Glock made waves in January 2014 with the introduction of the Glock 42, a small concealed carry sized .380ACP pistol. We’ve been excited about the Glock 42, we’ve had a lot of customers ask about it in our store as well, so we decided to do a full review of one to help you with your purchasing decisions.
The Glock 42 is small. It’s not Ruger LCP or Kel-Tec P3AT small, but it’s still the smallest Glock yet. It’s the first Glock model that is actually pocket sized.
The overall length of the Glock 42 is 5.94″, and the width is 0.94″ according to Glock’s website. The pistol holds 6 rounds of .380ACP in the magazine, and one in the chamber. It has the traditional Glock plastic sights with a white dot on the front, and white outline on the rear and the frame of the pistol is textured with the Glock Gen4 texture which is great for keeping the pistol in place while shooting without being so aggressive that it tears up your hands.
Looking at the above comparison you’ll notice that the Glock 42 is bigger than the Ruger LCP and S&W Bodyguard. At first many wondered why Glock would make this pistol so much bigger than the competition, but after taking the Glock 42 to the range, we quickly learned the advantage of the extra size: it’s a great shooter! While being very small, the Ruger LCP isn’t very fun to shoot due to the recoil, but the Glock 42 doesn’t suffer from that problem.
Shooting the Glock 42:
We took the Glock 42 to the range with 200 rounds of Armscor 95gr .380ACP ammo. The first 30 rounds were fired off hand with the intention of getting familiarized with the pistol. There were a handful of stovepipe malfunctions in the first few magazines (First round, first magazine; first round, second magazine; third round, fourth magazine) and these persisted through the first hundred or so rounds pretty regularly.
Next we fired 20 rounds strong hand only, and 20 weak hand only. The pistol still had a few stovepipes, but as the gun warmed up and started to get broken in, the stovepipes happened less frequently.
The reviewer found the pistol to be very easy to shoot, even with only one hand. The trigger is very similar to what we’ve come to expect from Glock, and vastly different from many of the other pocket sized .380ACP pistols on the market.
Combining the short Glock trigger with the “just right” size of the Glock 42 lead to exceptional accuracy from such a small pistol. We started at 5 yards because this is a small concealed carry pistol, and the accuracy was surprising. Off hand, the Glock 42 shot roughly 1″ groups pretty consistently:
Frankly, after getting bored shooting 1″ groups with the Glock 42, we set up a roughly 6″x6″ piece of steel and began shooting it at 10 yards, then 15, then 20, 25, 30, and finally 35 yards. We would fire a magazine, and then move back another 5 yards.
- 10 – 25 yards, 100% of the rounds fired impacted the steel
- 30 yards, 50% of the rounds fired impacted the steel
- 35 yards, 16% of the rounds fired impacted the steel
For a small pocket sized pistol we were very impressed with this accuracy!
Being that the Glock 42 is perfect for concealed carry, we put it through it’s paces with some defensive shooting drills. Shooting fast at multiple targets, from the retention position, magazine changes, and more. We shot the pistol so much that we had to set it in the shade to cool off for a while because it got too hot to hold on to! While shooting the Glock 42 as fast as possible it experienced a few failure to feed malfunctions, and another stovepipe malfunction.
Lastly a series of function tests were performed. The magazine was loaded with one round, then chambered and fired to test the slide locking to the rear. Short of deliberately pushing down on the slide release to keep the slide from locking rear, the pistol functioned without any problems.
Up to this point in this review, we’ve mentioned malfunctions a few times. In our experience pocket sized pistols can be a little picky with ammo, and it’s possible that this Glock 42 would prefer ammo with a round nose bullet instead of the flat points that were fired, or maybe a more powerful load, or something else. Testing the reliability of your pistol with different types of ammunition is important, and it’s something that you should do before carrying it.
The Final Word:
The Glock 42 is a great little pistol. It’s accurate, and sized just right for concealed carry. It sets itself apart from much of the competition with a trigger pull that is very familiar to folks who own Glocks or other polymer/striker fired pistols. The sights are familiar, and it just feels good in the hand. The reviewer has large hands, and even though the Glock 42 is much smaller than the Remington R51 reviewed previously, there was no slide bite or discomfort from shooting it. Recoil is soft, and follow-up shots come easily.
If you’re interested in purchasing one give us a call or click the link below!