Glock G42, The Disappointment


Weeks ago, when the buzz about the new Glock’s being released at Shot Show, there was a lot of excitement in the air. Being a Glock guy, I was all over every little bit of info coming out about the G42. Was this the long awaited single stack 9mm most personal defense minded people wanted from Glock? Was this the possible Shield killer, without a manual safety, that most wanted the Shield to be? Well the answer is NO to both. The G42 is a single stack 380 Auto. There is no doubt the G42 will sell. There are a lot of people who will buy it and like it, but the G42 is not the personal defense firearm it could be. It is neither as small as other deep conceal 380’s and it does not hold any more rounds than those 380’s.

Glock G42 Field Striped
Glock G42 Field Striped
Two of my G42’s

Several reviews are starting to come out about the G42 and it’s already being praised as one of the most innovative firearms since the G17. Really?, I don’t think so, maybe if it was in 9mm or .40 cal. The G42 is in no way in the same class as the G17, G19, G26 or any of the similar Glock.40 cal and .45 ACP models. While it may be a Glock, at the end of the day it is not the serious deep conceal, personal defense firearm, it is being advertized as. The G42 is not filling a nitch that other .380’s already fill. It is larger than the other .380’s and is pushed into the 9mm sized single stack guns, i.e. (S&W Shield,  Springfield XDs and the Kahr PM9). You would expect the G42 to at least have a few extra rounds in it due to the size but it does not even pull that off. It just feels like Glock has gone in the wrong direction with the G42.

G42 380 Auto Vs. G26 9mm
G42 380 Auto Vs. G26 9mm
G42 Vs. G26  Grip Width
G42 Vs. G26 Grip Width

If the G42 would have been released as a 9mm, I would not dispute that it would be a very innovative firearm, a single stack 9mm with Glock function & reliability. I would get one ASAP.  This is what most serious personal defense minded people wanted from Glock. It still would be hard to touch the reputation of the G17 or G19 but it would be a serious personal defense firearm. I have talked with several of our Loose Rounds friends in the Firearm Instructing & Training community, all have been truly disappointed in the G42 being chambered in 380 Auto.  Now, some out there will say; what’s wrong with it being 380? or don’t buy it if you don’t like it and they will argue all sorts of things about the G42. Simply stated, 380 Auto just does not get the job done. No round being fired at you is anything to sneeze at, but 380 has its place and that place is in a very small super concealable firearm. If you have to use a firearm in a “worst case scenario”, you want the most “bang for the buck”.  I was really hesitant to pick up a G42, simply because it’s a 380. The G42 is too large for the caliber and this makes me want to stick with a G19 as that’s the case.  Also, my wife is on the fence with carrying it because of the size. She has a smaller 380 and if she is going to carry a larger firearm it’s going to be in 9mm, she likes the Shield or a G26.

Glock G42 Specs
Glock G42 Specs

Final Thoughts:

There is some good to go with the bad. The G42 is large enough to be chambered in 9mm.  It is still a Glock with a locking block design and this makes the possibility of Glock coming out with a 9mm/.40 cal version possible. This will more than likely not happen this year but hopefully not as long as two to five years from now. If you look at the G26, the size is not hard to deal with/conceal and you get eleven (11) rounds of 9mm with it. If you are looking for a thin carry gun, the Shield which is almost the same size has 7+1 capacity, fills the role better and its a 9mm. For those of us who love Glock’s for what they are and what they do, the G42 is a major disappointment.  It will definitely be on my worst of 2014 list at the end of the year. Not because the G42 does not work or people won’t buy it, but because it’s a Glock and it falls extremely short of being a serious personal defense firearm.

Here is a Link to some of the new internal parts of the G42:

Here is a Link to Glock Parts Changes to the G42



  1. This picture: “G42 Vs. G26 Grip Width”

    Says a lot. I have a G26 and I think this new Glock is going to be a lot easier to conceal. I find the G26 much harder to conceal effectively than a S&W J-Frame (which is what I carry it mostly). Is the 380 sufficient for self defense? I don’t know.



