which 9mm pistol: g43x, g26, s&w ez?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by jstert, May 12, 2022.


which 9mm pistol for both ccw and shooting range?

  1. glock 43x

    22 vote(s)
  2. glock 26

    18 vote(s)
  3. s&w shield ez

    12 vote(s)
  1. JR24

    JR24 Member

    Aug 16, 2011
    Upper Midwest
    The longer grip of the 365x is nice, but still thin for my hands. Add a Wilson frame to it, and it’s perfect for me. Nice enough that I have another 365XL coming in a trade soon.

    Old Dog, TBL004 and bannockburn like this.
  2. Rexster

    Rexster Member

    Mar 25, 2007
    SE Texas
    Personally, I would choose the G26, as it is the most-proven, over time, it points well, when I grip it, the absolute best “pinkie rest,” for my personal littlest finger, is a G19 magazine, though I have skinny fingers, and can live without a pinkie rest, for maximum concealment, and, finally, it can share spare G17 magazines, with my Glock G17 pistols. G19 magazine.

    My personal Gen4 G26 worked 100% flawlessly. When I was winding-down my LE career, I sold it to a younger officer, who needed a back-up pistol. All small 9mm pistols hurt my aging right wrist, so, it seemed logical to pass my G26 to a younger-generation owner. Not long after retirement, I realized that it still made sense to have a G26, to shoot left-handed, as a back-up gun, if nothing else, so, when the supply crunch started easing, not long ago, I bought the first new Gen3 G26 to appear, at a local dealer, and later, when a really-well-preserved, pre-owned Gen4 G26 appeared, locally, I bought it, too.

    A firearms trainer, who works for a federal LE entity, reported problems with the RSAs in the then-newly-marketed single-stack 9mm Glocks. I cannot say whether the problems have been remedied, but this information helps to tilt the balance, for my purposes, toward the G26.

    A Shield EZ does NOT point well, in my hands, which immediately rules it out, for my usage. It is too late, in my life, to adopt any new weapon, that would require thousands of rounds of training ammo, at minimum, to attempt to re-train myself to adapt. Others’ experiences will vary.
    jstert, 5-SHOTS and Anchorite like this.
  3. kellmark

    kellmark Member

    Apr 3, 2008
    I also like the Glock 26. Great gun. Have carried it for years. Very versatile. But I now use it for a house gun. Because a few years ago I acquired a Sig P365. Great pistol. I put a Hogue grip on it. And put the Mag Guts kits in my magazines. My 10 round is now 12, and my 12 round is now 14. And the gun fits in the pocket if I want to. Also, I like it with the manual safety. Works well for me. Feels really good. Great capacity. Shoots great.
    jstert and Iggy like this.
  4. tercel89

    tercel89 Member

    Feb 1, 2009
    This is correct ! The most versatile Glock in 9mm is the 26. It will use all of the double stack magazines from 10 rds up to the 33 rd mags. With the 43 you are limited on what magazines you can use. With Glock I only use Factory mags. Using aftermarket mags isnt' always reliable. You cant go wrong with factory stock parts.
  5. drobs

    drobs Member

    Feb 15, 2017
    I finally made the switch to the Glock 43X w/ Shield Arms 15rd mags / SA metal mag release. I'm still heavily invested in Glock 19's and Glock 26's - owning multiples of each. I find the 43X to be easier to carry and shoot just as well. The OEM 10rd Glock 43x mags still work just fine for the range.

    That being said - you wont go wrong with a Glock 26 for the reasons stated above.

