Glock 43 vs 43X: a Face-Off

What’s the difference between the Glock 43 vs 43X? How are they the same and how are they different? Are the 43 and 43X slides identical? What about upgrades and extendo mags? Let’s clear up some confusion with a couple of reviews and a look at some accessories.

This Mag Life collaboration was begun by David Higginbotham. Editor and contributor: David Reeder, Other contributors: Stephanie Kimmell, Kat Ainsworth, Travis Pike. If you would like to suggest something that should be added to this lineup, please sound off in the comments below or email us: [email protected].

Glock 43 vs 43X: A Face-Off

Kat Ainsworth (January 2021)

What is the difference between the Glock 43 vs 43X? How are they the same? Are the 43 and 43X slides identical?

Glock’s model-naming habits can be confusing. After all, there’s no correlation between the model number and the gun’s size or caliber, i.e. a “Glock 9” is a Glock 9mm, but which one? And a Glock 45 is…well, is it a Glock chambered in .45 ACP, or the model G45?

Unless you have their patent numbers memorized you’re out of luck understanding the process.

Then there are guns like the 43 and 43X which sound like they must be basically the same model and are not. Why does the 43X simply have an “X” added to its designation?

Let’s clear up some confusion, at least on these two models, with a quick tutorial on two popular guns from the polymer pistol giant’s product line.

Glock 43

Glock 43. How is the Glock 43 different from the Glock 43X?
Glock 43. Photo: Glock.

When the Glock 43 was officially launched in 2015 it was met with immense excitement. For years the gun public had asked when a single-stack 9mm would come from Glock and it was finally here. At the NRAAM 2015 Glock 43 media launch party, the range was festooned with G43 stickers, banners, and signs. The company had provided everything from shorts to lanyards celebrating the single-stack pistol. Overall there was an air of excitement in the gun media over the unveiling of something unique and truly new from Glock. For gun owners everywhere there was curiosity—that and purchases made sight and touch—unseen.

The G43 is far smaller than the popular compact G19. Since both are 9mms made by Glock for concealed carry they’re a decent initial side-by-side comparison to make, so here it is:

Model G19 G43
Caliber 9x19mm 9x19mm
Capacity 15 (standard) 6 (standard)
Barrel Length 4.02 inches 3.41 inches
Overall Length 7.36 inches 6.26 inches
Slide Length 6.85 inches 6.06 inches
Slide Width 1.0 inch 0.87 inches
Height (with magazine) 5.04 inches 4.25 inches
Line of Sight 6.02 inches (polymer) 5.24 inches (polymer)
Trigger Distance 2.80 inches 2.56 inches
Weight (empty) 23.63 ounces 17.99 ounces

For a lot of gun owners, the G43’s diminutive frame makes it a good choice for concealed carry. Unlike the G19 its grip doesn’t throw the gun off balance when it’s loaded and holstered. It is 100 percent true to say it is well-suited to concealment.

It’s also accurate to say the G43’s narrow frame and short grip can make it more challenging to shoot well.

Yes, this gun is great if you have tiny hands, but with larger hands, it can be frustrating. All guns do not fit all shooters. Our hand sizes and finger lengths are different. Using a gun that is properly fitted to your hands and fingers is more important than you might realize. Just because a gun is lauded in the gun world as the greatest blaster since the M1911 won twelve world wars doesn’t mean it’s the best gun for you, specifically. Take the time to try out guns and check fit prior to buying them.

The good news is it isn’t impossible to practice on any and all guns to improve your skills with them. Putting effort into your training is always a good idea and it can make tiny little pistols easier to run accurately. Some guns will always be tougher for you to fire precisely compared to others, but there’s always room for improvement.

Glock 43 vs 43X - five-yard shot on Three of Hearts card.
Five shots from five yards with no timer: you can get a single-hole group from the G43 but it tends to take more time and care than with the G43X. That, and there always seems to be at least one flyer. Photo: Kat Ainsworth Stevens.

Glock 43 Pros:

On the range, the G43 behaves exactly as expected by consistently cycling all manner of ammunition and generally producing good groups. It is not as precise as some Glocks but it’s generally accurate.

The G43 can be easily concealed in a wide variety of clothing and its lighter weight also means it won’t tip over or drag down shorts or yoga pants. Depending on your body shape it can also perform nicely for times when deep concealment is a must in non-permissive environments.

