The Glock 48: Is It the Best All-Purpose Glock?

Last Updated on September 30, 2020.

This review exists for one primary reason: the Glock 48 might be the best all-purpose Glock out there.

It might even be the best all-purpose handgun on the market right now.

And almost nobody realizes it.

I understand that’s a really bold claim. But I didn’t arrive at this conclusion arbitrarily. I’ll outline that reasoning in a second and cover all the aspects of the Glock 48 itself.

First, I want to answer a very common, but peculiar, question about the Glock 48.


What is the point of the Glock 48?

The fact that people ask this question tells me that there’s some misunderstanding around how the size of a gun relates to concealability and shootability.

First, smaller guns are harder to shoot. And smaller guns perform worse than bigger guns in pretty much every performance category that we have for guns.

A smaller gun has a shorter grip, which gives you less leverage for controlling the gun. A smaller gun also has a shorter barrel, which produces less muzzle velocity and, usually, worse ballistic performance, especially with hollow point ammunition.

Yes, a smaller gun is easier to conceal than a bigger gun. But you’re trading performance and shootability to get that concealability.

The Glock 48 minimizes the performance and shootability that you trade to get concealability.

The Glock 48 is essentially a skinny compact pistol. The grip and barrel are just about exactly the same size as the Glock 19. But the overall width is 1.10 inches. And the slide is just 0.87 of an inch wide.

So the Glock 48 grip gives you almost as much leverage to control the gun as a Glock 19. And you get a slightly longer barrel (4.17 inches) than you’d get in a Glock 19, which is important because most hollow point ammunition is tested in a gun with a 4-inch barrel.

But the Glock 48 is slimmer and a bit lighter than the Glock 19.

Ultimately, the point of the Glock 48 is to give you as much control and performance as you’d get from a compact pistol in a slimmer, more concealable package.

But does the Glock 48 achieve that goal? I contend that it does.


Glock 48 Review: The Ultimate Glock

The Glock 48 is one of the best concealed carry handguns that you can get right now. And, with an upgrade or two, it’s almost the perfect do-it-all pistol.

Here’s what makes the Glock 48 so great (and a few things that aren’t so great).

Size and Concealability

I already touched on the size. But there’s some skepticism about this gun’s concealability. I understand that skepticism.

However, here’s my take on the size of the Glock 48:

The Glock 19 was considered one of the best concealed carry guns for decades. Many still regard the Glock 19 as the overall best concealed carry gun.

Well, the Glock 48 is almost exactly the same size as a Glock 19, but thinner.

Yes, there are guns out there which are smaller than the Glock 48. The M&P Shield, Glock 43, and Sig P365 come to mind. And some shooters claim these are better carry guns because they’re smaller.

However, most people use the extended magazines or magazine extensions on their subcompact guns, which makes them pretty much the same size as the Glock 48, in terms of grip length.

Ultimately, the Glock 48 grip is short enough to conceal in pretty much any position on your belt. But the rear end of the slide is less likely to poke out through your shirt, because it’s skinnier.

The slimmer profile also fits inside your waistband much more comfortably. There’s simply less bulk in between your belt and your body, because the Glock 48 is a single stack gun.

It’s also lighter. So the Glock 48 pulls on your belt less. And it’s less likely to tilt outward, which further minimizes the chances that the gun is going to poke out and show through your shirt.

That’s the grip size. Some people are also concerned about the barrel length. Surely, the longer barrel makes the gun harder to conceal, right?

Not really. The barrel goes down into your pants. The barrel length really doesn’t cause any concealment problems.

A longer barrel can be a comfort issue. But, the barrel is maybe a half-inch or an inch longer than a super small pistol. It’s just not long enough to cause any real comfort issues, even if you carry at the appendix position, where it might jam into your thigh.

So the Glock 48 is totally concealable for most people. And, as I’ve already pointed out, it’s large enough that you get really good control and performance with defensive ammunition.

Ultimately, the size is right at the sweet spot between concealability and shootability.



Magazine Capacity

Magazine capacity is where the Glock 48 definitely has to trade off some performance.

