The avid bearers of Glock’s slimline pistols are bound to confuse the Glock 43X with the Glock 48. I don’t blame my fellow marksmen — both handguns adopt the same frame, and the slides are interchangeable. But, the G43X is no way near the G48’s compactness.
Glock has been enhancing the “stealth factor” in its new pistols, and the Glock 48 is no exception. What you get is a single-stack handgun with less bulk and better concealed carry compared to the G43X. A solid choice as a pocket handgun of a 9mm caliber.
As an age-old Glock shooter, I’ve done some rigorous testing to rate the Glock 48’s mighty firepower for the sake of this Glock 48 review. In addition, you can opt for another similar Glock pistol described in our Glock 43 review, one of the best self-defense pistols out there, described in our Ruger LCP 2 Review, or MP Shield 2.0 review.
Glock 48 Review - What Makes it Special?
It’d be unfair to think that the Glock 48 doesn’t deliver anything new. This thought is becoming widespread because of the similarity among the majority of Glock’s slimline lineup. However, the untrained eye doesn’t look at the meticulous modifications that Glock brings to its G48.
At first glance, I thought that it was practically synonymous with the G43X. I gave myself a moment to disassemble the slides and found that the recoil spring was noticeably longer in the Glock 48 unlike much shorter in Glock 20 we reviewed here. I’ve shot some drills and observed the improvement in recoil reduction with the latter.
When laying hands on this handgun, I appreciated the slightly longer sight radius (the length between the rear and the muzzle sights). For increased accuracy, Glock managed to keep the radius in its category of slimline pistols while evading the shorter sight radii of its older handguns.
I also liked that the Glock 48 doesn't sacrifice its concealed carry leverage for a longer barrel. Unlike short barrels that cause handguns to tilt outwards, the slightly longer barrel urges the Glock 48 to lean toward the body in the waistband to clear out any prints' doubts.
Glock 48 Background
Released back in January 2019, you can argue that the Glock 48 has blazed a trail of revolutionary changes to Glock pistols notion. Since the changes revolve around radical modifications to the magazine capacity and overall size, they may sound uncanny to veterans who've got used to the classic Glock 19.
With the rise of the Glock 48, I still can’t believe that I deemed the Glock 19 to be a concealed carry gun, and that’s the part where our new handgun shines. The Glock 48 has given up on the excessive bulk and the double-stack magazine of the Glock 19 just to complement its concealability while keeping the firing range intact.
This might be subjective, but I wouldn’t call the single-stack mag a compromise. I’ve found the combination of the overall reduced stack weight and the lengthier sight radius to be optimal for handgun maneuverability. You’re more likely to grab this single-stack sidearm effortlessly from the waistband if you’re caught up in a crossfire.
Before Glock G48, there have been some releases of concealed carry handguns for home protection, like the M&P 9 Shield, which could crush the Glock 19’s reputation. Check out another such praised hangun in our HK VP9 review. However, it didn’t take long for the Austrian weapons manufacturer to release a sidearm that would redefine how a compact handgun should be.
Glock 48 Specs
I'd say that the Glock 48's spec sheet had given me an initial impression about both the grip and precision before I even tested it. You can instantly speculate a snug grip when you know that this handgun's overall length is about 7.28 inches, 0.2 inches less than the average hand length.
The slide length is what you’d expect from a slimline pistol, hanging at 6.85 inches. Generally, the longer the slide, the better the accuracy. Notice how the slide is only 0.87 inches wide. Combine that with its length, and you’ll get a better sight radius for precision shooting with no compromises on the pistol’s 1.10-inch overall slim profile. For comparison, check out my Glock 44 review in this post.
The effective sight radius here varies from 150 to 152mm, according to the Glock 48 sights. Glock offers 3 variants:
Polymer Sight - It relies on a u-shaped rear and dot-like front sights.
Steel Sight - It features the same setup as Polymer’s, but with a much sturdier build to cope with the recurring action of grabbing the Glock 48 from holsters.
GNS (Glock Night Sight) - This type has a two-dotted rear sight with a middle gap to see the glowing Tritium-filled dot for precise aiming.
