Home » Reviews » Handguns » GLOCK 9mm Handguns Test: 43 to the 34 and Back Again

GLOCK 9mm Handguns Test: 43 to the 34 and Back Again

Last Update:

Thinking about buying a new GLOCK 9mm handgun?

We took five subject matter experts, and over the course of a day, we put all 9mm pistols through their paces with a series of exercises. They SMEs were:

  • Bill Desy: Concealed Carry Expert and Owner of CCW USA
  • Greg Hake: Retired Navy SEAL Operator
  • Mark Cochiolo: Retired Navy SEAL Operator
  • Matt Mellinger: Lead Instructor at the Glockstore
  • Shane Coley: Captain of Team GLOCK

The idea behind our tests was to see how each shooter performed with each pistol so that we could get a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses among each platform, ultimately serving as a buyer’s guide, so you can make an informed decision when you buy your next GLOCK.

Test Standards

Each subject matter expert ran through the same course of fire for testing and evaluation.

With each model, they drew from the holster for a total of three iterations, 6 shots total per gun. This was done from 3 and 7 yards at a 6-inch standard Hyve target, both from overt duty holsters and concealment.

For every pistol and subject matter expert, we recorded the times of each iteration and measured the groupings’ spread.

For our testing, we used the same Fiocchi 115 grain ammo throughout the day.

Our complete article will highlight the data for all SMEs and all pistols at each distance; however, this video will focus on the average among all experts in three categories: compact, mid-size, and full-size/competition

Compact / Sub-Compact GLOCKS

We started out with the pistol models that many people use for concealed carry.

They were the 19, 26, 43, 43x, and 48. Each subject matter expert drew each pistol from concealment at 3 yards with the same course of fire.

We noticed that the 19 is superior in terms of average times and groupings; however, it is considerably larger than the other pistols and more difficult to conceal.

We noticed that the GLOCK 26 had the second-best average groupings, followed closely by the GLOCK 43. We found this to be one of the biggest surprises of the day, seeing as how the 26 and 43 outperformed the 48 and 43x.

Mid-Sized GLOCKS

We then moved on to the mid-sized platforms, i.e. the 19, 19x, and 45. Each expert drew from an overt duty style holster at 7 yards, firing 2-shots at a 6-inch Hyve target for three iterations.

It was clear from the data that the 19x performed the best with an average draw time of 1.95 seconds and an average grouping of 4.6 inches.

We expected our subject matter experts to shoot as well with the 45, but the average spread for the 45 was increased by an inch because of some zingers.

Full-Size / Competition GLOCKS

Finally, we moved on to the full-sized GLOCK models, which were the 17, 17L and 34, using, again, the same course of fire as the mid-size pistols.

Surprisingly, the GLOCK 17 performed the best with an average draw time of 1.98 seconds and an average spread of 3.95 inches.

We feel that this is due to the longer sight radius on both the 34 and 17L. The added length and weight make drawing to the first shot more unwieldy for those who do not train with the longer side pistols regularly.

Supporting this thought, if we take a look at Shane’s spreads among the full- size pistols, we can see that he performed best with the 17 and performed worst with the 17L, which has the longest barrel.

Matt’s performance, however, didn’t coincide with the trend we noticed with the others. He performed best with the GLOCK 34 by far, rather than the 17.


From the day, we noticed there wasn’t a clear winner.

The shot grouping was less than a 2-inch difference between the tightest and widest shot pattern at 7-yards among the mid to full-size guns.

In terms of speed, the times varied from 1.9 to 2.1 seconds, which from a practical standpoint, is more or less the same.

For the compact-sized guns, we were surprised that there was less than an inch spread with draw times being more or less the same, as well.

Overall, we were surprised that all ten GLOCK platforms performed about the same. Knowing this, based on our review, selecting the right GLOCK for you should come down to your hand size, body type, and what feels most comfortable to you.

Keep in mind, all subject matter experts have a lot of shooting experience, however, their experience levels specifically working with GLOCK pistols vary greatly. We had Shane who is a competitive shooter for GLOCK versus, Coch and Greg, former operators who have a lot of shooting experience but hardly any with GLOCK handguns.

The video above shares some of the highlights about what each expert liked and didn’t like. Keep your eyes out in the coming weeks as we’ll be releasing unedited versions of their final thoughts.

What’s your favorite 9mm GLOCK?

Have you shot all of the 9mm GLOCK pistols? What are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite one?

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

Related Articles

Photo of author
About the author


Myles is the Founder of Tactical Hyve, a competitive shooter, and a life-long student of all things dealing with the tactical and self-defense worlds.

10 thoughts on “GLOCK 9mm Handguns Test: 43 to the 34 and Back Again”

  1. Have Glock 17 gen 3 and 26. As civilian, not allowed to own 43. I have fired 19 few times but 17 was my first handgun. I got 26 as back-up gun and as conceal carry if I ever plan to get CCW and loose my gut. At firearm class one time at Freedom Fighter, I was more accurate at longer range with 26 than 17. We were doing obstacle course.

    • Hey Nar, thanks for the comment. Interesting to hear you were more accurate at longer ranges with the 26!

      As for the 43 or 43x, they aren’t on the California roster, so you can’t buy them in California. However, if you buy them from a private party who already has one in the state, you can buy it from them.

      It isn’t illegal to own guns that are not on the roster–you just can’t buy them in California.

  2. Love every Glock 9MM made, and would love to own each model made! I currently carry the Gen 5 17 model for duty, have a 19 model that my wife will not share with me and then carry a 43 model for off duty and back up carry, with a plus two magazine extension. I am happy with all of them, but seriously considering getting a 43X just for the benefit of the frame being a little longer.

    Thanks for the video and article! It just reinforces the fact that you can never go wrong with owning a Glock!

  3. What a great video! Keep them coming.

    Some great talent in that lineup! Wow. Love the commentary. As CCW I too am surprised with the 43 and the 43X, as the 43X was the new “go-to” when it was introduced. Need to try them both, but the 43 with a +2 extension just might be the ticket. Thanks Myles and shooters! Fun video to watch.

    • Thanks for the comment, Dennis, and glad you liked the video!

      Yes, there were some surprising findings!

    • Awesome work guys. I own personally a g23 ,g30, g41,g21 g19 g26 a bit off topic but being an avid shooter & hobbiest builder of 1911 i prefer a larger heavier frame. Yet also fare well w a g19.
      Accuracy ,the model 30 i do great w opposed to the longer g41 both in 45 acp. As for 9mm my favorite all around comfortable shooter would be a 19. One thing as a con on a Glock i dont see mentioned is slop in the Glock triggers.. the very first thing i do is a trigger swap on all Glocks. I prefer a crisp break and shorter reset, which to me increases accuracy and speed and lacks in most Glock pistols.The glock all aroind is a good choice amd offers reliability proven in most industries and widly used in many professions and for personal protection. And many many aftermarket add ons available to suite your fancy. These are my personal opinions on my experiences with 1000s of Glock rounds put on targets. You should select a brand and model that you feel comfortable with and confident with that flts your hand and needs. Amd most importantly is reliable. An uneliable gun is no good for any use.so therefor i dont shop for the cheapest gun avail. Do your research, the web has many reliable sources and reviews of firearms and ammo. Keepnup the good work guys. Education is a must.

  4. Glock 48 is the one for me. Slim but feels substantial in my hand, 10 + 1 capacity, light and very accurate. A spare cartridge fits easily in my jeans pocket. Could not want more in an edc. Have model 17 for heavier duty work.


Leave a Comment