its several beneficial features.
Yet, if you prioritize size, weight, and recoil for pocket carry, then a Glock 42 .380 ACP gun would be a better choice. If you still can’t make up your mind, then visiting these links might help you better visualize your options.
- Both highly concealable carry pistols
- Might need accessories for increased comfort
- Glock 42 is shorter, lighter, and slimmer
- Glock 43 has stopping power & ballistic performance advantage