It’s reliable, accurate, highly concealable, and chambered in a capable defensive caliber.

Glock 43 Cons:

Although it isn’t as small as some, this is still a tiny gun. It may not fit your hands well and might be best left as a Back-Up Gun (BUG) or summertime Every Day Carry (EDC).

When it comes to accuracy the G43 doesn’t cut it as a precise pistol so if you’re looking for mind-blowing performance from your carry gun, this isn’t the gun for you. Whether your EDC needs to be beautifully precise is a matter of some debate.

Finally, the G43 only holds 6 rounds in a standard magazine. That isn’t much mag capacity and may be enough to make you balk from carrying it. If you opt to carry spare mags make sure you are spending time working on your mag changes. Speed matters.

Glock 43X

Glock 43X G43X
Glock 43X. Photo: Glock.

The G43X hit the market in 2019 as part of Glock’s then-new Slimline product line (and another example of that company’s “crossover pistol” style). Not to be mistaken with single-stacks like the G43, Slimlines are staggered and neither single nor double-stacks. The result is a narrow gun than the double-stacks but one with more capacity than your average single. It’s a sub-compact pistol made to up the gun owner’s concealed carry game while delivering Gen 5 precision.

Thanks to their similar model names and not dissimilar purposes it’s a good idea to check out the Glock 43 vs 43X specs side-by-side. We’ll list them both here so you don’t need to scroll back and forth to compare dimensions:

Model G43 G43X
Caliber 9x19mm 9x19mm
Capacity 6 (standard) 10 (standard)
Barrel Length 3.41 inches 3.41 inches
Overall Length 6.26 inches 6.50 inches
Slide Length 6.06 inches 6.06 inches
Slide Width 1.06 inches 0.87 inches
Height (with magazine) 4.25 inches 5.04 inches
Line of Sight 5.24 inches (polymer) 5.24 inches (polymer)
Trigger Distance 2.56 inches 2.64 inches
Weight (empty) 17.99 ounces 18.70 ounces

Based on dimensions you can see the G43X is slightly larger than the G43, but does it matter? Do tenths of an inch here and there make a difference?

In short, yes. The additional three-quarters-of-an-inch on height gives your fingers more space to fully grip the gun, the hairs-breadth greater trigger distance gives longer fingers a better trigger pull, and the bit of extra weight adds balance.

G43x ten-yard shot group
Ten shots plus one chambered for 11 shots from ten yards at a steady pace. The G43X is a solid performer. Photo: Kat Ainsworth Stevens.

The slightly larger size of the G43X makes it a significantly better fit for larger hands.

That alone is enough to recommend it to many shooters but when you add in its Gen 5 parts it becomes the clear winner. The G43X has generation updates like a match-grade Glock Marksman Barrel, reversible magazine catch, and front slide serrations. The slide stop lever is also ambidextrous, the mag well is flared, and mags have enlarged floor plates. Overall there are 20 design changes to Gen 5 Glocks and the 43X benefits from them all.

Glock 43 vs 43X, The additional height on the G43X is just right to make the gun a good fit for larger hands.
The additional height on the G43X is just right to make the gun a good fit for larger hands. Photo: Kat Ainsworth Stevens.

Glock 43X Pros:

This a model of Glock that fits a wider range of hand sizes than most models manage to achieve. Its Slimline frame helps it hit that sweet spot and its design is stellar.

On the range the G43X cycles all weights of 9mm well. As for accuracy, this pistol isn’t just accurate—it’s precise. Groups produced with multiple brands of ammunition are nothing short of sexy.

It can be concealed in everything from cargo pants to skinny jeans with tank tops. The G43X is a well-designed, fantastically executed model.

Glock 43X Cons:

If you have truly large hands, the G43X might still be too small for you. It also has a barrel length that matches the G43’s barrel length which does affect its balance somewhat.

The 10-round mag capacity isn’t bad but also isn’t the 15 or 17 rounds many gun owners prefer. Worrying about a mag change when your life is on the line does add a layer of stress, after all. (Maybe go check out the ETS 19-round or ProMag 50-round drum magazine over at the store.)

Its additional height over the G43 means it isn’t as good for deep concealment and makes it a less perfect fit for smaller-framed carriers.

