The Glock 43x and 43x MOS are two very similar pistols. Both are part of Glock’s infinitely popular “slimline” series of pistols, 9mms with very svelte dimensions. These pistols are so popular because they offer an outstanding grip surface, yet are lightweight, thin, and compact. With a respectable 10-round capacity these pistols are typical of the modern crop of defensive, super-compact 9mms.
Choosing the right handgun for concealed carry is important. If you carry a handgun, you rely on it to save your life in an emergency. It should be reliable and you should be able to shoot it well. It should also be concealable and comfortable, as you can expect to wear it every day, day-in and day-out.
The Glock Slimline series of pistols are excellent carry guns. Glocks are known as some of the most reliable handguns in the world. The Glock 43 and 48 are two such handguns, and both are extremely popular. The Glock 43x is a combination of the best features of both the 43 and 48: the longer, more shootable grip, higher magazine capacity, and short, easily-concealable slide. The 43x also has an almost-twin: the 43x MOS.
This article will dig into the similarities, differences, and applicability of these two pistols.
Glock 43x vs. 43x MOS: Similarities
The Glock 43x and 43x MOS are identical, except in two very important features. Before we talk about the differences, let’s talk about the similarities. First, both of these guns are chambered in 9x19. Both feed from the same 10-round magazine that is also shared by the Glock 48. The 43x and 43x MOS both have the same 5.5-pound trigger, and both utilize the Glock Safe Action system and all its inherent safety mechanisms.
The dimensions of both are identical, too. Both feature a very compact and concealable overall length of just 6.5 inches, with a 3.41-inch barrel. The overall height is only 5.04 inches – taller than the standard Glock 43 to be sure, but again, very compact and concealable. One of the huge selling points of these guns is their thinness. Both the Glock 43x and the Glock 43x MOS are a mere 0.87-inches thick. These are very compact pistols.
The difference in weight between these two guns differs, but barely. The Glock 43x weights 16.40 ounces. The Glock 43x MOS shaves a fourteen one-hundredths of an ounce for a total of 16.26 ounces. Both are so close they are probably within the margin for error of manufacturing tolerances between each other. The bullet weight you choose will make a bigger difference in carry weight than the difference between these two almost-identical pistols.
All other features of these guns are likewise identical. The beavertail on both is the same, as are the reversible magazine releases, the slide stops, and other controls. The Glock Marksman Barrel on both is the same, both have the same grip surface, the same nDLC coating, and can share holsters and magazine pouches. But that doesn’t mean they are the same gun.
Now let’s talk about the differences: the MOS cut and the rail. Both of these features are absent on the G43x and present on the G43x MOS. If these are desirable to you, I recommend selecting the G43x MOS. Let’s take a look at the benefits these two little additions bring to the table.
Glock 43x MOS Rail
The rail allows you to attach various accessories to your Glock 43x MOS. These mount to the dust cover, under the barrel. There are two major classes of accessories that are typically mounted here: lights and lasers. Let’s look at both of these accessories and consider their importance.
A white light can be very important on a home defense gun. Being able to positively identify your target before shooting is an inviolable safety rule. There are way too many cases of people shooting into the darkness and finding out later that they killed a loved one rather than a threat, which are tragedies that can be easily avoided with the application of a little white light.
The Glock 43x MOS’s rail supports mounting weapon-mounted lights (WML), and weapon-mounted lights (WML) are widely available. Lights like the Streamlight TLR-7 Sub are made specifically for the Glock 43x MOS and Glock 48. It is important to note that the rail on the G43x MOS is a non-standard rail. It will not work with a broad range of WMLs, only those specifically designed for these Glock slimline pistols.
A laser can similarly add a lot of value to a defensive handgun. It provides a visible dot on the target which can be adjusted to match the bullet’s point of impact. This is especially helpful in certain scenarios, especially in conditions of reduced light when seeing iron sights may be difficult.
A laser can really shine when the gun must be fired in unconventional shooting positions. Since gunfights generally involve fighting, you may not end up shooting from a conventional, offhand, two-handed shooting position at seven yards. You may be on your back, entangled with a bad guy, injured, partially under a car…who knows. What we almost certainly know for certain is that “your fight,” should it come, will be nothing like you envision it. A laser can make firing the gun accurately possible, even when it is nowhere near your eye-line.
Some devices like the Streamlight TLR-6 have both a white-light and a laser in a single unit. This can give the user a lot of flexibility.
Glock 43x MOS Cut
The Glock 43x MOS also has another huge differentiator: the MOS cut. This is a cutout on the rear of the slide, just forward of the rear sight. It allows RMSc-footprint optics to sit slightly “into” the slide rather than right on top of it. This puts the optic into the focal plane, and helps secure it to the gun. The optic cut also has holes for screwing the optic down tightly to the gun, and recoil lugs that prevent it from moving and altering the zero.
Optics offer a few massive advantages. First, they are visible in low light, while iron sights may not be. This can also be a disadvantage, as a too-bright optic can completely washout the sight picture. Optics can also have the advantage of being much faster than iron sights, especially as distances increase. On the other hand, they can also be slower – anyone who has watched an experience shooter try an optic for the first time is familiar with the head movements characteristic of “trying to find” the dot!
Of course, optics aren’t for everyone. Some people simply don’t like them. They can get really dirty, especially when carried directly against the body. An overreliance on them can be problematic if their batteries die or they otherwise fail. And of course, they can fog up, be covered in mud, or otherwise obscured in ways that iron sights are impervious to. But the 43x MOS does offer the option, and today’s MOS models are only getting better.
Concealed Carry Considerations
Are either of these accessories strictly necessary on a carry gun? We would contend that while they are pretty standard for home-defense, the odds of needing a WML in a plausible carry situation are really, really small. It could happen, but there are few, if any, recorded instances of a white-light being necessary in modern, civilized society. On the other hand, a laser can be a huge benefit.
The need for an optic is another question. A red dot can hasten target acquisition. As we know the first person in a fight to connect with a solid hit generally wins the fight. Any advantage is an advantage. But optics can also be difficult to learn for those with decades of iron-sighted systems, and they can fail in a variety of ways. Whether or not you need one is largely up to you, your experience and training, and how you expect to employ your carry gun.
XS Sights’ Sight Upgrades for Glock 43x and 43x MOS
Regardless of whether you have (or are considering) a Glock 43x or a Glock 43x MOS, check out XS Sights’ R3D Night Sights for either. These sights have a familiar, 3-dot tritium arrangement. The front sight also has an highly-visible orange or green circle for very fast acquisition. These sights come in standard height – perfect for those of you who have forgone the MOS model. They are also available in suppressor-height, so you can co-witness them on your MOS pistol.
Oh, and since these sights are available for most Glock models you can (and should) standardize all your Glocks with the same sight picture. Our sights also come in a complete set with the tools you need to swap out your sights yourself, saving you a trip to the gunsmith. Check out XS Sights for all your sighting needs!