Glock 43X OEM Magazines: They’re Reliable. Period.

Which magazines are the best for the Glock? Aftermarket magazines abound, but are they better? Or is it smarter to stick with OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)? For a number of years, I’ve been a “stock, factory” kind of guy. With that in mind, let’s take a look at Glock’s factory magazine for the Glock 43X

Glock 43x OEM magazine
The business end of the magazine shows a Speer Gold Dot 124 grain hollow point 9mm round. There are nine more in the magazine. (Photo: Jim Davis)

Glock 43X 

First, we should take a close look at the 43X to make sure you know the ins and outs of the pistol in case you are not acquainted with it.

When the Glock 43 was introduced, people liked it because it offers good concealment and a slim, single-stack grip. Life was good.

People noticed that other manufacturers were fitting more rounds into their pistol grips, though. Never mind that those pistol grips were wider in size, for the most part. People do like capacity.

People also love the Glock 19 for its medium size and healthy capacity (15 rounds). For years, people wished for a slimmer Glock 19 (myself included). A single stack is what we fantasized about in a Glock 19 frame. Eventually, Glock did deliver on that with their Glock 48, which holds ten rounds and has the same barrel length as the Glock 19.

And then they did one better—they came out with the Glock 43X. It has the same slim frame as the Glock 48, with the (sort of) single-stack magazine. I say sort of because it is slightly staggered inside, but it is not a full double-stack magazine. This allowed Glock to keep the grips on the 48 and 43X slimmer than the original Glock 19, though both grips are the same length. So factory magazines will fit both the Glock 43X and 48 interchangeably since the only difference is the slide length for those pistols. Incidentally, the Glock 43X (and 43) slide will fit on the Glock 48 pistol.

I personally like the Glock 43X’s slightly shorter slide (it is 6.06 inches with a 3.41-inch barrel). Why? Because it allows me to index on targets faster due to the slightly shorter barrel, which is the same slide as on the Glock 43.

An additional advantage is that the 43X (like the 43) will clear the holster just a little faster than the Glock 19 or 48 because the barrel is slightly shorter. Yes, we’re talking fractions of a second, but in a gunfight, fractions of a second can mean life or death.

Get a Grip!

Aside from the shorter slide, what I really love about the 43X is the grip. It’s not too thin, not too chunky, but just right. Goldie Locks would approve! It fits my hand as though it were made for it. And it’s not just me—I know a large number of shooters who agree and have bought their own Glock 43Xs because of the same feelings. That grip really pulls people in.

Glock 43X in hand.
The Glock 43X has an ample, but slim grip, with the magazine holding 10 rounds. (Photo: Jim Davis)

Aside from the grip size, the RTF (Rough Texture Finish) that Glock uses works very well. The fact that they did away with the finger grooves from earlier generations has also been a hit with people who really didn’t care for those grooves.

Yes, there are pistols from other makers who have larger capacities (including Glock). Yes, the grips are wider because of it. And yes, those grips are, in my opinion, inferior. They just are not as comfortable for many people, and they can even hamper the shooter’s ability. A very short, stubby, fat grip can just plain suck. Naturally, that’s a matter of opinion, because there are tens of thousands of people snatching up those tiny pistols with huge capacities. They wouldn’t buy them if they didn’t like them.


Speaking of shooting, the Glock 43X is plenty accurate out past ranges that we wouldn’t normally think of using a pistol. I’ve fired mine out to 75 yards and was able to hit a man-sized silhouette target. And I’m quite certain that I could hit that target at even farther ranges than that; I just haven’t tried to. Yet.

The Glock 43X Magazine

All this talk about the pistol’s grip leads us to the subject of this article: the OEM Glock 43X magazine. If the grip is the heart of a pistol, the magazine is the soul. Magazines that don’t function will quickly shut a pistol down.

Side profile of the 43X magazine
The 43X magazine is somewhat slimmer than double-stack Glock magazines, and therefore, more compact. (Photo: Jim Davis)

Many people believe that Glock made some remarkably innovative pistols. I also believe his magazines are equally as innovative. I’ll explain.


Glock factory magazines have a polymer shell and a metal liner inside. Kind of like a certain popular candy; a thin candy coating with a chocolate filling. Well, there’s no chocolate filling inside Glock magazines. There’s something eminently more useful, though: bullets.

The follower is orange, which makes it very easy to see, and it glides smoothly inside the magazine.


I believe it is the polymer shell that makes these magazines so durable. I won’t quite use the word indestructible, but they are not far from it.

During trainings and shooting schools that I’ve participated in, magazines usually hit the floor hard. Often, those floors were concrete if we were shooting inside. Concrete is the enemy of magazines. It dents them, breaks off feed lips, and generally visits havoc and mayhem to the hapless magazines. Many times, magazines are ripped from their magazine wells and slammed onto the floor at high speed during speed reloads. They also get stepped on as operators navigate the range.

