9mm Pocket Pistol Shootout: Kel-Tec PF-9 Versus Glock 43

Concealed carry is very much a personal thing. Each individual will have their own requirements and persuasions related to chambering/caliber, carry method, and budgetary constraints just to name a few! I’ve personally carried 1911s in 45 ACP, a snub-nose revolver in 38 Special, a sub-compact in 9mm, my Glock 20 in 10mm, a 6″ 357 Magnum, and multiple 44 Magnums. More so than ever, there is a carry pistol for every occasion.

This article and video covers “every day carry” (think of the city). Recently my friend Jim Findlay and I were shooting our 9mm carry weapons and decided it would be a good idea to compare them- note that these are just two of *many* great carry weapons on the market- but these are the weapons that Jim and I carry on a daily basis, so we thought it would be fun to put them head-to-head.

Check out this video we put together:

You might be saying: “That’s not really a fair comparison” (inexpensive pocket carry -vs- Glock) but that’s not the point of this article. The real point is to share experiences with what we’re carrying and to compare for fun.

The specs on these pistols are pretty similar really:

G43-Kel-Tec-PF-9-comparison table

*Both pistols are available with an extended magazine that adds 1 round to the capacity.
*The Kel-Tec PF-9 trigger pull weight can vary closer to 6lb.

While the Kel-Tec appears to “win on paper” here, there’s much more to the story, and in most cases the margins are pretty narrow. What’s obviously not represented in the table above is reliability, build quality, shoot-ability and re-sale value which the Glock 43 wins hands-down on in my opinion. Where the Kel-Tec really shines in my opinion is weight and conceal-ability: it’s got a great profile, is very minimalistic, and very light-weight.

Let’s take a closer look at a couple angles showing these pistols side-by-side- first from the top: (Kel-Tec PF-9 on left, Glock 43 on right)


You can see in the side-by-side avove that these pistols are quite similar in width, but the Glock 43 is definately more “chunky”. Next, a view from the rear showing the back of the grip view of these pistols:  (Kel-Tec PF-9 on left, Glock 43 on right)


Again, you can see how the Kel-Tec is a tad more compact and you can imagine how less “girth” and less weight translates to much sharper recoil when shooting the Kel-Tec PF-9- there’s no way around it!

And here’s a side profile of each pocket pistol, first the Kel-Tec PF-9:


…and the Glock 43, you can see here how much more “refined” this pistol is:


Obviously there’s no substitute for actually handling these pocket pistols and shooting them side-by-side. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages, and each is designed/optimized for a different buyer. I’m thinking about getting another pocket pistol, and for 9mm I would most likely put the S&W Sheild 9mm (no safety) up next to the Glock 43 for a showdown to decide which one to get. I do like the fact that I could fire the Glock 43 as much as I wanted without any concerns about reliability or wearing out the pistol. I’ve heard great things about the S&W Shield, but I don’t have as much first-hand experience with it.

As mentioned in the video, if you want to carry you should:

  1. Get  your concealed pistol license.
  2. Talk to your friends, talk to people you trust a gun shops to narrow down some options.
  3. Shoot the pistols you’re considering if possible.
  4. Buy the pistol and a good holster (or a few if you want different carry options).
  5. Get training.
  6. Practice practice practice! (it will help a LOT if you can reload to keep costs down here).
  7. Get more training.
  8. Practice practice practice!
  9. (repeat steps 7-8).

It’s a lot of fun training, practicing, and reloading for pocket pistol carry. Do you have a pocket pistol you love? Please share by leaving a comment!

I’m off to practice with my PF-9 (and perhaps go drool over the Shield and the G43).


About the author

3 thoughts on “9mm Pocket Pistol Shootout: Kel-Tec PF-9 Versus Glock 43”

  1. Enjoyed the video. I also own a Glock 43, and have owned other Glocks in the past. The 43 seems to have a heavier trigger pull then the 17, 21 &35 I have owned. It is a well made reliable pistol.

  2. Began conceal carry with Glock 43,then xds in 45acp, then a Glock 42 as soon as I could get one. Moving smaller and lighter. Also recently picked up a shield from s s rental sale, love to shoot it but still carry the glock42. Would like the 43 but not in budget at this time. Reload for all, shoot lots of plated bullets through them all. Also prefer Stay Holstered kydex inside waistband holster. Joe

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Reloading Safety