GLOCK introduced the new Slimline model G48 earlier this year and showed it off at the SHOT Show. It’s actually a longer-slide version of their new G43X pistol. Since it’s the same size, some describe the G48 as a hybrid between the GLOCK G43X and the GLOCK 19. I would describe it as a two-tone, single-stack G19 pistol.
The good people at C.I. Shooting Sports in Normal, Illinois provided the new GLOCK for me for testing and evaluation. Like many good retail outlets featuring nice indoor ranges, C.I. Shooting Sports has quite a fleet of rental guns you can shoot on their indoor range, including hot-selling, brand new guns like this one. And, like any good instructor, I encourage people to “try before you buy.” What looks or even feels good over a display case doesn’t always translate to good end-user performance.
As I held the new GLOCK G48 for the first time, I couldn’t help but think, “skinny GLOCK 19.” The company’s latest features a factory silver-finished slide. It also sports shallow front slide serrations. But most significantly, The compact G48 also has a single-stack magazine. All that said, the new single-stack 9×19 GLOCK looks and feels like a skinny GLOCK 19.
I have carried the G19 for the better part of 20 years, starting with a Gen2 model. I love its balance of size, capacity and weight. It gives great performance and near-perfect reliability. The finish offers corrosion resistance and you can drop it from an airplane and it will function just fine afterwards. With aftermarket tritium night sights, it will protect your family and mine from bad people with evil in their hearts.
For me, worn in a comfortable inside-the-waistband holster, the G19 rides discretely and comfortably over the course of the day and night, whether or not it’s counter-balanced with two extra magazines on the support side of the belt. Your mileage may vary, of course.
A whole lot of law enforcement agencies like the GLOCK G19 just as much as American gun owners. It seems like the overwhelming majority of law enforcement agencies from local PDs to federal alphabet soup agencies use the GLOCK 19 because of its price, durability and reputation for solid service.
So while this new two-tone G48 has almost all of the size and heft of the G19, as part of GLOCK’s Slimline series, it ships with single-stack 10-round magazines. The most noticeable difference is in the pistols’ width. A G19 Gen5’s overall width is 1.34″ (the Gen4 is 1.24″) while the G48’s overall width is 1.1″. The two guns have exactly the same overall height (5.04″) and length (7.28″).
Frankly, it seems almost as if GLOCK’s R&D department runs about five years behind their competition. Yes, they can generate hype with the best of them; Gen5, GLOCK 43x, nVPD and GLOCK Perfection and all that. And GLOCK pistols are unquestionably dependable and popular. In the end, though, it’s about what works best for the end user.
The new GLOCK G48 mags remind me of the neutered 10-rounders from the ugly years of the 1994 Black Gun Ban.
Some folks have raved that saving those 24/100ths of an inch makes (less compared to the Gen4) the G48 significantly easier to conceal on one’s person that the ubiquitous G19. Frankly, that sounds like a promotional contract talking. Or “they sent me a free sample, so I better say nice things about it.” Where have we heard that before?
The weight savings in the thinner G48’s frame and slide comes in at three ounces unloaded, or not quite five ounces loaded, with five fewer rounds in a standard magazine.
Personally, I subscribe to the bubblegum theory when it comes to ammo. If you don’t have enough for everyone in a shootout, you may
be in trouble die. Good old Clint Smith, that charming master of subtlety, summed it up nicely: “The fight will last as long as your ammo.”
I certainly understand that smaller guns with reduced capacity definitely have their role in personal defense. People – myself included – sometimes practice deep concealment and tiny, lightweight guns — some with only 5, 6, or 7 rounds of capacity — beat a stern word and a sharp stick. To the extent that you’ll carry a G48 when you’d otherwise carry something smaller or not at all, I’m all for it.
However, why carry what amounts to a full-sized gun with a more limited capacity? After all, this gun doesn’t fire the .45 ACP cartridge.
With a few hundredths of an inch of a G19’s chubbiness, you can have 15+1 round of ballistic persuasion in your hand. Or, if you like, you can use the GLOCK 17 mags and have 17+1.
For those days when you find yourself in the rougher parts of Chicago (which is most of the city these days), you can even carry a happy stick with 33+1 units of behavioral modification therapy. That, folks, is a lot of bubble gum.
