Glock Slimline Pistols – First Range Test

Glock Slimline Pistols - First Range Test
PMC Ammunition, Gargoyles Eye Pro, Howard Leight Ear Pro, Glock Slimline Pistols – G42 (380 ACP), G43 (9mm), G36 (45 ACP)

Over the last year, the 9mm Glock 43 has received a lot of well deserved attention. But, the G43 isn’t the only pistol in the Glock Slimline Series. The .380 ACP Glock 42 and .45 ACP Glock 36 also give gun owners a highly concealable single-stack option.

For the last several months we have been testing the Glock 43. Not only has the pistol performed extremely well, it has also earned its place as my wife’s everyday carry pistol. Fortunately, my wife was willing to “lend” me the G43 for a day so I could do a range comparison with the G42 and G36.

Lucky Gunner

Although I’ve put in a decent amount of trigger time with the Glock 43, this range trip was my first time firing the G42 and G36. The following is an overview of how I did with each pistol. The ammo used was PMC Bronze FMJ from Lucky Gunner.

Glock 43 Notes

Glock 43 with PMC Bronze 9mm 115gr FMJ
Glock 43 with PMC Bronze 9mm 115gr FMJ @ 7 yds (50 rounds)

Today’s results were fairly typical of my experience with the G43. Although I could probably improve my accuracy with more practice, I think the results were acceptable. But as I’ve said before, what impresses me the most about this pistol is how comfortable it is to carry concealed. That is certainly what won my wife over!

Glock 42 Notes

Glock 42 with PMC Bronze 380 ACP 90gr FMJ
Glock 42 with PMC Bronze 380 ACP 90gr FMJ @ 7 yds (50 rounds)

The Glock 42 was the biggest surprise of the day. Honestly, I expected it to be as unpleasant to shoot as some of the other subcompact .380 pistols I’ve tested. I couldn’t have been more wrong! To me, it was very soft shooting. In fact, I would have no problem recommending this pistol for first time shooters, which isn’t something I would usually say about pistols this small. And speaking of its small size… I don’t have a holster for this pistol yet, but there is no doubt that the G42 is extremely concealable.  I can already see why this pistol has received so many favorable reviews!

Glock 36 Notes

Glock 36 with PMC Bronze 45 ACP 230gr FMJ
Glock 36 with PMC Bronze 45 ACP 230gr FMJ @ 7 yds (50 rounds)

My first experience with the Glock 36 was a bit more complicated than the other two pistols. As you can see from the first (left) and second (right) targets, my accuracy became worse the more I fired the pistol. This has everything to do with the finger grooves on the grip, which aren’t present on the smaller caliber G42 and G43. Rather than fitting perfectly into the grooves, my fingers fit partially on top of the ridges, which became increasingly uncomfortable the more rounds I fired. By the time I fired my last 25 rounds (right target), I was beginning to anticipate the pain that would come with each round fired. This definitely impacted accuracy.

Of course, this isn’t really an issue with the gun. It might simply mean that the G36 isn’t a perfect fit for my hand. Actually, if you only compare the first G36 target with all the targets from the G42 and G43, I may have been a bit more accurate with the G36. And keep in mind, the G36 does have the added advantage of the extra knock-down power of the .45 ACP round.

Final Thoughts

I’m definitely encouraged by my first range trip with the G42 & G36. Of course, I already know I’m a fan of the G43. But in my mind, I can already think of different situations in which I would prefer one of these pistols over the others. But, what if I had to choose only one?… Well, I’m not ready to make that call yet. I’ll continue to put rounds through all three, so stay tuned for updates!

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