Glock 43X Vs M&P Shield: Does The 2 Extra Rounds Make It Better?
Actually, let's get it out of the way about the Glock 43X vs Shield: the extra 2 bullets probably wouldn't be what sways you to get the former over the latter. People keep making such a big deal about carrying capacity, but the increase is so moderate that you might as well not make that big a deal over the whole thing.
What's probably going to make the big difference for most people is the grip.
Either pistol makes a great daily carry gun, without a doubt. You may find, however, one a little more to your liking than the other. Now that the Glock 43X has been unleashed upon the market, let's get into it.
The M&P Shield has a 3.1-inch barrel, standing 6.1 inches long and a hair under 1 inch wide. The height depends on the magazine that you insert in the pistol. The pistol includes a flush-fit magazine and a slightly extended magazine that holds one extra round.
In 9mm, the capacity is 7+1 and 8+1, in .40 S&W it's 6+1 and 7+1. With the flush magazine, the height is 4.6 inches, and just over 5 inches with the extended magazine. Unloaded weight is 20.8 ounces, so it has a touch more to it than some other single-stack subcompact pistols but hardly heavy in any way, shape or form.
The trigger breaks at about 6 lbs. The Shield has a striker-fired system and has a hinged rather than tabbed trigger. Some people like to complain about this pistol's trigger, but the truth is that it's a sub-$500 gun. Shut up and deal with it or save up and buy a custom 1911.
MSRP starts at $479 for the M2.0 version and $369 for the original version while they last. Granted, in-store will be more like $399 and about tree fiddy, respectively.
Beauty about the Shield is that you aren't limited to the base model, however; you can get it with or without a manual safety, with night sights, with integrated laser, with ported slide and barrel and other Performance Center improvements...it's all up to you.
The Glock 43X: I Heard It On The X
The Glock 43X is a response from Glock to make a small gun that held a more respectable amount than the standard Glock 43. That was the impetus behind why they made the Silver Slimline series.
Of course, plenty of people will complain because that's just the nature of humans, the swine. But at any rate, it carries more rounds than the 43 does, holding 10+1 instead of 6+1.
The Glock 43X basically puts a Glock 43 slide with a silver PVD finish (and forward cocking serrations) on a different frame. The barrel remains the same at 3.41 inches, overall length is 6.5 inches, and the slightly wider and taller frame brings width to 1.1 inches and height to 5.04 inches. Unloaded weight is a still-dainty 16.4 ounces sans magazine.
Sights are Glock's standard polymer units, but steel and OEM night sights can be ordered as well should you find the standard Glock sights to be unsatisfactory. (They are.) Since Glock doesn't publish MSRP we can't really say anything there, but you could expect to pick one up for about $550 or less without too much trouble.
It's a Glock, with the tabbed Glock trigger. We're probably all familiar with it by now.
So...it's 0.1 inches wider than the Shield. It's near as makes no difference the same height as a Shield with the extended magazine, but it IS slightly more expensive. What would make you choose one or the other?
Glock 43X vs Shield
So...does a whopping two more rounds tilt the decision of Glock 43X vs Shield in the Austrian's favor? Or does the slimmer dimensions make the S&W the better choice?
Having handled and shot both of these pistols...it's going to come down to how it feels in the hand. For me, the guy writing this, there is no feature that either gun has that would naturally steer me to one or the other. It comes down to the fit. Recoil and accuracy are so close that neither stands apart from the other.
As to the two more/fewer rounds...to my mind, who cares? If you're that hung up on capacity, get a bigger gun and stop messing around. You may think something different, but it makes no real nevermind to me.
For the person looking for a carry gun, frankly if you have issues concealing either pistol...you're the problem, not the gun. The width and height of the Glock 43X are not so big nor so much larger than the Shield that you'd have no problems with the latter but issues with the former. A Glock 20? That requires some strategy. A 43X? Get out of my office.
The Shield has a more comfortable grip angle with the 18-degree grip of the M&P series (and the 1911) but the Glock 43X, with that little bit more girth, fills the palm up a little better. Firing grip matters, and you want a gun you can really get a grip on. Additionally, the palm swell of the 43X feels more comfortable than that of the standard Glock.
You might prefer the stipling of the Glock over the texturing of the S&W, or perhaps vice versa.
On paper, the Shield only holds two fewer rounds but will cost upward of $100 less in-store. You can also get a Hyve magazine extension to bring the extended magazine up to 10+1, and you'll be out less cash than you'd pay for the 43X if you can shop worth a darn.
However, having handled and shot both of these guns, I'd opt for the Glock 43X if I had to choose one of them. (Actually, I'd save up for a PPQ Subcompact if I had to have a compact plastic fantastic, but nevermind.) It fits my hand a bit better than the Shield and that makes a big difference.
But that's just my opinion, the goofball putting these words on a page. YOU, on the other hand, may find something totally different. Get out there and handle both. Shoot both. The one you like better is the one you should get.
Just make sure you get an Alien Gear Holster to go with it.