David C. Reed reviews the Glock 42 in .380 ACP
CCW Guardian. Train. Shoot. Log. Details matter.
Hello again, I’m David Reed with Reed and Ward; the makers of CCW Guardian the premier smartphone app for CCW permit holders.
This is a review of the Glock 42 in .380 caliber.
So, let’s clear, lock, and show safe. No one is behind the camera, we have a safe training area. Alright, let me let you take a look at the port side. This is Glock’s newest offering, the Glock 42. It is the most compact weapon that Glock’s ever come out with in the US and for general distribution, it’s the first .380. Glock’s been making .380’s for years in Europe but it’s a considerably larger package than this one.
This weapon is 5.94 inches long and it is 4.13 inches high. It has a 3 and a 1/4 inch barrel, and it weighs 13.76 ounces when empty and unloaded just like this.
Okay, why don’t you take a look at the starboard side right there. Pretty much standard Glock fare. It has, does not have a ambidextrous slide stop. It doesn’t have any ambidextrous controls, but as this is a Gen 4 style Glock the magazine release is interchangeable if you want to work on it you can take it and reverse it over to the starboard side from the left side there if you want to. Other than that it’s pretty standard Glock fare.
Okay, let’s roll it over take a look at the top. Now this is the thinnest Glock ever produced. It’s only 0.94 inches thick right here, which makes which means that it is excellent for inside the pants or even pocket carry. The rear sight is drift adjustable for your eyes or the ammo. The front sight is the screw on type. Ever since Gen 3, Glock’s have used, so you would have to replace that sight if you needed to adjust adjust the height by screwing it in and out using a tool that Glock sells. The weapon has the Glock Tenifer finish.
It is very smooth overall. Like I said, this would be perfect for inside the waistband carry or with a pocket holster for pocket carry; as a backup to a larger weapon; or if you’re person whose recoil sensitive or has very smallish hands; this weapon might just be the one for you. It certainly feels very thin, very small, in my hand.
Let’s check that trigger pull. Yeah, boom, right there. 5 pounds, maybe 5 and a 1/2. Very short tactile and audible reset, which is only important when you’re learning and shooting. During actual defensive shooting, trigger reset is just something you do by spot welding your finger to the trigger and you go. But, for people who like that click, that definite feel and click, you’re definitely getting it with a Glock 42. This trigger actually has less take up on it, I mean it’s just right there, than most striker-fired polymer pistols that I’ve shot including my Gen 4 Glock 23. This trigger has less take-up and a shorter recoil than that weapon, so that’s pretty impressive.
The weapon is pretty smallish in the hands. I have medium-size hands I’m about 6 foot 190 pounds so I wind up having to wrap my little finger under there. I can only get 2 fingers on it. If you’ve got very large hands you’re going to be little uncomfortable firing this pistol. Also, even though it is a Gen 4 style weapon from Glock, it does not have the add-on back straps to change the length of pull or the additional beavertails. It does have the pinhole for it so I don’t know if some aftermarket company might be making those in the near future. So, if you’ve got very large hands and you grip this weapon you can get some ‘slide bite.’ If you’ve got medium to small hands it shouldn’t be a problem because the beavertail is just ample enough right there to keep it from cutting your hands.
So, this weapon again is .380 caliber, so let’s take a look at it with the Reed Ergo Power Ratio Tool. As far as caliber goes this is a .380. This is not the best performing cartridge for defensive shooting. It’s a gun that you carry when you’re not really carrying a big gun or a full-size gun. A .380’s a gun maybe for summertime carry you know when you absolutely cannot conceal anything else. It only scores a 2 out of 5 in caliber. As far as capacity goes it’s a very slim, short grip which means it’s going to conceal fantastically but at 6+ one, that gives you 7 rounds of .380 and that only gives you a 3 out of 5. So, before we even fire the pistol in the Reed Ergo Power Ratio Tool, where after we shoot it, we have a total of 20 points, you’ve only got 5 before we go outside. Alright, so this is the Glock 42, if it shoots real accurately though and it seems to handle well then maybe it can overcome some of the deficiencies of the caliber in the capacity. So, let’s take it outside. Let’s see what all comes in the box. Let’s field strip it, reassemble it, take a look at it, and then let’s shoot it.
We’re outside here with the Glock 42 in .380. What you get in the box is, of course you get the Glock polymer cleaning rod and brush. You get the obligatory padlock. A warranty card. A great owner’s manual. And, a piece of brass in an envelope, which if your jurisdiction requires you to have that, and you haven’t moved yet. You also get the weapon and 2, 6 round magazines.
Let’s take a look at how to field strip the Glock 42 in .380.
First of all clear lock and show safe. Visually and physically inspect the chamber. Make sure the weapon is perfectly safe. Alright, safe and clear.
Now the next step is going to involve pulling the trigger, so we have to make sure there’s no ammunition anywhere in the training area. Nope, no ammunition under there. Okay, so we’ve removed all the ammunition. The weapon is safe and clear. You’re going to point the weapon in a safe direction, away from anybody or high-value object, etc. and press the trigger. Once the trigger is pressed, now we’re going to go to the disassembly levers, which are right here on the side, they’re on either side. I’m going to pull down on those. But, first I’m going to grip the weapon as such. I’m going to put my thumb against the back strap and wrap my fingers across the top of the slide and make a lever so that I can pull back on the slide without fully resetting the mechanism. Kind of show you what it would look like if you were left-handed, it would look like this, okay. So, I’m gripping it like so, and I pull back slightly I pulled down on both disassembly levers on either side of the frame. So I’m pulling down on this one and on this one both at the same time. The slide comes right off.