Glock 48 Features
There’s more to the Glock 48 than being a concealed carry gun. When I brought this handgun instead of my old G43X to the shooting range, I discovered that the quick draw and the fit were pretty intuitive. However, these two features are precious for beginners who still struggle with getting the handgun out of its holster.
I admit that the slide length and the accurate magazine release button have also been game-changers. In addition, the Glock 48 embraces remarkable features that reveal how it reinvents precision aiming, like the trigger’s length of pull, beavertail, forward cocking serrations, and solid marksman barrel.
1. Shorter Trigger Distance
Trigger distance is a term that you may not stumble upon in an intellectual pistol discussion. It corresponds to the Length of Pull (LOP) in rifles, which refers to the distance between the trigger and the buttstock. Since we’re talking about sidearms, the distance here is measured between the trigger and the grip.
The Glock 48’s trigger distance accounts for a mere 2.64 inches. Putting that into perspective, do you remember the all-time classic Glock 18? It features a lengthy trigger distance of 2.83 inches.
It’s a consensus among sidearm bearers that the shorter the trigger distance, the easier you can achieve a firm grip on the trigger’s face when you adjust your thumb for the next shot. For trigger performance comparison, read my Glock 40 review.
The trigger uses Glock’s impervious Safe Action, which relies on 3 stages to ensure that you don’t fire your handgun on a whim, including trigger safety, firing pin safety, and drop safety. I really like that the drop safety holds the trigger bar in place so that it doesn’t hit the firing pin, preventing the accidental discharge of cartridges.
I’m impressed that Glock employs this mechanism without hampering the seamlessness of the trigger pull. Unlike the later generations of the Glock 18 and 43X, I was able to handle the Glock 48’s trigger effortlessly, and it almost seemed like a no-brainer at the shooting range.
2. Built-in Beaver Tail
If you’re a seasoned pistol shooter, beaver tails will definitely ring a bell when you remember the standard Colt M1911. This handgun has a sizable beaver tail on its grip, which is basically the protrusion at the point where the grip joins the slide, and beginners often regard it as redundant.
You’ll find beaver tails crucial as you frequently visit the shooting range since you’re bound to learn rapid shooting somewhere in the process, and the last thing you want to happen is to get bit by the pistol’s slide.
Back in the day, firearm manufacturers used to sell beaver tails separately, including Glock. However, our Glock 48 comes with a built-in beaver tail that doesn’t impact the compactness or the concealment of the handgun.
When you pull the trigger, the slide retreats rearwards to throw the now-empty cartridge out through the ejection port. Beaver tails act like a line of defense that prevents the Glock 48 slide from hitting your knuckles while letting you maintain a high grip on the gun to control the muzzle climb that emerges from the recoil.
3. Glock Marksman Barrel (GMB)
The Glock 48 is part of Glock’s Gen 5 pistols. Instead of the standard polygonal pistols, Glock incorporates its new GMB barrel in its 5th generation pistols. These Marksman Barrels have a hexagonal bore, which evenly distributes the emitted gas from the fired cartridge to allow for better precision.
When comparing this barrel to the regular polygonal one, I noticed that the barrel crown of the Glock 48 looks more uniform. That’s what actually caught my attention since crowns are considerably important in the long run. If the cartridges cause the crown’s edges to be serrated, the cartridge path will be altered in later shots.
There’s a slight edge to the Glock 48 accuracy compared to its twin: The G43X. The Glock 48 has a barrel length of 4.17 inches, with the Glock G43X barrel being around 3.14 inches. The 0.5-inch extra length adds to the overall accuracy of the cartridge path and the shooting velocity.
With the 4.17-inch Glock Marksman Barrel, it’s been fairly easy to hit the standard 50-yard targets in the shooting range. Although the G43X has the same GMB barrel, I found it less accurate due to the compromise on the barrel’s length. I even find the Glock 48’s barrel quite precise for 100-yard targets for professionals.
4. Precision-Milled Front Serrations
Before Glock included the front serrations in the Glock 48, press checks were a stupid (and dangerous) procedure to try out. Even veteran Glock shooters used to execute a press check with their thumb right beneath the muzzle. I bet you won't press-check your handgun this way unless you want an extra hole in your hand.
