Many years have passed since I purchased my first carry gun, a used Generation 2 Glock 19. The previous owner had gotten the slide refinished a matte electroless nickel (said to be hard chrome according to the fella behind the gun shop counter) which made it stand out in a sea of black handguns in the display case. The Gen 2’s lack of finger grooves appealed to me since the finger grooves on the “new” Gen 3’s didn’t fit me that well and who needs a fancy rail on the front to carry a light when weapon mounted lights hadn’t really caught on yet.
This gun went with me everywhere. Camping, Hunting, Fly Fishing, late nights in rough neighborhoods while working as a locksmith, local practical shooting matches, it could do it all. Sure I had other guns, but none of them could match the concealability and light weight of my trusty G19 while still being large enough to shoot with precision. With its smooth action and unique looks there have been several occasions where other guys at the range made offers in attempts to buy it. All of which I politely declined.
It was worn, shiny on the corners, scratched, and dinged with each blemish telling a story of its journey. The tritium night sights have faded to a faint glow and can only be seen in the darkest conditions. I knew it was about time to retire this old piece of equipment but it felt like putting down an old dog.
With the release of each Generation of Glock handgun I just could not justify purchasing a replacement. Each new release was proceeded with such hype about how great they would be but when I got them in my hands although they were nice and some of the improvements were exciting they weren’t “better enough” to replace my trusty G19.
In late 2018 rumors started to circulate the Glock Inc was going to showcase something that peeked my interest at SHOT Show 2019. The story was that they where going to release a compact handgun with the thickness and slide dimensions of a G43 and grip length of a G19 and another with the same frame and a longer slide that is closer to the dimensions of a G19. Both new models boasting a magazine capacity of 10+1. My primary objection to the G43 from the beginning was its limited capacity so these new offerings were something to look into.
As it turns out the rumors where true and on January 2nd 2019 Glock Inc. announced the two new additions to their product line. The Glock 43X and Glock 48
A few days after its release upon reading the specs for both guns I made a decision and picked up my new blaster, The Glock 43X.
I chose the G43X simply because it was shorter and fit into the G43 leather that I already owned from my previous test drive. I didn’t see a distinct advantage in having a longer slide on a CCDW gun. After getting my hands on this pistol my initial impressions where quite positive. I found the silver PVD coating to be very aesthetically pleasing and the front cocking serrations are handy for the requisite press check. The grip length being similar to the G19 was very comfortable and albeit considerably slimmer than the grip of a G19 it filled my hand adequately for a positive shooting grip giving the control under recoil of a much larger gun.
As with every Glock handgun the sights and trigger needed to be addressed. The sights that came on this gun are the plastic rear with a white “goal post” outline and white dot front that are standard fare for most Glocks from the factory. The trigger pull was tolerable but longer and heavier than I would prefer.
Before its first trip to the range I installed a black serrated Vickers Elite Battle Sight rear and Snag Free Tritium front sight from Wilson Combat resulting in a much more clear, functional, and precise sight picture. Purchasing this gun with the intent that it would fill the role of my EDC gun the steel construction of these Wilson Combat sights gave me much more confidence in their durability over the plastic counter parts that were supplied.
Next on the list was the trigger. Soon after the release of the G43X and G48 it was announced that the G43 Cary Trigger System from Glocktriggers.com is compatible with these new models making it the obvious choice of replacement trigger. With the G43 Trigger System being assembled using OEM parts and springs I could rest assured there would be no compromise in reliability. After a simple drop in installation the trigger pull was instantly much better. The break was crisp and considerably lighter than the factory trigger. With the reduced pre-travel modification of the G43 “RP” trigger it removed a great deal of the take-up experienced during the initiation of the trigger press as compared to the stock trigger. The difference in quality of the trigger pull after installation was a drastic improvement.
Carried securely in a Bravo Concealment holster, the light weight and slim dimensions of the G43X make it a dream to wear all day. With a capacity of 10+1 and a spare magazine I don’t feel that I am at a disadvantage like I do with the lower capacity G43 or J-Frame revolvers.
All and all I’m very pleased with my purchase and believe that this little gun, with its upgraded sights and trigger, will find itself on my hip more often than many of the handguns at my disposal. As for my old trusty Glock 19, I suppose it can just retire to a padded top shelf in the safe… for now.