Greetings, mere mortals. Today, the Czar was nice enough to take the Царица to claim her Christmas present—or at least, part of it. When asked what she might want for Christmas, she did not hesitate to suggest a trip to the range. Days later, she handed the Czar a Bass Pro Shops catalog and pointed to a circled item on one of the pages, asking us “What do you think about this?” Circled was the Glock G43 pistol, in robin’s egg blue (right).
“Really,” we said aloud, but then she explained: place this inside a purse, and it’s basically camouflaged, unlike a solid black or silver firearm. This thing looks like an iPhone, and won’t call attention to itself when she opens her purse to fetch anything. Obviously, its smaller size makes it much better-suited for concealed carry, as well, when worn on the body in a holster. “Camouflage, you say,” we wondered. She might have a point about that, if our male readers immediately ignore our default notions of what guy camouflage is, and think about it from a woman’s standpoint. Yeah, she won’t need a RealTree pattern on hers—urban camo is going to look more like this.
All right, but what about the firearm? The Glock G43 is a 9mm single stack—meaning that the rounds inside the magazine are stacked up in a straight row, like the fingers on your hand; many pistol magazines have the rounds zigzag their way up to maximize how many you can fit into it. A single stack results in a much thinner weapon (which is great for concealment), but you lose capacity. In fact, the magazine on the G43 only holds six rounds. By chambering the top round into the weapon, you can fit one more into the magazine, which is called a “6+1” capacity. So assume you would have seven shots before needing to reload.
Introduced only in 2015, this weapon comes in a fairly wild variety of colors and combinations. Yes, you guys can have your basic black, but the slide and lower receiver can come in all sorts of finishes and colors (not just light blue). The Царица, for example, loathes pink-colored weapons simply because—in her words—that just screams “Look at me, I’m a princess who shoots.” Mind you, that’s purely her opinion…if you have a pink firearm, more power to you. But yes, the G43 also comes in pink.
Okay, so with her color choice out of the way, we needed to go shoot one. Fortunately, there is a range not terribly far from the Muscovy dacha that has one available for rent…although, it’s in basic black. But the weapon is identical, either way. The Царица has always favored 9mm weapons, but has never really liked anything she’s tried: she always finds something wrong with it. Well, that’s not quite true; she once fired a 9mm pistol at a range’s open house, and when she brought us back to see it, the weapon had vanished with its owner, and she never got the manufacturer’s name. Several of us have tried to locate the pistol based on what she could describe of its logo and grips, but we’ve never found it. In despair, she began to belittle any other 9mm she tried.
Today was quite different. We rented the G43, put a few rounds into the magazine, and loaded her up. Her first shot was into a silhouette target at 20 feet out, and she put a hole dead-center into the inner circle. Her subsequent shots were just outside it. “Oh, I like this,” the Царица said. We brought the target into various ranges from 10-feet to 40-feet, and every shot hit in a lethal area.
On the positive side, she appreciated that the weapon, loaded, was fairly lightweight. The grip was perfect—and long-time readers know the Czar has always found Glocks to have clumsy grips intended for the dainty, but she found herself easily holding it. And yes, we tried it as well: this is probably the first Glock we have fired that actually felt pretty comfortable to hold.
Further, her prowess with it cold indicated that it was excellent at any distance. Probably she would never need to engage a lethal threat at 40 feet away, but she knows she could consistently hit center of mass using only the front sight at that distance. Like most of us, she finds that very small, short-barreled firearms can be good at close range but often very inaccurate at longer distances. But Glock seems to have really dialed this one in.
On the negative side, she admitted she needs more practice with it. Because the weapon is smaller than a full-size semi-automatic, the slide catch and magazine release are not exactly where you might expect them. The Царица had some moments fumbling with the catch, and needing to stop and watch her thumb operate the tiny devices. She acknowledges this is a mere familiarity issue, and another couple hours with it and she could probably reload it blind-folded and one-handed. (The Czar’s only complaint was that the trigger safety has a definite feel to it: when you pull the trigger, you feel a distinct two-step action from inside the weapon as the safety disengages and the striker releases. But it’s very faint, and by the third or fourth shot, we stopped noticing it.)
So the Царица wants more time with it, which is fine. The Czar was willing to purchase this for her as the other part of her Christmas present, but she asked for a return to the range after a little while so she could fire it again after a period of time to see if her positive opinions matched. However, the Царица believes this is a finalist in her personal trials for an everyday carry firearm. Right now that category consists of the G43 and nothing else, so this might be a pretty lopsided competition.