(Article originally published on Tactical Life by Massad Ayoob)

When it comes to LEO duty pistols, Glock is a trusted and proven brand. And, with the introduction of the .380 Glock 42, cops have a great deep-cover or backup gun option that works just like their primary duty gun. The subcompact Glock 42 in .380 ACP was officially introduced in January 2014, but I was able to get an early sample for testing in late 2013. Only 0.94 inches thick, 4.13 inches high and 5.94 inches long, this will pistol lie flat against your body in a pocket or vest holster without bulging through your uniform. Weighing only 13.76 ounces unloaded, its feathery heft will be appreciated by a uniformed officer overburdened with duty gear, and the lightly dressed off-duty cop in hot weather alike.

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The Glock 42 has an extremely short trigger reach, which will also endear it to petite female officers and male officers with short fingers. Its cartridge capacity is six .380 rounds in the magazine, and a seventh carried safely in the firing chamber of its 3.25-inch barrel. The pistol’s overall size is roughly comparable to the S&W Shield and Springfield XD-S, but it’s distinctly lighter and thinner with much less recoil. Though the internals are slightly different to allow for a drastically reduced size, the mechanism and trigger pull are essentially “all Glock,” a system which has proven itself to be extremely “shootable” under stress for more than a quarter century. It is much easier to learn to shoot well than most micro .380 pistols, which tend to recoil rather sharply and have relatively long, heavy trigger pulls for every shot.

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