Review: Glock 43 Factory Magazine With Extended Baseplate

To extend or not to extend. That is the question. Today we’ll take a look at the Glock 43 factory magazine with the extended baseplate and see if it offers any advantages over the magazine with the flat baseplate. Follow along for the exciting conclusion.

The Glock 43

At 16.23 ounces, the G43 is not a heavyweight and is lighter than many other pistols on the market. The overall length is 6.26 inches, with the barrel being 3.41 inches long. It is 4.25 inches high and has an overall thickness of just 1.06 inches. That slim profile makes the 43 very easy to carry, as opposed to many of the short, fat autos on the market currently.

Glock 43, Streamlight, Spyderco.
The Glock 43 has a lot of stuff going for it, including a comfortable, slim grip and small size. There is an extended base plate magazine in the pistol. Note the RTF texturing on the grip. Seen here with a Streamlight tactical light and a Spyderco Native. (Photo: Jim Davis)

I know a few people who actually carry the Glock 43 in a pocket, but they are the exception. Most carry on the belt or Inside The Waistband. I like AIWB (Appendix Inside The Waistband), as it conceals this pistol the best in that mode.

When carried OWB (Outside The Waistband), the Glock 43 is so light that I barely notice that it’s there.

Capacity

Here’s where the Glock 43 draws criticism — with its low capacity. Six rounds plus one, to be exact.

Some of us are ancient enough to recall when police would be armed with just six rounds in their revolvers to carry out their fight against crime and evil. A few of us, including your beloved author, were even issued six-shooters (gasp!) for duty! For decades, those six rounds were considered to be sufficient.

Witness holes in the back of the Glock 43 magazines.
Glock 43 magazines, seen from the rear (standard base plate and extended base plate). Both have witness holes so the shooter can see how many rounds remain in the magazines. (Photo: Jim Davis)

Until, that is, the Arms Race took off in the 1980s, and unless we had at least 15 rounds in our pistol, we were, most definitely, “outgunned.”

Another consideration is that there are still a fair amount of people carrying revolvers. I won’t get into all the plusses of carrying revolvers in this article. Suffice it to say, the six-shooter is not dead.

For that matter, neither is the five-shooter. Quite a few snub-nosed revolvers carried these days do only carry five shots. Lots of armed citizens and coppers carry them both on duty as backups, and off duty as well. As such, five or six rounds still seem to be a workable amount of ammunition to have in one’s handgun.

The Glock 43 carries 6+1, so it’s slightly better than carrying a revolver. Add to that the fact that reloading a Glock 43 with a magazine is faster than reloading a revolver with a speed loader, and the points stack up fast.

Why???

Now that I’ve said all that, let me say this. It is beyond me why Glock has not made magazines with an extended capacity for the Glock 43. Nearly every other Glock model out there has magazines that are of extended capacity. But not the 43.

There is an extended base plate, but it doesn’t add any capacity. Is it too much to ask Glock to fit another round or two into an extended magazine, since they went to the trouble of making one with an extended base plate? Don’t get me wrong, I love the extended base plate because it gives my pinkie finger a place to perch, which adds to the control and accuracy of the pistol overall.

It’s as if Glock made the pistol and then gave up, which is unlike Glock. They’re always innovating and bringing out enhancements for their pistols. But it looks as though the Glock 43 is done in that department. And that’s a disappointment because I think more people would warm to the pistol if there were factory magazines that would hold seven or even eight rounds.

Alas, I’m getting ahead of myself! Let’s move on and talk a little more about Glock magazines.

The Magazine

This brings us to the heart of this particular article: the magazine. Specifically, the Glock 43 magazine with the extended base plate. Why the factory magazine? And why the extended base plate? Excellent questions!

Standard on top, extended base plate on bottom.
Underneath is the extended base plate magazine, while the standard base plate magazine is on top so the difference in length can be seen. There is not a drastic difference between the two. The standard base is slightly more concealable, but not by much. (Photo: Jim Davis)

In my Glocks, I run factory, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) magazines because they work. I’ve had some (mis)adventures with aftermarket magazines in my Glocks, and not all of them were a success story. To put it bluntly, some were a real disappointment, in that they were not reliable.

A second point, which piggybacks off of the above, is that Glock magazines are supremely durable. They are not indestructible, mind you, but they’re the most durable firearm magazines, in my opinion, that I’ve ever used. I’ve seen them slammed onto concrete floors, stepped on while lying in dirt or on concrete, slid across floors, and generally abused like nobody’s business. Despite this, they manage to hold up and keep functioning. Their polymer shell, combined with the metal liner, seems to absorb shock efficiently so that they continue functioning without breakage.

A nice touch is that Glock provides witness holes in the back of the magazine so shooters can see how many rounds are left in the magazine.

Glock 43, extended base plate magazine.
We see here that the extended base plate offers better control of the grip because all the fingers have a place to grab. (Photo: Jim Davis)

As I already mentioned, the extended base plate really helps the ergonomics of the Glock 43. That small extension lets my pinkie have a resting spot, which gives me more control.

Despite the added control and size, the extended base plate really doesn’t add much length to the pistol’s grip — about 5/16 of an inch. Yes, it’s slightly longer, but I don’t believe that will interfere much with concealability.

For users requiring the utmost in concealment, just use the magazine with the standard base plate and you’ll be fine. Either way, the Glock 43 is a very concealable pistol.

G43, standard
With the standard base plate, the pinkie finger has to wrap around the bottom of the magazine base, which is less than ideal. However, it offers a slight advantage for concealment. Photo: Jim Davis.

At the Range

Firing the Glock 43 proves it has a little more snap than the larger Glocks, but that’s to be expected. It weighs less and the grip is thinner, so it’s going to concentrate a bit more of the recoil into the shooter’s hand. With that said, it’s not at all unmanageable.

Accuracy is definitely decent — hitting a man-sized target at 20 yards is not at all out of the question. Hits at even farther ranges are possible if the shooter does his or her part.

When I Carry the Glock 43

For quick trips to the convenience store, the Glock 43 really shines. I don’t always want to gear up heavily, and the little pistol carries very well and is light enough not to be a burden. If I don’t have loved ones along that need protecting, seven shots should be enough for most problems that I’d run into.

Other times, I want something very concealable, and the 43 fits the bill perfectly there as well.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the factory Glock 43 magazine with the extended base plate is my favorite go-to for that pistol. The extension gives my pinkie finger a landing zone, which enhances control and accuracy. And because they’re OEM Glock, the magazines are supremely durable. At the time of this writing, the Glock 43 magazine with the extended base plate retails for $28.99, which is a great price.

If you own a Glock 43, you definitely need to have a few of these around.

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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