Aside from its reduced capacity, though, the GLOCK G48 looks, feels and handles exactly as one would expect. The trigger feels like classic GLOCK – decent, but certainly not wonderful. Ditto for the factory sights (night sights are available), controls and the take-down procedure. They all scream GLOCK!
The grip and grip angle all feel familiar, although the thinner handle feels odd to hands used to the 19/17/26 (noticeably better to those with small hands).
Reliability was GLOCK-standard, too. Zero problems throughout the testing process. Nothing even close to a hiccup.
One does not need to press-check this GLOCK to ensure a loaded condition. Users can easily see brass in the ejection port when loaded, much more so than in other GLOCK models I’ve handled.
I shot the Dot Torture Drill right out of the gate. I do this as a sort of a standard exercise to compare and contrast how various guns shoots for me. The drill does a nice job assessing how a gun presents, ease of getting the sight picture and ability to put rounds on target, with a dash of one-handed shooting (both strong and support) as well.
Changes in my personal life of late have kept me from the usual amount of trigger time for better than six months. At the same time, those first five rounds at five yards with the GLOCK 48 – fired cold – showed it more than does its part in less-than-skilled hands.
In the end, I dropped nine of fifty rounds from perfect at five yards. Not at all inspiring, but none of the rounds left the paper. After those fifty rounds, I felt as though the gun’s thinner grip and ergonomics (standard 5-ish-pound trigger) contributed only slightly to my poor performance.
To put the G48’s performance in perspective, before my hiatus, I typically only dropped three rounds at that distance on the Dot Torture with my standard carry GLOCK 19 and its 3.5-pound trigger.
I expect some folks to understandably be excited by this new single-stack GLOCK. It has the new silver slide and a slimmer grip. It performs up to the standards that GLOCK has established for near-perfect reliability and consistency.
Ten years ago, this Slimline pistol might have shaken up the concealed carry marketplace. Today, in a world where everyone offers a single-stack 9mm CCW gun (or three), the G48 is playing catch-up. And some of those competitor guns – on the market for the past few years now – handle and shoot every bit as well.
For GLOCK, in a world where the SIG P365 has taken the market by storm, (and for good reason), the G48 may have a tougher row to hoe in grabbing market share. Then again, it has something those other pistols lack…the GLOCK roll mark.
Specifications: GLOCK 48 9mm Slimline Pistol
Action: GLOCK Safe-Action semi-auto
Overall length: 7.3 inches
Slide length: 6.9 inches
Overall Width: 1.1 inches
Slide Width: 0.9 inches
Height (with mag): 5.0 inches
Line of Sight: 5.0 inches
Trigger reach: 2.6 inches
Trigger: 5.4 pounds
Price: $580 MSRP (street price around $500)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Reliability: * * * * *
Flawless (even when dirty), as I expect from a GLOCK product.
Accuracy: * * * *
When I did my part, this gun certainly reciprocated. With the factory trigger, it will never shoot a one-hole group at 10 yards unless you shoot like a freak of nature. However, it only needs to shoot minute-of-bad-guy (or bad Minion, 10 rounds from five yards, below). Indeed, it does this exceedingly well.
Ease of Use: * * * * 1/2
If you’re familiar with GLOCK products, you will intuitively take to the new G48. If not, it will not take you long to learn. Just remember to double-check for unloaded before you pull the trigger to field strip it.
Trigger: * * *
It’s a GLOCK factory trigger. You know what you’re getting. If you don’t already know, it slips, slides, and gets a little spongy as it stacks before it breaks, like pretty much all GLOCK factory triggers. But it works decently right out of the box and will serve most folks well enough. Trigger reset is classic GLOCK as well.
Value: * * *
The gun lists for $580. Initial street prices are coming in right about $500 depending on where you buy. An average value, I would say. I would happily award it one more star if tritium night sights came standard as they do on the SIG P365.
Overall: * * * *
The GLOCK 48 will perform very satisfactorily for you should you decide this is the gun for you. Given its relative size compared to a GLOCK G19, the end consumer has to decide if the slight reductions in weight and overall width justify the reduced capacity.