    • Just purchase a new Glock 42 .380, because several friends who own one recommended this model to me. I had a Taurus TCP 738 .380 which was very snappy for me. Even with the finger extension I was anticipating recoil and having failures to fire and eject. My buddy, a very experienced gunsmith and weapons instructor, had no trouble with the gun and told me I was limp writing.

      I own the concealed carry version of the Bersa .380, plus and regular Thunder model, and have never had any failures to fire, feed or eject. Each has gone bang every single time, even with a variety of ammunition – I really love these little guns.

      Because I have neuropathy and carpal tunnel syndrome in my strong hand, I have almost given up shooting my 9mm’s more than a few rounds. The 380’s work better, but not in the mouse guns. I needed a smaller lighter gun than the Bersa for summer carry with light shorts and a T shirt or golf type shirt, so I finally decided to try the Glock 42, which is slightly lighter than the Bersa, but the grip didn’t allow me to get my “pinkie” on the grip. So, I added a Pierce magazine finger extension that greatly improved the grip and definitely stabilized recoil. Also the recoil is slightly less than the Bersa .380 CC, and much less than my 9mm’s.

      Other than two failures to feed completely on my first magazine, easily remedied with a quick rack, the 42 worked flawlessly – no failures to feed, fire or eject, and no jams or problems of any kind in approximately 200 rounds fired, using four different kinds of ammo: PMC, Winchester white box, Remington, and Monarch (PPU) Serbian manufactured ammo. I am very happy with the gun, a reasonably “soft” and accurate shooter, easily controlled with medium size hands and neuropathy.

      I am confident in the guns reliability and would not hesitate to use it for defensive purposes. based on my experience, I would highly recommend the Glock 42

      • Thank you, it’s hard to make that first gun decision with all the bantering and posturing about caliber efficacy. I liked the 42 I rented last week over the 43 due mostly to the irritation from the dovetail on my hand. I’m on the fence more about cost of ammunition still of a .38 vs 9mm, am thinking I won’t find a 9mm I like as well. I also have issues with hands that will only get worse so why put money out for a weapon I won’t be comfortable using based on cost of ammunition? Such tough decisions. Thank you for a great comment that was not charged with posturing, is most helpful.

  2. I completely agree with this assessment. I bought a Shield because at the time (and I still feel this way) it’s the best in its category. The only thing that would have ever made me consider giving up my Shield would be if Glock had come out with a similar sized 9mm pocket gun. I am completely disappointed.

      • You must have been reading studies that compile data from actual civilian and LEO CQB, self-defense shooting reports. Shame on you for informing your CCW world view with facts instead of falling in line with range jockey biases.

      • Please name a single police department or federal law enforcement agency that thinks .380 is adequate. So many people are quick to jump on the “if you’re getting shot at, it’s no joke” bandwagon. That’s all well and good but the name of the game is ending the threat, not shooting in their general direction to hope they stop.

      • I went to my butcher about a month ago to have him test my 380 concerns of stopping power. He allowed me to go with him to slaughter two hogs. I had him use my 380 SW Bodyguard. I bought it before the G42 came out.

        He shot the hog in the forehead at about 24″ away. We used the RIP round (Rapid Invasive Projectile). It dropped the hog in its tracks, created a massive hole and blood gushed out profusely.

        Results: I would use my 380 any day to defend myself in a gun battle. I feel it is much better to always have my gun on me because it is comfortable than to keep having an excuse to leave it at home because it’s to bulky. I prefer the MIC Holster. Most comfortable to date.

      • No more than on a khar. Khar makes some very small .40’s. The recoil spring would need to be a little heavier in lbs and that would make up for some of the heavier recoil in 9mm and .40 cal.

      • I think the .40S&W would be “snappy” just like with the S&W Shield. .40S&W isn’t my thing personally. I like the 9mm and have a S&W Shield (one hell of a good gun).

  3. There are those with physical disabilities who can’t handle the recoil of the diminutive .380’s, or operate the slide of 9mm’s. This might fill the bill for them. It fits in the same category as the Ruger LC380, in my view.

  4. I don’t understand the disappointment. Glock fans are always telling Sig Sauer and Springfield fans that the double-stack subcompact Glocks are so much better to carry. Kinda funny to see Glock fanboys upset that they don’t fill their own niche.

