Glock G42 review.

The Glock 42 in .380 ACP is the firm’s first attempt at a pocket pistol, and it’s also the first American-made Glock.

The Glock 42 in .380 ACP is the firm’s first attempt at a pocket pistol, and it’s also the first American-made Glock. In a category where minimal weight has become the Holy Grail, this 13.76-ounce package could seem chunky to people who like anorexic pistols.

That might be hilarious to those who carry Model 1911s or Beretta 92s on a regular basis, but fractions of inches and single ounces count for much in the pocket pistol game.

Someone who owns a Rottweiler could care less about the difference between a six-pound toy poodle and a 4.7-pound Chihuahua, but dinky-dog specialists would call it an issue. Likewise, a few ounces on a modern .380 can be a big deal.

The G42 Review

The Glock 42 looks like the rest of the family, but it’s the baby of the bunch. Here is how it compares to the Model 22.
The Glock 42 looks like the rest of the family, but it’s the baby of the bunch. Here is how it compares to the Model 22.

First impressions count for much, and the Glock 42’s grip and balance scored high in that department. Those who handled the 42 immediately remarked on how well the gun pointed and especially how well it filled the hand.

Anyone with hands in the small to medium-large range shouldn’t have any problems with getting a comfortable hold – something that can’t be said for many of the currently produced small pistols.

A 10.2-ounce Taurus 738 in an Uncle Mike’s pocket holster slips unobtrusively into my front pocket, but the bulge from a Glock 42 is less discreet. What a difference 3.56 ounces can make. There are definitely lighter options in 6+1 capacity .380 ACPs.

.The Ruger LCP tips the scales at 9.42 ounces, while the Diamondback DB380SC comes in at 8.8 ounces and the Kel-Tec P3AT is even scrawnier at 8.3 ounces. Perhaps the closest thing to a direct comparison is the 12.5-ounce aluminum-frame version of the Colt Mustang.

So why tote a Glock 42 when it means more planning (or possibly an inside-the-waistband holster) to carry than the competition? Well, guns are made for shooting and this sample came through on the range. The little Glock was cutting nice groups from its first round out of the box.

Trying different brands of ammunition is an absolute must, as the TulAmmo Brass Maxx .380 ACP that shot flawlessly and accurately in the aforementioned Taurus 738 often jammed in the 42. A switch to Prvi Partizan, CCI aluminum-cased Blazers and Winchester .380s resulted in trouble-free ejection, two-inch groups at 25 feet and punching cardboard with ease.

As one gun-savvy tester put it, “I’m not a Glock guy, but I really like the 42. It’s not something you would want to use at 40 yards, but this is a very accurate pistol. It shoots to point of aim.” A local farmer who dropped in on this test fire session was pounding out the center of the target after taking just a few rounds to sight in.

What about the ultimate test for a small pistol? The Glock 42 never stuttered on Winchester 95-grain PDX1 Defender hollowpoints. Accuracy was comparable to what was obtained with roundnose ammo.

This is the result of the first three shots out of the box with the Glock 42 using Prvi Partizan .380 ACP roundnose. The light recoil made it very easy to handle.
This is the result of the first three shots out of the box with the Glock 42 using Prvi Partizan .380 ACP roundnose. The light recoil made it very easy to handle.

Why was the 42 so accurate? It’s those extra ounces and fractions of inches. The 3.25-inch barrel is longer than most other small .380s. Combine that longer radius with typical Glock sights as compared to what sits on the slides of other pocket pistols, and a person might be willing to tote a bit more weight rather than go for the ultimate in concealability.

Pocket pistols are usually carried for dealing with up close and personal encounters of the dangerous kind. When the goon is only feet or inches away, the idea of a proper two-handed stance and deliberately sighting in becomes ludicrous. In such situations, a quick one-handed draw and fire is often the only option.

Glock’s dual-action recoil springs, combined with the mild-mannered .380 ACP brings the 42’s recoil down to minimal levels. Follow-up shots definitely aren’t a problem.

Is there a more memorable way to describe the 42’s polite handling? I was also playing around with an Italian-made .38 Special single-action revolver after testing the little Glock. A box of cast reloads for Cowboy Action practice was labeled “2.0 grains Bullseye – mouse farts.” The Glock 42 kicks like a mouse fart, and the MSRP of $480 doesn’t stink.

This article is excerpted from Gun Digest 2015.


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1 COMMENT

  1. First American made Glock? I don’t think so. I have a G22 that was made in the US and as a dealer, I’ve sold American-made G-19s, G-22s and G-23s. I’m sure there are others that were made here in GA in the past year or two.