The Glock 43 are Glock 19 are two of Glock’s most popular pistols. Both are chambered in 9mm and both have widespread appeal with civilian concealed carriers. If you had to choose between these two it would be hard to choose a “bad” option, but they do have some important and significant differences. Let’s take a look at these two pistols and see what those differences are.
What is the Glock 43?
Introduced in 2015, the Glock 43 was the third pistol in Glock’s “Slimline” series, and the first one chambered in 9x19. The Slimline series is a family of single-stack pistols that now includes the Glock 36, 42, 43, 43X, and 48, as well as MOS-variants of the 43X and 48. These pistols are known for being extremely thin, owing to their single-stack magazine. This is great for shooters with smaller hands or those who demand deep concealment.
The Glock 43 is the smallest 9mm pistol that Glock currently manufactures. It is a sub-compact pistol, similar in size to the G26, but much thinner, with a capacity of 6+1. It has become extremely popular with Citizen concealed carriers and as a backup gun for LEOs due to its very small size and light weight. Of course, it has the legendary Glock reliability, and is chambered for a duty cartridge, making it an easy choice for these roles.
The Glock 43 is very small, and isn’t suitable for uniformed duty carry, and it isn’t ideal for home defense. It is great for unconventional carry methods. The G43 works very well for ankle carry, and practically disappears when put in an inside-the-waistband holster.
The G43 is an upstart compared to the venerable Glock 19, the undisputed King of the hill. Let’s take a look at the G19, what it is, and how these pistols differ.
What is the Glock 19?
The Glock 19 has a couple decades on the G43. It was introduced in 1988 as a slightly more compact version of the Glock 17. Chambered in 9x19mm NATO it is considered a compact pistol. Though originally intended for law enforcement, gun-owners immediately understood the value of a compact, lightweight, reliable pistol that held 15+1 rounds. For years the Glock 19 has been one of the most popular pistols in American and the concealed carry pistol de rigueur.
The Glock 19 is considered a compact pistol and its overall profile is pretty small. It is still fairly thick, though, due to its large, double-stack magazine. This makes the grip frame a bit large for some shooters. The Glock 19 includes an accessory rail for mounting lights, lasers, and other accessories, further increasing its utility and versatility. The Glock 19 is available in a Gen3 configuration with a finger-grooved frame. It is also available as a Gen4, as well as a Gen5 with a marksman barrel, flared magazine well, ambidextrous slide release, and front cocking serrations. A MOS version of the Gen5 is available, as well, making it compatible with a variety of red dot optics.
The Glock 19 is sort of a “do it all” pistol. It serves admirably as a concealed carry pistol for many. It is also large enough to work well as a duty pistol, as it does for police departments like the NYPD and DC Metro police. Hell, even the FBI uses a version of the Glock 19 as its issued sidearm. The Glock 19 is an issued sidearm for US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) units like Special Forces, SEALs, Rangers, and Marine Raiders. The G19 functions well as a home defense pistol, too, making it one of the most well-rounded pistols out there.
Feature Comparison: Glock 43 v Glock 19
Now that we’ve discussed the Glock 43 and the Glock 19 separately, let’s compare then against each other. There are quite a few significant differences between these two pistols, most notably the size.
The Glock 19 is a “compact” pistol and the Glock 43 is a “subcompact Slimline” pistol. There is a vast gulf between the two. Let’s begin with overall dimensions. The overall length of the Glock 43 is 6.26 inches versus the G19’s 7.28 inches, making the 43’s slide over an inch shorter. The height of the G43 is 4.25 inches, while the height of the G19 is 5.04 inches, again a big difference – maybe bigger than the numbers would indicate.
The difference in slide length does mean a couple things, both pretty significant. First, the shorter slide length of the G43 will obviously be able to be concealed more readily. Beyond that, though, shorter slide length also means shorter barrel length, which means less velocity. Defensive ammunition may be less apt to expand as designed when fired from a shorter barrel. Second, the shorter slide also means a shorter sight radius, making the G43 more difficult to shoot accurately.
