U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- I’ve been a Glock guy since 2016, carrying, competing, teaching, and more with a variety of Glock handguns. While the ergonomics and visuals were a little lackluster, the massive aftermarket and affordability of parts and accessories won my heart. From the G42 to G34, I’ve owned nearly every 9mm variant and a handful in other calibers. When my wife decided she wanted to get a gun for herself, Glock was naturally one of the top contenders. Eventually, we settled on a G48. Not one to let her have all the fun, I’ve put a fair number of rounds through the gun as well. How does it stack up to its larger brethren?
The Glock 48 is a little bit different from the typical Glock. When viewed in profile, it resembles a G19 in overall size. When looking down the muzzle, or from behind, you’ll instantly see the G48 is slimmer. It features a ten round, single stack magazine, coming in at 0.31” slimmer than the G19. That doesn’t sound like much, but the reduced grip circumference really pays off. This, in addition to a more rounded grip contribute to a gun that is far more usable for everyone who isn’t an average sized man. Even myself, at just over six feet tall, with medium size hands, can appreciate the reduced grip circumference provided by the Glock 48.
Capacity and Why it Matters
The Glock 48 comes standard with single stack 10 round magazines. While this isn’t stellar, it’s not terrible either. In a slightly larger package than typical single stack nines, we’re getting an additional two rounds compared to something like a Smith & Wesson Shield. While there are no average gunfights, we can look at a host of information to make rough estimates of what we may see, while also considering outliers.
Using data from Tom Givens’ students involved shootings, as well as FBI and DEA plainclothes agents, it appears that the average bad guy requires around four rounds to stop being a threat. This same information tells us that roughly 50% of violent encounters involve multiple threats, though the numbers get fuzzier when trying to determine how many “multiple” ends up being. That means that we’ve got a fairly solid chance of requiring at least eight rounds to get out of trouble. With 10+1 in the gun, we’ve got that covered, so long as “multiple” means “two”, and our threats stay within or below the average required rounds.
Ten rounds do not look so hot right now. That being said, we’re not stuck with just ten rounds.
Shield Arms makes steel magazines for the G48 and G43x that bump the capacity up to 15 rounds. I snagged a few of those for use in this pistol, but they’ve seen limited use. The catch with those magazines is that they’ll eat away at Glock’s polymer magazine release, eventually causing mags to drop free on their own. This can be remedied with Shield Arms’ metal magazine release, but that will damage OEM magazines. Because of this, shooters must pick one or the other for regular use. We opted for the ten-round Glock magazines, as they’re less expensive and more readily available. That being said, look out for a review on the Shield Arms S15 magazines in the future.
In addition to these new magazines, there are also a variety of magazine extensions available for the Glock 48. These can add anywhere between one and five rounds of capacity to our magazines. Some of these are available for Shield Arms magazines as well, bumping their capacity up to 20 rounds or more.
Sights are the typical ball and basket found on all Glocks. These have been discarded in favor of milling from ATEi for a Holosun 407K red dot. Blacked-out Ameriglo sights act as a backup for the optic, with the rear sight being moved forward of the Holosun. This reduced size optic is roughly the same size as the Glock 48’s slide, ensuring that the overall profile stays trim. The open emitter optic does very little to increase printing for me, as the housing extends no further than my belt. Moving the rear sight forward helps improve comfort, and adds an extra layer of protection to the Holosun 407K. Though details on that are a topic for another day.
Controls of the G48 are standard Glock fare. The slide release is small and unobtrusive, making it somewhat difficult to use compared to larger offerings. With a modern, high grip, I often find the slide failing to lock open on empty, as my hand interferes with the slide release.
The magazine release is fairly flush with the frame, reducing the likelihood of inadvertently ejecting a magazine, as is the case with most 4th and 5th generation Glocks. That’s about it for controls. There are no manual safety levers, decockers, or other mechanisms because again, it’s a Glock. The trigger comes in around 5.5 pounds with signature Glock mush and a loud reset. Lefties can swap the magazine release but are out of luck with the slide release. Forward slide serrations were factory standard, allowing for manipulations up front if desired.
Range time is split between my wife and I, with her shooting roughly 2/3 of the ammunition through this gun. We fired slightly over 600 rounds prior to mounting the optic. These initial rounds were primarily On Target 115gr FMJ, Browning 115gr FMJ, and a handful of Federal HST 124gr JHP.
Since receiving the milled slide, 862 additional rounds have been fired. This includes:
- 5x Browning 115gr FMJ
- 50x On Target 115gr FMJ
- 50x Speer Lawman 115gr FMJ
- 175x Blazer Brass 115gr FMJ
- 78x Aguila 124gr FMJ
- 491x Blazer Brass 124gr FMJ
- 13x Federal HST 124gr JHP
Those rounds bring the total to somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,300 rounds fired thus far. Excluding stoppages attributable to ammunition problems or user error, reliability has been 100% thus far. The vast majority of rounds have been loaded into OEM magazines. Roughly 200 were loaded into first-generation Shield Arms S15 magazines, which caused zero issues, but were more difficult to seat in the pistol.
Real World Use
The Glock 48 has noticeably more recoil than a G19, but it never gets uncomfortable. This increase in recoil is due to the reduced weight of the gun, as well as reduced surface area for my hands to grasp during shooting. Due to this, I currently see around a 20% reduction in split times with the G48 compared to my G19. On the occasion that times match between the two guns, significantly more focus is required when shooting the G48 compared to larger guns.
Despite this reduction in control at speed, raw accuracy is unaffected. I have fired one of my best 25 yard targets ever using this G48. This occurred during the zeroing process of the Holosun 407K. Shooting five rounds of 124gr Federal HST, I managed a 49-4x out of 50 points on a B8 Repair Center at 25 yards. Additionally, my draw to first shot is comparable with the G48 to larger pistols, since recoil control isn’t a factor.
During my wife’s first shooting class, she managed to get support hand only hits on IPSC steel at 100 yards, further solidifying the shootability of the G48, even for less experienced marksmen. While the Glock 48 may be a smaller gun for my hands, it is solidly in the realm of full-size pistol for many women when considering differences in proportions between the two sexes.
Guns in this size category have been making a big splash over the past few years. From the SIG P365XL, to the Springfield Hellcat, the Smith & Wesson CSX, and more, these guns are clearly winners. This reduced size makes for a gun that is more concealable than typical duty size guns without diving into the subcompact realm. This then allows for improved performance on the range, with a few extra rounds to boot.
While the Glock 48 may not enjoy the capacity of its competitors, it still holds its own. With a stellar aftermarket typical of Glock handguns to compliment a solid pistol, the G48 stands as a “do anything” gun, that I’d be comfortable having as my only sidearm.
About Dan Reedy
Dan is an Air Force veteran, avid shooter, and dog dad. With a passion for teaching, he holds instructor certifications from Rangemaster, Agile Training & Consulting, and the NRA. He has trained with Darryl Bolke, Mike Pannone, Craig Douglas, among several other instructors, amassing over 400 hours of professional instruction thus far. In his spare time you’ll find him teaching handgun, shotgun, and less lethal classes.