Glock 43 Vs Shield

Specification Comparison and Reviews

Glock 43


S&W Shield 9mm

Glock 43 Vs Shield

Specification Comparison and Reviews

The Glock 43 and the Smith & Wesson Shield are two very popular compact pistols that have been highly anticipated. Both of these guns are easily concealed carry a lot of rounds for their size, and are very user-friendly. The main difference between the Glock 43 vs Shield is how they feel in your hand.  Both are chambered in 9mm, have similar magazine capacities, and are polymer-framed, and they both cost around the same amount.

Table of Contents

Both of these guns are very popular for concealed carry due to their ease of use and lightweight. The Glock 43 is slightly bulkier than the Shield but isn’t too hard to conceal. Each gun has a few different variations, but the main difference is that Glock has a model with manual safety, and S&W does not. Read about Glock 43 vs Shield.

Features of Glock 43 Vs Shield

Grip and Textures

Glock 43 is slightly better for people with larger hands. The Shield has a large beavertail, which gives it more comfortable but decreases your grip. On the other hand, the Glock 43 feels much more comfortable in your hands because of its smooth grip.  

Grip and Textures of Glock 43

The Glock 43’s grip has a lot more texture. This makes it easier to keep your hands on the gun in a self-defense situation.  The Shield has a lot of texture on the grip, but it isn’t enough to make it easier to hold onto. Instead, if you are in a self defense situation, it will make it easier for the gun to slip out of your hand.

Grip and Textures of S&W Shield 9mm

Trigger and Shooting

The major difference between these guns is how they shoot and feel when you shoot them. The Glock has an all-metal trigger, whereas the shield’s trigger is made of polymer. The Glock 43 trigger has the same weight as its other versions, which is 5.5 pounds. Some say it doesn’t feel like a 5.5-pound trigger but rather feels like 8 to 10 pounds. 

Trigger of Glock 43

The Shield has a trigger with different weight variations. 5 pound version is too light, whereas others like it because they are used to shooting all metal triggers. The lighter the trigger pull, the more likely it is that you will shoot before you should.

Trigger of S&W Shield 9mm

External Safeties

If you prefer to shoot with external safety, you will probably prefer the Smith & Wesson Shield. If you don’t like external safeties and want to carry cocked and locked, then the Glock 43 is for you. The Glock 43 does not have an external safety, while the Shield comes equipped with external thumb safety. The Glock is also available with an external safety, which you can enable by pulling the trigger.

Slide and Barrel Length

The Glock 43 has a slide length of 6.06 inches and an overall length of 6.26 inches. The Shield’s slide is measured at 4.25 inches, but its total length is only 6.1 inches. This makes the shield easier to fit in small holsters and makes it easier for you to conceal it on your person. The Glock 43 comes with a 3.41-inch barrel, whereas the S&W Shield has a shorter 3.1-inch barrel. If you think that is too short, then obviously, the Glock 43 is for you. On the other hand, if you want to carry as much ammo as possible and still have good concealment, then you might want to look at the Shield.

Magazine Capacity

The Glock 43 has a standard magazine capacity of 6 rounds. There is an extended version that gives you a total of 7 rounds in the mag. In this case, it’s one less than the Shield. If you want to have 7+1 in your gun, then go for the larger model shield. If you prefer to carry with a small mag and don’t mind throwing one more away, then the Shield is for you. This gun comes standard with a 7 round magazine, but an extended version gives you eight rounds in the mag.

Magazine Capacity of Glock 43 Vs Shield

Size and Weight

The Glock 43 is a little bit larger and heavier than the Shield. It measures slightly under 0.15 inches in height and around 1 inch in width. The weight of the Glock is 16.23 oz unloaded, whereas its competitor weighs 20 oz unloaded. If you want a gun that is a little bit easier to conceal, then the Shield is for you. The Smith & Wesson Shield is a little bit more compact. It measures 3.5 inches in height and 0.9 inches in width. The gun’s weight is 20 oz unloaded, which isn’t that much lighter than the Glock 43.

Size of Glock 43 Vs Shield


The Glock 43 does not come with any sights, but it is drilled and tapped for a single pin. You can add aftermarket sights or replace them with the Glock night sight upgrade available at online retailers like Brownells. The Smith & Wesson Shield comes with white-dot front and rear fixed sights. If you prefer to change your iron sights, you can go with a set of aftermarket ones.

Sights of Glock 43 Vs Shield


Both guns have a similar design. The Glock has the traditional polymer frame and is available in multiple colors: black, tan, and even OD green. The Shield uses a similar frame and grip texture. The only difference is that the Shield’s slide comes with serrations, which give it better control while racking or chambering the gun.

Trigger and Reset

The Glock’s trigger has a short reset of around 1/10th inch. This gives you the ability to fire quickly if you want to, but it also causes trouble for some people who aren’t used to such triggers. There is also no perceptible difference in weight between the first and second stages of the trigger. If you want a gun with a more similar trigger to the traditional design, then look for the Shield. It has an almost 5/64-inch reset and a perceptible difference between the first and second stages of the trigger. This gives people who aren’t used to Glock triggers more time to prepare for another shot.

