The New Glock 42 Revealed: Ho-Hum?

Our friends at Monderno have photos and details of the new Glock 42 posted, and I have to wonder if this is the gun that people have been wanting from Smyrna.  In a nutshell, the gun is a .380 ACP with a six round magazine.  It is thinner than standard Glock pistols at 0.94″ and has a 3.1″ barrel.  MSRP is $475.

But, how does the new G42 compare to alternatives already on the market?  Let’s take a look at a few of the offerings:

The Glock 42 Compared

Glock 42
Ruger LCP
Ruger LC380
Kahr CW380
Kahr CM9
S&W Shield
caliber380 ACP380 ACP380 ACP380 ACP9mm9mm
magazine capacity667667
barrel length3.1"2.75"3.12"2.58"3"3.1"
overall length5.94"5.16"6.00"4.96"5.42"6.1"
weight (unloaded)13.4 oz9.4 oz17.2 oz10.2 oz15.9 oz 19 oz
* For the Kahr pistols only slide width is listed. For the Glock 42, the slide width is 0.84"
** For the Shield, S&W lists frame width only. The external controls likely increase overall width.

The most analogous gun I can find to compare to the Glock 42 is the Ruger LC380.  I’ve been told the LC380 has enjoyed good sales, but the majority of the people I have spoken to don’t quite understand the pistol.  For many people, it is a 9mm sized gun that is chambered for an underpowered cartridge.  A lot of people are looking for a smaller gun for a .380 ACP cartridge, or a more powerful cartridge in something of this size.

For a smaller package around the same price point, but in a more substantial cartridge, a shooter could pick up a Kahr CM9.  The CM9 comes in a smaller package, maintains the same magazine capacity, but gives the owner 9mm +P rounds to use for self defense.  I’ve tested the CM9 and found that it is extremely reliable and accurate.  With even +P+ loads, the recoil was very easy to control.

Without a doubt, the Glock 42 is not the smallest gun on the market, nor even the smallest .380 ACP on the market.  However, if the gun is as reliable as the Glock pistols tend to be, I can see sales being brisk for the firearm.  It is smaller and thinner than other offerings from the company, and it maintains the same look and feel that many Glock enthusiasts like.

But, with all of the alternatives that are already established in the market, I have to wonder if this is the “next big thing,” or just another footnote to the new guns for 2014 column.


I’ve confirmed the G42 as being a .380 subcompact pistol from multiple sources who are all extremely reliable.  The trigger will be a standard Glock trigger and the sights will be polymer.  No word on if metal or tritium sights would be available.

No one has said a word about a possible 9mm version nor if a model 40 will ever be released by Glock.

Update 2

SHOT Business, a publication of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, is also publishing that the Glock 42 is a single stack, .380 ACP pistol.  That article is listing the gun’s weight at 12.35 ounces, roughly one ounce lighter than I have previously reported.  It is possible the SHOT Business number is unloaded and without a magazine, while the heavier number above includes an unloaded magazine.

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About Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing in Combat Handguns, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement, on The Firearm Blog and at BlueSheepdog.


  1. Nice comparison Richard. I’m not sure what Glock is thinking with this one…

  2. Richard,
    I have a hard time understand what people have a hard time understanding about a pistol like the Ruger LC380. Some people want (need) a pistol that is large enough to grip and has a recoil they can handle – a 380. Other people can handle more recoil and good for them. I heard one guy say he would buy a Beretta Nano when they offered it in 10mm – good luck buddy. I’ve also heard of a guy breaking his wrist the first time he fired a Taurus 357 scandium revolver. However, I agree the market for reasonable sized 380 is already full (LC380, Colt Mustang and clones, and SigSauer P232).

    • Hi Paul,

      I definitely get that a larger gun with weaker ammo has a niche. I’ve recommended .22 revolvers for self defense to people with particularly bad ailments or injuries that would prevent heavier recoiling firearms.

      But, I don’t know that standard pressure 9mm 115 gr ammo is producing that much more felt recoil than a 95 gr .380 ACP. There is a difference, but how great is it? It would seem to me that a 9mm version of this gun would appeal to more people, but that is purely a guess on my part.

      My sincere hope is that Glock has a 9mm model 43 that will be unveiled at the SHOT Show. But, only time will tell.

      As for a Nano in 10mm…no thanks!


      • Richard,

        I think we are in agreement that some people (me for example) want and need a self-defense weapon that produces less recoil. However, I think a 380 produces significant less recoil than a 9mm. I often purchase Federal when I can find it, and here are the numbers for energy in foot pounds at 0 yards for their Premium Personal Defense (LR – I think that means low recoil) ammunition:
        380 cal – 200 foot-pounds
        9mm – 337 foot-pounds

        Clearly the 9mm would be more effective, but the 380 will produce less recoil.

        I often still carry my S&W Sigma 380. From a initial look at the Glock 42, these pistols seem to have about the same physical dimensions so I will definitely consider buying one. I am possibly the only person in America who still carries a S&W 380 and am probably the only person who ever liked it. It’s fine to carry but even it has a very hard recoil – unpleasant (blow-back design). For some reason S&W made a 9mm version of this pistol. I met one person who fired one (he owned a gun shop that was a S&W certified repair center), and he described the recoil of the 9mm as brutal. Unpleasant beats brutal any day in my opinion.