  5. Guys (&gals), think about it. Not everyone wants a 9mm or 40. Granted there are a lot of other .380 pistols out there to be had, but are they as reliable as the Glock brand. My spouse owns several small frame weapons, Rugar LC380, S&W BG380, Rugar LCR 38+P and LCR 22WMR. Granted all are good but come on now, there not a GLOCK. My wife has small hands and doesn’t have that strong of a grip so the recoil of a 9 or 40 on a small frame pistol is to much for her. Plus with the .380 modern ammo on the market today i.e. Hornady Critical Defense the stopping ability is way better than it was in days past. I carried a G23 on duty with a G27 for a back up. I sure would have liked to of had a G42 rather than the 27 simply because it would have been easier to conceal and not have been as bulky. I had 3 mags for the 23 and I could have carried an extra mag for the 42 easly. I think that Glock has a winner here. As for the size,I compared it to my S&W BG380 and the 42 was only slightly longer than the BG380. Thats my thoughts on the G42, Chuck C

    • Chuck, I’m not saying it does not have a place, Simply the disappointment in the caliber choice. By the way Critical Defense is one of the worst choices to carry in 380. Gold Dot and the old Federal Hydra Shok are two of the better performers. Several manufacturers use the Hornday XTP JHP bullet in 380 and it is probably the top performer for penetration and consistent expansion in 380.

    • In a world where single stack guns not called Glock are selling like hot cakes, imagine the stupid ridiculous sales Glock could have if they introduced single stack 9’s and 40’s. You are right, some people can only handle/like .380. Honestly thought, where’s the bigger market share?

  6. Opinions, opinions. Just the facts Ma’am. Does it fill a niche? Who cares. I never buy one of anything. Does it fit my needs? Sure, as do several other pistols that I own. Does it fit your needs. I don’t care. Did you shoot one? I didn’t think so. They’re actually very pleasant to shoot and reasonably accurate for its intended purpose. Both are welcomed characteristics for someone that is just starting out. All of the women that have shot it, have walked away with a smile. Sure, I would have preferred it in 9mm, but I’ll get one of those too when it comes out.

    • My opinions are only based on over a decade of LE training, instructing and experiences. As a duty back up or serious conceal carry firearm this does not meet that need but as I said 380 does have a place. The post is full of facts. Have I shoot one? Yes, Do I now own one? Yes. Sorry I hurt your vagina because you are to sensitive. The post is based on my initial disappointment that it is chambered in 380. I never said it was not a good gun, but it does fall short of being a serious defensive competitor with other firearms since it is in 380 and not 9mm. Sure it is a soft shooter and people will like it, but that was not the point of the post. Mainly if you don’t care, why take the time to post a comment, clearly you care a great deal. If it fits your needs as you said and you like it, why take the time to bash us. Start your own Blog and write about how you like it so much. I will be doing another article (Review) on what I do like about the G42 and what people may like about it. As this will no doubt please you, maybe you will like that article better, but you will no doubt miss all the points in that article as well.

  7. Wife is looking for CCW pistol for everyday carry. She will carry mostly in a belly band or possible IWB such as Crossbread. She has shot my G26 and likes it ok. She has friends with smaller .380 such as Sig P238, LCP380. She likes them OK but nothing has struck her fancy. She likes the larger size of the LC380 and the size of the new G42. However, we wonder if she would be better serverd with the Shield 9mm or one of the other single stack 9s. Any comments on what your ladies picked and would they consider replacing current pistol with the new G42?

    • TC,

      I will have Cassie answer this question for you shortly. She has carried and used almost all of the firearms you have mentioned as well as used the belly band and IWB carry. I have also shot most of these firearms and simply stated, she will never know if the firearm functions, fits or works for her unless she has shot it and carried it.

