The Cornered Cat
Like a Glock, Only Smaller
There's something odd about holding a slim Glock. That's like a jumbo shrimp, or a curved line.

There’s something odd about holding a slim Glock. That’s like eating a jumbo shrimp, or drawing a curved line.

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.

Even my medium-small hands had no trouble fitting the Glock 42.

Even my medium-small hands had no trouble fitting the Glock 42.

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.

Did I mention it was fun to shoot?

Did I mention it was fun to shoot?

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.

A Glock in the hand ...

A Glock in the hand …

7 Responses to Like a Glock, Only Smaller

  1. peaceful says:

    Great looking. Hope it is up to your expectations.

  2. GunDiva says:

    I was surprised how much I loved this little Glock, too. My Beretta Tomcat is going away, to be replaced by the Glock. Can’t wait to have it in my hands again. One mag at Media Day was not nearly enough.

  3. PistolPrincess says:

    I can’t wait to get this Glock! I’m hoping that you’re right about the recoil on the G42…if so it’s a no brainer for me! I currently have the S&W .380 Bodyguard and let me tell you, it really does a number on my hand every time I practice with it at the range (that recoil is a doozy!).

    • Sabrewolfe says:

      Just based on the design, the recoil should be improved over other .380 designs. The Bodyguard, like most .380’s, uses a straight blowback recoil system. Its great for ensuring reliable cycling of lower power cartriges; the downside is, even though they have a lot less powder in the casing, they still feel as if they kick more than a comparably sized 9mm (like, say, the M&P Shield or Walther PPS). The G42, however, uses the same short recoil system seen in most modern semiauto handguns firing 9mm or larger rounds. My GUESS is this will make the gun a little bit picky regarding the ammo it will reliably cycle, but you WILL see softer recoil out of the weapon, and that means better accuracy for repeat shots. Which, IMO, is a very reasonable tradeoff.

  4. hammygirl says:

    I have a question as someone new to the gun world. I’m very interested in testing this gun, but I know getting my hands on one to try may not be possible because it’s so new. What would you recommend that I try to get an idea of how this one will shoot? I’ve mostly shot .38 and .357 revolvers up to this point. I did shoot a friend’s Glock 26 and I did not like it, but I’m more than willing to give this one a shot if I can! My husband would love to buy me a Glock, I’m just really hesitant to do so without shooting one or one very similar.

  5. Dan Irving says:

    I got a chance to fire one last week end. Now, I have big hands and the entire thing fit within the perimeter of my hand (fingers closed). This meant I very little real estate upon which to wrap my meathooks. I couldn’t get a good seal so it jumped around a little in my hands no matter how hard a bore down.

    Echoing Sabrewolf – it had a very soft recoil. It shot a little low and left for me but that might have been me not being a very experienced shooter. We were shooting around 7 yards. That said, it was fun to shoot.

    One thing that came out after shooting was ammo scarcity. .380 ACP is one of those calibers that has become hard to find.

  6. rdamour says:

    I would contact your local firing range to see if they have the Glock 42 as a rental; that way you could go down to the firing range and for a small fee, actually shoot one! That is what I did and I LOVE the Glock 42 and am in the process of saving for one.

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