So Glock finally released what people have wanted for the last decade, a single-stack 9mm, the G43.
In my opinion, I think they have done too little, too late, again.
Much like the G42, the overall size of the gun compared to the capacity is not comparable to other guns in the category (single-stack 9x19 subcompact.) The M&P Shield is .95" in width, compared to the G43's 1.06". The Shield is a touch taller (around a quarter inch) but holds one more round (7+1 in the short mag, G43 is 6+1 in both mags.) About the only major advantage the Glock gets is in weight, unloaded it's a tad over 1oz. lighter.
Then we'll look at the single-stack 9 I almost got (more on that in a bit), the Ruger LC9s Pro. The little Ruger comes in at skinny .90", enough to actually be a noticeable difference. It's also nearly 3/4 of an ounce lighter, and still holds 7+1 rounds. Again, a quarter of an inch taller, but that's a minimal trade off for that extra round.
Both the Shield and the LC9s are cheaper to boot.
I'm sure that like the G42, they'll fly off the shelves, but that's just because it has "Glock" on the side. However, I think they should have done a single-stack the size of a G19. Then they'd only be competing with themselves, and it's probably more of what all the fanboys wanted anyway. Hell, I'd probably get one, do a slight stagger to the mag like the Shield and you'd get 10 rounds in there.
Earlier I had mentioned that I "almost got" a Ruger LC9s (I actually was looking at the regular "s" and not the "Pro," since I like thumb safeties. I just used the Pro for the comparison since the G43 doesn't have external safeties either.) I got caught up with the idea this last year, since I like the size and concealability of my J-Frame, but I'm not in love with 5 rounds and a slow and tricky reload. Mag fed autos are just tons easier to feed. I shot my buddy's Shield, and found that my thumb rides the slide release. Darn. I fondled the LC9s, and the safety was the perfect place for my 1911-brained thumb to go.
Then I went home and thought about it.
Does a whole 2 rounds really make it worth the expense of a new gun, holsters, and mags? I know I just ragged on the new Glock for having one less than the others, but that's and apples-to-apples thing (but really Glock, why handicap yourself?) The more I thought of it, the more I couldn't help but wonder if that magical quarter of an inch difference between the M&P9c and the Shield doesn't seem like much for almost double the capacity. Plus the butt of the Compact is actually shorter than the Shield's, and that is probably the bigger concealment issue. (For what it's worth, I haven't gotten any new gun yet anyway...)
So, having no practical experience with actually concealing these little single-stack guns, does that quarter of an inch really make it easier to conceal? I think I can save that much just by switching from leather to kydex if it really made that big of a difference. Anybody out there have thoughts on that?