Glock 42 Vs 43

The Glock 42 and 43 pistols were designed to be single stack compact pocket guns.  They are chambered in .380 Auto Pistol cartridges, also known as 9mm.  This cartridge holds less powder than the standard 9x19mm Luger / Parabellum or .45 Auto cartridges and therefore does not carry as much energy.  The Glock 42 and 43 pistols still carry more than the .380 Auto pocket pistols, such as S&W Shield or PF9. Now Lets read the review of Glock 42 vs 43.

Glock 42

New and Pre Owned
Glock 42’s In Stock

Glock 42

Table of Contents

Glock 42 Vs 43

Grip and Textures

The Glock 42 grip is very well designed for anyone with smaller hands.  It has finger grooves molded into the handle to help keep your grip secure, even if you are sweaty or bloody.  The bottom of the handle also has a small bump to allow you to get a solid purchase on it for racking the slide. The Glock 43 grip is just a little bit longer than the 42, remains one of the smallest handguns on the market. The textured design is also very similar to that of the Glock 42.

Grip and Textures of Glock 42 Vs 43

Size and Weight

The Glock 42 and 43 have the same length dimensions of 5.94 inches by 4.13 inches, but the Glock 43 is slightly thicker at 1.02 inches than 0.94 for the 42.  The barrel of Glock 42 pistol measure 3.25 inches long, while the barrel on the Glock 43 measures slightly longer at 3.42 inches long.  The Glock 42 weighs in at 12.17 ounces unloaded and 16.23 ounces for the Glock 43,  which is significantly more due to the slightly thicker frame. 

Magazine Capacity

The Glock 42 comes with a standard 6 round magazine but can also use the 7 round extended mags from the Glock 43.  Both magazines are single stack and very narrow in design to fit into pockets without adding too much bulk to the gun.  A full size 9mm magazine for both of these pistols hold 15 rounds, but the extended magazines will add a little extra grip to help secure the gun in your hand.  The G43 mags will also add an inch to the overall length of the Glock 43.

Glock 42 Vs 43 Magazine Capacity

Trigger Pull and Travel

The trigger pull on both pistols is extremely short.  The Glock has a 5.5-pound pull, which is one of the shortest in the industry.  The Glock 42 is also slightly smaller than the Glock 43, allowing for faster follow up shots with less recoil pushing back into your hand. The trigger travel distance for Glock 42  is only 2.40 inches.  The trigger travel distance on the Glock 43 is wider at 2.56 inches but is also much smoother than the 42 due to the slightly larger size of the 43 pistol.  Both pistols have a relatively short trigger reset distance at only .47 inches.

Glock 42 Vs 43 Trigger Pull And Capacity

Line of Sight and Sight Radius

The Glock 42 and 43 have a very large line of sight due to the lack of a protruding handgun grip.  The polymer sight for Glock 42  is 4.92 inches from the bottom of the base to the top of the front sight.  The Glock 43 is slightly longer at 5.24 inches from the ground up to the tip of the front sight. The Glock 43 has a larger sight radius due to its larger size gives you more time to line up your shots without moving your wrist into uncomfortable positions.   The Glock 42 has a steel sight of 4.88 inches, and the Glock 43 comes with a slightly longer sight at 5.20 inches.

Glock 42 Vs 43 Line of Sight and Sight Radius

Sights

The Glock 43 comes with the option of using steel or plastic sights.  The front sight is a very simple post, much like the Glock 42, but it also has two white dots for much better visibility.  A front and rear set of sights are standard on both pistols, making them perfect for pocket carry due to their small size.  The lightweight weight and easy maneuverability make them great for shooters with smaller hands or those who can’t carry a much larger gun, such as Glock 17.

Sights of Glock 42 vs 43

Advantages

Reliability

The Glock 42 and 43 have a very good reputation for reliability. They are extremely easy to clean and maintain, ensuring smooth operation with little to no maintenance required for thousands of rounds. Both use the same trigger mechanism like many other popular Glocks but work with aftermarket parts designed specifically for the 42 and 43. Several trigger kits can be used to give these pistols some extra firepower without too much work but still only require the standard field stripping of the gun to make modifications.

Durability

Any Glock pistol will hold up to plenty of wear and tear. The polymer build makes them very lightweight, which is perfect for people with smaller hands who can’t handle the weight of some larger models. The small profile also allows for easy concealability in almost any holster or through clothing without adding too much bulk to your daily carry.

Simplicity

Both guns use a very simple design with very few internal parts (which means fewer possible points of failure). The Glock 42 and 43 can both be disassembled and reassembled in less than 3 minutes for cleaning or maintenance by removing the trigger pin, pulling back the slide slightly to release it from the frame, removing 2 more pins on either side of the gun (underneath where the slide stops), and finally removing the barrel. The simplicity of the design also makes the Glock 42 and 43 perfect for shooters that don’t have a lot of knowledge or experience working with firearms.

Glock 43

New and Pre Owned
Glock 43’s In Stock

Glock 43

Shooting

The Glock 43 is slightly thicker than the 42, which means it will have a little more kick and make for less accurate shots. Both pistols shoot very flat and remain on target for follow-up shots without too much of a problem. The larger profile on the Glock 43 also makes it feel sturdier in your hand and makes it easier to keep a good grip on the gun. The larger profile and added width will also allow wider controls like the magazine release and slide stop. These pistols shoot around 10 inches high at 25 yards, which is slightly above average accuracy for most polymer guns in its class.