    If I know I will be out overnight outdoors, I'll bring one of my flashlight equipped Glock 19's with me.
    jstert and JohnB-40 like this.
  6. TBL004

    TBL004 Member

    Jun 17, 2021
    Phoenix AZ
    Nothing against the three you mentioned but before you pull the trigger on one of those three you owe it to yourself to try any of the three Sig 365 variations.
    jstert likes this.
  7. Ks5shooter
    • Contributing Member

    Ks5shooter Contributing Member

    Dec 16, 2013
    Communist state of nj
    G 43x and later buy a 48 slide...a little longer for target days.
  8. JohnB-40

    JohnB-40 Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    I thought I could do this but for the price asked for a slide and barrel (new or used) is really close to or more than a new 48.
  9. LeftyRed

    LeftyRed Member

    Feb 11, 2013
    WCH OH
    I have nerve damage in my hands, as well as wear and tear from fighting and hard work for 30 years. I’m “only” 53, but my hands are in pretty bad shape. I have owned/own all three of the pistol you have asked about plus the Sig P365 and it’s various models (which seem to almost a have to put into a post on which pistol to get even it the OP didn’t mention it. LOL. Like anyone in today’s shooting world didn’t know about it). Here is some free insight, worth every penny!

    I have had the EZ380 and EZ9mm. They are gone. I think the 9mm was the better of the two, quality wise, but it’s as big and heavy as a G19/17. And I didn’t notice recoil being any softer then the G19 or G17. The EZ380 was a nice shooter, but my G42 with Vickers Tactical +2 mag bases was still smaller and lighter and I was more accurate with the G42. Plus I can make the G42 smaller with flush base plates. EZs were easier to rack than any Glock. The G42 is a pain to rack the slide, but I added “ears” to the back of the slide to help out.

    I had the G43X and still have G48. I really like those pistols. Never had a problem, ran them hard when I could. I got them on the end of my high end shooting league and competition career. Respectable folks at pistol-forums have had some of the early ones (silver slide) break and there was mention they weren’t allowed for off duty carry by some departments. The local departments in SO IL and SEMO and St Louis area where I would compete against over departments allowed them. Them seemed happy with them and even allowed them for duty weapons to non frontline officers. Mine never had a problem with 147gr JHPs or even my 160gr casted bullets. Typical Glock reliability. There are days where I can’t shoot them as fast or as well as double stacked Glocks, just no way. But I’m good for headshots out to 25 yards from holster, so they are keepers for me.

    What can you say bad about the G26? I can’t think of nothing. It’s been mentioned it’s just too fat to carry. Most of the popular micros compacts are around 1.10” and the G26 is at 1.26”. Guess that extra 0.16” is just too much for them. It’s the most reliable of the pistols you are asking about, and probably most accurate. I tuck my pinky and my split times are just as fast as my G19/17s. and you can make it a compact or full size grip by just adding the right size magazines. Now, I do believe the ability to take larger magazines is pretty over blown, and except in the movies or post apocalyptic novels I have never heard of someone needing to do that. But it’s always nice to have. I’m crazy accurate with my G26, and I just don’t think I will ever be without one.

    I will say the Sig P365 is a pretty nice pistol. But I have too many user induced malfunctions, in stock form, to say I would carry it. I have a Wilson Combat grip module for mine and it’s way better at filling out and allowing me ti get a better grip on it than the flimsy stock grip. I have also tried slip on grips, but they just don’t for me. But it’s an option, like others have said. But I’m only slightly better than my G43, with it. And the on,y reason I still have it is because I have an expensive shoulder holster for it, which is a delight to wear. I wear it on long trips. But when my shoulder holster for my G19/26 gets here, it’s may very well be gone. Just not right for me.

    With that stated, I carry a G19 most of the times now. I got a Phlster Enigma and after a week of all day long carry, I really like it. The G19 allows a full grip for my weaken hands, and is easier for me to draw from my holster while carrying AIWB. I do carry the G26 OWB at 10ish, but I find I can carry the G19 just as easily there as well. I have the G26 and G19 as backups to each other, instead of settling on just one model and going on. And another plus in the G19 column is the G44. It’s my main trainer and range fun gun. I can use my G19 trainer mag in it for dry firing practice at home and 22lrs for cheap range time.

    I do have a G48 and I do like it a lot and I do shoot it very well. But there are days my hands just can’t handle it, sadly. Same with my G43, some days I’m killing it one handed. Others I can barely stand to shoot it. On the bad days, it’s the G19 or G26(with extended mag for a full grip). They have never let me down. So they get the top spot in my holster.
  10. psp7304

    psp7304 Member

    Mar 23, 2007
    Voted G26. I had a 43 and have shot the 43X, but the 26 fits my hand better than the others so I can shoot it better.
    jstert likes this.
  11. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    If I may deviate from your choices.