Glock 43 vs 43X; Glock 43X vs 43
The face-off: Glock 43 vs 43X. Photo: Clinger Holsters.

And the Glock 43 vs 43X Winner is…

Unpopular opinion: there is no winner.

Both the G43 and G43X fulfill a niche and work well for different gun owners. No, the G43 is not obsolete. We all have varying hand sizes, skill levels, and concealment needs so one gun does not rule them all. It comes down to personal preferences, so while it would be easy to state the G43X is a superior pistol due to its single, ragged-hole five-shot groups in my hands—the same may not be true for you.

These guns are not interchangeable.

The slide of the G43 is not the same as the G43X and their holsters are not interchangeable (neither are their magazines).

The G43 is technically a Gen 4 and the G43X is a Gen 5, so their internal and external parts and features vary quite a bit.

If your hands are smaller or you need a pistol for deep concealment the G43 may be a nice fit for you; if your hands are larger and you’re in the market for a good EDC, the G43X might be best.

Figure out what you require from your concealed carry gun and try out the options before buying. Maybe the G43 will help you conceal where most others fail; maybe the G43X’s added precision makes up for its slightly larger size.

Whichever Glock you choose, train. Train as though your life depends on it.

G43X ETS Mags — (And Why Extendos Work)

Travis Pike (August 2021)

Another day, another Glock and another aftermarket company popping out Glock magazines. That’s not a complaint, just an observation. I think more mags and more Glocks are better than fewer Glocks and fewer mags. The late series of centerfire Glocks includes the G43X and G48 single stack firearms. The latest magazine to hit the streets is the G48 and G43X ETS Mags.

ETS made its name by producing affordable magazines for various platforms. They often provided extended magazine options for firearms that don’t traditionally have extendos as options. My G43X ETS Mags are just that, extended magazines for a single stack concealed carry piece.

red G43X ETS magazine
Looking to pack some extra lead? ETS Glock mags are good range-time options. 

Today we will be talking about G43X ETS magazines and why an extendo magazine makes sense for even the smallest of carry guns.

Breaking Down the G43X ETS Mags

The G48 slash G43X ETS Mags deliver 19 rounds of 9mm in a very curious and interesting magazine design. At the top, we get the single stack design we know and love from the G43X and G48 pistols, as the magazine reaches the portion where it extends from the grip. From there, it becomes more like a traditional double stack.

This single stack to double stack model isn’t that rare; it’s the same way Sig Sauer and Springfield Armory fit so many rounds in their compact magazines. It’s a bit odd to see the same thing applied to an extendo, but we know it’s effective.

G43X ETS Mag, red, loaded with 9mm ammunition
Big, red, translucent, and it packs 19 rounds.

From tip to butt, the G43X magazines measure out to 6 and 3/4s inches. The magazine extends 2 and 7/8 inches below the grip itself. The design allows capacity to nearly be doubled without having to double the length of the magazine itself. ETS designed the magazine with great efficiency.

As always, the magazines are made from an advanced polymer blend that’s resistant to cracking and breaking. It’s also resistant to chemicals and UV light. Unlike Glock OEM magazines, the ETS mags lack an internal layer of metal. This makes them non-magnetic in general, so they won’t work with NeoMag devices.

Oh, and they are clearly translucent. (Get it?) They come in clear and party time red.

Durability Testing —Do these things work?

That’s the big question most of you have. If you plan to use the G48 and G43X ETS magazines for anything beyond plinking, they need to be reliable and durable. I set out to find how much abuse one could take.

drop test of G43X ETS magazine
Let’s drop this big thing on a cinder block and see what happens.

First, I dropped it unloaded—just let it clack to the ground from shoulder height on a variety of surfaces. This included hard limestone ground, sand, and concrete bricks. I let it fall from the gun and dropped it on its sides and on its feed lips.

red Glock 43X ETS mag and 9mm cartridges after drop test
I dropped it so many times one of the bullets had some setback in the casing.

From there, I loaded the G43X ETS magazine with 19 rounds of brass-cased 9mm and repeated the tests with a loaded magazine. I remember some of the first-generation Glock ETS magazines would eject a ton if not all their rounds when dropped.

Glock 43X ETX mag loaded with 9mm after dropped on sand
Sand is pretty brutal on anything gun-related.

