First Look: Hands-On Review of the Glock 43X and Glock 48 [VIDEO]

One of the first to get our hands on the Glock 43X and Glock 48 to do a detailed review after shooting 250 rounds through each of these 9mm pistols.

Glock43x Glock 48 Review

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the new Glock 43X and Glock 48 that was officially announced on Jan. 2, 2019. Right on cue, people jumped on social media platforms and gave their opinions on the gun before ever actually seeing, handling or shooting one. I’ll admit that I had my own opinions on both pistols when Glock announced them. At first glance, neither seemed like a pistol that would fit into my everyday carry setup. But I do like shiny new things, so I was looking forward to getting one to review.

I assumed the first hands-on time I would get with them would be at the upcoming Shot Show 2019. But luckily I was able to get my hands on them this week to review. While I wasn’t thrilled about adding more to my workload before heading out to Vegas this Sunday, I couldn’t turn down the offer to give the Glock 43X and Glock 48 a test run.

Initially, I was going to do separate reviews on each of these pistols, but they are so similar I decided to combine them both into one review. The difference being that the Glock 43X has a length similar to the Glock 43 and the Glock 48 has a length similar to a Glock 19.

I’m No Glock Fanboy nor a Glock Hater

First off, I’d like to say that I am not a Glock fanboy. But I’m also far from a Glock Hater. I currently carry a Glock 19 MOS and a Glock 43 depending on what I am wearing that day. But I just recently switched back to carrying a Glock in early 2018. Before that, I carried a Springfield Armory XD Mod.2. I’ll leave the reason for the switch for another article. The XD became my primary EDC since it was released back in 2014. Prior to switching to the XD, I carried a Glock 26, Glock 23 and a Taurus PT-140 which was my first carry gun until it broke at a weekend handgun training course.

I’m just stating this to show that I’m not married to a single manufacturer or gun. I own numerous Berettas and like shooting them to this day. I grew up shooting Berettas. The only pistols I remember my dad owning were Berettas and a cowboy gun, the model I can’t remember. I just don’t carry any of them or use them as my home defense pistols. They are nostalgic and fun to shoot at the range for me.

With that behind us, let’s get to the actual review. Here are the specs on both the Glock 43X and the Glock 48. I’m also adding some other popular pistols for comparison.

Glock 43X and Glock 48 Specifications with Comparisons

Glock 43x6.50 in.5.04 in.1.10 in.16.40 oz10+1
Glock 487.28 in.5.04 in.1.10 in.18.48 oz10+1
Glock 436.26 in.4.25 in.1.06 in.16.23 oz6+1
Glock 19 Gen 47.28 in.5.04 in.1.26 in.21.16 oz.15+1
XD-S Mod.2 9mm6.30 in.4.30 in.0.975 in.21.5 oz7+1
S&W M&P9 Shield6.10 in.4.60 in.0.95 in.20.8 oz.7+1
Sig P3655.80 in.4.40 in.1.00 in.17.8 oz10+1
* Weight unloaded
** Capacity with the standard non-extended magazine

Here are a few comparison pictures:

I didn’t have a Sig P365 to compare them to but check out Gun Talk’s Glock G43X vs. Sig P365 video here.

Expanding on the success of the Glock 42 .380 and the Glock 43 9mm, both the Glock 43X and the Glock 48 are single stack 9mm pistols. Glock is classifying them as their Silver Slimline series. Both have grip lengths that are the same as the Glock 19 compact. When I first saw the words “Glock 43X”, I thought this could be a Glock 43 with a longer barrel and slide which would have been interesting. But no, they went the route of the Glock 19X making the grip longer and keeping the barrel and slide the same for the 43X. For the Glock 48, it is basically a thinner, single stack Glock 19.

The silver nPVD coated slide and front serrations are the other two features that stand out. Whether or not they will offer the pistols in the usual all black finish remains to be seen. The sights on both guns I received are the standard factory polymer sights but they will be available with steel and night sights as well.

