My New Favorite Glock, The Slimline Glock 48

The slim new design is a great choice for an Everyday Carry (EDC)

As soon as I picked up the Glock 48 at the SHOT show back in January, I knew it felt better than any other Glock I had ever handled. I’ve shot Glocks off and on since they released the first Glock 17L decades ago, but the reach to the trigger never quite fit me right.

The Slimline grip of the G48 allows my smaller hands to get a good grip on the gun and still reach the trigger with more than just the tip of my finger. After handling it for a while on the range, I have to admit, the feel of the 48 reminded me somewhat of a single stack 1911 government commander model.

I’ve long thought that the Glock model 19 is one of the best all-around pistols ever manufactured. It is small enough to carry concealed, yet large enough to shoot well. The fact that it also has serious magazine capacity is just icing on the cake; my difficulties reaching and manipulating the trigger are a personal issue.

5-inch circumference feels like a world of difference for shooters with small hands

The model 48 is the same length and height as the Glock 19, just much easier to get my hand around. Glock really hit the sweet spot with the slimmer grip and shorter reach to the trigger offered by the model 48. The reduced width also makes the G48 very comfortable and easier to conceal than its fatter brother the G19.

The 6.8” slide length puts the G48 in a class above the shorter compacts, I won’t even compare it to any of those. The grip and magazines are the same as the 43X, but why give up the barrel length. The extended sight radius is a serious advantage to accurate shooting and essentially disappears when the gun is holstered. 

Details

The size and design of the model 48 really hit the mark, and it’s more than just the grip size. The slide is also noticeably narrower than that of the Glock 19, completing the overall more streamlined package. The G48 has a slide width of .86”, while a model 19 is right at 1”, it may not seem like much, but it is a 17% difference in slide width.

Majority of the gun is less than the 1.1″ advertised width

The slide of the tested model 48 is finished in a black nDLC coating and has front and rear cocking serrations. Steel Glock night sights ride atop the slide, with the rear-mounted in a dovetail allowing adjustment for windage. 

The Gen5/ hybrid 43x grip now sports a more pronounced beavertail for shooter comfort, and it really feels good. The beavertail also doesn’t add any additional length to the overall gun due to the heel of the grip extending beyond that point. 

On the lower end of the grip, the magazine well has a slight bevel on all four edges to aid when inserting the slim 10 round mags, and it works well. Thankfully, the grip is absent any of the finger grooves from the past that never seemed to fit an average-sized hand. The magazine catch is reversible allowing lefties to reload efficiently as well.

The grip has a very lightly raised texturing on the four sides of the grip. This is one of two areas that the model 48 left me wanting. The texture is not aggressive enough and doesn’t come up high enough on the sides of the gun to really help make your support hand stick to the gun.

The upgraded beavertail and undercut trigger guard make a very comfortable grip.

The roughness of a gun’s texture can be something of a love-hate relationship on a concealed carry gun. The more pronounced it is the better the shooting grip, but the more it will chew up clothes or skin when tucked tight against the body.

Specifications

Caliber                         9mm

Height                         5“

Length                         7.28“

Weight                        20.75 oz

Capacity                      10 + 1

Finish                          nDLC

Trigger                        Safe Action

Sights                          Glock Night Sights

Market Price               $480- $580

Range Time

The G48 just feels great in the hand. The grip is long enough to get my whole hand on; no fingers hanging off the bottom. The grip length allows both hands to get full contact to ensure maximum recoil control; albeit I wish it had more aggressive texturing.

Reloading it is a snap, the thinner magazines drop free without any assistance and the fresh ones glide in smoother than the typical blockier high capacity Glock magazines (no insult intended, I love capacity as much as the next guy).

Time tested design and controls lend consistency to the Glock 48.

The first box of cartridges was sacrificed to ringing steel targets and getting a feel for the gun, which went off without any sign of issue or malfunction. The G48 was living up to expectations for rapid handling and natural pointing. 

To really get the feel for controlling the gun at speed, I ran a number of “Bill Drills.” Six rounds from behind the hip at 7 yards on a USPSA/ IPSC target. I averaged just over 2.4 seconds per run, keeping the majority, though not all in the “A” zone of the target. 

Well under the 3 seconds Bill Wilson, the originator of the drill, identified as a goal; though over the 2-second mark that serious competition shooters strive for, but this isn’t a competition pistol.

The reduced reach to the trigger is easy to see, and even easier to feel.

The trigger on my test gun left a little to be desired, it was ok, but not the greatest. It broke at an average of 6.2 lbs. on my Lyman trigger gauge, a bit heavier than I prefer, making it my other area of wanting. 

The trigger is certainly good enough for defensive purposes, and I easily shot full magazines of headshots on IPSC targets at 15-20 yards but was a bit more challenging when shooting groups to check accuracy.

Hornady’s 115 FTX Critical Defense ammunition performed well from the G48.

I worked through 4 types of ammunition from 15 yards and the majority of the groups were in the 2.2” – 3” range. I think the barrel and lock-up are capable of doing better, but me and the 6+ pound trigger kept managing to throw a flyer here and there and open up the group sizes.

Luckily with the huge Glock following and aftermarket parts suppliers, a trigger tune-up should be an easy endeavor if one is desired.