Luckily that issue has been seemingly solved with the latest generations of ETS magazines, including these G48 and G43X ETS mags. I dropped it on its side, bottom, and tip, and only a single round would eject when the fully loaded mag hit the deck.

Shoot, Shoot, Shoot

After I dropped it, exposed it to sand, and generally beat the hell out of it, I figured it was time to see if the dang thing still cycled without issue. I popped it in the G43X, held my breath, and proceeded to squeeze the trigger as fast as possible.

Each and every round cycled without a single issue. The magazine-fed, so I decided to start the entire durability test over again. I dropped it, and dropped it, and loaded it, then dropped it again. By now, enough sand had squeezed itself in the magazine that it rattled around, and I felt the friction as I slid round after round into the gun.

shooting Glock 43x after drop-testing ETS mags in sand
Let’s shoot, shoot, shoot with the ETS magazines.

The follower ground along, and admittedly I felt more resistance as I loaded it. However, it loaded the 19 rounds without issue, and I let it loose once more. 18 of the 19 rounds fed, fired, and ejected without issue. The 19th didn’t raise quite high enough for the slide to catch it.

I gave the mag a healthy slap, the follower slammed upwards, and the final round fed and fired.

Is This Realistic?

My durability testing is a bit atypical and not necessarily realistic, but it proves the magazine can take some abuse and still function rather well. Like most things, it can’t eat a healthy diet of sand and limestone and be expected to function.

Glock 43X loaded with red ETX extended magazine, OEM magazine, and G43X magazine with Tyrant Designs magazine extension
The G43X has a surprising amount of magazine options.

I stripped the magazine down and gave it a good wash with water to clean the sand out and let it dry. Unlike Glock OEM magazines, it’s not a hassle to take apart by any means. After it was cleaned and dried, I loaded it up with 19 rounds and fired a final string. It fled flawlessly once the sand was liberated like an oil-bearing middle eastern country.

Why an extendo for a concealed carry gun?

Here is the big question. What’s the practical purpose of an extendo like these G43X ETS magazines? There are lots of reasons for extendos. Number one, this is America, so if I want, I should have it. Second, extendos are just fun to shoot with. Neither of those reasons is necessarily practical, though.

Glock 43X with ETS extended magazine
It extends a few inches below the grip, so it’s not exactly suitable for concealed carry.

You don’t need a practical reason to own a G48 or G43X ETS magazine, but I can give you some. As always, more bullets are better than fewer bullets, especially when your firearm has tasks beyond concealed carry. For some people, one gun is all they have. It pulls double duty for concealed carry, home defense, and beyond.

In the home defense role, the 19 round G43X ETS magazine offers a heckuva lot of rounds for defensive purposes. The more you have in the gun, the better for home defense. Packing a reload isn’t likely when something goes bump in the night and a 19 round magazine grants you a good bit more firepower.

G43x ETS magazine
19 rounds beats the hell out of 10 rounds for defensive use.

Road Trippin’

Beyond home defense, an extended magazine like the G43X ETS magazine packs a punch for traveling. A long road trip will have you packing your G43X with its standard 10 round magazine but having an extended option for emergencies is far from crazy. When you spend the night in hotels and such a 19 round magazine opens up your defensive capabilities.

Glock 43X magazines: OEM, OEM with Tyrant Designs mag extension, and red ETX extended 19-round magazine.
10, 14, and 19 rounds give the G43X lots of options.

Packing on the Rounds

The G48 and G43X ETS magazine is an awesome option for topping off your mag with a few extra rounds. A few extra being 9, or almost double the OEM magazine capacity. These mags can take a healthy amount of abuse and keep click-clacking, although be aware everything might need a little TLC here and there.

If you want to exercise your freedom, packing a few extra rounds for defensive purposes, or just reduce the need to reload, then G43X ETS mags keep you covered. Literally, they allow you to lay down cover fire if necessary.

ETS Extended Glock magazines

Tyrant Designs Magwell — Glock 43X/48 Edition

Travis Pike (July 2021)

I’m not a huge Glock fan. I respect them as well-made firearms that are simple, reliable, and easy to use. What I really love about the Glock series of pistols is their inherent modularity. You can take a Glock and upgrade it to the moon and back. I recently got my hands on a Glock 43X and made some upgrades, including the Tyrant Designs magwell.

Glock 43X with Tyrant Designs magwell.
The TD Magwell adds a little extra length and width, but not much.

