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Battle of the Subcompacts: SIG P365 vs. Glock 43

Battle of the Subcompacts: SIG P365 vs. Glock 43

Apr 26th 2023

The last several years there’s been an increasing trend in states permitting concealed carry. Whether through constitutional carry laws or overturning of draconian restrictions thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision and guidance following the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen decision, legal concealed carry is more accessible than ever.

Fortunately for consumers, firearms manufacturers have stepped up to the plate and have released a dizzying array of compact, subcompact and micro compact handguns for the concealed carry market. Consumers have more choices than ever, allowing them to pick the pistol that will offer a better grip, better recoil characteristics, a grip angle that is more natural and magazine capacity options for any state in the union.

Unfortunately, the huge number of choices can make deciding to purchase a bit daunting. Have no fear, we’re here to help!

Between my full time job at XS Sights and working part time as a firearms instructor, I have the opportunity to shoot a LOT of handguns. While I tend to prefer Glock pistols, as a dedicated gun nut and instructor, I’m always interested in what’s new on the market. Everyone is a bit different and has different wants and needs for a concealed carry pistol.

One question I hear quite a bit is what’s a better subcompact pistol – the Glock 43 or the SIG P365. Like I said, everyone is a bit different, and I would recommend finding a local range that will let you rent both to see which one YOU prefer because ultimately, it is a personal preference. But not everyone has that opportunity, so hopefully I can shed some light on the similarities and differences between the two to help you decide.

SIG Sauer P365

Upon its release in 2018, the SIG P365 was met with enthusiastic consumer response. In its original configuration, the SIG was only 5.8” long, 4.3” tall and a mere 1.06” wide, yet held an impressive and unprecedented 10 rounds in a flush fit magazine. Additionally, as the smaller, younger sibling of the P320, the P365 uses a similar Fire Control Unit assembly which allows the user to change the grip module quickly and easily to fit the users hand.

SIG has gone on to offer many variations to the P365 since its release – longer slides, longer grip modules, higher capacity magazines – the variations seem to keep on coming with no end in sight. While certainly beneficial in some respects, the sheer number of variations creates one of the more noticeable drawbacks to the P365. The options can create an information overload AND can create confusion when buying accessories and magazines. At the core, though, the P365 family remains a subcompact, high capacity CCW option.

Glock 43

Released in 2015, the Glock 43 was the second Glock pistol in the Slimline series. Only marginally larger than the Glock 42, the Glock 43 brought 9MM performance to a pocket sized pistol. With many of the upgrades of the Gen5 series of pistols, the G43 was an immediate success.

At 6.2” long, 4.25” tall and 1.06” wide, it was among the smallest 9MM pistols available at the time. With a flush-fitting magazine capable of holding 6 rounds, it offered a 20% increase over a 5 shot revolver, maintained similar ballistic performance, and a slightly easier reload. Additionally, the Glock 43 lives up to the legendary reliability of its larger siblings.

Thanks to Glock’s name recognition and reputation for accurate and reliable firearms, accessories, magazines and holsters are readily available.

G43 vs. P365: How do they stack up?

So, how do those P365 stack up against the G43? Let’s take a look:

Size: Both the Glock 43 and the SIG P365 are classified as micro-compact pistols, and they’re very similar in size. The Glock slide is longer by about ½”, but slide length, at least for me, isn’t the hard part to conceal. For me, overall height and width are the dimensions I have the most difficulty working around. In that respect, both guns are virtually identical. The Glock is marginally shorter at 4.25” in height versus the P365’s 4.3”. I wouldn’t worry about that .050”. Both guns are just over an inch wide. With the SIG stock grip module, the grip is 1.77” from front to back while the G43 is 1.99”.

Capacity: The P365 gets the advantage in capacity. The factory flush fit mags hold 10, and optional 12 and 17 round magazines are available from SIG. The G43 comes with a 6-round mag, and that’s the only factory option that you’ve got. Shield Arms does offer the Z9 magazine for the G43 that will increase capacity to 9+1, but it still lags behind the SIG on capacity.

Weight: Both guns weigh the same 1.15 pounds on my scale when empty. Once loaded, the SIG is a little heavier (1.45 pounds versus 1.35 pounds for the Glock) due to the increase in capacity.

Shooting: The SIG trigger does feel a bit better, at least when I compare the P365 in the office safe to the G43 that we’ve got at work. It’s not a whole lot better, but it is enough to notice. Despite the SIG having a better trigger, I get a bit better accuracy and precision from the Glock. That’s probably because the grip on the Glock is a touch longer and fits my hand just a bit better. The accuracy difference isn’t much – my 25 yard groups with the 43 are about five inches compared to five and a quarter inches with the SIG. I do like better accuracy, but the difference between the two isn’t much, and it could be flip-flopped the next time I take them both to the range.

The recoil characteristics of the two are virtually identical. In both cases, the guns are snappy, but not unpleasant to shoot for a hundred rounds or so in a practice session. I find the Glock is slightly easier for me to hang onto because the grip is slightly longer from front to back, but it’s not by much. It’s worth noting that G43 is only available in 9MM, and I was comparing it to the SIG P365 in 9MM. The SIG is also available in .380 ACP which should have noticeably less recoil.

The SIG is available with a slide cut for a red dot sight, so if you’re wanting a red dot on a subcompact pistol, the SIG has the advantage. Likewise, if you prefer having slide serrations on both ends of the gun, the SIG is the better choice. The rear serrations on the G43 are more than sufficient to operate the handgun but some of us do like having serrations on front and rear of the slide.

Bottom line, regardless of which pistol you choose, you'll be making an excellent choice. Both the P365 and G43 will serve well as a concealed carry pistol, so the decision is truly up to you and which gun feels better to you.

XS Sights: Top Notch Upgrades for your P365 and Glock 43!

Whether you choose the SIG P365 or the Glock 43 (or both – buying both handguns is perfectly okay!), XS Sights has multiple night sight options for the P365 and the Glock 43.

We offer our flagship DXT2 Big Dot sights for both the G43 and the SIG P365. Our R3D family of SIG P365 and Glock 43 sights offer a more conventional 3 dot style sight with a front sight that offers high visibility. The F8 family of sights for the Glock and the SIG bring the best of both worlds, with a big, easy to see front sight and a simple figure 8 sight picture.

At XS Sights, we are passionate about guns, American manufacturing and taking care of customers. All of our sights are precision CNC machined in our machine shop in Fort Worth, Texas. The R3D, DXT2 and F8 sights feature our proprietary Ember Glow Dot technology that absorbs ambient light and glows in low light environments. We offer a 12-year warranty on the tritium.

Important note on P365 sights: Beginning in 2022, Sig began producing P365 XL slides with dovetails for standard rear sights, even on versions with an optic mount. Models of the P365 X and XL manufactured prior to this had a rear sight held on by screws. This created some manufacturing problems, and these sights were scarce as hen’s teeth on the secondary market. The updated models have a simple dovetail. This allows the P365 X and XL to utilize sights common to the entire P-Series line.