      • Sounds Good. My wife and I just joined a gun club and we will be seeking training as well as feed back from other friends whom have experience. However, most of our friends have not carried for a long period of time. It is good to find someone willing to answer your questions whom has a lot of experience. We live in FL and its hot most of the time. Weather does not change much so our carrier methods will be pretty consistent. Most likely IWB most of the time and sometimes belly bands and pocket carry for extremely hot months. We realize we will probably carry several guns and use a few different methods over the years. However, we wonder if most folks tend to fall back on making their clothes work based on being able to carry the firearm they are most comfortable defending their life with.

  8. Hmmmm, this big disappointment to some was named the hottest ticket at the shot show, GLOCK booth personnel says orders will top their biggest sellers this coming year, looked at it with open mind and I must say competition in this size and caliber are in trouble.

    • “GLOCK booth personnel says orders will top their biggest sellers this coming year, looked at it with open mind and I must say competition in this size and caliber are in trouble.”

      Yep – that is almost certain. A lot of people would have liked it in 9mm. I am maybe one of them. But it is going to be very popular and a lot of people are going to buy it. I may be one of them! My Glock 26 is just a tad too wide sometimes. Maybe I will spend more time practicing at the range to make that less powerful bullet hit in the right place! 🙂



  9. The smallest glock yet.. whats not to love about that? .380s kill people all the time. 9 would be nice, 45 would be nice.. AK47 would be better. But my AK is in the gun safe along with my 9.. 45 is in my truck. .380’s in my back pocket. I’m not the hero type so unless I can’t escape.. I’m not going to be using my firearm. I have the G17 and G21 and soon I will have the G42. I don’t think I’ll need another Glock after that.

  10. I think it’s sales will be brisk, then short lived. I’m already hearing of people who want to get rid of theirs. Heck, they just got them! It’s the Glock nobody asked for. Plain and simple. People who collect Glocks will want to get one for their collection, other’s for it’s “novelty”, and a number of people who actually want a .380 for self defense. I predict, like the Shield, people will scramble for it, and then it’s novelty will wear off, and they’ll be on Armslist at a healthy loss.

    However, another thing I keep hearing, is it should have been a single stack 9mm. I remember way back, when single stack 9mm’s were somewhat common place. Then the high capacity 15 plus round guns were everywhere and you couldn’t give a single stack 9mm away. I carry (mostly) a G19, it’s big enough to easily access, and to conceal. Deep concealment, except where absolutely mandatory, is lost on me, and thus the reason to ask for a G42 .380, that most didn’t, from what I’m hearing all over the web.

    Lastly, I have to wonder about this. I was at Barnes and Nobels, where I grab a Starbucks, and “scan” all the gun magazines, I actually do end up buying one, :), where, and I don’t remember which magazine, one had a liner on the cover something very similar to “The .380 a cute fad that’s over”. I just skimmed the article, but the gist of it was that the .380 had made a comeback, that was short lived, and now over. Was the author right? I don’t know, I don’t have access on data related to .380 Auto gun sales, but in retrospect it makes me wonder if Glock was jumping on that band wagon, but now the party is over and they missed the boat?

    I can say that for every post or person that I hear say wants one, 10 more have no interest, other than collectors.

    I’m just parroting observations. The only reason I’d ever carry a .380 is if I had access to nothing else, so I will never be able to post from experience, anything about a G42.


  11. I don’t totally agree or disagree with your opinion.
    First I don’t subscribe to the “caliber debate’ argument. If you are proficient with the weapon, and I mean proficient, .380 is just fine for stopping 99.9% of the situations a civilian is going to get involved in. If you are in a situation that it wont resolve, it would not matter what you were armed with.
    I 9 would be nice, but they will sell every 42 they build.

  12. Just an FYI for the people complaining about the lack of 9mm for this gun. Talked to one of the dealers that supplies our department with our service weapons, and they sell Glocks only. Their Glock rep told him that the G42 is a market test to see how a single-stack Glock would sell. He said the 9mm version of the G42 will be introduced at the 2015 Shot Show.

    • Ryan, when it comes to Glock no one knows what’s going to happen until Glock actually pulls the trigger.I have always had good contacts at Glock and no one knows if or when something is going to come out until Glock is extremely close to releasing it. I have learned never to trust anything a dealer says when it comes to the release of a glock. It has been said a single stack 9mm has been coming out for over five years now, so I have no faith that anyone but Glock knows when or if this will happen.

