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Are you considering Glock 42 semi-automatic pistol as your next survival handgun? You may be baffled by all the yays and nays climbing on top of each other to get your attention. That’s why I decided to write this Glock 42 review. It will cover all the important aspects that you need to be aware of before you pull out the wallet.

And just so you know, I didn’t decide to write it because I got a free product to review. Nobody paid me for this. Not that you should trust me completely though – as always, you should trust your own experience and measure it against your needs.

So what are gun owners, non-owners and prospective owners so worked up about when it comes to one of the first Baby Glock?

Ever since the model’s release in 2014, there have been heated debates about this little firearm. Some people downright despise it, even though I’m not sure whether the hate is directed toward the gun or its caliber. (Or maybe they were just disappointed that it wasn’t a nine.) Others are willing to give it a round, but that’s exactly where they stop – after a single round. But the model didn’t just get attention – it has also garnered quite a lot of fans. In spite of all the haters and their never-ending rants, it has become one of the best-selling guns for concealed carry on the market.

But if you’re expecting me to praise it above all else, you’re at the wrong place. As usually, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Glock 42 Features

  • .380 ACP caliber
  • 6 + 1 magazine capacity
  • 5.94 inch length
  • 0.98 inch width
  • 4.13 inch height
  • 15.87 oz (loaded), 13.76 oz (empty mag)
  • 24 N trigger pull
  • Safe Action system

How Compact Is Compact?

So what’s the first thing you’ll notice in this little gun?

I’ve heard and read many comments that it looks (and fires) like a toy. Not just because it’s small, but also because it has a polymer frame, which is Glock’s distinctive feature. But plastic doesn’t necessarily mean cheap. In Glock guns, it means corrosion-proof, lightweight, and shock absorbing. 

It’s also very slim, which may be somewhat inconvenient if you’re a big guy with big hands. But ladies will absolutely enjoy it. It’ll fit very nicely on your thigh or ankle, and can neatly slide into a purse. Its size, ease of use and maintenance make it one of the perfect defensive guns that you can carry on your waist or shoulder holster. You can carry it on your person for hours, and even do it while hiking or climbing.

Note, however, that it’s not THE smallest gun in the universe. It won’t fit smaller or tighter pockets. For that, you need an even smaller firearm – a Ruger LCP or a Sig Sauer P238. (Which are heavier, for the record!)

So why exactly did Glock make a gun that spits and swallows .380 but looks like a nine? After all, they already had the G26, which is roughly the same size (though a bit wider).

Because of lower recoil and easier shooting.

One thing that surprised me is the trigger. Based on the gun’s size, I expected it to be way softer. But I’m still prone to seeing this feature as an advantage. First, because it’s safer that way. Second, inexperienced shooters (such as my wife) may flinch while anticipating the shot if the gun fires all too easily. But if it’s a bit heavier on the trigger, they won’t know the exact moment until they shoot it ten times. And they’ll have learned the gun by then.

glock 42 review


But what exactly does Safe Action System mean from the shooter’s perspective?

Alongside the trigger, there’s an additional lever that blocks it from firing accidentally. The only way to pull the trigger is to deliberately pull both the trigger and the safety lever. This feature stops the trigger from firing when the pistol is dropped by accident.

However, this lever isn’t the only thing that keeps Glock 42 from firing when you don’t want it to. It also has a firing pin, which is another blocker, and it’s connected to the lever as well. And then there’s a trigger bar which controls and blocks the firing pin. It’s like three levels of protection, each conditioning the next one. Again, the only way to call this off is to press the trigger AND the safety lever together.

This safety system is, in fact, a standard technology employed in all Glock pistols. If you’ve ever shot a single round from any Glock, you won’t need any handholding with this model.

.380 vs 9mm Controversy

This has been one of the hottest debates among shooters of all ages.

The 9mm fans will typically frown at .380. True, the 9mm cartridge produces much more destructive force. But to me, this debate is a bit pointless. Would you dare claim that a grizzly bear is more deadly than a venomous snake? The bear certainly has more strength. But the snake’s greatest assets are that it’s lightning fast, it strikes with mathematical precision, and you may not even see it until it’s too late.

That is not to say that you should always opt for the snake instead of the bear. The point is that both are able to do their bidding, in different ways. In other words, you should pick your weapon according to your needs, and not the other way around.

If you’re not a fan of small calibers, Glock 42 probably won’t be your perfect handgun. But if you need a very low recoil, accurate weapon for concealed carry, getting a 42 won’t be a mistake.

Glock 42 Review 2020 – Pros

  • Very low recoil makes it a great handgun for beginner shooters.
  • Very easy to shoot, even if you’re a complete newbie.
  • One of the safest firearms due to three-layer protection from accidental firing.
  • One of the most compact pistols out there. I’ve seen smaller pistols, but this is certainly the smallest Glock. In other words, it’s a perfect pistol for concealed everyday carry – or for your bug out bag.
  • Accurate and consistent.
  • Lightweight due to the polymer frame. It weighs a little under 14 ounces when empty.
  • Excellent grip makes it nearly impossible to slip off.
  • Very easy to clean and maintain.

Glock 42 Review Problems

  • The .380 caliber may not be satisfactory to some users who prefer more powerful (9mm and up) guns.
  • It’s a picky eater. Not as many ammo options as for the more popular 9mm caliber.
  • Even though it’s a concealed carry handgun, it won’t fit smaller pockets. There ARE smaller EDC guns.
  • The trigger is a bit heavier than one would hope for. (Although, like I said, I don’t consider it a liability. To each their own!)
  • If you have bigger hands, you might need a bigger gun too.

The Final Verdict

There are smaller guns with the “right” caliber. The “right” being, of course, the 9mm. But Glock 42 is chambered in .380 with a reason – because that makes it more user-friendly for beginners.

It won’t stop a bear, and it won’t penetrate through a wall. But in case of trouble, it can do just enough damage to defend you. And it’s not a hassle to carry around. In my book, that’s the whole point of defensive firearms!