We are living in the Golden Age of the modern handgun.
The race between Manufacturers to bring the most capacity coupled with concealabilty has brought some amazing offerings to us, as Consumers. Currently, there are 3 pistols that are vying for the top spot:
• Sig Sauer P365/XL
• Springfield Hellcat
• Glock 43/X
I have owned all three of these pistols and, like anything, each has it’s pros & cons, but I am not going to get into all of that, in this post. Instead, I am solely going to focus on what I have decided to carry and why.
Before we get too deep into the model, let’s take a moment to discuss why I chose a Glock product to begin with…
Glock has given itself the label of “perfection”, but there are some lack-luster qualities that have added fuel to critic’s fire and annoy even “Glock fanboys”. One is the grip angle… at about 22°, it takes some getting used to, especially if you’re coming from another platform. To mitigate this, I have all of my Glock trigger guards undercut (material removed from where the trigger guard and grip meet) by my good friend Matt, at Defiant AZ, to allow me a more natural point angle as well as allowing me to get my hand a bit higher up on the gun.
Quite possibly the most common gripe though, are the stock, plastic “field-goal” style sights. While not entirely bad, from a sight-picture perspective (most new shooters can hit the target fairly accurately with them), they are far from ideal in any situation, other than at the range. Most more experienced shooters will opt to replace the plastic OEM sights with, at the bare minimum, a set of steel ones, or better still, a set of steel night sights, or my favorite, an R.D.P.O (Red Dot Pistol Optic).
Probably the next most discussed & replaced feature of a Glock pistol is the trigger. Here, again, the stock component is not terrible, it’s just, perhaps, not as good as it could be and is definitely not as good as other stock triggers (-cough Walther, -cough CZ, -cough Canik). I would hazard a guess that most shooters replace their Glock triggers for one of three reasons; they see or watch an Instagram post or YouTube video about an upgraded trigger, they handle or shoot another Manufacturer’s pistol with a better feeling trigger (or an upgraded Glock trigger), or they are looking for ways to improve the speed and/or accuracy. There are many excellent aftermarket triggers available for just about every model Glock pistol, so one should have little trouble finding one they like.
Wait… so, why Glock?
Let me start this section with a disclaimer… I am NOT a Glock fanboy, by any means. I have bought and sold more than a few Glock pistols, trying to find a platform that I like better, only to return to the Glock. Every. Single. Time. Why? Because I finally came to realize that, like with just about every other aspect of my life, I prefer simplicity (I have even gone as far as to label myself an “Essentialist”). I don’t want, need or care for a lot of superfluous “stuff”. I prefer things that, while I may pay a bit more for, I can depend on to work without issue and without me having to bother myself over, unless I want to. The Glock pistol has, perhaps, the most exquisitely simplistic engineering on the planet. I can completely disassemble the entire pistol in about a minute and a half, and reassemble it about as quickly and replace and/or change any of those parts easily & confidently. But most importantly, it goes bang. Every. Single. Time. For a tool that I am entrusting not only my life, but the lives of my loved ones & even strangers to, I want absolutely ZERO doubt that, should I need it, it will perform as expected.
Having owned & fired just about every modern compact, sub-compact & micro-compact pistol, I called the original G43 the “Goldilocks Gun”…I it was just right for me. It was small & concealable, it felt great in my hand and I actually shot it really well. The only real downside to it (even before the advent of the Sig P365) was it’s capacity. 6+1 seemed a little lacking, for a defensive pistol and thus I made the switch to the Sig.
I mean, c’mon… just look at the thing; it’s GORGEOUS! It came from the Factory with steel night sights, the trigger was impressive, to say the least, and it held 10+1. The P365 was and is a phenomenal pistol. But, immediately upon shooting it, I noticed a couple of things… firstly, the grip felt really tiny in my hand (not width-wise, but front to back, if that makes sense?). It just didn’t feel right in my hands. Next, upon taking it down for cleaning, I was struck by the complexity of the engineering of this little pistol. Don’t get me wrong, I can and have taken the P365/XL completely apart, changed out the trigger, added spring kit upgrades, etc, but it required vastly more time & anxiety than the Glock. But, I digress… suffice it to say I decided to continue my quest, purchasing a Springfield Hellcat and many other pistols, before landing back at Glock and their Gen 5 19 MOS.
Let me say, in all honesty, that if concealability & weight were no issue for EDC, I would need nothing more than the Glock 19. But, as both size and weight do play a major role in what, where & how one carries, I found myself wishing I could, effectively, take my 19 & shrink it down just a bit…
Then, like magic, the 43X appeared on the scene, essentially giving me everything I was looking for (thanks Rick Moranis!). Now, of course, I lost 5 rounds of ammunition between the 19 and the 43x, (Shield Arms has already got that covered with their S-15 Mag, should I ever feel the need). But, what I did gain was a reduction in weight (about a quarter-pound) and extra concealabilty due to the 43X being smaller and slimmer, overall.
* Note – The weight comparison is not exactly apples-to-apples, as the 43X has an aftermarket slide with a large, rectangular window cut towards the muzzle and the Trijicon RMR (on the 19) is about 0.17oz heavier than the Holosun 407K, on the 43X. However, the aftermarket steel sights on the Glock 43X weigh less than the Trijicon Supressor-height ones on the 19.
Aftermarket & Parts Availability
The other area where the Glock platform outperforms nearly every competitor (at least 2-to-1), is in aftermarket & parts availability. Nearly every single component on a Glock pistol has at least one (and in some cases, MANY) aftermarket parts just waiting to be swapped in. This piques my interest as both a tinkerer and a shooter, because it gives me the ability to not only disassemble/reassemble it, but, I can also tune the pistol to exactly my liking.
As for my current setup, I started with the sights. Coming from the Gen 5 19 MOS, I knew I wanted to add a red dot optic, but the new 43X MOS was selling for around 1K sans optic at the time, so I needed a different solution. I decided on the Holosun 407K (the RMR is a little too wide for the slide) and eventually found a company called TTS Custom that offered a ready-made slide with the cutout needed for the optic. Since the Holosun basically has a rear sight built it, I decided on a set of AmeriGlo Defoor steel, blacked out sights (only $35 on Amazon). Lastly, I selected a FACTR USA aluminum, flat-faced trigger, which I really enjoy shooting. The internals are all stock (other than the trigger/bar) and, knock on wood, I haven’t had a single issue in about 400 rounds. After spending very little time zeroing in the optic, this little setup is extremely stealthy, quick and accurate!
So to wrap up this rather long post, I’ll end by saying that I highly recommend Glock pistols to all of my Clients and training Students, whenever asked. While I don’t consider the brand “Perfect”, it is, at least in my mind, is about as close as it gets. And the 43X checks off the most boxes for me, personally, to make it my EDC pistol of choice.