Top Categories

Glock 42 First Impressions

The most popular new gun at SHOT Show based on the lines at both range day and on the show floor was without question the Glock 42. Going into SHOT, I wasn’t too excited about the G42 because I felt like Glock chose the wrong caliber. After shooting the gun, my opinion has changed a bit. 

Brandon shooting the Glock 42

Brandon shooting the Glock 42


The Glock 42 is of course a subcompact “pocket” pistol, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it shot. The Glock booth was setup with steel plates at range day, and if I remember correctly, they were setup at 25 yards. I remember thinking that this was odd considering that the Glock 42 is such a tiny gun, and certainly wasn’t created primarily with such distances in mind. Turns out it didn’t matter.

Glock 42

The Glock 42 shot just like any other Glock, and that perhaps is the highest praise possible for the little gun. Hitting at 25 yards was easy, recoil was surprisingly mild (some of those little 380’s have some bark), and the trigger felt like every other Glock I own.

Do I still wish it was a 9mm? Absolutely. But what Glock has essentially done in my opinion is render every other subcompact 380 on the market, or at least the ones I’ve shot (which includes Kahr, Ruger, Keltec, Taurus and Smith & Wesson) obsolete. The trigger alone sells the gun. If you’ve shot any of the aforementioned subcompact 380’s with long double action triggers, you know what I’m talking about.

Provided there are no problems with the gun, if I wanted a subcompact 380, this is the one I would get. For more information, specs and photos, you can check out the Glock 42 on the Glock website.

Size Comparison

Glock 42 Ruger LC380 Ruger LCP Kahr P380
Length 5.94″ 6.00″ 5.16″ 4.9″
Width 0.94″ 0.90″ 0.82″ 0.75″
Height 4.13″ 4.50″ 3.60″ 3.9″
Weight 13.76 oz. 17.20 oz. 9.40 oz. 9.97 oz.
Sources: Glock 42, Ruger LC380, Ruger LCP, Kahr P380


32 Responses to Glock 42 First Impressions

  1. racenmason January 17, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    Did you ask if Glock is going to make it in a 9mm?

    • Brandon January 17, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

      I did – the unofficial answer I got is that Glock is having trouble getting the 9mm to run with “all types of ammo”.

  2. Brenda January 17, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    Thank you, first review I’ve read about this gun. I’m still shopping for a gun I can carry. I have an old Makarov, it’s very hard for me to pull the slide, so my hubby is going to use it and I get a new gun! I did watch Jeff Quinn on YT shoot this gun, he liked it! Called it “dandy”!

    • Brandon January 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

      I’m pretty sure Jeff calls every gun dandy haha…this isn’t a complete review, I only shot one magazine. But first impressions are important, and my first impressions were very positive.

    • Jake January 17, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

      Jeff seems like a nice, knowledgeable man, but he’s never met a gun he didn’t think was “just dandy.” His reviews are more like ads.

  3. KevinC January 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

    Shooting the 42 right after I shot the more conventional 9mm XD-S was a revelation. The fact is, any mini 9mm or tiny pocket .380 is going to be on the wrong side of the Three Laws Of Motion for quick follow up shots.

    But in .380 and with a larger frame, things change. I could do rapid, accurate shots with the 42 noticeably faster than I could with the XD-S. The 42 isn’t a gun for people who write (or comment on…) gun blogs. It’s a gun for the *spouses* of people who follow gunblogs.

    • Brandon January 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

      LOL…wait. Did you just call me a girl?

      • dgdimick January 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

        We only called you a girl today? Everyone must be at the Shot Show.

  4. Mike January 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    Agreed, really impressed with the G42. S&W, Ruger et al need to throw their designs out and start over.

  5. TK January 17, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    Normally I wait at least a year to buy a new gun, but for the G42 I might make an exception. Thanks for info!

  6. Rusty Shackleford January 17, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    Glock’s marketing budget must exceed their engineering department… pretty sure everyone asked for a single stack 9. Don’t care if it is a “light recoiling” gun. At the end of the day, it’s the size of the single stack 9s and carries one round less. How that’s brilliant escapes me. Yet people will kneel at the mighty Glock altar when the most impressive thing about this gun is the lack of finger grooves and it still has crappy plastic sights.

    • Brandon January 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

      I wanted a 9mm too, but it sounds like Glock is still working on getting it running reliably.

    • TK January 17, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

      LOL Rusty you sound upset

      • Rusty Shackleford January 17, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

        Just a little haha.

    • KevinC January 17, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

      I’m not a Glock fan, I worship at The Church Of CZ (Come for the accuracy, stay because you can’t find a holster for your gun. I digress…).

      However, I recognize a good gun with a big potential market when I see it. I’m not interested in this gun, but there are MILLIONS of people who are buying CCW guns who avoid heavy recoil like I avoid vegan bacon, and this is just the gun for them.

      With it’s easy to carry size, lighter-recoiling .380 round and “Just get a Glock: It’s what the cops use” marketing strategy, they’re going to sell a ton of these now, and a ton and a half if/when it comes out in 9mm/.40.

  7. Jared Saltz January 17, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    Have you shot the Walther PK-380? I know you’re a fan of the PPQ, so I didn’t know if you’d shot the Walther and could say how it compares to the Glock.

    • Brandon January 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

      Nope, I have not shot the PK-380.

