Tag Archives: CHL

Around the block with the Glock 43

In 2014, when Glock announced the .380 ACP G42, a wave of disappointment swept over the country as– except for nerds who really wanted a banned-from import/LE-only G25– it seemed everyone wanted a micro-compact 9mm pistol instead.

Glock 42 with Streamlight TLR6 combination light. The total weight package with the gun, light, batteries and 7 rounds of 380 is 24 ounces. Pretty heady stuff for 2014. 

The next year at the NRA Annual Meetings in Nashville, Glock made good and delivered the G43. I was there at the launch event and can vouch that the excitement was electric.

Having jumped on the G42 train early (don’t look at me that way), by the time the G43 came out I was already gun shy, no pun intended, and soon after Glock delivered the 10+1 capacity G43X (followed by the optics ready G43X MOS) to the market. This led to deals on lots of traded-in single stack G43s as folks went with the gently larger G43X and soon started buying extendo magazines/base pads to up the capacity even further.

Well, back in 2019, I finally took the G43 jump (not the G43X as I was intrigued by the short size of the original model) and picked up a Vickers Tactical edition which was a limited run that came complete with a Wilson Combat rear sight and AmeriGlo ProGlo tritium front, a Tango Down slide lock, enhanced magazine release, and Vickers +2 magazine extension.

Since then, I’ve found it has a lot of good things to recommend it, and few bad.

When coupled with a premium personal defense load such as Speer’s 124-grain 9mm Gold Dot Short Barrel JHP– which is designed to work in barrels as short as 1.9 inches while producing less felt recoil and achieving reliable expansion and penetration– you have a nice little carry set up. For reference, my G43, with 10 rounds of Speer loaded and the +3 Taran baseplate installed, weighs just 24 ounces and fits in the same places as my J-frame S&W while having twice the capacity. Don’t forget, you can always carry a flush-fit standard or +1 base pad in the pistol and a +3 as a backup.

More of what I have learned in carrying the G43 over the past few years in my column at Guns.com.

Beretta drops a new APX pistol (yaay)

Beretta has a lot of cool products that they just carry overseas or sell to LE/Mil channels including the AR-70/90 and the PM-12 SMG. So when they have a big push to release a new gun and an updated edition of their Tactical Toblerone APX pistol rolls out, it is a kinda whomp whomp kinda moment.

Meet the NEW! Beretta APX A1 FS.

On the upside, the company seems to be making a special effort to put red dots on everything in the catalog, with optics-ready models of the M9A4 Centurion, 92X Performance Defensive, and 92X RDO Compact all arriving with the feature. Beretta’s budget line, Stoeger, is seeing similar expansions. 

Taurus goes TORO with the GX4

Taurus’ micro-compact 9mm just got a little better as the company on Friday announced a new optics-ready TORO model addition to the line.

The increasingly American-based company debuted its new micro pistol in May with an 11+1/13+1 capacity and a sub-$400 asking price. This made the gun– which I found dependable in testing— a budget competitor against similarly-sized contemporaries such as the Sig P365 and Springfield Armory Hellcat, with about the only rock that could be thrown against it is the fact that it did not come with a slide cut to support popular micro-red dot carry optics.

Well, that has now changed as the new Taurus GX4 TORO series has a factory cut and mounting pattern that supports Hex Wasp GE5077, Holosun HS507K/HS407K, Riton 3 Tactix MPRD2, Trijicon RMR, Shield RMSc, Sig RomeoZero, and Sightmark Mini Shot A-Spec M3 sights.

At an asking price of $468.

Thus…

More in my column at Guns.com.

Of My Time with the GX4

Taurus announced the new micro-compact semi-auto pistol, the GX4, in May, billed as an 11+1 shot 9mm that was roughly the size of a traditional .380 pocket gun that had half the capacity. The specs of the polymer-framed striker-fired handgun– 5.8-inches long with the small backstrap installed, about an inch wide, and 4.4-inches high with the flush-fit magazine inserted– put it in the same boat as the Ruger MAX-9, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat line.
I’ve been kicking around the new Taurus GX4 over the past couple of months, having run some 500 rounds through it, and have some things to say about it.

The 11+1 shot Taurus GX4 is definitely compact. Micro compact, you could say.

Have $400 and Want a Micro 9 with Change Leftover?

Taurus is looking to take on the big boys with its new micro pistol, which is designed to deliver maximum concealment without sacrificing capacity or ergonomics – the GX4.

