43 really only has one generation.
It’s almost like a GEN 4 1/2. It has the marksman barrel rifling pattern, the GEN five internal spring configuration ( although I don’t believe any of it is interchangeable with any other GEN fives for the most part there may be some few exceptions ) but it is not officially labeled a GEN five. And it still has the old GEN four finish and features otherwise.
I have experience with both and can tell you it really comes down to your comfort level with the handle size, carrying , and capacity.
I have a little more trouble keeping it steady with the 43 when transitioning from indexed trigger finger to trigger. With the 26 the grip size fits me better and actually makes that transition much smoother. ( checking it by movement of a laser dot at 7 yards trying to keep it within a 4 inch circle)
Also the 26 has many more magazine options which may be more important to you depending on where you live. Clear up to 33 rounds if necessary!
The 26 also has a reputation for reliability, and accuracy that is long-standing. It’s not that the 43 isn’t reliable or accurate, but at 25 yards the 43 tends to be an inch or so bigger groups than the 26 for me. And the 26 has a reputation for eating anything. Depending on what magazines you’re using, if they’re not factory Glock, you could have troubles with the 43.
It is confirmed that shield arms is going to be making a higher capacity magazine for the 43! But that depends on where you’re at with using aftermarket mags. My 43X mags from shield arms have been flawless.
I will say for sure, as someone who carries daily, the size and weight difference is huge. It doesn’t seem that way, but it really is. So much so, that I could certainly justify owning both for different situations.
An interesting thought on the 26…
My research has confirmed that if muzzle velocity doesn’t exceed at least 1800 ft./s and according to federal a better number is probably 2200 ft./s, then what it does not make a significant difference and is negligible. I can provide the source from federal on that if you need to see it.
I have proven myself, although there are many witnesses to this, that the 19, and 17, don’t necessarily shoot any more accurately than the 26 for whatever reason. I can also provide that data if you would like.
If that is the case, other than the rail for accessories on the other two, 26, theoretically could fill the bill for whatever you need when it comes to higher capacity.
Another interesting note on 9 mm…
I have never found any objective evidence to contradict that Pistols stink as far as stopping power. And it doesn’t matter what caliber you have, they’re just not as good as rifles. And it doesn’t matter what your pistol caliber is. As long as it’s at least somewhere around 380 to 9 mm the data shows they are the same as far as stopping power. If that’s the case, 9 mm could be a good option for all pistol applications. I also have data on that if you’re interested.
The G42/43 are the original Gen5's, although they don't say that. I have and carry a G43 quite often and really like it. I tried a SIG 365, and while it is a nice compact, I just did not care for it that much. It was very accurate, but only marginally so as opposed to my G43.
I put a Pearce +1 base plate on my mage for 7 rds, and 1 in battery make 8 in gun. I am happy w/ that.
Vickers tactical +2 base plate system works well, too, and then you have 8+1 for 9 in gun. That works too, although you are almost to the size of a G48X. Then there is the G48.
But I do prefer the G43. Easier to carry concealed.