    As a revolver shooter, you like the DA trigger and, are likely good at it. As am I.

    I carry a Sig P239 DAK in 357 SIG. DA for every shot. Sadly, out of production.

    Before you make up your mind, please look at a Kahr K9. All stainless. Fantastic DA feeling trigger for every shot. For less weight, they make polymer frames also. But, the K9 is a magical gun. I’ve owned several. Gave one away. Traded another. But, I’ll pick up another.
    jstert likes this.
  12. Alllen Bundy

    Alllen Bundy Member

    Jul 8, 2021
    I have shot rifles and shotguns since I was 12. But I had NEVER shot a pistol until I bought my P365 in October of 2020. I had no issue with recoil shooting 115 gr cartridges with a 1,190 FPS rated muzzle velocity. By the 4th magazine my grouping was down to 3-3/4" at 7 yards. I found it easy to shoot. But I didn't like the P365 grip and replaced with with the taller P365XL grip, and that made me a happy camper. As already mentioned, Wilson Combat makes a wider grip module for the P365 and P365XL, and many people like the Houge handgrip sleeves. One size does not fit all, but you have choices.

    But your most important consideration will be self defense ammunition. A short barrel will not achieve the same bullet velocity as a longer barrel, and the reduced velocity could result in a failure of the bullet to expand in the target. So you will likely want to stick with lighter bullets with hotter powder loads to insure proper expansion going through clothing.

    Mostly because of local availability, for self defense I'm using 115 gr Sig Elite Performance with the V-Crown JHP bullet which has a rated muzzle velocity of 1,185 FPS - 359 Ft Lbs through a 4" barrel. In the Twin Cities I pay $ .90 / rd.

    For practice I use Winchester White box 115 gr FMJ with a rated muzzle velocity of 1,190 FPS - 362 Ft Lbs through a 4" barrel. In the Twin Cities I pay $ .40 / rd.

    Just recently my friendly neighborhood gun shop started stocking Sig Elite Performance 124 gr JHP Nato rds with a rated muzzle velocity of 1198 FPS - 395 ft lbs @ $ .90 / rd. I'm seriously considering them.

    Also note that because of supply chain issues Sig will NOT be using nickel plated shell cases and will be using unplated brass cases until further notice.
    jstert likes this.
  13. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

    May 21, 2015
    Southern California
    I owned a G26. I traded it off. The concept is sound except it killed my wrist. I have arthritis in my wrists, but where the right thumb joint meets the wrist it’s especially bad and I just couldn’t take the snappy recoil of the 26. Something to consider if you have wrist / hand problems. Longer grips are fine for me. Just not that G26 grip.
    I did get to shoot a 43X and I liked it very much. Unfortunately it’s not on the roster here so the purchase of one will have to wait until after I retire this summer.

    I highly recommend you find a way to shoot each gun on your list and some if the ones suggested in this thread.
    jstert, WisBorn and LeftyRed like this.
  14. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    on Puget Sound
    I feel your pain, brother! Those who haven't arrived here yet, just won't know until they do. Good advice!
    LeftyRed and Pat Riot like this.
  15. jstert

    jstert Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    ne and sw
    thanks to all for your replies!
    another option popped up on my radar: walther ccp m2...
  16. plainsdrifter

    plainsdrifter Member

    Jun 3, 2021
    Ruger Max 9
    Not a Smith or glock fan 20220325_173631.jpg 20220325_174033.jpg 20220325_174119.jpg
  17. citizenconn

    citizenconn Member

    Mar 7, 2022
    Houston, TX
    My Dad loves his Shield in .45ACP. I replaced the crappy stock guide rod with one from stainless steel guide rods and its a MUCH improved gun. The grip is a little narrow for my meaty paws.
    WisBorn likes this.
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