The single stack magazine only holds 10 rounds.

Now, 10 rounds is actually quite reasonable for a concealed carry gun. But, the Glock 19—which is the same size, but fatter, holds 15 rounds.

You give up 5 rounds to get a gun that’s about a quarter of an inch skinnier. So the Glock 48 might not be an ideal do-everything gun in its stock configuration. There are a couple upgrades that can fix that, though.

10 rounds in the magazine is totally reasonable. But, without any upgrades, the magazine capacity is one of the weakest aspects of this handgun.


Shootability

The second weakest part of the Glock 48 is the shootability.

Before I go on, I should note that this gun is easier to shoot and control than a subcompact handgun. I can definitely shoot the Glock 48 faster than I can shoot the Glock 26 or Glock 43, because the Glock 48 grip and barrel are longer.

However, the Glock 48 is slimmer than any double-stack subcompact gun. So you feel a bit more recoil in the webbing of your hand, where the beavertail is.

That’s just physics. The grip is narrower, which concentrates the recoil force into a smaller area. And that’s why you might feel a bit more recoil in the webbing of your hand.

But it’s not bad at all. It won’t really be an issue unless you have really thin hands, and the beavertail hits the bones of your thumb. That’s uncommon, though.

Also, if you get Glock knuckle from a standard double-stack Glock (where the bottom of the trigger guard bashes the second knuckle on your middle finger), you’ll most likely get Glock knuckle from the Glock 48.

The trigger guard is the same shape. And the grip isn’t narrow enough to get your knuckle out of the way.

Lastly, the trigger is still just a Glock trigger. For me, that’s not a huge deal, because I’ll press any trigger as long as it makes the gun go bang.

But I know that some people strongly dislike Glock triggers. And the Glock 48 definitely has a Glock trigger. But there are plenty of aftermarket triggers, if you’re into that sort of thing.

On the whole, though, this gun is easier to control than a subcompact pistol. So it certainly accomplishes the goal of trading as little shootability as possible to get more concealability.



Glock 48 Upgrades

I’ll get this out of the way first: the Glock 48 comes with the standard plastic Glock sights, unless you get one of the upgraded models. So upgrading to steel sights is a totally viable option.

There are two other upgrades that make the Glock 48 MUCH better, though.

First, I recommend installing a metal magazine release.

For some reason, the Glock 48 chews through plastic magazine releases, even if you only use polymer Glock magazines. I’ve never seen this issue on any other Glock. But a metal magazine release is an affordable upgrade that’s super easy to install, and any aluminum or steel magazine release will do the trick.

The other awesome upgrade for the Glock 48 is a Shield Arms 15-round magazine. Yes, you can get a 15-round magazine for the Glock 48, which turns your Glock 48 into a true skinny Glock 19.

With a few 15-round magazines, the Glock 48 is a legitimate do-it-all gun that’s easy to conceal, easy to shoot, and holds enough rounds to be a capable home defense gun.

However, the 15-round magazines are steel. The steel magazines cut into the stock polymer magazine catch. So you’ll pretty much have to get a metal magazine catch, unless you enjoy regularly replacing your magazine release.

The bummer about these upgrades is that outfitting your Glock 48 could cost a few hundred bucks, which drives the total cost of the gun up somewhere near $800, maybe a bit more.

But $800 is still reasonable for a gun that you could use for everything.



Conclusions

Is the Glock 48 a perfect gun? Probably not. I’m sure that most people could find something to complain about, even if it’s just the trigger or the plastic sights.

But the Glock 48 is an especially strong contender if you want one gun that you can throw in the holster or in the quick access safe. It’s even a really great option if you need a gun that you’ll only use for concealed carry.

Only those who truly need a really tiny gun will find that the Glock 48 isn’t quite right for them. Most people don’t need as small a gun of a gun as they think. But if you need really deep concealment, you may need a smaller piece than the Glock 48.

Everyone else should have a look at the Glock 48, though. It may not be the gun that you settle on in the end. But you should definitely give the Glock 48 a try, especially if you’re in the market for a super versatile gun.