Should I buy a Glock 43 or S&W M&P Shield – 9mm Pocket Pistol Comparison

With the new Glock 43 available to buy lots of people want to know: Should I buy a Glock 43? *click the links to go to respected retailers who provide product details and […]
Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm .40 S&W

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9mm or .40 S&W

With the new Glock 43 available to buy lots of people want to know:

Should I buy a Glock 43?

*click the links to go to respected retailers who provide product details and a safe, legal way to purchase firearms online.

Other concealed carry articles you might like:

Similar to when Glock introduced the Glock 42 in .380, lots of folks immediately said “Why? The S & W M&P Shield is only slightly bigger, holds more rounds and is a more powerful caliber (9mm vs .380). If you are like me, you were a bit baffled that Glock appeared to be “a day late and a dollar short” on the Glock 43. Glock brought a 6+1 capacity concealed carry pistol to compete against other proven guns like the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield which holds 7+1 or 8+1 rounds. However, capacity is not the only consideration.

Below we compare the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield  and the Glock 43 and answer the question of “Should I buy a Glock 43 or a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield”

Glock 43 single stack 9mm pocket pistol size comparison

Glock 43 single stack 9mm pocket pistol size comparison from Triangle Tactical


Glock 43 is slightly smaller with a shorter grip and 7mm longer barrel.

S & W M&P Shield is slightly larger with a longer grip and 7mm shorter barrel.

Winner: Glock 43


Glock 43 is 3 oz lighter.

S & W M&P Shield is 3 oz heavier.

Winner: Glock 43


Glock 43 has a more aggressive texture that “sticks” to your hand more.

S & W M&P Shield has a less aggressive texture.

Winner: Glock 43

Manual of Arms:

Glock 43 single stack 9mm pocket pistol

Glock 43 single stack 9mm pocket pistol

Glock 43 and S&W M&P Shield are functionally very similar.
S & W M&P Shield slide lock is slightly easier to manipulate on the S & W M&P Shield.

The Serrations on the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield slide are more effective, although the Glock 43 slide is easier to manipulate.

The Glock 43 magazine release is reversible. However, all other controls are on the left side for a right handed shooter.
Winner: Depends on what you like, but the option of external safety gives the edge to the S & W M&P Shield, IMHO

External Safety Option:

The Smith & Wesson M&P Shield is offered with a manual safety options for those that prefer it.

The Glock 43 is not offered with a manual safety.

Winner: S & W M&P Shield


Glock 43 is too new to know for certain how reliable it will be. Glock has a generally good reputation of reliability and early field reports suggest that initial reliability is good.

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield is widely reported to be very reliable.

Winner:S & W M&P Shield (Glock has to prove itself in the field)


Glock 43 comes with 6 round magazines for a total capacity of 6+1 = 7 rounds.

S & W M&P Shield comes with one 7 round magazine and one 8 round magazine for a total capacity of 7+1 = 8 rounds, or 8+1 = 9 rounds.

Winner: Smith & Wesson M&P Shield


S & W M&P Shield offered with steel sights or steel night sights.

Glock offered with plastic fixed sights or steel Meprolight sights.

Winner: S & W M&P Shield


Glock trigger breaks around 5-6 LB with a longer reset

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield trigger is not as smooth breaks around 7 LB with a shorter reset

Winner: Glock 43, potentially… as some prefer a shorter reset, which would tip the scale to the S & W M&P Shield

Lone Wolf Distributors Glock barrel upgrade out of package

Lone Wolf Distributors Glock 17 barrel. An example of an “off the shelf” upgrade

Accessories / Upgrades:

Glock 43 is too new to have a robust choice of upgrades. However, it is just a matter of time before a wide range of accessories and upgrade options are available for the Glock 43.

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield have been around long enough to have a broad selection of accessories and upgrades to choose from.

Winner: S & W M&P Shield for now, at least


Similar, with both having acceptable combat accuracy.

Winner: Toss up for now. Needs more testing.


Glock 43 is reported to have a more noticeable recoil impulse… which makes sense since it is smaller and lighter.

S & W M&P Shield is reported to be very “shootable” and “softer shooting”. The longer, wider grip and greater mass likely explain this.

Winner: S & W M&P Shield


Glock 43 is still new enough that demand is outstripping supply. Expect the Glock 43 to sell for $450 – $550.

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield has been around long enough that the price has stabilized. Expect the M&P Shield to sell for $350-$450.

Winner: S & W M&P Shield

Should I buy a Glock 43?


Should I buy a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield?

Good question.
If you need a proven gun for personal protection, then I recommend the S & W M&P Shield. Maybe in a year or so when the Glock 43 has had time to prove itself as a reliable fighting gun the result will be different. However, at the time of this post, the S & W M&P Shield is the only field proven option of the two.

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Originally posted 2015-04-19 16:01:24. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits.

A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management.

Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.