Magwells are pretty simple. They act like a funnel attached to the bottom of your grip, allowing for faster and more intuitive reloads. That’s the idea anyway. Like most things, especially in the gun world, sometimes they suck. Some magwells exist to funnel money from your pockets, not magazines, into your gun. Let’s find out if the Tyrant Designs magwell is worth the price of admission.

Breaking down the Tyrant Designs Magwell

My initial skepticism of the Tyrant Designs Magwell comes from the fact that it’s designed for a concealed carry firearm. Magwells often find a home on full-sized guns designed for competition, or maybe duty use. A magwell on a concealed carry pistol might be nothing more than a slick ornament with a pretty color.

Glock 43X with Tyrant Designs magwell.
The TD Magwell matches the Glock’s black frame perfectly.

Speaking of pretty colors, you can get your Tyrant Designs magwell in a wide variety of colors. Red, blue, grey, gold, aluminum, and black. I went with black. I’m not a big fan of bright colors on carry guns, and black matches the frame. Tyrant Designs mills these bad boys from aluminum and anodizes the finish onto the magwell.

Tyrant Designs magwell, black, underside
It’s a fat-mouth lady looking for love.

Tyrant Designs claims the magwell will work with factory magazines with extensions, the Shield 15 magazines, and other aftermarket options. I can confirm they work with stock OEM magazines, magazines with Tyrant Designs extensions, and ETS Glock 43X/48 magazines without issue.

The Tyrant Designs Magwell adds just a little extra length to your pistol. At its longest point, the Tyrant Designs Magwell adds about a quarter-inch to the length of the grip. That extra quarter-inch does provide my big hands a nice little pinky rest, so I don’t necessarily hate the extra length. Weight-wise my scale reads it off as .40 of an ounce total.

Installing the Tyrant Designs Magwell

According to Tyrant Designs, their installation method is patented, and I could see why. It’s stupid simple and takes no time or effort. In the back, a screw fits into a soft grip plug. Loosen the screw from the plug with just a few rotations and then slide the plug into the hole and the magwell over the grip.

Tyrant Designs G43X magwell, ready for installation
The install takes no time or effort.

Tighten the screw down, and you’re done. I expected more drama. Rarely do I find something advertised as easy to actually be easy. However, I’ve put it on, taken it off, put it on again, taken it off again, and it’s a non-issue. It pops on and off without any drama.

TD mag well on G43X
The TD Magwell acts as a minor pinky extension as well.

I tried my hardest to pry the Tyrant Designs Magwell off the bottom of my Glock 43X. I pried and pulled and fought with the damn thing to see if I could get it off the gun. It was yanked, pulled, pushed, and wiggled—and it never moved. The attachment system works well for being how simple it is.

Putting Work In

So is the Tyrant Designs Magwell worth a spit? Or does it just look cool? Well, to find out, I needed to get some reloads in. We grabbed a few different magazines, some 9mm ammo, and hit the ground running. A NeoMag was used for each reload and a shot timer for objective data.

G43x with tyrant designs magwell, OEM magazine, extended magazine, and ETS magazine.
OEM Mags, Mags with extensions, and ETS mags all work perfectly with the TD Magwell.

I started with the magwell off and warmed up a bit with slow but practiced reloads. After I felt good with the NeoMag, I popped the shot timer on and began chasing time. After five reloads, I popped the magwell on and did five more reloads.

ETS Extended magazine in Tyrant Designs magwell installed in Glock 43X
The Tyrant Designs magwell works without issue with ETS Extended magazines.

Every five reloads, I swapped the configuration of the gun. As you warm up more and more, you are bound to get faster. If I did 20, no magwell reloads and then 20 magwell reloads, I could be faster with the magwell because I’ve already got twenty practice reloads in. Alternating having the magwell on and off allowed me to better gauge the speed of my reloads.

Averages Matter

After a few dozen reloads, I can comfortably declare that the Tyrant Designs magwell works and works well. When I averaged the times between reloads, it came down to a difference of almost three-quarters of a second in favor of the magwell. That seems like a Scott Bakula-style quantum leap, but the average is skewered.

