Custom Every Day Carry

How do we personalize? Why do we personalize, and finally who in the industry do we turn to? You are more than welcome to troll around on social media and find a turnkey reputable business who will take what you have and transform it. Doing so will come at a price…and typically, a pretty hefty one at that! Rightfully so, these guys take a common object and turn them into functional works of art.


Some of us do not have the extra cash laying around for something we can virtually do on our own, and at our own pace. These days, there will be a lead time involved and the last thing anyone wants to do is be without their EDC (every day carry pistol). We did a little research and contacted Brownells for their recommendations for parts and accessories for one of our go-to’s; the Glock 43. The model is one of Glock’s newest, so the drop-in triggers, magazine releases, barrels, and other main components are not necessarily few and far between; but not as prevalent as they are for its older, larger framed “brother” the 17, our go-to tactical pistol.

Before we connected with Roy at Brownells, we made a list. We broke down the 43 into three main concerns. Trigger, size, and ease of use for quick target engagements. From this list, we built our questions that as suspected, Roy had answers to.




Mechanical Aptitude

Nothing with Glock pistols require a mechanical engineering degree to fix or replace. A little G2 (Common sense intelligence) will enable you to completely rip apart any one of their models and reassemble with a fair amount of ease. DISCLAIMER: IF YOU ARE ABSENT THE LEAST BIT MECHANICAL APTITUDE, WE RECOMMEND ATTENDING A GLOCK ARMORERS COURSE BEFORE YOU COMMIT BEYOND USER MANUAL DISASSEMBLY. 

With every modification for this article, there wasn’t any cutting, drilling, filing, or structural modifications needed. We simply want to transform our Glock 43 into a more conducive EDC pistol. That said, we do not recommend using a random tutorial online as a guide to making any of them. Brownells has actual gunsmiths on their channels that are informational and technically accurate. Again, some aptitude is required to accomplish any firearms modifications, the key to many is moving slow and paying attention.


Parts Unlimited

The Agency Trigger

We asked Roy what the most common after-market drop-in trigger assembly was for the 43. Appropriately enough, Agency Arms proved to be most popular and readily available. Agency Arms broke loose with their custom Glock a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back. We first caught wind of them when we saw the trailers for Mat Best and the boys from Article 15 Clothing, Ranger Up, and Black Rifle Coffee Company; veteran produced and directed film Range 15. A Pink Polka-dotted Glock 17 (JTs) to Mats tattered Stars and Stripes, they had the gamut of “badass” covered!

The Agency drop-in trigger is consistent with the hand-fitted equipment you get if you send your complete firearm into the factory, only it’s not hand fitted. Agency’s trigger shoe is flat-faced, a proven design to aid shooters in mitigating shot anticipation; a common infraction resulting in missed targets. The triggers break consistently at five pounds and require minimal movement of the slide to reset its sear. A crisp break, minimal reset, and a flat design are only the beginnings to reinforce positive fundamentals of shooting…the rest is up to the end-user.


Brilliant Aiming

Aftermarket sights are as abundant than the pistols that they go on. Trijicon released the XR addition to their HD sights at the start of SHOT 2017. The front sight is a tad oversized and its bright orange dot is ideal for close-in targets. Its height is not enough to use with a typical suppressor, but how often do you appendix carry with a can?! The dot is available in yellow and equally visible as our preferred orange. With either, both have tritium inserts to be clearly seen during the hours of darkness!

The XR rear sight is infused with the same tritium goodness as all other Trijicon products. Trijicon cut the XR model sights to be narrower than their typical pistol night sights to accommodate a larger sight picture for the shooter. The U notch design was meant for the defensive shooter that uses front site acquisition as their primary method of shooting.

Installing the XRs is easy with the use of a rear site push tool and front sight screw post tool; both available from Brownells for under $150. If you are partial to Glock, and plan to work on or look to further customize your collection, both tools are considered a must have.


Controlled Grip

Grips. Stippled or not. Wow…does your head hurt? Ours do. Permanent grip texture such as stippling is invaluable if done right. We do not dare to go down the rabbit hole of the “how too’s” of grip texture in this article. We chose not to texture our 43 permanently. Primarily because we carry AIWB. Anything more aggressive than the factory can and will rub a hole in your shirt and flesh. A lot of the time, as minute as it can be, stippling will invite uneven fall of your shirt; thus, essentially revealing that you have a pistol on your waist.

We chose to install Talon Gun Grips rubberized adhesive grip for this roundup. Talon has a plethora of stick-on products made to fit micro pistols to magwells. There is a grip solution for virtually everything on the market. If there is a surface, Talon will make something to stick on to it. We found that the rubberized grips added a bit of surface area to the 43, while offering a tactile and deliberate grip that is often needed when shooting “micro” pistols. If installing a Talon grip, make sure the included directions are followed to the T, not doing so, will result in the stick-on grip sliding or peeling off during use.


Match Grade

American Tactical Imports (ATI) is known for pumping out some of the best aftermarket barrels in the industry. Their machine work is clean and precise. Although ATI has seemed to corner a portion of the barrel market, that is not where its capabilities start and stop. They carry their same level of attention to detail over to stripped AR receivers and full-on .22 builds.

