Had a good day today at SHOT Show – or more technically, at Media Day at the Range, which is the pre-SHOT Show event for (what else?) media people. The event allows us to shoot some of the guns being introduced this year.
The big news, of course, was Glock’s entry into the small .380 handgun market with the new Glock 42. Regular readers of the website have probably figured out by now that I’m not a huge .380 fan, and not really a fan of tiny little guns either, so I didn’t really expect to like this gun.
To my shock, I loved the little beast.
What’s to love? Well, first up, it’s squee-ably adorable. It’s a small gun, a single stack with a very slim profile, as you can see from the pictures. But the pictures don’t do justice to the fundamental weirdness of holding a Glock that fits your hand with room to spare. It’s a little larger than some other guns in its class (think KelTec 3AT or Ruger LCP), but not drastically so. So there’s still the basic cuteness that comes with a small gun.
Despite its small size, the G42 offered controls I could easily use and a slide that took a surprisingly light touch. Unlike most guns in this size class, the G42 felt very solid in my hand and it seems reasonable to believe that it will run as reliably as any other Glock. If so, that will put it firmly head and shoulders above most other guns of its class.
Only had a chance to run a single magazine through it, but that was enough to say that the little gun was just plain fun to shoot. That’s not something I can usually claim with a straight face about most small guns. For me, little guns fit a very practical niche in that they allow us to carry in ways we otherwise couldn’t, and they allow us to keep a gun with us when we otherwise wouldn’t. So there’s that. But between increased recoil and vestigial controls, they’re also usually a bit uncomfortable to shoot. Not this puppy! There wasn’t any recoil to speak of and the controls were easy to use.
It was also surprisingly accurate. At 10 yards, I shot a very tidy fist-sized group with just a little attention to detail. The sights were exactly what you’d expect – it’s a Glock and the sights were Glock standard. The trigger, however, felt a little different from others in the Glock line up, a little crisper and a little less sproingy. Not a drastic difference, but noticeable to someone feeling out the trigger.
Although I’m still pouting that this new little gun isn’t available in a 9mm version, I’m pleased enough with the .380 that I’ve ordered one for myself already. Can’t wait to put it through its paces for realsies once it gets here.