Glock G48 – Nice, but Necessary?

Glock Innovation

In the broad sense of the word, nobody can claim that Glock has not been innovative in the firearm’s world. From the G17 to the present, most pistols have gone through 4 revisions and we are heading not only into revision 5, but we are seeing new pistols to boot. Or, are they simply changes to allure buyers into buying more Glock pistols? That doesn’t seem to be any different from any other manufacturer trying to pedal their wares now does it?

Glock G26 (Left) and Glock G43 (Right)

When the Glock G42 and G43 were introduced, a G43 came home with me, as I wasn’t interested in a .380 caliber, and I wanted to write a comparison between the G43 and the G26 (shown in the above image).

The Glock G43 is an excellent little pistol, which of course carries on the Glock tradition in style and operation, but in a slimmer package and second only to the G42 as being the first single-stack Glock pistol. Glock recently introduced the Glock G43X, which expanded the capacity of the G43 from 6 cartridges to 10 cartridges but kept the same barrel length. The Glock G48 takes that one step further by keeping the 10-cartridge capacity but lengthening the barrel to 4.17 inches, which of course, is slightly shorter than the G19 at 4.20-inches. (The barrel length had something to do with Canadian laws.) The magazines for the G48; incidentally, are not compatible with the G43, but are compatible with the G43X since they share the same frame size.

The image above shows a comparison between the Glock G19 (right) and the Glock G48 (left). The G48 is, for all intents and purposes, a G19S (for Slim). Before this all happened, the Glock G45, a result of leaving a G19 overnight and unsupervised with a G17 frame, was introduced. The G45 is one of my more favorite Glock pistols. Perhaps, the G48 is supposed to be a G45S?

Now, carrying the best single stack 9mm that you can find will ensure that your PDA (Personal Defense Assistant) is both effective and easy to carry. A single-stack 9mm pistol strikes an excellent balance between power, portability, and ease of concealment, with the best models boasting high reliability and precision. The Glock G48, although simply a variation of the G19 (or G45), could be one of those “best” single-stack 9mm pistols that you would wear in a good IWB holster somewhere on your body, if the pistol suits you and your needs.

I do have to say that I do like a full-length grip on a firearm, at least a three-finger grip, and the G48 satisfies that need with a slim G19-length grip that is undercut at the trigger guard, which allows me to get all my support fingers around the full length of the grip.

The G48 grip is a “Skinny-Minnie” and lacks a grip adapter. I have come to appreciate grip adapters with beaver-tails, as the G19 slide has caught my fleshy thumb webbing on a few occasions due to my high grip. However, the grip extension of the G48 is a bit more down-turned than my GEN4 G19 and pushes more downward in the fleshy part of the grip. I like as high of grip as possible, and so far, I have not been ‘bitten.’ As of this writing, Hogue as not produced a ‘Handall” grip sleeve for the G48, but I suspect that they will at some point. My hand would appreciate a little better grip.

I do like a minimum barrel length of 4 inches, which the G48 satisfies. While I do have the G43 with its 3.41-inch barrel, I am not into short-barreled pistols and believe that 4 inches is my minimum (comfort) length for a barrel (no puns about barrel length, please). In fact, I traded in a Springfield XDs 3.3 in 9mm for a XDs 4.0 simply because the 4.0 version was not yet available when I bought the 3.3. When the XDs 4.0 in .45 ACP was introduced that also became part of the family. The XDs pistols that I have are no longer available through Springfield Armory, as the XDs Mod. 2 3.3 line of pistols (9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP) is the new replacement.

It should be obvious that the “43” series of Glock pistols was and is a departure from other Glock pistol products. However, the build quality and quality of the pistol is the same Glock excellence (I won’t say “perfection” because there is a lot yet to be perfected). It is simply a question whether the G48 fits your needs or wants for a single-stack 9mm pistol. I have several to include; a Sig Sauer P239 (no longer made), a Ruger SR9 and SR9C (both of which are no longer available through Ruger), two 1911 pistols (Ruger SR1911 and RIA 1911 FS Tactical), and a Springfield Armory XDs 4.0 (a trade up from the 3.3, and which is no longer made, as it has been replaced by the XD-S MOD.2®). Out of these, the two 9mm 1911 pistol are still available from the manufacturers; while the rest have all been dropped or allocated to a separate distributor.

Soon, a Springfield XDE 4.5 in 9mm will grace the stable and I see no reason why the G48 and the XDE 4.5 will not be compared at some point.

(Author’s Note: It seems that pistols are changing so fast that when I buy a pistol it is soon outdated, as manufacturers keep expanding and purging their lines of pistols.)