The skewered average comes from a few fumbled reloads without the Tyrant Designs magwell. I’d slap the side of the Glock’s magazine well and goof up my reload. When the Tyrant Designs magwell was locked into place, I could goof it up, but the magwell funneled the magazine into the gun without causing me to slow down significantly.

faster reload with upgraded magazine well
Reloading is faster and more intuitive with an enlarged magwell.

If I wasn’t a goof, it wouldn’t matter, right? Well, everyone goofs up, and if something can help you reduce your human error, it might make the juice worth the squeeze. That’s why I like magazines that hold as many rounds as possible, it’s why I like red dots, and why I like compensators. These increase my ability to succeed.

What’s the best time I could accomplish outside of a somewhat skewed average? Well, I got those numbers too. Without the magwell, I had a hard time breaking the 2.5 second mark, with a 2.42 being my absolute fastest.

reloading Glock 43X into Tyrant Designs magwell.
The Tyrant Designs magwell not only trims time off your reloads, but helps eliminate human error.

My overall fastest time with the Tyrant Designs magwell in place was 2.29 seconds, with the median in the 2.35-second range. Shaving off a little more than a tenth of a second is nice, but reducing human error is where I see the biggest benefit. I like that it can help compensate for my own faults and failures.

The Human Error

The Tyrant Designs magwell doesn’t suck, or even kind of suck. It’s a functional addition to your Glock 43X or Glock 48 pistol. If you want to speed up your reloads while reducing human error, then this simple addition can surely help. Popping it on takes no time at all, and while it adds a little length and weight, it won’t compromise concealment. (It also adds a nice edge to a pistol-whipping, just saying.)

Tyrant Designs magwell and magazine extension on Glock 43X / Glock 48
Chest out a Tyrant Designs mag extension for a few extra rounds.

Tyrant Designs also produces magazine extensions, baseplates, extended slide stops, and more for your Glock 43X and Glock pistol. 

Does a magwell strike your fancy? Would you stick one on your concealed carry gun? If so, let us know below. Share your thoughts on the subject.

First Shots with a Glock 48

Kat Ainsworth (July 2021)

The Glock 48 is the pistol many gun owners have been waiting on for some time. It’s a Slimline 9mm — not technically a single-stack, but close to it — sized to more comfortably fit a wider range of shooter’s hands and maintain the expectations of Glock durability. The gun officially launched in 2019 alongside the Glock 43X, which is slightly shorter, and has ended up with a lot of fans. In this video, the guys at Practically Tactical take their first shots with a two-tone Glock 48 and offer their first impressions.

Glock 48 review, Nick and Jeff of Practically Tactical
Nick and Jeff of Practically Tactical talk about the Glock 48. (Photo Credit: Practically Tactical)

Glock 48 Basics

Nick and Jeff get started discussing the general details and basic points of the Glock 48. They point out that its dimensions are similar to those of the Glock 19, just in Slimline width, and that Glock has a solid reputation backing it up.

This gun’s overall weight is 20.74 ounces empty and 25.12 ounces with the standard 10 +1 magazine loaded. While it was launched at the same time as the 43X, the 48 model has a slightly longer barrel (the 43X’s barrel length is 3.41 inches and the 48’s barrel is 4.17 inches long). That little bit of extra length is exactly what some shooters prefer, whether for balance or accuracy reasons.

Shooting Glock 48 for review
Love at first shot? You’ll have to watch the Practically Tactical video to find out. (Photo Credit: Practically Tactical)

First Shots

The Glock 48 delivers some things as expected, like the Glock factory trigger, but the ergonomics of the gun seem to fit many shooter’s hands better than the double-stack models do. The match-grade Marksman Barrel performs as promised by nailing tighter, more precise groups than many older generation Glocks. And if you’re at all disappointed in its 10 +1 capacity with the standard factory magazines there are other options out there including a truly extended 19 +1 capacity magazine from ETS. Tyrant Designs +4 magazine extensions are also an option for greater capacity without making the gun impossible to conceal.

Live Fire

One of the great things about the video is that you get to see not one but three shooters try out the Glock 48 for the first time. That means different hand sizes, varying stances, and a trio of opinions. Check out the video below:

Glock 48 for Concealed Carry?

There are quite a few upsides to using the Glock 48 as your EDC (EveryDay Carry), including:

  • Capacity
  • Concealability
  • Durability (Glocks are proven to be extremely tough guns.)
  • Caliber (9mm is pretty much the current gold standard for self-defense calibers.)
  • Precision (This gun isn’t only accurate, it’s beautifully precise.)
  • Longevity (You’ll get serious life out of the barrel.)
  • Ergonomics

Get Hands-On!

