For CCW, why I've become comfortable with 'just' a Glock 43

Discussion in 'Conceal & Open Carry' started by John in AR, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. John in AR

    John in AR Well-Known Member Supporter

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    (Or, "Confessions of a 1911-carrying old fart")

    It was hard for me to psychologically accept the tiny Glock 43 as a ‘real’ defensive firearm. I spent the 80’s and 90’s carrying either 1911 autos or .357 magnum revolvers, and those were what my comfort zone was built around as far as defensive-gun characteristics. The little G43 is just silly small and laughably light; and at first glance there was no way it made the cut (again, psychologically) into the same functional neighborhood as the ‘real’ guns I’d been carrying for decades.

    But when logic was applied, the reality smacked hard.

    First, a basic premise – simply that from a functionality and capability perspective, a standard 1911-style pistol is a fully adequate defensive pistol. Some may disagree, but their psychoses are their problems. One caveat – this is based on the 1911’s as I carried them for years. If carrying them today, some things such as ammo choice may be different. So that’s my only possible frame of reference – the 1911 as I carried it for years (loaded with Federal 185-grain JHP’s), vs. the G43.

    It was initially hard for me to accept, but the objective, measurable fact is that in pretty much every category except trigger quality, the G43 actually exceeds my beloved 1911’s when it comes to private-citizen concealed carry.

    First, size. Definite advantage to the G43:
    [​IMG]

    The size advantage causes other ripple-effect advantages as well. I carry the G43 at 1:00 (‘appendix’ in today’s tactical terminology); I used to do that with a miniature Detonics, but no way I can with the full-size 1911 guns. I have no doubt that Mr. Right Nut would protest vehemently.

    “Size” is also relevant in more than just side profile. The 1911 is substantially bigger in all three dimensions, which greatly affects carry options and carry comfort even further.
    [​IMG]


    Second, capacity. That top picture shows the G43 and one of my normal 1911’s side by side; both with seven-round magazines, so both have a 7+1 capacity. Advantage to neither.


    Third, per-round power. If the G43 is smaller and has the same capacity but is weaker, it could be a bad thing. Thing is, the G43 as I carry it is actually more powerful than the huge 1911 was; the 1911 with 185 Federals runs 331.8 ft/lbs of energy, and the G43 with 100-grain corbons runs 419 ft/lbs. So the tiny little gun not only holds the same number of shots, it’s more than 25% more powerful on a shot-per-shot basis. Advantage G43.


    Fourth, weight. The 1911 with 7 rounds of 185’s weighs 45.55 ounces. The G43 with seven of my carry corbons weighs 20.99 ounces. Even loaded with more-typical 124-grain ammo, the G43 with seven rounds is only 21.39 ounces; less than half the weight of the behemoths that served me so well for so long. Advantage G43.


    Fifth, maintenance. A glock is hugely lower maintenance, and more tolerant of environmental gunk than a 1911 is. Advantage G43.


    All that said, there are times and situations where I would want more than a G43 or 1911 either one. When visiting Houston last year for a family function, I carried a 12-shot 9mm and a spare magazine all the time we were there. But I’m not in a major cesspool (I mean city), and an 8- or 9-shot 9mm is plenty adequate to reach my comfort zone in our area.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
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  2. docster

    docster Active Member

    No disrespect intended but why do you feel the need to justify a decision you feel is best for you?
     

  3. John in AR

    John in AR Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I maybe should have stated things differently, because that's not my intent at all. I'm a semi-cranky old fart who smokes cigars, wears carhartts to church and doesn't much care about others' opinions on most things. :)

    Maybe I should have titled the thread "Why a G43 is objectively better..." or some such. This basically was me hoping to give other guys (likely some old guys like myself, who have a tendency to automatically discount anything 'new & improved') some objective, measured parameters for making their own decision. Personally I still hugely prefer a 1911 to a glock, and even prefer a full-size revolver over a 1911; but logic dictates that neither the 1911 or big revolver is the better choice in this type of application. I just figured I'd share my personal findings with the actual, measurable facts in an arena that's often loud with knee-jerk and subjective arguments.

    As far as justifying the decision, that's somewhat of a losing proposition from the get-go. There'll probably as many people who think the 1911 is a bad choice as think the G43 is a bad choice; so no winning any kind of argument with them anyway.
     
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  4. Southlake

    Southlake Island Life Staff Member Moderator Lifetime Supporting Member

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  5. docster

    docster Active Member

    :cool:Understood. I'm an old fart as well!
     
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  6. If you measure using the “Taylor Knock Out” method, the 1911 has much more power:

    (185 gr * .458 dia * 1050 FPS)/7000 = 12.7

    (100 gr * .355 dia * 1400 FPS)/7000 = 7.1

    Not saying your 9MM won’t do the job, it will. It’s just that ft/lbs isn’t always the best way to measure performance on critters including people.