ATI’s match barrel dropped right into place without modification as advertised and promised. We removed the included thread protector and attached a few different suppressors onto the standard ½ X 28 right-hand threaded barrel from a testing standpoint. The Surefire Ryder 9, AACs Illusion 9, and SilencerCos Osprey K 45 fit into place and our Glock 43 fired and functioned flawlessly! Again…we will never…and I mean never carry suppressed, but why not have a little fun when we take it to the range?


Extended Surface

The name of the game with customization is a function with an emphasis on practical. Often, we as gun people tend to air to the side of cool and find out later that “cool” is not practical. For this, we opted to install two Taran Tactical magazine extenders.

The +3 base pads brought our capacity to 9+1 which is an immediate bonus. At first glance, Tarans pads are made to last. CNC’d from high grade billet aluminum. Throughout speed reloads, the base pads held up to hitting dirt, and gravel. Aside from the increased magazine capacity, Tarans base pads offer additional grip surface. A key feature that proved to be worth its weight in gold while at the range conducting drills specific to EDC carry. Taran also includes a tuned spring with each base pad that are 10% stronger than OEM magazine springs. We rarely experience issues with modern Glock magazines; though Taran Tactical offers another failsafe supporting consistent feeding, functioning, and firing. If you are a one who gets wrapped around the “printing” axel, these base pads do not add to the width of the pistol.


Increasing the Odds

Choosing the right EDC pistol can be a lengthy process. Part of that process includes considering where and when you may need it. Studies have shown that many defensive shooting situations occur at night. Though we have installed the Trijicon HDXR sights, we felt it necessary to allow for more of a “gross” solution to quick target acquisition. Unless you train habitually, finding a front sight when faced with a life-threatening situation may be a bit of more tedious chore than you originally expected.

LaserMax, is at the leading edge of the weapon mounted lasers and lights proverbial sword. Recently they brought to market a guide rod/laser combo. The laser is not trigger activated like many. Tampering with the main firing mechanism or becoming reliant on something connected to it is [in our opinion] flirting with danger. LaserMax took more of a mechanical and shooter induced approach to their rod/laser combo. Switch activated, replacing the OEM slide takedown lever with a similar extended lever. Completely ambidextrous, regardless of hand preference laser activation is effortless and at your trigger finger tip as it is straight and extended along the frame of the pistol.

The laser installs as closely to the center of the bore axis as you can get, which means minimal offset. The laser/rod combo has a tuned spring for added reliability and works flawlessly while shooting suppressed or with an aftermarket trigger. The laser/rod do not protrude from the frame where you must change up your holsters to accommodate. As with most LaserMax products, the rod laser has a constant on and pulsing beam for easy identification. A quick toggle of the on/off switch changes the setting.

We installed and tested the laser at defensive distances only and the red diode was crystal clear and did not halo or blur, regardless of distance (25 yards max). This laser tips the scales at .6oz with the silver oxide battery installed.

With many other laser products, a tedious “zero” process is in store for the end user. LaserMax aligns the laser as a straight bore axis at its factory, which results in no adjustments needed…ever! Installing the laser was as easy as the OEM. The only point of caution would be sure that the arrow is pointing towards the barrel block. If you don’t your laser will stay on while in the holster and the battery will die before you need it to.

When all is said, and done

You have a completely functional and reliable carry pistol. Brownells will supply you with everything you need, if you are a certified armorer, and have the paper to prove it, you will enjoy a professional discount after a very quick and easy application process. Should you decide to go the DIY route in customizing your pistol, make sure that the parts you choose are compatible, and require no additional gunsmith work [not to be mistaken for armorer], and most importantly you stay within your shooting means. Do not fall victim to something that looks cool but surpasses your ability as a shooter; there are products out there that were designed for the Michelle Viscusi’s and Shane Coley’s. If you think you can run with those big dogs…give it a whirl but when your abilities diminish vs increase…we told you so!

Take the time to peruse Brownells site, go through the pages and pages of parts specific to your project. If you have questions they have an interactive support staff that is available for you to beat up with questions…stupid or not (yes, there are such things as stupid questions) in either case they appreciate and welcome them all! Brownells has proven to be the industry’s leading parts and tool source for anything firearms!


Agency Arms Drop in Trigger Vital Specs




Flat Faced




Black/Black - Gray/Black

Tools Required


What's in the box

Connector, Ghost Disconnector




Trijicon HDXR Vital Statistics




3 Dot, U notch



Model Compatibility


Tools Required

Yes, Rear sight push tool/Sight screw post driver




Talon Gun Grip Vital Statistics






Weapon Specific

Model Compatibility


Tools Required

None, Alcohol and blow dryer recommended






ATI Match Barrel Vital Statistics





Thread Protector


Thread Pitch

½ x28 (Right Hand)


Stainless Steel

Tools Required





Taran Tactical Magazine Base Pads/Extender Vital Statistics


Billet Aluminum


Push Pin


Hard Coat Anodized (Titanium Grey)


43x23x25mm (LxWxH)


.9 oz



Tools Required





LaserMax Guide Rod/Laser Combo Vital Statistics


Billet Aluminum

Power Source

Silver Oxide

Battery Life

1hr Continuous use


2.4 Inches


.6 oz w/battery


2.4 inches




5 years