  8. Notwork Engineer January 17, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    the problem for Glock is this gun isn’t competing with the other “pocket” 380’s, because it just isn’t one. The LCP and Kahr disappear in a front pocket while this is basically the size of a shield or xds, which does not. If the situation allows me to carry a gun this size, there’s plenty of 9mm (or 40 or 45…) to choose from. The only reason I sometimes carry the 380 that I carry now is because it’s smaller and that is all I can get away with. This gun has zero appeal to me because it fills no gaps in terms of carry guns.

    Everyone is trying to sell this as “hey, color me surprised, but this thing is brilliant after all because it’s easier to shoot than other 380’s.” Ruger already makes a bigger 380 that interested literally nobody. The rate at which this outsells the LC380 will be a cool way to measure Glock fanboydom.

    • Brandon January 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

      What specs are you looking at? I don’t own a LC380, but from the manufacturers specs, the G42 is shorter in length and height and weighs ~4 ounces less. I added a size comparison chart above.

      • Notwork Engineer January 17, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

        nobody owns the LC380, that’s the point. add the Kahr, LCP, shield, and xds sizes and then see where the LC380 and G42 seem to fit. grouped by size and caliber, you’ll have pocket 380’s in one group, the “pocket” 9mm’s in another, and the G42 and LC380 in a third group. I can’t find it now but someone posted those nice overlay pictures that compare the sizes of a few of those and it made the G42 look silly. I just don’t see the appeal and can’t imagine people would have given themselves a chance to like it if not for the manufacturer. Maybe this will boost LC380 sales by waking up a bunch of people like me to the niche, but I doubt it.

        I admittedly never pay any attention to weight, if it conceals well with a decent belt, a few ounces doesn’t mean much to me either way.

        • Brandon January 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

          Yeah the overlay images really help to gauge the differences, but I can tell you after handling and shooting the G42, you won’t have any trouble pocket carrying it. Remember that generally speaking, the smaller the gun gets the less reliable it is. Personally, I’ve yet to see a reliable subcompact 380. If the G42 turns out to be as reliable as other Glock models, that alone will sell it.

          • Uncle Kenny January 17, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

            The G42 is 3/4 inch longer, 1/2 inch taller, and fatter than my LCP, as your chart shows. If I wanted a G42 size weapon I have lots of choices: Kahr PM9, for example.. The G42 is simply not in the same size class as the tiny 380s.

          • Brandon January 17, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

            The G42 is definitely bigger than an LCP, but I would take a G42 over an LCP every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Especially for those ridiculous TX summers. 😉

    • Ken Millard January 17, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

      Notwork Engineer…. my thoughts, precisely!

  9. gipbmac January 17, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    Interesting… now I am definitely considering this pistol a lot more. My experiences with small 380cal pistols was the same – didnt like any I tried. I absolutely love my 23, 27 and 21 – the 42 may make a fun addition to my quiver. Glad to hear it functions and shoots like a Glock should!

  10. Al Cohol January 17, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    Since I know you own an M&P Shield, how much smaller is the Glock 42 vs the Shield in person and in hand? Looking at the specs side by side, they really aren’t a huge difference. Considering that, plus the Shield is a 9mm with one more round, I personally don’t see a reason to get rid of my Shield. I can conceal it + a spare mag without a problem in my tightest fitting t-shirts. Now, if Glock made this a 9mm, I would drop my Shield in a heart beat. My biggest gripe with the Shield is the safety (which is easily ignored) and the fact that the trigger isn’t the same as my G19. I love the Glock trigger much more than the M&P.

    • Brandon January 17, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

      I’d have to compare them side-by-side to be sure, but the G42 sure gave the impression of being tiny when I shot it. Perhaps because I shot it next to the G41? I can see that I’m gonna have to just buy one for a full review. 🙂

  11. Stephen January 18, 2014 at 6:53 am #

    I’m anxious to get my hands on the G-42. More accurately, I’m anxious to get my wife’s hands on it. This may be the gun to finally bring my wife over to the dark side and to get her to accept that there is life beyond S&W. For me, a G19 or G23 is perfection, but the grip size is just a little too much for her hands.

    • Tom January 18, 2014 at 11:46 am #

      I think its ridiculous how many people bash or criticize this pistol that haven’t even picked it up, let alone shot it yet. I carry a G 27 with +2 extension all year long – in summer wearing a t-shirt with no problems (appendix carry) – I also carry my 23 a fair amount and I am no by any means a stick boy or bean pole – 5’11” and 220lbs – this pistol is definitely smaller and will be more easily concealable than my 27 and I really dont think anyone wants to be on the wrong end regardless if its a .380 – besides I would think there will be more calibers to come

      • Jake January 18, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

        My thoughts exactly. All this bitching about it being “too big” when all you’ve done is look at a spec sheet makes no sense. Besides, “too big” is relative. It’s too big for you? Cool, don’t buy one.

  12. rumblestrip January 18, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

    Now that S&W has tweaked the Bodyguard to be an “M&P” version, I’d like to see a side by side test of the two.

    BTW, S&W is just about to cross the line with the M&P brand, it will be like Oldsmobile in the late 80’s and early 90’s when everything was a Cutlass something.

  13. Butch Waddill January 26, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Does anyone know if the Vickers replacement mag and slide stop releases fit on the G42? How about the Glock OEM – connector and 10-8 Glock sights? Thanks.