Anyway, and lest I digress more, let’s get back to the Glock G48.

Some are on the fence about the silver slide finish (the Silverback) for both the G48 and the G43X, as they both come with silver-colored nPVD coated slide with front serrations. Personally, I don’t care for duo-tone pistols (I am not a flashy person), although I do have several. If the finish is durable and holds up to the rigors of holster carry, I am fine with it. According to those who know more than I, the nPVD finish is better than the earlier finish. However, I have read some review comments where the reviewer complained that it attracted dirt and showed it. Only use will tell.

With that said, and with me not jumping on the G48 bandwagon when it first came out, I was able to order the all black version (shown below) that Glock released specifically to me after I called them and requested an all-black G48. (You believe that, right?)

While I don’t use front serrations for “press-checking” some folks do, and if you are one of them, serrations are available. The serrations, front and rear, are the usual Glock fare and they supply a good gripping surface for the fingers. And speaking of ‘press-checking’ and the like, the recoil assembly is stout at first. I am about five weeks out of a triple heart bypass surgery at the time of this writing, and I am still weak in the pectoral region. This was one time that I was thankful for the front serrations, as I had to grip the gun with my left hand and use the front slide serrations to pull the slide to the rear with my right hand. I just did have enough strength to pull or push (over-hand method) the slide rearward as I normally would.

The grip texture of the G48 has, thankfully, moved away from the RTF of the Generation 4 models. The texturing of the GEN5 models is much more subtle but effective in supplying a good gripping surface.

I was concerned about the grip width. The grip width of the G43 is a bit small for me without being too small (a magazine extension saves the day). While I don’t have large hands, there is a point with any hand where my hand cannot fully grip the grip with as much force as I need to adequately control the firearm. I can, of course, make the grip thicker by adding grip tape or a grip sleeve. The grip of the G48 is slightly thicker than the G43 and I prefer the lack of finger grooves. Although I can get a full grip on the handle, I may add a grip sleeve later, but the texture is fine for now and feels very good in the hand. Folks with smaller hands than mine will not have any problem with the grip width.

The trigger reach is such that if I put my trigger finger on the trigger to the first joint, my thumb and tip of the trigger finger will touch. And that is alright with me, as when the trigger finger moves rearward, it just lightly brushes below and past the thumb as the trigger moves on its way to releasing the striker.

Although the G48 can be ordered with different sights, I opted for the standard polymer Glock sight. Although I have a lot of patience, I have none when it comes to waiting for a pistol to be delivered. Aside from that, I live about an hour or so drive from the Glock facility in Smyrna, Georgia and will simply go there to replace the sights with Glock Night Sights or some other suitable sight set. With that said, I opted for a set of TRUGLO TFX PRO Tritium Fiber Optic Extreme Night Sights (shown below). See also, UPDATE 09/01/2019.

I will also swap out the slide lock with an extended version when a suitable one to my liking comes out. The example that I saw by Vickers Tactical was not to my liking, but it may be fine for you. The slide lock on the G43X and the G48 is different from the conventional Glock slide lock, as shown below. The G43X/G48 slide lock is on the right.

Glock Slide Lock Examples.

Additional magazines are on order from gunmagwarehouse.com. These magazines are for the G43X but are the same part number as the two that came with the G48. The G48 magazine will work with the G43X but not the G43. The magazines are the familiar Glock polymer-coated steel. The G48 comes with two magazines, but more is always better.

Range Time

If you are expecting the sky to open and angels sing when shooting the G48, forget about it! However, if you expect the G48 to shoot well, I can say that it does, at least in my hands.

The trigger is a new and improved version of the Glock trigger and I do like it. It is more like that found on the competition Glocks and is like that on the Springfield XDm line of pistols. Pulling the trigger gets you through a slight amount of take-up until you hit the proverbial ‘wall.’ Pulling the trigger further rolls it through the complete stroke. The ‘wall,’ as most call it, can be as hard or as soft as you make it. Let me explain, as this is how the trigger feels in my hand.

The trigger take-up is the normal Glock take-up with the trigger safety being moved out of the way of the frame and the trigger continuing to the point of the wall. Just before the wall, resistance is felt (the wall). Pulling the trigger past the wall, of course, finishes the cocking of the striker. If you stop at the wall, the wall is pronounced. However, if you pull the trigger in one smooth motion, from start to finish, the wall does not feel so pronounced and the trigger feels as if there is a somewhat smooth transition from striker pre-cock to striker release. There is no over-travel. Reset is quick, tactile, and audible although with hearing protection on you will not hear the audible (doh!).

