You probably don’t know Donna, but you should. She is the reason behind the new Glock 43. Donna, and millions like her.
The latest micro-9 was not developed for Donna because she is a woman, though the gun works perfectly well for her as a woman.
You see, Donna is a caterer based in Nashville. She did not grow up with a father teaching her how to shoot guns, nor has anyone else in her life taken her to the range. Yet, one of her clients is Nashville Armory, the host of the official launch party of the Glock 43 pistol. That’s where I met Donna.
At the launch party, gun writers scrambled for a chance to shoot the new pistol and jostled one another for space around the buffet table. Firearms trainer Paul Carlson instead struck up a conversation with Donna about the new pistol.
Paul, the owner of Safety Solutions Academy, works with many new shooters at his Cleveland-area school. While all of the professional gun writers wanted to know how the gun fits them, Paul wanted to know how the gun fit Donna. After all, it is people like Donna that buy the majority of the company’s guns.
After discovering that Donna had never shot a gun before, Paul sought and received permission from Glock to pull her from her culinary duties and take her on the range. The experience and feedback Donna provided illustrated the exact reason why the Austrian pistol maker created the G43.
After taking care of some administrative issues, Paul walked Donna through the basic handling of the pistol. According to Donna, Paul established a level of comfort with shooting that no one else had ever done. Under Paul’s close watch, Donna began pulling the trigger and fired her first shots.
Donna’s grin was as wide as it was infectious. Seeing her fears about shooting wash away while a sense of accomplishment and empowerment swept in like an unstoppable tide was truly inspiring.
After we were off the range and the adrenaline rush had subsided, Donna made a number of observations about the gun and her first shooting experience.
Donna credited Paul’s ability to build rapport with her and put her at ease with her willingness to try shooting. While it was apparent that Donna had previous opportunities to shoot with otherwise qualified instructors, it was only because Paul made her comfortable that she was willing to give it a go. This should be a critical lesson to both instructors and gun manufacturers who want to put pistols in the hands of new shooters.
About the pistol itself, Donna thought the fit of the gun was nearly perfect. Though she said she might like the gun slightly thinner, Donna stated the gun fit her hand better than any other pistol she had ever handled. She said she had enough room for both of her hands on the gun, and “it wasn’t too fat.”
Gunwriters often talk about the recoil associated with compact pistols. As a new shooter, Donna felt that the recoil “wasn’t a lot.”
When all was said and done, Donna said “[I] loved it.” She went on to say that because she was comfortable, and because the gun was comfortable to shoot, she would definitely buy the Glock 43.
Gun companies have realized that women make up a significant portion of the shooting market. In the scramble to cater to this classically underserved market segment, many companies have turned to paint schemes to make guns that appeal to the female shooter.
Speaking with Kie Wagner of Glock, it became clear that Donna makes the perfect avatar for the creation of the new 9mm pistol. Instead of focusing on gender and superficial characteristics, Glock’s design team is more interested in how the gun fits into a shooter’s hand.
If the shooter is a woman or a man is not a question that Glock considers important. The critical question, and the one the company is focused on, is making a pistol that will properly fit the hands of the shooting public. The Glock 43 satisfies that too-often overlooked question for those with small hands.
Is the Glock 43 pistol for you? I don’t know – maybe. An experienced shooter with large hands will be able to adapt to the size of this pistol. But for an inexperienced shooter with small hands, the Glock 43 may be ideal.
I do know that the gun fits Donna, and perhaps millions of others just like her. She said the gun fit her hand very well, and as a novice shooter, Donna was not intimidated by the gun’s recoil. In fact, after shooting the G43, Donna stated it was the gun she would likely buy.
If Donna is representative of many potential customers, Glock will sell as many Glock 43 pistols as they can possibly make.
(Ed. note: You can read my review of the Glock 43 by clicking here. If you are looking for our list of holsters for the G43, please click here. If you are looking for our list of aftermarket sights, please click here. Lastly, Streamlight offers a light and laser for the G43. Read my review of the TLR-6 here.)