One of the biggest differences from a practical standpoint is the width of these two guns. The Glock 43 has a frame width of 1.06 inches at its widest point. The Glock 19 has a width of 1.34 inches. That 1/3 of an inch is a pretty massive difference that creates a much smaller grip circumference and shorter trigger reach.
The weight is another pretty big difference. With a loaded magazine the G43 weighs in at 20.64 ounces. The Glock 19, also with a loaded magazine, weighs in at 30.16 ounces. That’s almost 10 ounces – over half a pound heavier. That weight savings is a massive differentiator, making the G43 much easier to carry.
One big factor in the weight difference is magazine capacity. The Glock 19’s magazine holds two and a half times the ammunition contained in the G43 mag. This is what makes the Glock 19 suitable for uniformed carry and use as a standard sidearm for some military units. As mentioned earlier the G19 is also set up for a mounting a light and is avaible in an MOS version, both features that the G43 lacks.
Pros and Cons of G43 & G19
The pros of the G43 are its small size. It is a Glock with Glock reliability, it is chambered in a potent, duty caliber, yet it is pocket-sized small. This is the pistol you can carry all day, whether off-duty or plainclothes cop, or civilian concealed carrier. It is also the gun that can go in an ankle holster as a backup gun. It can also serve as a deep-cover for special assignments, or occasions requiring atypical dress. This is the sole “pro” of the G43 but it is not one that should be underestimated!
On the downside you get limited capacity. The 6+1 capacity of the G43 is close to revolver capacity. You also have to contend with a gun that recoils harder due to lighter weight and a smaller grip to hang on to. The Slimline Glock pistol has a shorter sight radius, and may produce weaker terminal performance due to a shorter barrel. These are big downsides, but choices that we sometimes make in order to have a gun on us at all times.
The pros of the G19 are many. First, it is truly legendary for reliability and shootability. The author was issued a G19 during some of his overseas time with an “other government agency” and never felt at a disadvantage for carrying a “compact” pistol. The Glock 19 also packs 15 rounds of 9mm, and is available with features that the G43 is not.
The main downside of the Glock 19 is its size. Though it is considered a compact pistol, some find it pretty big for concealed carry. The grip circumference is also fairly large, especially for those with small-to-medium hands.
<H2> Glock 19 vs Glock 43: Which is Right for You? </H2>
Which you choose is ultimately up to you, your personal preference, and your stated mission. Are you packing up for duty? Then you’re probably going to go with the Glock 19. Are you trying to set up one pistol to serve bedside duty, work as a concealed carry gun, and plan to fire thousands of rounds? Those all sound like jobs for the G19.
If concealment is your primary mission, the G43 wins it hands-down. It is smaller, lighter, and can be carried much more comfortably, in many more locations on your body. It gives up a lot for this ease of carry, but again you have to decide what is most important for your use-case.
Best Upgrades for Glock Models
Regardless of whether you go with ultra-small and lightweight, or larger, more versatile, and more shootable, both the Glock 43 and the Glock 19 can be improved upon.
Aftermarket triggers are an excellent upgrade that can improve the performance of nearly any Glock. Aftermarket, drop-in trigger kits like the TAC Trigger offered by Overwatch Precision can decrease the trigger pull length, lighten the trigger, and make it crisper. This aluminum trigger offers a flat face, is available in several colors (with cool, contrasting trigger safety colors, too!), and makes your trigger both lighter and crisper - all without sacrificing a shred of reliability.
Factory Glock sights can sometimes leave a lot to be desired, as well. The HAVE BLUE sights offered by Overwatch Precision offer a rugged, steel rear sight with a clean, crisp, fiber-optic front sight. The aggressive forward angle of the rear sight allows for easy one-handed manipulations, and all the angles are smoothed to be easy on the hands.
The Glock 43 and Glock 19 are both outstanding platforms, and there is probably a place in your safe for both. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll be well served and satisfied. Overwatch Precision offers a host of other upgrades for your favorite Glock model, from the ubiquitous and infinitely popular Glock 19 to the new crop of Slimline Nines and everything in between!