I first test-fired the GLOCK 42 during SHOT Show’s 2014 Media Day at the range. Just unveiled to industry folks and not yet available to the public, GLOCK’s smallest pocket pistol created quite a buzz among media members. I immediately saw the value this slim .380 offers to petite women shooters, or to someone looking for a secondary concealed-carry firearm, and requested a sample to review. I even invited my mom to share the GLOCK 42 review experience with me, because I have that much confidence in what this gun can do.
Shooting from a distance of up to 7 yards is common for testing small handguns designed for self-defense purposes. At a rapid, but not rushed pace, I sent 5 groups of 5 Dynamic Research Technologies’ .380 Auto, 85-grain hollow-point bullets downrange to 5 targets. Using defensive ammo on the range makes sense, considering the fact that I am testing this gun as a concealed-carry option.
I’m used to shooting my GLOCK 34 with a Zev Tech trigger that is set to 2.5 pounds, so adjusting to the GLOCK 42’s 5.5 pounds of trigger pull felt different, at first. Once I put a few shots on paper, I really got a feel for the trigger — it has a clean break and a crisp reset. For a pocket pistol, the consistency and accuracy is surprising. Groups fell within the 10 and 9 rings, except 1 flyer (must have been a crooked bullet) that hit the 8 ring. On target number 2, all 5 shots touched each other. Not bad at all!
Average group size
1. 2-¼ inches
3. 1-½ inches
5. 1-½ inches
Average = 2.05 inches
After my initial “5 groups of 5” testing, my mom came to the range with me, and she eagerly shot the GLOCK 42. She has never shot a .380 before, and doesn’t have anything else to compare it to besides her GLOCK 19. Her reaction? She said the trigger pull is a little long compared to her GLOCK 19, but that she felt like she could control it easily. My mom assumed that since the GLOCK is small, it would bite her hand. She happily reported that it didn’t. “I would definitely use it as a secondary concealed-carry gun!” she said.
The gun ran cleanly, straight out of the box, and it had no malfunctions. I would have loved to test different brands of defensive ammo for this review, but finding .380 is still tough in my neck of the woods.
Feel in the hand
The GLOCK 42 is tiny. It has a familiar “GLOCK-like” feel, but without the finger grooves on the front of the grip. It doesn’t come with removable backstraps to vary the grip size, either. The addition of a Hogue HandAll grip ($8.95 to $9.95) may help to increase contact and lessen slippage. Because the gun is so slim, the second pad of my trigger finger rests on the trigger, when I use a proper grip. I have to be very conscious to pull my finger out a little and make sure I only used the first pad of my finger to press the trigger.
Concealing the GLOCK 42 is easy-peasy! Due to the gun’s size, you can carry it any way that your heart desires. The gun has been out on the market for a few months now, and a plethora of holster manufacturers are making concealed-carry holsters for it.
I have been using a Galco Stow-N-Go, inside-the-waistband holster ($32.95) for both appendix and small-of-the-back (I’m left handed, so I carry in the 7 o’clock position) carry. I also used the Galco Pocket Protector ($27.95) to purse carry when concealing my primary 9mm on-body. Check out my pal Michelle Cerino’s column on how to shoot through a concealed-carry purse for some great tips and tactics on this method of carrying.
I know a few ladies who would love, love the GLOCK 42 because their frames are small and they have a hard time concealing full-size pistols due to printing issues. It also is a great gun for men with small hands.
Overall length: 5.94 inches
Overall height: 4.13 inches
Overall width: .94 inches
Weight unloaded: 13.76 ounces
Weight loaded: ~14.36 ounces
Sight radius: 4.92 inches
The GLOCK 42 comes standard with 2, 6 round capacity magazines and has an MSRP of $480. Visit GLOCK online for more information.
Ammunition Depot provided ammo for this review.