Early this week I made the 45ish mile one way drive to Ray O'Herron's in Danville Illinois. This is where I try to buy all my guns and accessories because I appreciate the professionalism and attitude of the sales staff. Ray O'Herron's is our local Blue Label Glock dealer which offers special pricing for first responders, military, and others. As such they can't sell Glocks to anyone but those who qualify, but they sell all their other guns to anyone who meets the legal requirements. If you don't meet the Blue Label requirements and want a Glock head to Liberty Gun Shop in Homer. They have a wide variety of handguns, rifles, reloading equipment, and more.
Today was special. I received an email the afternoon before letting me know my long awaited Glock G43 was in and waiting for me pick up. The G43 is Glock's answer to the small single stack 9mm market and Glock fans the world over have been waiting for with more than a little patience. I was taken aback by the number of people on Ray O'Herron's Danville store waiting list for this pistol. I won't give the exact number, but believe me it's huge. This is going to be an exceptionally popular weapon.
Like Smith and Wesson's excellent M&P Shield in 9mm, the Glock G43 is both surprisingly easy to shoot fast and accurately, and handles well. But don't forget, it's a pocket size pistil and as such is significantly more difficult to shoot well than a full size 9mm like the Glock G19 or Smith and Wesson M&P MP9. It's a trade-off in all respects.
I was able to make relatively fast close in shots at 5 and 7 meters. effect a fast reload and quickly put 6 more shots (the capacity of the G43 is 6 for both mag types though there are +1 and +2 base plate extensions available) into the steel plate at 25 meters.
The surface of the G43 is lightly stippled, yet my support hand had to keep repositioning to keep a solid hold. I had the same issue with the Shield and virtually all other pocket 9mm's (and of course .380's), and with the Shield I was able to solve the issue with some stick on rubberized texture sheets cut specifically for the Shield. 2 minutes after opening the package the new grip surface was working for me. If these were personal guns and not range guns I'd send them off to be stippled or I'd do one of my own stipple jobs like I did for my personal M&P 9mm and MP9c..
There's a lot of talk on the internet about the G43's 6 round (only) capacity. The Shield which is very close to the same size comes with a 7 and 8 round magazine, and a bigger grip to hold them which of course makes it more difficult to carry and conceal. For a few bucks I can buy a +1 and +2 baseplate extension for the G43 and now I can match the capacity of the S&W excellent Shield or I can carry an overall smaller package with just 6 rounds. I like having the choice.
In the pictures you'll see a IWB holster from our favorite holster maker Contact Concealment. http://contactconcealment.com/ With this holster the G43 disappears into the front of your pants in an appendix carry or behind your hip in a traditional IWB carry. The holster works great as you'd expect. Tell Bruce Steve from Champaign CCW sent you. It won't get you a discount, but it's nice if he can hear his support is appreciated.
If I get time I'll do a more thorough write up on this long awaited mini powerhouse.. For now I'm going to keep shooting it and learn all I can about it's sue. I'll also explore some of the aftermarket offerings as well. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.