Reliability and Durability

The Glock 43 has a 3-point takedown safety system, with each part having its spring-loaded design. If you shoot the gun to the point where it requires more than X number of parts to be disassembled, you will need a new Glock. The Smith and Wesson Shield comes with improved trigger safety so that your gun doesn’t accidentally go off while carrying it. It also has a loaded chamber indicator for added safety measures.  The gun has a single point takedown design and can be disassembled with ease.

Ease of Use

If you prefer to carry a gun with fewer controls, then the Glock 43 is for you. It doesn’t have any manual safeties or decocking levers. The gun comes standard with an automatic locking feature that deactivates the trigger when the magazine isn’t in the gun. The Smith and Wesson Shield has a trigger safety that prevents accidental strikes on the trigger when you are carrying it in your holster. It also comes with an ambidextrous thumb safety lever if you prefer to have it on your carry firearm. The gun does not come with decocking levers or manual safety, so you must practice good firearm handling.

Shootability and Controls

The Glock 43 has a straight trigger design which is much easier to handle than curved triggers. It also comes with an interchangeable backstrap system that adds customization options for people who prefer different grip styles. The Smith and Wesson Shield also has an interchangeable backstrap system. The gun comes standard with a medium-sized backstrap, but you can remove it and replace it with the small or large one depending on your preference.


Prices vary depending on the retailer and where you purchase your gun from. But as a general rule, expect to spend above $500 for a new Glock 43. You can find one at places like Gunbroker or Brownells. The Smith and Wesson Shield costs below $450 online. Just keep in mind that this is just the base price. You can go with a different finish or change the sights to spend more money on your pistol.

After Market Accessories - Glock 43 Vs Shield

The Glock 43 comes with factory-made accessories, including a paddle holster, double magazine clip, and magazine loader. You can also purchase aftermarket accessories designed specifically for the gun. Here are some  of the accessories that you can buy to customize your guns:


Glock has a large catalog of different sight options designed to work with the G43. Some of these are tritium inserts, which you can choose when shopping for your gun. You can also change out the rear sights by either removing them or adding taller ones that sell separately. The Smith and Wesson have factory made night sights so you can shoot your gun at night or in situations where low light conditions are involved.  You can also change out the front and rear sights to customize your gun even further.

Laser Grips

You can add laser grips to your Glock 43, so you can shoot more accurately. This is a great option for novice shooters and people who want to enhance their training sessions. Laser grips can also be attached to the Smith and Wesson Shield. You can activate this feature when shooting your gun so you can take aim more accurately in low light conditions. This is a great option for novice shooters and experienced law enforcement professionals who need to operate in low-light conditions.


 You can also add light attachments to your Glock 43 and Smith and Wesson Shield. Flashlights will make it easier to see in low-light conditions, but they can be used as striking weapons for self-defense purposes. There are several different flashlight options available for Glocks and S&Ws. You can get specific flashlights or weapon lights that will fit onto the frame rails.

Mag Extenders

There are also magazine extenders that you can purchase for both the Glock 43 and the Smith and Wesson Shield. The G43 mag extender will improve your shooting capacity, while the Shield extender will add about an inch to its overall length.

Grip Enhancers

If you have a smaller hand, you may want to purchase a G43 grip enhancer. This product will cover up the backstrap of your gun so you can get a better hold on it and release the slide more easily. The Smith and Wesson Shield also has factory-made grip enhancers that you can use to increase your firearm’s comfort level when shooting it. The model comes with three grip sizes allowing you to get the most custom fit possible.

Magazine Loader 

The G43 doesn’t come with a magazine loader, so you will need to purchase one separately. This accessory makes it much easier to insert and load your magazines so you can spend more time shooting and less time loading your bullets into the gun. You can find a large variety of Smith and Wesson Shield magazine loaders online or at your local gun store.


Glock 43 holsters are made from a variety of materials. The company makes its line of nylon, leather, and suede gun holsters to fit the pistol. You can also find other holster makers that offer factory-made G43 firearm carry options. Smith and Wesson Shield gun holsters come in various materials, including leather, nylon, and Kydex. They come in standard designs or offer carry options for inside-the-waistband methods of firearm concealment.

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The G43 is a popular option for concealed carry purposes. However, Glock offers other models similar to the G43, including the G26 subcompact, G19 compact, and G17 model.

The Glock 43 is primarily designed for concealed carry purposes. However, it’s still a great option to consider if you want to use your gun for home defense. You can purchase accessories like an integrated light or laser sight, so you have the perfect setup for protecting your family at night.

No, the Smith and Wesson Shield is not a Glock. S&W manufactured this gun to compete with the G43 in concealability and ease of use for self-defense purposes.

The Smith and Wesson Shield is a great option for your everyday carry needs. It’s easy to conceal and has plenty of safety features, including an integrated trigger safety, optional manual thumb safety, and grip safety.


The Glock 43 and Smith and Wesson Shield are both popular options for concealed carry. The G43 is slightly larger than the Shield but has a lower magazine capacity. However, this gun tends to be more reliable than its competitor. Both guns are designed with shooter safety in mind, so you can fire them with confidence, knowing that they are not likely to misfire. While the Shield is a great concealed carry option, it’s also popular among home defense owners who want to protect their families at night. The G43 has many advantages, including an integrated light or laser sight so you can aim easily in low-light conditions. If you’re looking for a new pistol to fit your concealed carry needs, you can’t go wrong with either the G43 or the Smith and Wesson Shield.

Author Profile

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 .

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