    But....and to be clear, most of my handguns are 9MM.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
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  7. Danzig

    Danzig I do hood rat sh%t! Supporter

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    Wayyy back I remember thinking the ideal carry gun was my S&W 19 2 1/2" barrel .357 magnum. Now I'll admit clothing and holster is a major contributor to ease of carry but pretty quickly I felt that revolver was heavy and kinda bulky.
    Then I went 1911. Felt adequately well heeled but again a bit heavy.
    Glock 21 was next and with a body hugging Uncle Mike's nylon pancake holster I was pretty happy for a good amount of time.
    Glock 33 with an OWB Fobus became standard carry for years. Most of the time using a vest as a cover garment.
    For the last couple of years the Glock 43 with an IWB Bladetech Klipt then DSG Arms CQC holster (to accommodate the TLR-6) worn between the belt and pants affords minimal printing with maximum comfort. I can get away with just a T-shirt in the Texas heat.

    I'm late to the 9mm being a viable choice in the self defense role but I've made up with quite a few pistols I've gotten in recent years.
     
  8. Southlake

    Southlake Island Life Staff Member Moderator Lifetime Supporting Member

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    All pistol calibers suck. There is no debate. They all suck.

    If you feel protected carrying a single stack, then by all means do so. Just keep in mind, all pistol calibers suck.

    It will take multiple rounds to stop the forward attack of a wolf intent on doing you and your family harm. It will take multiple multiple rounds if the wolf comes with his pack (as they often do).
     
  9. Chambered

    Chambered Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Especially if the attacker is cranked up on drugs.
     
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  10. Lucian_253

    Lucian_253 Well-Known Member Supporter

    I was very comfortable for many years with my S&W 637 J Frame. Until one day I walked out of the local mall 5 minutes before a maniac with an AK walked in and went to work. Now I cary minimum of 13 with extra mag.
     
  11. John in AR

    John in AR Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not to be argumentative, but using just TKO, or just momentum, or just energy, or just bullet diameter, or any one factor, is a mistake. The TKO equation was originally meant for comparing the relative performance of huge rifles used to take dangerous game on african safaris. It places huge emphasis on bullet diameter and weight, and imo it's not only a mistake, but a huge mistake to apply it as a primary determiner for defensive ammo choice.

    Your numbers above are correct, but looking at other examples will hopefully illustrate what I mean.

    1911 with 185-grain bullet: TKO of 12.7
    9mm with 100-grain bullet: TKO of 7.1

    M4 5.56 with M193 bullet: TKO of 5
    Golf ball on a typical driver hit: TKO of 43
    Typical little league 55mph pitch: TKO of 75

    Those examples are silly, and intentionally so. Because according to the TKO formula, a baseball from a 12-year-old Little League pitcher is a 15X better performer than M193 from an AR carbine. That's obviously a silly conclusion, but there's no escaping that it's what the TKO calculation tells us; and demonstrates why the TKO is at best a very minor consideration for pistol-ammo choice.
     
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  12. John in AR

    John in AR Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sounds like we traveled similar paths, and arrived at similar conclusions.
     
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  13. Danzig

    Danzig I do hood rat sh%t! Supporter

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    Pockets full of baseballs don't conceal too well.:p
    Not to mention trying to do a proper wind up is like carrying with an empty chamber.;)
     
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  14. Southlake

    Southlake Island Life Staff Member Moderator Lifetime Supporting Member

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    I carry a Glock 19 because my recce is to hard to conceal.
     
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  15. Lucian_253

    Lucian_253 Well-Known Member Supporter

    I will carry my Sig p365, or Shield 9mm, with my lcp2 for a bug. Extra mag on the primary carry.
     
  16. John in AR

    John in AR Well-Known Member Supporter

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    :) Agree.

    To eliminate the intentionally-silly examples listed above, back to actual gun-related ones.

    1911 with 185-grain bullet: TKO of 12.7
    M4 5.56 with M193 bullet: TKO of 5

    So per the Taylor Knockout Factor, my 1911 with a non-plus-P 185 grain load is more than twice as effective as my AR carbine with full-house M193 5.56 ammo; and that's ludicrous.

    For its intended use of comparing & rating safari rifles shooting solid bullets, it may be perfectly fine; I have no way of knowing. But for defensive firearm application, it's hugely misleading.
     
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  17. Chambered

    Chambered Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That reminds me of the college in Michigan that actually thought it would be a good idea to issue hockey pucks to the students to defend themselves.
     
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  18. Southlake

    Southlake Island Life Staff Member Moderator Lifetime Supporting Member

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    This is a great debate about which pistol caliber sucks less.
     
  19. Danzig

    Danzig I do hood rat sh%t! Supporter

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    I heard of a few schools putting buckets full of rocks or other projectiles for active shooter defense.
    Whatever.
    Libs just refuse to concede that a good guy with a gun is the best answer for a bad guy with a gun.