Glock 43X Glock 48 Grip Texture
The grip texture on the Glock 43X and 48 are less aggressive as the other models.
Glock 43X Glock 48 Grip Texture
Different angle showing the grip texture of the Glock 43X and 48 vs the Glock 19.

The grip texture is the same as the Glock 43 which has squares (or pyramids) that do not protrude as much as the textures on the Gen 4 and Gen 5 models. And while the Glock43X and Glock 48 are not Gen 5s, the magazines have the orange follower like the Gen 5 models. One thing I noticed is that the 43X does fit perfectly into the holsters I have for the Glock 43.

Glock 43X 48 Orange Magazine Follower

Glock 43X and Glock 48 Range Report

Whether or not I thought either of these pistols would fit into my concealed carry setup, I was still anxious to get to the range and shoot them. I arrived at the outdoor gun range closest to house right as they opened the morning after receiving them. I planned on shooting at least 250 rounds through each of them to see how they shot, check for malfunctions and see if actually shooting either of them would change my mind. Both of these pistols already had roughly 250 rounds shot through them.

Ammo Used For This Review

Glock 43X and Glock 48 Range Report

It was a relatively cold morning in Louisiana at about 40 degrees. My fingers were already hurting from a rough jiu-jitsu class the day before so loading 500 rounds into 10-round magazines wasn’t fun, to say the least.

But I enjoyed shooting both pistols. I’ll start by saying that I had zero malfunctions with the Glock 43X and the Glock 48. Both guns ran flawlessly and were more accurate than I am. I was quickly reminded of why I need to get to the gun range to train more often, one of my 2019 resolutions.

Did I like shooting the G43X and G48 over the G43? Yes. But for the same reasons I enjoy shooting my G19 more than my G43, it allows you to get a full grip. The Glock 48 also didn’t feel as snappy as the G43X with the smaller barrel. Interestingly, I seemed to shoot the G43X better than the 48. While I did enjoy shooting the 43X and the 48, I picked up my G19 with the Trijicon RMR Type 2 and quickly realized how much more I enjoyed shooting my preferred EDC. It just feels right to me.

Is the Glock 43X or Glock 48 Right For You?

So it boils down to a Glock 43 with a bigger grip (Glock 43X) and a single stack Glock 19 (Glock 48). As I said earlier, I didn’t think either of these would replace what I currently carry. The Glock 48 doesn’t have an accessory rail and seems to be too thin to get a red dot mounted to it so I wouldn’t trade out my Glock 19 for the Glock 48 simply to gain 4mm less width. I’m able to conceal my Glock 19 most of the time. And when I can’t, I carry my Glock 43. And I carry the 43 because the grip is what caused printing with my 19 in some wardrobe situations. So the 43X wouldn’t be of interest to me either.

But will I be buying one of these? Most likely. And here’s why.

Everyone had different wants and needs so what works for me may not work for the next person. My wife recently started shooting last year, and to my surprise, she really enjoys it. Out of all my pistols, she settled on the Springfield Armory XDs as the one that felt right for her. So I ran a quick test with her. I told her to hold my G19 to see how that feels. Then I let her hold the G48, and as I thought, she really liked how it felt. The single stack pistols just fit better in her small hands.

She doesn’t currently carry concealed but loves shooting at the range so I think the Glock 48 would be the perfect gun for her. She can get a full grip without the use of a pinky extension which in turn allows her to have more rounds. And the G48 gives her a longer barrel which won’t be as snappy as the short subcompact barrel. So with her birthday coming soon, I have a feeling Glock will be getting my money yet again.

The release date for the Glock 43X and Glock 48 is January 21, 2019.

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Luke McCoy is the founder of USA Carry. In 2007, he launched USA Carry to provide concealed carry information and a community for those with concealed carry permits and firearm enthusiasts.
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