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Aug 18

Glock 43 and S&W Shield 9mm First Range Trip

Lucky Gunner

In recent posts I have mentioned that my wife and I are in the process of updating our everyday carry (EDC) handguns. The two handguns, both of which we recently received for testing, include the Glock 43 and the S&W Shield 9mm. Yesterday we were able to get both handguns to the shooting range for the first time.

Before I begin, I should mention that this range trip was more for fun than actual testing. Over the next few months we will be running several different types of 9mm through both. But, before that testing begins, I wanted us to get a feel for these pistols.

Glock 43 and SW Shield

Glock 43 and S&W Shield with CTK Precision P3 Ultimate Target Stand

For each pistol we allotted 50 rounds of Winchester 9mm 115gr FMJ ammo from Lucky Gunner. While not a ton of ammunition, it was certainly enough for us to have some fun with the G43 and Shield. Even with that low round count, a couple things jumped out at us.

First, I’ll go ahead and tell you that both the Glock and Smith & Wesson operated flawlessly, as you would expect. Both are easy to operate and comfortable to shoot. That being said, below are a couple things that I thought were noteworthy about each pistol:

  • My wife and I both found that the Smith & Wesson Shield was softer shooting than the Glock. I’m not talking about a huge difference, but still noticeable. Also, the magazines that came with the Shield take super-human strength to load. But once loaded, they hold 1 or 2 more rounds than the G43 magazines.
  • While the Shield was softer shooting, we were both more accurate with the Glock 43. The magazines are super-easy to load, but hold 1 or 2 rounds less than the Shield.

Again, we only put 50 rounds through each pistol. I’m guessing that with some practice (and maybe a sight adjustment) we will both become more accurate with the Shield. And the Glock’s slightly snappy demeanor will be less noticeable after more rounds are fired.

Both of these pistols are very concealable. So, I don’t know that either will have an advantage over the other in that arena. We are working on getting some holsters for both and will include those in future posts.

The majority of our testing will revolve around how each pistol handles various 9mm ammo. Because we are looking at both of these pistols for our EDC, reliability is obviously critical.

Glock 43 Specs:

  • Caliber: 9×19
  • System: Safe Action
  • Length: 159 mm / 6.26 in
  • Width: 26 mm / 1.02 in
  • Length Between Sights: 132 mm / 5.20 in
  • Height: 108 mm / 4.25 in
  • Barrel Height: n/a
  • Barrel Length: 86 mm / 3.39 in
  • Weight:
    • Unloaded: 509 g / 17.95 oz
    • Loaded: 634 g / 22.36 oz
  • Trigger Pull: ~25 N / ~5.5 lbs
  • Trigger Travel: ~12.5 mm / ~0.49 in
  • Barrel Rifling: right hand, octagonal
  • Length of Twist: 250 mm / 9.84 in
  • Magazine Capacity:
    • Standard: 6

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm No Thumb Safety Specs:

  • SKU: 10035
  • Model: M&P9 Shield™
  • Frame Size: Compact
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Action: Striker Fire
  • Capacity: 7 and 8 Round Magazines
  • Barrel Length: 3.1” (7.9 cm)
  • Front Sight: White Dot
  • Rear Sight: White 2-Dot
  • Trigger Pull: 6.5 lbs +/-
  • Overall Length: 6.1” (15.5 cm)
  • Frame Width: .95” (2.4 cm)
  • Overall Height: 4.6” (11.7 cm)
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Weight: 19.0 oz. (523.7 g)
  • Barrel Material: Stainless Steel
  • Slide Material: Stainless Steel
  • Frame Material: Polymer
  • Finish: Black/Durable Corrosion Resistant

After our first range trip, we are both very excited about each of these handguns. Whether one will ultimately stand out over the other, who knows?! For now, I’m content knowing that I get to put many more rounds through both. It’s a tough life, but somebody has to do it!