Here’s my simple answer – it depends. Let me explain. First of all, this is not a discussion of stopping power and caliber. I want to talk about size, ease of carry, ease of use, and dependability.
I am a small woman, and a “mature” (read: 56-years-old) woman. My hands are very small and I wanted a gun that didn’t feel like a cannon in my hands. I bought the Glock 42 a little over a year ago. I loved the way it felt in my hands. I felt in control of it instead of the other way around. I jumped on it and couldn’t wait to shoot it.
When I shot it, I was thrilled with the recoil, it didn’t hurt! I still felt in control, heck I could even shoot one-handed and left-handed and loved that it didn’t feel like it was going to jump out of my hands. It was mostly easy to use, I just seemed to have a problem locking the slide back, which I’m told can happen with smaller guns. Otherwise, yes, it’s a Glock with its simple features, so is easy to use and understand how it works.
Carrying it is a dream. It’s small, slim and lightweight, hiding well. Women have a tendency to wear tighter clothes than men, so trying to find something that conceals well is important for us. This one was easy, even in an ankle holster with boot-cut pants. I particularly liked carrying in a belly band because I could wear it lower around my hip bone or move it up high around my ribs and both ways it hid well.
So why do I say, “It depends” about being the ultimate carry gun? It all comes down to dependability. When I first shot it, it would jam a time or two. No big deal, my A Girl & A Gun Women’s Shooting League facilitator showed me a different way to hold it to make sure I was holding it tight, and it worked great. Problem solved, right? Well, sort of.
Since I liked shooting the gun so well, and could actually hit the target well, I wanted to use it in our IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) matches. It worked great – as long as I was holding still and standing straight on to the target, basically allowing me to shoot it like I did in regular target practice. But when I had to shoot around objects, or shoot quickly without taking that long time to get the perfect stance, it started jamming. A lot.
I’ve read about other people having problems. I tried different ammunition. Yep, it seems to jam more on the lower grain ammo, and less so on the 100 grain, but still jammed. Finally, I contacted Glock and sent it in to be looked at. They had me send all my magazines as well, because they have changed them a little bit.
Now, I can’t say enough about Glock customer service. They were easy to get ahold of, very nice to talk to, made shipping it extremely easy, and were very fast taking care of it and sending it back.
So what did they find? Not a darn thing wrong with it. That leaves one answer – it has to be me. My friend has a Glock 42 as well, and loves it, it rarely jams on her. So yes, I know, everyone has told me I need to be sure and hold it tighter. And I try. But here is where I think the problem is. As I said, I’m a small woman, with small hands and have never been very strong. But my friend is small too, why doesn’t she have the same problems? Could it be that it is because she is a couple of decades younger than me?
As I age, I notice what strength I do have is decreasing. I am exercising to strengthen myself, but am still just not all that strong. This concerns me, because I have to know that I am carrying a gun that will dependably work to protect my life. If I have to worry that I’m not strong enough to hold it just right in every situation, I have a problem. I’m pretty sure if I’m in a bad situation, the bad guy isn’t going to stand still straight on from me while I make sure I have a good strong grip and stance. Under this guideline, I simply can’t trust the Glock 42 to work for me. That does not mean it won’t work well for someone else who is stronger and can give it the death grip that it wants.
One thing I do have to be thankful for about the experience of the Glock 42 constantly jamming is how well I have learned to clear jams. Before it, I rarely ran into a jam so I would almost panic. After having to clear so many jams, and trying to clear them quickly in matches, I am no longer afraid of jams. As a matter of fact, I had just about made up my mind to trade it in then had second thoughts. It may be worth it to keep just for educational tool. I can take it out every once in a while, knowing it will jam and I can refresh how to clear jams, and I can use it to help teach other women to clear jams as well.
So the bottom line is, if you try it and can shoot it well, and it doesn’t jam on you, then I would highly recommend the Glock 42 because it really is so easy and fun to shoot, carry and conceal.