No doubt about it, I’m a huge fan of Glock handguns, all of them — even the larger Model 20 and Model 21. I still recall the first Glock I saw, it was a First Generation Glock 17. At that time, it was the only model in production.
Today we’re looking at the fairly new Glock 48, and this is one of the slime-line 9mm pistols, that doesn’t take a double-stack magazine and holds just 10 rounds. I know, I know, I’ve read about an after-market magazine that will hold 15-rounds, without sticking out of the bottom of the grip. I haven’t ordered one – yet! The thing that scares me away is the price – some are selling for close to $60 online, for one magazine – ouch! However, I’ll get around to testing one – one of these days.
The slim-line Glocks appeal mostly to shooters with small hands or to folks who live in Nanny States that ban magazines that hold more than 10 cartridges.
The Glock 48, is, chambered in 9mm, and it holds 10 rounds. It has a slim-line frame and black slide that is coated in nDLC finish, and this finish is even tougher than the original coating placed on Glock slides and barrels. The 48 is designed for concealed carry – no doubt about it – the compact grip size frame’s length, with a short built-in beavertail and a small, slim profile makes it very easy to conceal. The frame itself has elements of the Gen 5 models – that’s a good thing. There is also a short reset trigger distance – another great feature. The larger magazine release is reversible. Glock’s literature states their new Marksman Barrel gives this little gun more accuracy – more on this shortly.
Model 43 Versus Model 48
There’s no denying the family resemblance to the Glock 43X, that I reviewed in SurvivalBlog.com in 2020. The Model 48 under review is slightly longer than the 43X. Differences? The 43X has a barrel and slide that is 3.1-inches long, and the Model 48 has a barrel and slide that is 4.17-inches long – barely much difference for the most part. The 48 weighs in at 18.48-ounces, without a magazine, and the 43X tips the scales at just 16.40-ounces. That’s not enough of a weight difference when carrying either gun. By the way, both guns accept the same single-column magazine that holds 10-rounds. Both the Model 43X and 48 have the same sight set-up, a big white dot on the front of the slide, and the squarish (almost) white outline on the rear sight – very fast to pick-up and a great combat sight. However, that are not especially designed for target shooting. Then again they are not target guns, they are meant for close-up combat work.
The trigger pull on both guns is about 5-lbs, and they have a much cleaner break than earlier Glock triggers had – not nearly as “mushy” if you ask me – and that contributes to better accuracy. You can check the Glock website for complete information on both models.
Of course, looking at the above, you will readily see that, the only real difference, outside of the weight difference of a few ounces is that the 48 has a slide/barrel that is about an inch longer than that found on the 43X. Does this really make a difference between these two firearms? Let’s see if I can answer this, without getting too technical.
Concealed Carry Comparison
If you are carrying either Glock inside the pants (with a micro holster for safety’s sake — such as a Zacchaeus), with just a shirt tucked over, then there isn’t any real difference between the two guns, when it comes to concealment – they both have the same length grip frame. However, if you are carrying either gun outside the pants, on a belt, then there is a small difference when it comes to concealment. You will obviously have to have some type of covering garment – I do – all the time…and the longer barrel/slide on the 48 makes it a little harder to conceal, if you don’t have a long enough covering garment to completely cover the slide. The 43X will conceal a little better with a short covering garment. Not big of a difference. However, if you are simply wearing a t-shirt (untucked) over either gun, as your covering garment, then there is a big enough difference, that you might want to carry the 43X on your belt, instead of the 48.
As you can see in the photo of the 43X and 48 together, that the 43X has Talon Grip Tape on the frame. While I love the thin profile of both guns, I found it much more to my liking to add the Talon Grip Tape…the 48 doesn’t have the tape on it in the photo. However, I have long since added the easy-stick tape to this gun. It adds very little to the circumference of the frame, but adds just “enough” that the gun feels better, and is easier to hold onto under rapid fire. It’s a small and worthwhile investment, and it is easy to do at home – only takes a few minutes to apply this tape. I also have the Talon Grip Tape on several of my other Glocks, as well.
I rarely carry full-sized handguns these days. Since I’m no longer in law enforcement, or private contractor security work, I don’t feel the need to go as heavily armed as I used to. However, I still carry at least one spare magazine, for whatever type of handgun I’m carrying. At times, when I’m a little farther from home, I will elect to carry two spare magazines: One on the belt in a magazine pouch, and one in a jacket pocket or shirt pocket.
My Range Tests — In The Ammo Drought
Since we are still in a never-ending ammo drought, I don’t have the big variety of ammo that I’ve normally shot over the years. In the past, I liked to give new firearms a good workout. That meant about 400-to-500 rounds of ammo downrange. I can’t do that any longer, as I don’t have the variety of ammo I normally would have on-hand.
The great folks at Black Hills Ammunition do their best to get ammo into my hands. I’ve heard that they are back-ordered close to two years now on ammo orders. I received their 115-gr FMJ load, 100-gr HoneyBadger, 124-gr JHP +P load. I only fired 100 rounds during my testing, and for my accuracy portion of my testing, I only fired three groups, of five rounds per group. I can’t afford to do much more shooting, as my ammo locker is really getting low.
Just for “fun” shooting, I nailed every rock I aimed at, and a number of fallen tree branches as well…the 48 was dead-on for my eyes. Then again, I’ve never had a new, out-of-the-box Glock not be spot on. On a few used Glocks I’ve owned over the years, the sights were off – way off – because the previous owner made some serious adjustments – when the gun was shooting fine – it was the shooter who didn’t pay attention to what was going on.
I honestly couldn’t say there was more or less recoil between the 43X and the 48 – they felt the same to me. The 100-gr HoneyBadger +P load was the most accurate, giving me a group right at 3.5-inches – and this is my favorite Black Hills self-defense load. The 115-gr and 124-gr JHP were just about the same size groups. My shooting was done at 25 yards, with the gun resting on a rolled-up jacket, on top of a big boulder.
One test I’ve never done before with similar pistols is to change guns using the same holster. What I did was, use my holster, from Craft Holsters on my right hip – and I’d have my wife swap guns from the 43X to the 48 and without looking down on my hip, to see which gun I was carrying, I’d do a little walking. I couldn’t tell if I had the 43X or the 48 on my hip – no difference in feel between the two guns. They both fit the same holster, except that the Model 48 protruded slightly beyond the bottom of the holster.
As to the balance between the two guns, when holding them, they both felt the same in my shooting hand. That’s a good thing. The only difference was that with the slightly longer barrel/slide on the 48 it gave me a little bit longer sight radius. Was it enough to make a difference in accuracy between the guns? I honestly don’t know. However, my past experience with other guns, proved that the longer barrel and especially the longer sight radius gave me a bit more accuracy than the shorter model. I would think that shooting the 48 at longer distances, would give the shooter a bit more accuracy. Perhaps one of these days, when I get a little bit more ammo, I’ll do this test. Without a doubt, I’m sure the longer Model 48 provides a little be more velocity than the 43X..
As we all know, handguns – even long guns – are hard to come by these days. If you run across a Glock 43X and a 48 at your favorite gun shop, check them both out…you might prefer one over the other. As for me, these are my own personal guns, and I see no reason to sell either of them. They are both outstanding little concealed carry pieces.