Glock 48 Review (07-13-2019)
Two months of every day carry and 1,500 rounds later, I have initial feedback on Glock's slim line single stack version of the Glock 19.
First some housekeeping . . .
Upon receipt I detail stripped it down to the bare frame and slide to clean, inspect, and lube it. I also performed 3 modifications:
1) I replaced the factory plastic sights with Trijicon XD XR sights (thank you Santi at Godspeed Firearms School for perfectly performing the installation).
2) I replaced the OEM grooved trigger shoe with an OEM smooth faced trigger shoe.
3) I replaced the OEM firing pin spring cups with Ghost maritime cups.
So why an interest in the Glock 48 when a Glock 19 appears to fill EDC duties just fine?
Simply put, there are rare occasions (perhaps 10% of the time) when either clothing fit or the non-permissive environment, or both, require a deeper level of concealment than a Glock 19 with an RMR can provide. It's slim line single stack form factor is significantly smaller than the 19, yet retains a 4" barrel length to still ballistically optimize duty ammo (indeed, the 48's barrel is actually 4MM longer than the 19).
While I plan on doing a true long term high round count review, I have enough data to provide initial feedback to readers. I use this EDC gun to practice, to compete, to teach, and to train.
So let's begin with the OBJECTIVE portions first:
1) Reliability. After 1,200 rounds of Magtech 124 grain FMJ practice ammunition and 300 rounds of Hornady Critical Duty 135 grain standard pressure ammunition, I experienced ZERO stoppages. Note I did field strip, clean, inspect, and lube after every shooting session.
2) Accuracy. The new Gen5 barrel is awesome, and easily compares to my Agency Arms Gen4 Glock 19 barrel. Impressive.
3) Durability. Overall fit and finish are holding very well, however the locking block is showing signs of flaking and sharp hot spots. I'm not sure if this will eventually lead to a failure, but I plan to keep an eye on it and may classify the locking block as a "high mortality part" to be replaced as part of my routine preventative maintenance schedule.
Another unknown to consider is that all of the internal parts are physically smaller than a standard size Glock. Whether or not this smaller size equates to a weaker and shorter life span remains to be seen, but again something to keep an eye on for the power user.
Now to the SUBJECTIVE portion of this review:
The Glock 48 is a surprisingly soft shooting and controllable pistol. In fact, I’d say it’s by far the most comfortable compact pistol I’ve fired. This experience can be attributed to 4 aspects of its frame design that depart from the standard Glock 19:
1) The trigger guard’s bottom frame is thinner and the undercut is higher compared to standard frame Glocks. These features enable higher grip placement and eliminate “Glock knuckle.”
2) There is a forward lip on the bottom of the grip which helps to secure the firing hand’s pinky (the strongest of the 5 fingers) up and onto the frame.
3) The extended and high cut beavertail eliminates slide bite as well as further aides in a high grip.
4) The smaller single stack circumference enables hands of all sizes to obtain full coverage and a strong grip.
Another feature of the Glock 48 is a great trigger. The Gen5 trigger is a definite improvement over previous generations, further aiding in easy shooting.
Though not unique to the 48 model, both the LCI (loaded chamber indicator) and a “witness gap” allow for easy visual and tactile chamber status confirmation.
Overall I found the Glock 48 and a spare magazine very easy to conceal and very comfortable to carry in a DarkStar Gear AIWB holster with two Discreet Carry Concepts (DCC) clips and V Development group foam wedge. Daria Holsters provides the AIWB magazine carrier, again secured with a single DCC clip.
For those on the fence about the Glock 48, there are some downsides to consider. These are mainly personal to me, so your experience may be different.
1) Since I have a large hand relative to the smaller Glock 48’s grip, the bottom outer edge of my trigger finger rubs against the inside of the trigger guard when I press the trigger. It’s not painful nor creates blisters even after hundreds of rounds, but it is something that is annoying to me. Other shooters don’t experience this.
2) Even though I carry a spare, I hate the 10 round magazine capacity. Is it probably sufficient for one or perhaps even two antagonists? Possibly, but if there’s any more than that or if they are dedicated, then I expect a slide lock reload at the worst possible moment.
I know there is one aftermarket company pursuing a flush 15 round magazine, but in my book if it doesn’t have the pedigree of Glock OEM or Magpul, then I don’t see it as a proven viable option.
So magazine capacity is definitely something to consider.
3) Iron sights. I’m now an MRDS guy, so when I’m stuck with irons where the front sight is completely blurry in low or indoor light, I’m not a happy camper. In the bright outdoors I can see the front sight just fine, but at 50 my eyes need 33% more ambient lumens to the see the same things I could see at age 18. Moreover, I’ve become a big fan of single focal plane shooting as it relates self defense.
While there are RMR adapter plates out there for the slim line slides, they do not incorporate the two bosses that help keep the RMR planted and minimize wear and tear. Not to mention that adding an RMR sort of defeats the purpose of the small form factor of the Glock 48.
There is another product, the Shield RMSc, but not being water resistant (a showstopper in South Florida) nor physically robust for demanding usage, I don’t see this as a viable option.
So given all the Glock 48’s positives, where does this leave us? For me, time will tell as I continue to EDC it and realize what my Glock 19 RMR offers that this Glock 48 does not, and vice versa. For the reader who has an interest in the Glock 48, my advice is to evaluate YOUR needs and application, then use some of the insight provided here to help drive your decision.
UPDATE MARCH 2020: After a year of carrying and shooting the Glock 48, I decided to sell it. The Glock 48 is a great option and was 100% reliable without a single stoppage after many thousands of round, but was just too small of a form factor for my hand. My final verdict is if you have small hands this is a great option to consider and highly recommend it. If you have large hands like me, then the Glock 19/17 is a better option.