  13. Oh my lord… ppl like you kill me. You havnt even picked it up or shot it. So you have no clue as to why this gun was made. Also your comment: “Simply stated, .380 does not get the job done” is simply stated, an ignorant comment! .380 is a great self defense round and most definently gets the job done. The G42 is unlike the LCP or Shield. Those kick like crazy and are very hard to make fast accurate combat effective shots under stress. Ppl like u advise women or first time shooters to get these hard to shoot LCP and micro nines that are not fun to shoot and hard to shoot fast and accurate especially under stress. So that means the person will proly not practice as much as they should cause its unpleasant to shoot. The G42 recoils almost like a .22lr trust me if your wife shot it she would die to have one. Its so fun to shoot unlike other micro .380s and micro 9s. More thought went into this gun that you or I at first gave Glock credit for. In a self defense gun u want a gun that you can make fast combat accurate shots with and that is what this gun is. Please read this article at the man who wrote it once thought like u and alot of other macho men thought. That .380 is not a sufficient self defense round. Plz since .380 dont get the job done let me dump my seven .380 gold dots in your chest in a matter of seconds then answer the question is .380 sufficient. I’ll tell u this much you will have to answer it fast cause you would die within a matter of minutes if not seconds. So plz if your gonna review a gun and caliber at least speak about something that is fact and not some macho opinion.

    • Justin, you do realize this article was written months ago. Obviously you are very emotionally vested in this article. If you followed us or looked around the site, you would know that I infact have several of the G42s and have written several articles on them. How do you think I got the pictures of the stripped down G42 in the linked article. A new article is coming soon on feeding problems and upgraded internal parts to address those issues. Dont read it though as you clearly will not like it. Sorry you can’t handle people having a different opinion. I do like the G42. I never said I did not like it, just my initial dissapointment in the caliber as many were, months ago.I also love how you assume to know what I would recommend for others. If you followed our site or paid attention to anything I have said on the site, you would know exactly where I stand on recommendations. Since you clearly have no idea, you clearly do not follow us and are just a troll who is trying to validate your G42 purchase.

      • No it was just how you came off say simply stated the .380 round does not get the job done. Modern ammunition and ballistics show the .380 is so close to 9 anyone who could possibly say .380 dont get the job done doesnt know what their talking about. Lets face it small .380s are snappy and hard to control and place rapid shots on target under stress. And same goes for most micro 9s out there. Yeah theres feeding issues with some ammo. Its a locked breech design unlike most other small .380s and it has a very stout recoil spring. Ive shot about 300 rounds through mine of 90 grain speer gold dots, 95 grain speer lawman, and 90 grain PMC. Zero malfunctions. Its not as much the gun that got me mad about the article but hearing the same old ignorant comment that .380 doesnt get the job done. Theres plenty of real world evidence out there that says otherwise. If and when this gun is made in 9mm its gonna be snappy. To me I would rather have more control of the gun and be able to place faster shots on target even if I’m giving up a very meniscal amount of ballistic performance. Ive already heard of several LE agencies buy large amounts of the G42s for the officers BUG. Now do you think they are going to let LEO carry a weapon as a BUG if it didnt get the job done. Thats all I’m saying… That the .380 round with modern ammunition is more than plenty to get the job done.

  14. Lets all also dont forget our history where contradictory to your statement that .380 doesnt get the job done. Two shots from a .380 caliber pistol started World War I when those 2 shots fired from a .380 caliber got the job done.

    • Not a very good argument. Archduke Ferdinand was shot with a Browning Fabrique Nationale model 1910 pistol serial number19074, although there is a lot of information that he was shot with 380, the firearm was made in several calibers. It is believed that the M1910 used in the assassination, in the national museum in Vienna, is a .32ACP. Either way shot placement was the key factor in the assassination. Ferdinand was only hit in the jugular vein in the neck and bled out. Also in the assassination, no one was attacking the assassin or trying to stop his activities. In a self defense scenario you would be fighting off an attacker. If you read the entire history of the assassination, the assassin got very lucky with his shots it appears.