Now the spring is under a mild amount of tension so we want to make sure it’s aimed in a safe direction. Don’t point it yourself. Make sure you wear eye protection. Pull back on that string and take, spring, and take it out. Now it is a captured spring set, which means that the springs do not come off of the guide rod right here. It is a captured system so you just clean this as one piece.
The barrel you pull forward on it, rotate down and out, like 99% of the semiautomatics that you have in the world there. And that is a Glock 42 field stripped for cleaning and very minor maintenance and lubrication.
To reassemble we’re just going to go in the opposite, reverse order rather.
Place the barrel in through the front of the slide and rotate it up and back, okay. Making sure it’s all the way up in there and locked. Now, I want to reinsert the spring kit assembly right here. Insert it, and then I’m going to lock that spring against this latch.
Now, right here, you’ll see this little half-moon indentation right here. In the rear of the barrel right there on the lug. So, I’m just going to fit this spring into the hole and slide it on there. Does not take a lot of pressure. It used to be a lot of springs have a very high amount of pressure this is very low-pressure right there and all I’m going to do is reinstall it on the slide, sliding along the guide rails, and then all you have to do is pull back. You notice the disassembly latches went up. The gun is back reassembled. Dry fire it a couple times. And, that is how you field strip and then reassemble the Glock 42. Now let’s take it over to the range and see how it shoots.
Okay, we’re out here on the range with the Glock 42. We’re going to be shooting section C and D of the Ergo Power Ratio Tool. Section C is ‘Recoil Management.’ The idea is to get 2 shots on a 3.5 x 5 index card or like sized target, at 7 yards, within 2 seconds. Keep shooting until you get 2 hits on. So, if it can do it in 2 seconds you get 5 points. If it takes you 3 seconds, 4 points, and so on and so forth.
Then I’m going to reload the weapon, reset the timer, and will shoot section D – ‘Practical Accuracy.’ What this measures is my ability to effectively control the trigger and see the sights well enough to put 5 shots on a 3.5 x 5″ target and 7 yards in not more than 15 seconds and not more than 3 seconds apart.
So the line is hot. Eyes and ears. Let’s see how the Glock 42 does.
Okay, loaded and ready. From the ‘Ready.’
(2 shots fired)
Okay, those look like good hits. Little slow. It’s hard to grip that weapon with the little finger under it. But, 1.87 seconds, 2 shots, they look like they’re on. My split time was point 6 seconds, so about a little bit more than a half second between shots.
Alright, now let’s go to section D, 5 shots on the second target for practical accuracy. Reset the timer. On the beep.
(5 slower shots fire)
I think I got a flyer. I don’t know. Let’s take a look. First of all, 6.93 total seconds and my splits were 1.47 seconds apart. So as far as the time constraints for section D, I’m good. I got them in there in well under, or just under, half of the 15 seconds required. And, my split times were 1.47 seconds, easily within the 3-second time limit. So let’s go take a look at the target.
OK, here we go with the Glock 42, Section C, recoil management, the gun is a pleasure to shoot. Obviously .380 is not a snappy caliber at all. If you’re a person with arthritis, you’re an older person, or maybe you’ve just got some injuries, or you’re a very petite person – the .380 caliber may be the best defensive caliber for you. If you can’t shoot something more powerful, say like a 9mm or a .38 special. So, a .380 is very easy to shoot, low recoil. The Glock 42 did its job, very low recoil. I was able to immediately reacquire the sight very quickly. And, as you can see, I got 2 shots on that 3.5 x 5″ target at 7 yards in well under 2 seconds.
Section D, right here, practical accuracy. I was able to see the sights very well. Now, even though these are not illuminated sights, they’re not fiber-optic, they’re not tritium, they’re not glow-in-the-dark. They’re just painted on sights. Glock’s dot in a horseshoe sight system has been copied around the world, it’s very easy to acquire. I think if I were going to keep this weapon I’d probably buy a tritium dot fright, sight rather, and put on the front. But all 5 shots are easily right here. I did notice that I’m aiming here, and in my hands anyway, the weapon seemed to drift a little bit left. I think that’s because with my support hand I have a little trouble gripping this small of a weapon. But, all 5 shots are there, so I get 5 points here and I get 5 points here. That means the Glock 42 scored an impressive 15 out of 20 and certainly falls into that category where it may be a viable personal defense weapon or everyday carry for you.
Now what I’m going to do is to take out CCW Guardian on my smartphone and I’m going to document this training. It’s important you keep training records. Police and military record every bit of training they get as a hedge against the liability of accusations of negligence and recklessness. You as a CCW permit holder need equal protection on your side. CCW Guardian gives you that protection. So whatever you do, whenever you train, make sure you document that training and sync it with CCW Guardian on your smartphone.
Folks, the Glock 42 is very lightweight. It’s a pleasure to carry. If I have any reservations about the gun, it is that it is very small in my hands. Okay. So, maybe it’s a good pocket pistol and an emergency backup. It only has a 6+1 capacity. Okay, that means I’m not going to be engaging multiple targets very much, before have to reload. So, if you’re carrying a small pocket gun like this, by all means carry a second magazine.
Well, that’s a wrap. Again, I’m David Reed with Reed and Ward and normally at this point I say, “Hey let’s go pick up this brass.” But I don’t reload .380. This is my range, so I don’t have to clean up if I don’t want to. If you want .380 brass well, give me a call. You can have this stuff!