Throughout all of that, I have to report that Glock magazines have fared the very best out of every other magazine brand that I’ve ever seen used in training. I believe that the outer polymer shell absorbs the shock of the impact the best, and allows them to keep running long after other brands have ceased functioning.


Although the 43X factory magazines only hold ten rounds, there is one (sort of) silver lining. That happens to be the legal capacity limit for a number of states who place undue restrictions on magazine capacity. So if you live in those states, or are traveling through them, the 10-round capacity of the 43X could be an advantage for you. They’re universally legal in the US, at least for now.

Front and rear shot of the 43X magazine. With Speer Gold Dot ammo.
Glock magazines have a metal inner and a polymer outer shell. The witness holes in the rear of the magazine show how many rounds are left. (Photo: Jim Davis)

Certainly, if I were traveling to one such state, the 43X would be a viable candidate, if nothing else than for legal reasons.

Beyond that, ten rounds (+1) is not a terrible capacity for a handgun. Remember when police headed out to each shift armed with six-shot revolvers? Me too. I was issued a six-shooter by my agency once upon a time, back when the earth was cooling. So for me, 10+1 capacity is not that bad. I do have pistols that have much higher capacity, but they are larger and heavier, which are qualities I don’t appreciate these days very much.

And that comes to another point. The comfort vs. concealability vs. shootability vs. capacity. They are all interrelated factors. I believe Glock hit a home run with the 43X because it strikes a balance between all of those factors.

So, that 10-round magazine fits well into the mix of all the factors involved. Typically, I will take one or two spare magazines with me when I go out, so I have up to 31 rounds of 9mm with me. That should take care of most foreseeable problems that I’d run into, within reason.


Another consideration about carrying spare magazines (and we all should carry at least one spare mag, minimum) is that the ones for the 43X are somewhat more compact than double-stack Glock mags. Simply put, they’re easier to carry. It’s not a huge issue, but these days, I’ll take any convenience I can get.

Flush Fit

Glock’s 43X magazine fits flush with the bottom of the magazine well. There’s no need for an extended baseplate because the grip is long enough that the vast majority of people can easily find enough grip on the pistol.


The cost of the Glock OEM magazine for the 43X, at the time of writing, is $29.99. There are less expensive handgun magazines out there, and there are more expensive ones. This one is pretty much the middle of the road as far as costs are concerned. Consider that you’ll get years and years of service from these magazines, and the cost becomes negligible.

Wish List

With all of this said, I’d appreciate it if Glock would introduce an extended factory magazine for the 43X. A 12 or perhaps 13-round magazine, even if it protrudes slightly out of the magazine well, would be a most welcomed addition. I’d love to have one of those as a spare to carry along. Should the bullets start flying and I’d have to reload, I wouldn’t be concerned about my magazine protruding from the bottom of the mag well, as concealment would not be a consideration at that point.


I’m a plain vanilla type of gun guy. I don’t dress my pistols up with extra add-ons and aftermarket goodies. I believe they were made a certain way at the factory for a reason, and that reason is to work reliably (for the most part). I’ve been accused of being boring. Oh well, I’ve been called worse!

43X, magazine, and ammo at the range.
The magazine for the 43X fits flush with the bottom of the grip. The grip is sufficiently long enough that it doesn’t need an extended base plate. (Photo: Jim Davis)

I feel the same way about magazines, mostly. Especially for handguns. I tend to stick with the factory, OEM magazines because those have the very best chance of working reliably. Yes, there are higher-capacity magazines out there on the market for the 43X. However, I know a lot of people who have tried them, and the results have been rather mixed.

Not so with the OEM magazines. They’re reliable. Period. And reasonably priced. And those aftermarket magazines are not going to be as durable as the Glock magazines, not by a long shot.

For this reason, I have been exceedingly pleased with the factory Glock 43X magazines and will continue to stake my life on them.

Jim Davis served in the PA Dept. of Corrections for 16 ½ years as a corrections officer in the State Correctional Institute at Graterford and later at SCI Phoenix. He served on the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT), several of those years as a sniper, and also the Fire Emergency Response Team (FERT). For 25 years, he was a professional instructor, teaching topics including Defensive Tactics, Riot Control and Tactical Operations, Immediate Responder, and cognitive programs as an adjunct instructor at the DOC Training Academy. He was then promoted to the title of corrections counselor, where he ran a caseload and facilitated cognitive therapy classes to inmates. His total service time was close to 29 years. He was involved in many violent encounters on duty, including incidents of fatalities. He is a dedicated Christian and attributes any skills that he has to the glory of God.

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