Getting the specs out of the way, the 11+1 shot 9mm is the size of popular .380 “pocket guns,” using a 3.06-inch barrel to tape out to a maximum 6.05-inch overall length. The gun is slender, at just over an inch wide, and it is 4.4 inches high at its tallest. The unloaded weight is 18.6 ounces. Fully loaded with 12 rounds of 147-grain JHPs, I found my test gun to hit the scales at 23.9 ounces.

Compared to other recently introduced micro 9s, such as the Ruger MAX-9, Sig Sauer P365, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, and Springfield Armory Hellcat, the GX4 is a dead ringer as far as size goes. Plus, its flush-fit mags hold one extra round over the Sig or S&W’s comparable magazine while being on par with the Springer and one less than the Ruger.

However, where the GX4 cleans house is the price: $392. That’s the MSRP, meaning that “actual” prices at your local gun store will probably hover closer to “Three Fiddy.” 

More in my column at Guns.com.

The Micro 9 Race is Heating Up

Every 25 years or so, handguns catch a big developmental wave. For instance, the last one prior to modern times occurred with the “Baby” Glocks of 1994, when the company debuted subcompact 10+1 shot pistols to make the most of the federal assault weapon ban. Those guns proved so successful that Glock now makes a subcompact model in all of their calibers– including the only company that makes a 10mm Auto pocket gun– while others have increasingly tried to imitate, duplicate or one-up the concept.

This brings us to 2018 when Sig Sauer brought their new “micro-compact” P365 to SHOT Show. Even smaller than the Glock G26 but with the same magazine capacity, it was a smash. Since then, Springfield Armory has brought their Hellcat to the market, with much the same concept, as had Taurus with the G3C.

Well, on the same day this week, both Ruger and Smith & Wesson announced their own separate P365/Hellcat/G3C competitors, the MAX-9 and the Shield Plus, respectively.

Ruger’s new MAX-9 Pistol, which, importantly, is optics-ready for under $500.

S&W M&P Shield Plus

Here is a snapshot of who they stack up when it comes to specs:

As for how they compare against each other in real life, the jury is still out on that one.

Glock holster basics

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Fundamental in the carry and use of a modern handgun is an effective holster and we are here to cut through the gimmicks to bring you a few tips on what will work best.

Why a holster?

In the days of the first effective pistols, the single-shot handguns were still too large for practical carry, being relegated to saddle-mounted leather holders on the horses of the cavilers of the day. Bulky and slow to reload, the gunfighter of yesteryear would carry a brace of such guns to ensure a rapid follow-up shot against multiple adversaries. By the 19th Century and the introduction of the revolver, the first recognizable holsters became widespread and the leather-sheathed wheel gun replaced the sword of yesteryear on the belts of gentlemen.

Today, the holster remains a solid standby for the armed citizen and the use of one separates the professional and responsible gun owner from the Hollywood thug. One of the most unsafe things a handgun user can do is carry their pistol or revolver sans holster. Simple carry methods such as stuffing a smaller gun– such as a Glock 43– in a pants pocket, or a larger framed pistol such as a Glock 17 in a waistband, allows the handgun to rotate as the carrier walks and moves.

This “floating” firearm can twist and move away from its original position, making quick deployment harder. Worse, with the trigger exposed, a potentially deadly negligent discharge can result if a foreign object as simple as a shirt tail or jacket pull string works its way into the trigger well. Finally, an unsecured handgun is prone to skitter away at the worst of times, causing embarrassment at the least, and potential criminal charges in some jurisdictions.

More on carry options in my column at Tac-44.com

Shot Placement With 22 EDC Pistols

For those of us that shy away from medium and large frame handguns for our everyday carry, we have our own set of problems. Namely, by choosing a small caliber ‘mouse gun’ we are forced to make our rounds count.

There are several different reasons to carry a small caliber, compact firearm. Some of us, especially if suffering from repetitive
stress injuries, carpal tunnel, arthritis, or just carrying many years around with em, cannot comfortably handle the recoil of a large caliber firearm. In addition, firearm size concerns are another common reason for carrying so called ‘pipsqueak’ .22 caliber pistols. There are an entire line of very small (pocket sized) guns like the NAA Mini-Revolver, various Derringers, and the Beretta Tomcat/Bobcat/Minx series that offer options that go even smaller than a subcompact Baby Glock or LCP. Being smaller, they are able to hide in a much more varied array of clothing choices.

But you have to come correct with your shot placement…

beretta m21 22 edc shot placement
Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk.com