I do not have any trigger work done on a firearm that I may carry for self-defense, and I rely on the trigger to break in with use, which usually results in a smoother trigger than when new. The trick, regardless of the weight of a trigger, is to keep the sight picture throughout the trigger pull and then follow through. I did not have a problem doing that, in most cases, and the G48 showed its accuracy colors with fifty rounds of MAGTECH 124-grain FMJ to start things off.

My favorite defensive ammunition, Sig Sauer V-Crown 124-grain JHP, fared well as did Sig Sauer V-Crown 147-grain JHP. However, Hornady 147-grain XTP gave the best groups overall. It will still take some experimentation to see what ammunition performs the best in this pistol.

What I did find was that the tighter the grip on the pistol, the better the results. Felt recoil was like that of a .40 Smith & Wesson in a heavier pistol; as such, felt recoil was snappy but manageable.

UPDATE 09/01/2019

A set of Glock Night Sights would be extremely helpful, for my old eyes at least.

What I learned was that the sights for the G42 and G43 will also fit the G48. While my gun club did not carry the GNS (Glock Night Sights), they did carry the TRUGLO TFXPRO, Tritium, Fiber Optic Xtreme Handgun Sight

The TRUGLO TFXPRO, Tritium, Fiber Optic Xtreme Handgun Sight has a contrasting orange FOCUS-Lock ring for faster focus, has a quick and accurate U-Notch rear sight, and the rear sight edge is angled for emergency operation.

The TRUGLO TFXPRO, Tritium, Fiber Optic Xtreme Handgun Sight is assembled in the U.S.A with Swiss Tritium.

What a difference these sights have made. Although my eyes are old and I need new glasses, I was able to pick up the sights quickly. While they didn’t help my shooting any, they did improve my aiming of the G48 and that is worth the cost to me.

Concealed Carry

Will the Glock G48 change the way a lot of people carry? Getting into a mid-size gun that still is comfortable for inside-the-waistband carry means that people may shoot this gun more than full-size, double-stack guns – or not, because people generally like high-capacity firearms. However, working with less rounds that what is used to forces the shooter to get back to and use the basics rather than just trying to see how many rounds the pistol can spew out the barrel in the shortest time possible.

For summer carry, the G48 may be just the thing with its low profile and light weight (1 pound 10.2 ounces with 10+1 rounds).

Third-party vendors are already on the bandwagon bringing holsters for the G48 to the market. The G48 is not a pocket pistol, not even a cargo pocket. That means a holster.

Glock G48 and Alien Gear Cloak Tuck IWb Holster

For any pistol worn on my side, I prefer a two-clip mounting arrangement and ordered an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck IWB Holster (Inside the Waistband) holster like that shown above . A holster review is in the future. With that said, and as shown below, the Glock G48 fits very well in a “Cuda” holster from Simply Rugged Holsters.

A lot of people prefer a simple, one-clip holster for a pistol this size; however, this pistol is still the same size as a Glock G19 sans the width. Paired with a suitable holster, like the Cook’s Tuckable Holster for the Glock 48, the Glock G48 would be a sweet pistol to conceal just behind the hip for me. For other folks, that may not apply, and that is fine. Carry however you can but carry safely.

Summary

The are many fine single-stack 9mm pistols on the market; Smith and Wesson, Kimber, Springfield Arms, Kahr, Sig Sauer, Ruger, Taurus, and even Glock’s G43 and G43X. All can fill a role as a discreet carry pistol of enough caliber, but there is something about the raw simplicity and starkness of the Glock that is starting to draw me to it. The Glock G48 feels good in my hand, although I do prefer a fuller grip like that on the G17 and other relatively-sized Glock pistols, and I shoot it relatively well, although it has taken me a while to figure out the ‘trick’ of shooting a Glock, as compared to my 1911 (and others with a similar grip angle). The form, feel, and function are excellent.

Whether the Glock G48 is a practical choice for you is up to you to determine. My help is only in supplying how the pistol works for me. Hopefully, you will like it as much as I do. Will it replace my beloved 1911 pistols as an everyday carry? Hardly! I am just saying that I would trust and carry a Glock G48, as I would a G45 or G41 or…

So, Glock slipped a couple of new pistols in on us. Some would say these are innovative while some will say these are just another variation of the same theme. Well, the Glock theme has worked out well for Glock and us, don’t you think? Hey Glock! If you really want to be innovative, how about a PCC?

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About Taurian

Taurian is an Oath Keeper, veteran, former LEO and Defensive Tactics Instructor. Until retirement, Taurian had over forty-seven years of experience as a Technical Writer and Training Program Developer. After leaving home at the age of ten without any shoes, Taurian continues on with many years devoted to the keeping and bearing of arms.

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