Inner Circle (3) Battle of the Baby 9s

Session 3: /Sat, Jan. 18

Brought: M&P Shield in 9mm

Rented: Glock 43, 43X

Range Safety Officer: Lucas, who said he had just come back from a long layoff.

Dissatisfied with the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield that I had purchased five years earlier, I was in search for something equally compact but much more reliable. Enter the Glock 43 & Glock 43X. Who would claim, in my eyes anyway, the title of most reliable compact 9mm?


Glock 43: Ran approximately 35 rounds with zero malfunctions. Shot it accurately, even more so than a typical session with my own M&P Shield. I managed tight groups even out to 10 yards, which was good considering this day marked only the second time I had ever fired this pistol.


I pushed the target out to fifteen yards & produced some high hits especially when attempting double taps; however, all shots remained within 4 inches or so the the center. Needs Work: I could not quickly acquire a sight picture for point & shoot defensive drills


Glock 43X: Complete disappointment. I experienced at least file failures in less than twenty shots, including one FTF (Failure to Feed) after “brass checking” to confirm a chambered round. Even after discontinuing this practice, a practice perfectly normal on the Gen 3 Glock 26 I was owned, I experienced several other failures including an unforgivable light primer strike. I say “unforgivable” because this failure is more common in a revolver and, given all the other categories of failure possible in a semi-automatic, I don’t want yet another drawback added to the list.


It’s worth noting that I later fired off the dented but not fired round out of my M&P Shield with no issues. Personal Observation: The current Gen 5 Glocks aren’t built with the same forgiving tolerances of the Gen 3 & prior models. Even the RSO (Range Safety Officer) stated that the new Glocks were designed to chamber once & forget about. In defense of the 43X, he stated he probably needed to be cleaned as the range guns were only cleaned once a week. Sure, that’s a given–but that’s the whole reason why I’d want a Glock over any other pistol. Because it has a reputation of functioning reliably even with sub-standard care.

M&P Shield: I ran 20 rounds of old MagTech HPs (hollow points) from 2007. I experienced one malfunction I believe on the 2nd mag. I was not as accurate with my own pistol as I was with the Glock 43.

TAKEAWAY: I should buy a Glock 43.



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