Been a while since I've posted. But had something worthy a share. I think the 43X a serious contender for best CCW gun of all time.
Most of the time I state Glocks are the 2nd best pistols. I state this most often with my favorite pistol, the Glock 10mm 20 SF. It is what I like in 10mm, there may very well be something better in 10mm. I don't know what the best would be. The fact that everyone tends to compare their pistol to a Glock means something. For the first time ever, I've started to use the wording best when I talk about a Glock.
For years (even a decade) I've been carrying a 5 round S&W .38spl +P. As an EDC, when not in the woods, it is simply a no good reason not to carry firearm. The only thing I found comparable was the Ruger LCP .380 ACP. The LCP is a slightly easier carry. .38spl +P vs .380 LVP are similar calibers when it comes to a needed SD ballistics. I preferred the revolver as there are some ever so rare reliability issues with automatics vs revolvers. Again very (very, very) rare, but revolvers in my experience have the slightest edge. It was worth giving up a round.
I considered them lazy carry options and are better than no carry. But those of us who carry the above-mentioned types of firearms know we are sacrificing convenience for something that spikes our "spiderysense." They just might not be enough gun.
When Glock came out with the 43 and 43x, it caught my eye. The 43x was tempting. Easier shooting. Not as lazy of a carry, but close. Still comfortable to say no good reason not to carry. Significant improvement 9mm +p would offer as a caliber vs the above mentioned (of course 10 rounds vs 5 or 6). I let it remain a temptation. Unlike many of you I like to limit the number of pistols I own. I respect those of you that just can't get enough, but for me, I'm always mindful when a collection I own get to a tipping point of owning me.
Then I started hearing about the reliability people were having with the Shield Arms 15 rd mags. Well, 15 rounds of 9MM +P fits as the definition of likely enough gun in my humble opinion.
I have the 2nd gen mag versions. Loading the 13-14 rounds about as hard as loading the last rounds of any magazine. The 15th round, my fingers and thumbs are happy I was gifted an Uplula magazine loader.
On installing the metal catch release. Easy install, but it was FRUSTRATING getting the Glock one out. I've removed Glock mag springs before, the 43X required a miracle. I need to buy a tool for next time, a screwdriver was not the right tool for the job.
Very easy to carry and even conceals in a pocket carry holster. Maybe easier to carry then a revolver in some ways. The bulge of the cylinder of a revolver is always reminder where the flat 43x is more comfortable. Admittedly a little more weight than the revolver. But a better caliber and 3X the rounds in an easier to shoot platform. I love it.
I have also found it reliable. Range results so far with no failures.
50 rds Rem UMC FMJ 115 GR 9mm
100 rds Win FMJ 115 GR 9mm
10 rds Blazer Brass FMJ 115 GR 9mm
15 rds Win FMJ 124 GR 9mm Nato
5 rds Win Ranger HP 127 GR 9mm +P+
5 rds Fed HST HP 124 GR 9mm
Just really enjoy having this as an option and wanted to share. Happy new year all.
Good write up. Thank you for sharing.
Im surprised the 43x is as good for pocket carry as a j frame, having owned the 43 and finding it lacking for this role.
What is the difference in your draw times between the revolver and the 43x?
It’s a quality gun, but I’m highly doubtful it’s a useable pocket gun with all clothes. The regular 43 is big enough it’s marginal for that and won’t work with well fitting clothes and pockets. I too carry a pocket .380 or jframe. Even a jframe is marginal in tighter clothes. My Smith Shield only works in the largest of pockets, such as cargo pants as you mentioned.Has been on my mind. I find the revolver faster but it tends to carry the sleeve / holster with it out of the pocket. The 43x is less bulgy, takes up a little more room, is harder to grip, but the holster stays in the pocket.
I've watched a few videos of SD situations where the citizen has a firearm pointed at them. The one that always comes to mind was an active shooter in a church. Even if not making eye contact, the BG observes the motion of a citizen drawing a pocket carry. Both the BG and the CPL / CCW holder died. The CPL holder likely saved lives by giving his own.
Pocket carry is more about having something after having cover unless your hand is already in your pocket. At least for my level of skill.
I was tagging a deer once and was able to draw from an outside the belt / pants holster to get another tag filled when a buck was inquiring what happened to the doe. I have a good enough reaction time, but I don't think I would chance drawing out a pocket unless I had cover or the shooter was already sharing lead.
When I wear cargo shorts, I'm sure the 43X will be fine. With dress pants I don't think the 43x will be an option. With Jeans, it would just depend on where my hand is.
I've purchased both a pocket holster and an outside the waste holster. I need to be a little less round to tuck inside the belt. The 43x slimmer profile will be nice with jeans, belt holster, and an untucked long sleave shit. It is going to be a toss-up between the revolver and 43x when wearing a t-shirt and jeans.
If pocket carry is your thing, as it is mine, you may find 43x is too big over time.