        I enjoy reading you web site a lot. Looking forward to reading your Shot Show coverage.


        • Hi Paul,

          You make an excellent observation about blowback designs. I am assuming that the G42 will be a recoil operation system and not a straight blowback. If it turns out to be a blowback gun, I think that would negate any of the reduced recoil benefits of the pistol. I imagine that blowback 9mm was pretty rough to shoot!

          By the way, thanks for reading the site. It means a lot to me to have you read and comment on the site!



    • I agree 100%

  3. A few friends whom I trust recommend the LC380 as a good gun for people who are recoil-adverse but still want a small defensive sidearm. The Shield/LC9/CM9/et al are all great guns, but they are not a good gun to start with nor are they fun to shoot because they come out on the wrong end of Newton’s Three Laws of Motion.

    But take it down a notch by using the less-powerful .380 ACP, and all of a sudden you have something pushing the edge of “optimal” defensive firepower but is still fun enough to practice with on a regular basis.

    It’s not a gun I’m interested in, but just because it’s not in my market that doesn’t mean there’s not a market for it out there somewhere.

    • Good points, and like you, it is not a gun that I would be interested in. My wife actually laughed when I mentioned the gun to her at lunch. I don’t know if the niche is large enough to support it, but I’m sure Glock did plenty of market studies prior to development.

  4. I’m kind of disappointed. I was hoping for a single-stack 9 to compete with the Shield & The XDs. I have a Sig P250 Compact .380 which I bought to be a home defense pistol since I live in a townhouse and worry about over-penetration. Other that that reason, Ican’t see a .380 with so many capable, small 9’s on the market.

    • Hi Ed,

      How do you like that P250? I’ve heard mixed reviews on them, but I’ve never spent much time with one. I imagine the .380 in that gun is a real soft-shooter.


      • Hi Richard,
        I’ve never had a single FTF or FTE with my P250’s. I liked the .380 so much, I put together a 9MM subcompact by buying a conversion kit from Sig and a certified FCU from an FFL. Once you master the DAO trigger system on the gun, it’s a very accurate weapon.

      • I really like the P250. Once you master the trigger, it’s a joy to shoot. I’ve assembled a 9MM subcompact from a conversion kit from Sig and a certified FCU from an FFL. Both a soft shooters and I like the ability to stage the trigger and really know where it breaks. The only drawback is the long reset but after 100 rounds it seems to become intuitive.

        • Thanks for the feedback. I reviewed a P290RS recently, and the trigger sounds very similar to your description. I really like the DAK trigger on the SIG pistols, and wish the company would use that as a standard for all of the DAO guns.


          • I’ve never fired the DAK but the P250 trigger feels like a good S&W revolver trigger and I like that.

    • The 41 is the new long-slide .45, the 42 is this new .380…

      … so what is the Glock Foh-tay going to be?

      • Good question. Popular theory suggests that the company will skip it to avoid confusion when people talk about the “Glock 40″. Is it a Glock 22 (.40 caliber) or the Glock model 40? Of course popular opinion is almost always accurate within about 50 percentage points (plus or minus).

  5. Brian Hargreaves says:

    I know two people, one works for Glock in GA, hi in that company. An other who is very close to the same Company, but a retired Police Officer.
    Nothing from either one, Nada! “Wait for the Shot Show”
    In meeting Mr. Glock in 1984 in the Royal York Hotel, in Toronto Canada, I gave him two suggestions, slim the Glock 17 down as much as he could, change the surface of the grip, into little pyramid’s, better for wet.
    He did both of those things, with theGen4! Took a while.
    The other one, not done yet! Suitable for Detectives/bodyguards/concealed carry individuals, a shoulder holster special, so to speak.
    A very slim, 10 round magazine pistol (very slim) with 3 magazines? For balance! A 9mm.

    To my mind, with the correct bullet, the best caliber in the world.

  6. Tired of being asked why i dont carry a shield or PM9 if its the same size. Its because its not a glock, if you dont like the idea of it then dont buy it. We have all accepted that its a .380 when we decided to purchase and buy it and its like beating a beat dead horse already.


  1. […] I'm not vouching for the veracity…just passing it along. Very interesting if it is as portrayed. The New Glock 42 Revealed: Ho-Hum? Ruger Security Six, Ruger Mark III, Ruger SR9, Ruger LCP, Ruger SP101, Ruger LC9 […]

  2. […] There are additional rumors of a Glock 42 that may be also introduced in January.  I’ve not been able to find any solid information on this gun, and the internet is full of speculation on this pistol (if it even exists.)  Steve at The Firearm Blog posted an image of a Glock ad that hints at a subcompact pistol called the G42.  But, who knows if the ad is a complete Photoshop fake or something real.  (Ed. note:  The Glock 42 is real.  It is a .380 ACP single stack pistol.  Click here for more information.) […]

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