I now can't live without frequent press checks, which have come in handy when I want to examine the chamber's cartridges. To evade the potential hazard of an accidentally cocked handgun, I use the front serrations to apply rearward pressure to the slide to make sure the round is in place for firing.
The Glock 48’s serrations have led me to adopt more efficient reloading habits, and I was surprised by how reloading makes sense when you add the front serrations to the equation.
When you run out of ammo, and the slide lock is activated, you can insert the new mag and grab the serrations to pull the slide back to initiate the Glock 48 for an instant shot. Then, it will immediately load a new cartridge into the chamber.
Another department where these front serrations serve is slide racking. If the gun malfunctions or fails to get rid of a spent cartridge, you can use the front serrations as a starting point to draw the slide back so that the fired round can exit through the ejection port.
Glock 48 vs. Glock 19
The Glock 19 has been my carry gun for several years. What I really like about this handgun is the abundance of its accessories, something that we STILL don’t enjoy with the Glock 48. One look at the Glock 48, and you’ll regard it as a “slimmer” Glock 19.
After the release of the Glock 48, some marksmen started to flee from the Glock 19, which slightly prints against the body, meaning that the Glock 48’s concealability is quite unmatched. The Glock 19’s barrel is about 4.02 inches long compared to the 4.17-inch Marksman Barrel of the Glock 48.
The difference in both the barrel bores and length is critical when you find yourself in front of these two handguns. The Glock 48’s GMB barrel brings more accuracy to the table since it’s slightly longer, guiding the cartridge in a uniform path even when it leaves the barrel crown.
You may frown at the Glock 48’s single-stack magazine capacity, though. This 9mm Glock pistol offers 10 rounds per mag as opposed to the Glock 19’s double-stack magazine of 15 rounds. What you get for this sacrifice in the Glock 48 is a downsized overall width, which is the main point of having a concealable package.
I wouldn’t regard the Glock 48 magazine of 10 rounds as a downside since you can also buy custom magazines (like the Shield Arms S15) for the sidearm to add the extra 5 rounds you’re missing from the G19.
I would've considered the Glock 48's superiority to the G19 a fact in this Glock 48 vs. Glock 19 battle if not for the muzzle flip. It seems like the longer slide causes the Glock 48's muzzle to rise slightly compared to the G19, whose muzzle is a tad stable. Nevertheless, read a more complete Glock 19 review here.
How Does it Shoot?
The Glock 48 didn’t change how single-stack Glock 9mm pistols fire shots. I’ve just observed an overall improvement when it comes to accuracy, thanks to the longer barrel and, hence, the longer slide. The total radius between the rear and front sights is on-point if shooting targets 100 yards away is your thing.
I think that the unstable muzzle may irritate some shooters. However, it’s a Glock and won’t require you tons of practice sessions to get used to the new muzzle rise. I’d recommend changing the pre-included Polymer sight system to get used to the muzzle since it’s impractical compared to both the Steel and GNS sights.
Although you may be familiar with racking, you won’t need to rack the slide very often in the Glock 48. The hexagonal GMB barrel’s bores can receive the fed cartridge in the chamber area without any malfunctions resulting from cartridge-barrel incompatibility.
Any experienced shooter knows that Glock’s Safe Action system never fails. When you pull the trigger for shooting, you have to deliberately move both the trigger and the built-in trigger safety lever backward to urge the trigger bar to push the firing pin.
Are you wondering about how the Glock 48 fares in the competition? Let me remind you that Glock’s first sidearm, the Glock 17, was up against some heavyweights from Sig Sauer, Beretta, and H&K when it was submitted to the Austrian military. Since it proved adaptable, Glock has been a byword for global firepower to this day.
Like the then-unrivaled Glock 17, the Glock 48 is also another pistol hailing from Austria. Featuring tiny yet effective modifications, this handgun hints at unhindered competence at the shooting range with front serrations, a marksman-grade barrel, and optimized trigger distance and slide length for improved accuracy.