Surprisingly, the little G48 was significantly easier and more natural to shoot at speed when bringing it up on steel than it was trying to press through the trigger when aiming at the NRA bullseye targets.

Alternating between swinging plates on the dueling tree and slowing down for focus and precision kept the range time with the G48 pleasant and wrung out its true capabilities.

CCI Blazer 124’s also shot well when I did my part.

After a bit of frustration focusing on the black bulls, I walked to the rifle range, changed distances and repeatedly rang the steel chest-sized targets at 50 yards, going 5 for 5 on the 18”x 12” plates. 

As usual, curiosity got the best of me, so the 100-yard chest plate became the goal and I managed to get several hits out of a magazine at that distance too. The thickness of the front sight and the trigger made that a true challenge, but achievable. This little gun flat out shoots. 

As time has proven the Glock is very reliable. The little G48 didn’t seem to care what type of ammunition I put in the magazine; it fed, shot, and ejected flawlessly. This included a variety of hollow-points, some frangible, truncated-cones, and the standard round nose training ammo.

I did notice a trend of the gun climbing up and right during portions of the firing, so I experimented and tried a slightly different grip and put my support hand index finger on the front of the trigger guard. The shape and texture of the front of the trigger guard are designed to accommodate that hold, but it’s not something I typically do.

The light grip texturing can be seen here; a bit more would probably aid controlling recoil.

The good news is that my accuracy and the gun’s tracking instantly improved. On full-sized guns, I’ve never felt the need to adopt that grip style but I now see that it has advantages on smaller guns.

Conclusion

It seems things tend to go full circle if you wait long enough, Glock started out as an innovator in the high-capacity market and the revolution has come back around to a single stack being my favorite Glock.

The “right” sized, Slimline G48 ready for a night on the town.

The Slimline Glock 48 may not be everyone’s cup of tea; it really depends on hand size, purpose, and requirements. But it suits me. The best gun may not be the one with the most bullets but the one that you have with you and that you can shoot the best. 

In any case, The G48 is worth picking up to see how it feels in your hand and giving a test drive at your local range.

For more information visit GLOCK Pistols website.

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About the author: Jeff Cramblit is a world-class competitive shooter having won medals at both the 2012 IPSC World Shotgun Championship in Hungary and more recently the 2017 IPSC World Rifle Championship in Russia. He is passionate about shooting sports and the outdoors. He has followed that passion for over 30 years, hunting and competing in practical pistol, 3gun, precision rifle and sporting clays matches. Jeff is intimately familiar with the shooting industry – competitor, instructor, RO, range master, match director. Among his training credits include NRA Instructor, AR-15 armorer, FBI Rifle Instructor, and Officer Low Light Survival Instructor. As a sponsored shooter, Jeff has represented notable industry names such as: Benelli, 5.11 Tactical, Bushnell, Blackhawk, DoubleStar, and Hornady. He has been featured on several of Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery episodes and on a Downrange TV series. Jeff’s current endeavors cover a broad spectrum and he can be found anywhere from local matches helping and encouraging new shooters as they develop their own love of the sport, to the dove field with his friends, a charity sporting clays shoot, backpack hunting public land in Montana, or the winners podium of a major championship.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • DrThunder88 December 4, 2019, 1:11 pm

    The 48 is a heck of a fine little gun. I recently got one for concealed carry, and it’s fast becoming my favorite handgun. The grip is a little short for my hands, but the circumference is super comfortable.

    I am very excited to hear some reviews on Shield Arms’ 15-round flush fitting magazines for the 43x/48. If they’re reliable and actually boost the capacity to 15, they will be an absolute game changer!

  • James Guidry December 3, 2019, 11:12 am

    I have to laugh here. After carrying a double-stack 9mm for years , I transitioned from a G21 to a G30 and finally ‘back’ to a 1911 .45 ACP. Somebody at Glock finally gets it. While the capacity of the double-stack is noted, I don’t care how many rounds it increases, if it doesn’t ‘work’ for your grip, why go with it. This shows me you don’t mess with perfection. John Moses came up with a winning design… The wheel doesn’t need re-inventing. 👍

  • Ejharbet December 2, 2019, 5:57 pm

    Been watching this one, glock should sell em in 6 packs,1 to carry and the rest to stash in different places

  • GARY December 2, 2019, 10:44 am

    Those who live/work/travel where 10 round magazines are the law of the land now have an easier to conceal Glock that meets their legal limitations. “Shall not be infringed” – unless one lives where it is.

  • Marc December 2, 2019, 10:19 am

    I’m shopping for another Glock. The 48 for carry is slim enough but that trigger with groves means more cash for an aftermarket trigger. And if you don’t upgrade it your trigger finger will hate you.

    • Don January 3, 2020, 3:16 pm

      The grooves on the trigger are to give it import points under the GCA ’68. Due to its size and lack of other “Point features” Glock adds the groove. Yes, I know the GCA ’68 is a stupid law.

  • Scouse December 2, 2019, 5:58 am

    Why is Glock still putting that stupid lined trigger on their pistols? Irritating feel, you end up with a sore trigger fingertip! Good that I have a buddy who managed to replace it! Joy. My 43X in nickel like finish, I like!
    Came with Ameriglo night sights I ordered. Real nice, especially in daylight, the red circle around the front sight, eye-catching.
    Flys out of the holster! And hides really well.

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