Concealability

The Glock 43 is slimmer than the 42, which makes it an optimal choice for everyday carry. Both are small enough to fit in your average pocket but will likely be visible through pants or other tighter clothing. Finding a holster that works well with both pistols should only take a few minutes of comparison browsing online. The slim profile also makes them great for people with smaller hands or anyone who wants a lightweight pistol that won’t be too cumbersome when added to their daily carry loadout.

Glock 42 Vs 43 Sights

Disadvantages

Recoil

Although both pistols are very lightweight, they have a bit more kick than the average 9mm. This is normal for pistols this size but can be slightly painful or tiring to shooters with smaller hands. Of course, the recoil profile will vary depending on what type of ammo you shoot in it, so only use the best brands and bullet weights you can find to minimize the recoil as much as possible for your purposes.

Size

The Glock 42 is slightly thinner than the 43 but still has a fairly large footprint for such a small pistol (roughly the same size as any other full-sized handgun). The added length and width will make it more difficult to conceal in certain areas like deep inside your waistband. A belt clip holster or IWB holster with a slightly higher degree of concealment will likely be your best bet, but they can still easily be carried in a purse or on the ankle.

The Glock 42 is designed for daily carry and is better suited for people who want a reliable pistol without too much bulk. The 43 will give you a little bigger handgrip but isn’t too much bigger to where you can’t hide it.

Aftermarket Accessories

Both are compatible with most aftermarket accessories, but the Glock 43 will need a polymer adapter for larger accessories. These can be found online or at any gun store that carries Glocks. Here are some of the accessories that you can add to your 42 or 43:

Laser Sight

You can add a laser sight to both the Glock 42 and 43, but you will need to get an adapter that goes on top of the slide because these guns don’t have pre-made holes for such accessories.

Red Dot Sights

Both pistols will work with some red dot sights, but you will need an adapter if your setup is a polymer. The Glock 42 seems to have the most difficult time finding a comfortable position for several brands of red dots sights, though, so that may be something to pay close attention to before making a purchase.

Trigger

The stock trigger on both handguns isn’t too bad, but dropping in a poly trigger kit from one of the major brands like Apex or Agency Arms will give you an even better pull and a more comfortable feel. These kits can be found at almost any gun store that sells Glocks as well as online.

Slide

Enlarging the 45 ACP slide and barrel opening is another great way to customize these handguns. This will allow you to shoot with a suppressor or insert a threaded barrel, which can help keep you on target for follow up shots. The Glock 43 makes this job much easier because it has a slightly larger slide opening, but it can still be done on a 42. Note that the slide will get much hotter from having to eject a larger cartridge and is recommended for shooters who have some experience working with handguns.

Holsters

Both of these pistols are compatible with most holsters on the market, but you may need to find a holster that has been designed for a compact handgun to get the best fit. For example, if you want an ankle holster, it is better to choose one made specifically for this purpose instead of trying to modify an IWB or belt slide holster.

Grips

The Glock 42 is compatible with all standard Glock grips, but the 43 will need polymer adapters. These are designed to replace the plastic front grip on the handgun and allow for the use of practically any style or brand of wooden or polymer grips that can be placed on a Picatinny rail.

Magazine Loader

Inserting and removing a magazine from these handguns can be difficult because of the small size and tough double-stack design. A loader is recommended to assist with this process and can usually be found for sale at gun stores that carry Glock pistols.

Glock 42

New and Pre Owned
Glock 42’s In Stock

Glock 42

FAQs

In terms of concealability, yes.  In terms of everything else, maybe.  It is much more difficult to find holsters that fit the Glock 43, and it costs a little more than its predecessor.  Additionally, if you are coming from a standard caliber handgun, the recoil will take some getting used to because it is more snappy than what you are probably used to.

Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

It depends on what you intend to do with it.  For casual plinking and target practice, the Glock 42 is perfectly fine.  However, for self defense or other more serious applications, you may want to look into something else.

Yes.  The Glock 42 is a smaller version of the Glock 17 and uses the same magazines.  You can shoot 9mm in it, but you will need to add 9mm specific plastic inserts to avoid splitting the cases open when firing.  These are usually called mag blocks, and most guns stores that carry Glocks should have them in stock.  They are cheap and easy to install, so you might want to get a few extra just if you lose one.

It can be, but it depends on the shooter and what kind of options they need.  For example, if you want a gun that will require less training to operate effectively, better options are out there for defense handguns.  A handgun is only as good as the person using it, and if you cannot master a double action trigger, a Glock 42 may not be the best choice for you.

The biggest difference between the Glock 42 and 43 is chambering.  Other than that, they are pretty much the same handgun with the same specs.  It also depends on what you plan to use it for. If you want a larger hand grip, buy the 43. If you want something more concealable, go for the 42.

Conclusion

It depends on what you want. The Glock 42 is more suited for casual shooters who want to do some plinking or target practice. At the same time, the 43 is better for people who prefer a compact design and need something that fits more easily in their pockets without sacrificing too much firepower.  It is similar to comparing a full-size handgun vs a compact handgun. You can use either one, but if you go with the full size, it will probably be better in terms of accuracy and performance while also giving you more options in terms of accessories.

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Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .
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