      • Interesting, I havnt heard that part of the story. Now when it comes to .32 I totally agree that is an anemic round and more than likely wont get the job done. When job meaning incapacitation. But thanks for the info. I just happened to run across an article in a gun magazine while in Walmart that told of that story. I’ll have to look further into but you may very well be right I dunno. But thanks for the follow up. Also thanks for all your G42 follow up blogs. Thanks for all your time and I appreciate it alot even though we may agree to disagree on some things 😉

  15. I disagree with many points in the article but those have already been addressed so I want to add one more point. Some of the small .380’s have a distinct disadvantage that comes from them being so small. It’s the extremely short feed ramp. The super small guns like the Taurus tcp738 & the Ruger lcp often have a hard time properly cycling anything but round nose ammo, and sometimes even the round nose ammo is an issue. Even polishing the short feed ramps often does little good making reliability sketchy at best and that just doesn’t cut it for me. The Glock 42 easily overcomes this just by being slightly larger and I would take that any day.

  16. Well let’s all agree on the first rule of a gun fight. “You have to have a gun”. Now all you experts kiss and make up!!

  17. The G42 is designed to work well and does so. I’ve owned Sig Sauer, S&W and Glock. The Glock pistol is well made and outperforms most automatic pistols — IMHOP.

  18. I own both the 42 and the 19 Gen 4. Outstanding performance. The 42 is a pocket gun, period! The 19 is also the best in the west. Both guns are tricked out, by me! No FTF, FTE or stove pipes. Nothing but praise! Shoots ALL ammo pushed through it! I run RIPS on both. They will both Stop whomever in their tracks. .380 and/or the 9 mm!

    • That’s cute. You buy the BS marketing surrounding G2 RIP ammo. It fails miserably in any test that is not carried out by the makers. Sorry, and best of luck.

  19. Another Shot Show, another Glock disappointment. It’s 2015 and Glock is lagging behind the S&W shield and Springfield XDS. Not only are they lagging, they took Shot Show 2015 to introduce a whole new line of 5″+ barrel guns. Get with the market trends. I love Glocks but my money will be going elsewhere. Thanks for nothing Gaston.

  20. I have to say that after having worked in the ER and ICU I personally got to see the results of three sepatate occasions where a gun shot victim was hit by a .380 ACP multiple (3-6) times. Only one of those times did it stop the threat as one of the slugs managed to get lodged into the man’s spine paralizing him. One of the other two attackers just continued attacking and the other ran off until police finally caught up with him. Not saying .380 doesn’t have a place but it’s just not for me.

  21. The G42 is a great gun. Guess what? The G43 is bigger in every dimension. While I’ll have one of those too, I don’t feel the need to measure my manhood by caliber. 99% of the arguments against 380 are a mirror image of the arguments against 9mm from the 45 crowd. But we all know options are bad.

    • You are absolutely correct! Have one, work on my own weapons, and a RIP .380 round will tear you uppppp! Long live Glocks

  22. The G42 IS a disappointment. I was really hoping that Glock would’ve just released a BATF friendly version of the G28, instead of the steroid version of a Bersa.

  23. 06/22/2015….. I bought my Glock 42 in Jan 2015. I could not get this 380 to fire more than one or two rounds with out jamming while using one hand. If using two hands the gun fired much better but still not 100%. No hand gun is worth having if it will not shoot 100% when using one hand.
    I sent my 42 back to Glock for repair under warranty. The gun was returned to me in just nine days. I tested this gun with 50 rounds of PMC ammo. Using this ammo before, the 42 would always fail. This time my 42 worked 100%, no more FTF, FTR, and jamming.
    Glock replaced three parts which was the answer to my problems:

    1) Trigger with Trigger Bar G42 33206
    2) Slide Stop Lever G42 w/spring 33272
    3) Trigger Housing w/Ejector .380 33228

    This 42 fires like a dream now. Thank you Glock for a great fix to my problems.
    By the way,before it took me using two hands to operate the slide stop lever,now it works great with my thumb only. Trigger pull also seems to be better now. Hope this info helps others with the same problems that I was having….


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