Glock 48 Slimline Carry Pistol Big Enough To Enjoy
Written by Guest Article / Contributor , in Section Gun Reviews
The Glock 48 is the big brother of the also new Glock 43X. Both models differ from the original 43 in that they’re a hair wider. That means, while the 43X and 48 share magazines with each other, they don’t share with the original Glock 43. On the plus side, the 43X and this new Glock 48 give you a lot more capacity – 10+1 instead of 6+1 in the standard configuration.
In fact, the only significant difference between the Glock 48 and the 43X is the barrel and slide length, but we’ll talk about that more later. Let’s take a closer look.
While still a slimline carry model, the Glock 48 is longer than the 43X. It packs a 4.17-inch barrel which makes for an 7.28-inch overall length. Height and width are identical at 5.04 and 1.10 inches respectively. Thanks to the longer side, the Glock 48 is also heavier. It tips the scales at 20.74 ounces unloaded with an empty magazine in place.
The Glock 48 also features the matte silver surface nPVD finish. It doesn’t glare, and I didn’t find it distracting on the sunny day on which I first shot this pistol outdoors.
Capacity of the Glock 48 is 10 rounds in the magazine plus an additional in the chamber. The standard pistol ships with two magazines and the normal Glock gear including a magazine load tool, cleaning brush, and cable gun lock. All of that is in a plastic hard case with latches. There aren’t padlock holes, so if you want to fly with it, you’ll need a more TSA-friendly case.
As you would expect, the trigger on the Glock 48 is identical to the Glock 43X. Measuring them side by side here, I measured the same 6 ¼ pound pull weight from the vertical center of the trigger face. The take-up is a quarter of an inch while the pressure stage is a bit less at about 3/16ths of an inch. Reset is also the same at about a quarter of an inch and you’ll clearly know when the trigger does reset. It’s easy to hear and feel.
When you compare slides of the Glock 48 and 43X, you’ll see some manufacturing efficiency. The dual, captive recoil spring appears to be identical between the two pistols. How does that work given that the 48 slide is about ¾ of an inch longer? Inside the Glock 48 slide, there’s an internal shelf that stops forward travel of the recoil spring assembly, so it doesn’t extend all the way to the end of the slide as with a normal configuration. When you view the muzzle end, you’ll see a hole in the side that’s unoccupied. The front of the recoil spring is about ¾ of an inch inside. See the picture for details on that.
Is it legal to pair a Glock pistol with Sig Sauer ammo? Seems like that might be kind of like the “cats and dogs living together” that Bill Murray prophesied in the original Ghostbusters. Regardless of the potential consequences, I did just that. I’ve found that the Sig Sauer ammo in both full metal jacket and V-Crown defensive configurations, across a variety of bullet weights, tends to be accurate. Knowing the consistency of the ammo helps to determine the gun’s ability to shoot well. I also shot some more traditional ammo including Federal Premium’s stellar 124-grain HST (also supremely accurate) and some practice ammo including American Eagle Syntech 124-grain.
First, I got used to this pistol shooting over my chronograph. At 15 feet, I measured the following velocities from the Glock 48 by firing multiple shots per ammo type and computing the average. Since I had done the same tests with the Glock 43X, I’ll show those velocities too.
|Ammunition||Glock 43X||Glock 48||Difference|
|Federal HST 9mm 124 grain||1,084.0||1,103.3||19.3|
|Sig Sauer FMJ 9mm 115 grain||1,106.7||1,145.7||39.0|
|DoubleTap Lead Free 9mm 77 grain||1,361.0||1,432.5||71.5|
|Inceptor ARX 9mm 74 grain||1,448.3||1,479.7||31.4|
|American Eagle Syntech 9mm 115 grain||1,104.3||1,142.3||38.0|
|Sig Sauer 365 V-Crown 9mm 115 grain||1,080.3||1,123.0||42.7|
|Hornady American Gunner XTP 9mm 115 grain||1,070.7||1,111.5||40.8|
As you might expect, the extra 0.76 inches of barrel length in the Glock 48 generated higher velocities across the board. I shot all these on the same day, so temperature wasn’t a factor. The practical application of such trivia is that barrel length matters. Depending on the ammo manufacturer, and their barrel length recommendation, you may want to choose the “Short Barrel” version of the offering for the 43X and the standard ammo for the Glock 48.
I also shot some informal velocity tests using a sandbag rest. I placed targets 15 yards down range. Here’s an indication of five-shot group sizes I measured.
|Ammunition||Group Size, 5 shots
(inches at 15 yards)
|Federal HST 9mm 124 grain||0.87|
|Sig Sauer V-Crown 9mm 124 grain||1.97|
|Sig Sauer FMJ 9mm 115 grain||1.62|
|DoubleTap Lead Free 9mm 77 grain||1.80|
|Inceptor ARX 9mm 74 grain||1.73|
|American Eagle Syntech 9mm 115 grain||1.96|
|Sig Sauer 365 V-Crown 9mm 115 grain||1.51|
|Hornady American Gunner XTP 9mm 115 grain||2.40|
The Glock 43X shot pleasantly with all of the loads tested. It’s large enough, and heavy enough, to soak up recoil efficiently. The Glock 48 felt even better. Those extra couple of ounces of overall weight have to help, especially since the extra weight is all out front. That seems to reduce muzzle flip even more.
I think there are two things to consider if you’re deciding between this Glock 48 and the 43X. First, are you going to appendix carry? The shorter barrel and slide length of the 43X will almost certainly help you there, especially if you’re carrying a few extra pounds around the waist. From a shooting perspective, both will be equally accurate, at least mechanically. At distances inside of a hundred or so yards, barrel length just doesn’t matter for technical accuracy. If you put both of these pistols in Ransom Rests and shot away, I’d be shocked if there was any statistical difference in group sizes.
What does matter, however, is the ease of shooting accurately. Here’s why. The Glock 48 has about three-quarters of an inch more sigh radius, or the length between front and rear sights. That’s a lot more forgiving when trying to place precise and accurate shots. With a short sight radius, the slightest misalignment of front and rear sights will throw your shot off. With an extra-long sight radius, say like that on a rifle with iron sights, it’s much easier to place accurate shots. In this case, we’re only talking a three-quarter-inch difference, but in the world of handguns, that’s a lot.
If you carry inside the waistband, except maybe in the appendix position, either the Glock 43X or 48 is going to serve you well. With IWB, the toughest part to conceal is the grip itself, and that’s identical between the two pistols. As for the extra barrel length of the Glock 48, that’s underneath clothing anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. So take your pick between easier sighting and more velocity from the Glock 48, or maximum concealment flexibility of the 43X.
Tom McHale is the author of the Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.