It’s always a good idea to get your own hands-on time with a gun. If at all possible, check out the Glock 48 as a rental at a range near you (or find a friend who has one you can run at the range). And if you don’t normally enjoy Glocks due to how thick they are, this one might surprise you. Try it out before you form an opinion, just like the guys at Practically Tactical did.

Glock 48 review by practically tactical
The Glock 48 has a lot of things to recommend it. (Photo Credit: Practically Tactical)

Glock 48 Specifications

  • Model: G48
  • Caliber: 9x19mm
  • Capacity: 10 +1 (standard capacity mag)
  • Overall Length: 7.28 inches
  • Overall Height: 5.04 inches
  • Overall Width: 1.10 inches
  • Slide Width: 0.87 inches
  • Line of Sight: 5.98 inches
  • Barrel Length: 4.17 inches
  • Trigger Distance: 2.64 inches
  • Weight: 20.74 ounces (empty)

Tyrant Designs Magazine Extension – Add +4 To Your G43X Mags

Travis Pike (July 2021)

Have you ever looked at your magazine and thought, this thing needs more rounds? Well, if so, then your options are pretty limited, and outside of bending time and space, you might want to consider a magazine extension. Tyrant Designs makes magazine extensions for several different handguns including the Glock 43X and Glock 48 series. I recently got my hands on a Glock 43X and immediately set out to fix Glock “Perfection.” One upgrade I dived into was a Tyrant Designs magazine extension.

Glock 43x with Tyrant Designs magazine extension
A little extra length, but it lets you tack four extra rounds to your mag — that makes it (at least in our opinion) a solid choice for Glock 48 or G43X accessory.

The Glock 43X offered me ten rounds of 9mm, but I’m greedy, so I wanted more, and I wanted it now! The Tyrant Designs magazine extension grants me +4 rounds. I’ve got near Glock 19 magazine capacity now, in a much smaller package.

The mag extension is made from aluminum, milled, and anodized in a wide variety of colors. Included with the Tyrant Designs magazine extension is a longer 10% power spring to accommodate the now longer magazine design.

Glock 43X with Tyrant Designs magazine extension
The Tyrant Designs Magazine Extension is made entirely from aluminum.

At first glance, the Tyrant Designs magazine extension is well crafted and beautifully milled. The scalloped sides and textured rear allow for an easy and sure grip. The color is evenly applied, and the grey really pops.

Tyrant Designs magazine extension…on a concealed carry gun?

Yeah, I know. At first glance, it doesn’t make much sense. Why would I want a long magazine for a concealed carry gun? Won’t it just give me a Glock 19 sized rear end with a Glock 43 sized front? Yes, in fact, it does.

However, I’m not carrying the Glock 43X with the Tyrant Designs Magazine extension.

I’m carrying the Glock 43X with a standard OEM 10 round magazine and packing my extended model as a backup magazine. I can toss this thing in a NeoMag, a belt-mounted magazine pouch, or pretty much any other practicable spare magazine carry option as a backup.

Tyrant Designs Glock 43X extended magazine in NeoMag in front pants pocket.
Boom, it’s easy to pocket with the right carrier.

I figure if crap hits the fan hard enough that I need to reload, I might as well reload with as much ammo as possible, right? Fourteen rounds give me the fighting power of a much larger gun, and I’ll likely never need it, but I feel comfortable having it.

Outside of the extra ammunition it offers, I do find the longer magazines easier to draw when compared to the shorter and thinner OEM mags. That hunk of metal that makes up the Tyrant Designs magazine extension serves as a great grip for reloading.

Who doesn’t want a little extra girth and width?

Tyrant Designs Glock 43x extended magazine length
The extra length and scalloped side provide a rock-solid grip.

The scalloped sides allow you to grip the magazine with a little slip-proof protection. They let you dig in nice and deep when gripping the magazine and allow you to spin it into action. My fat fingers have gripped a magazine minimally and sent it flying, and I gripped and ripped it. A little extra texture provides an awesome amount of grip to prevent people like me from being clumsy monkeys.

Installing the Tyrant Designs Mag Extension

I still hate the Glock magazine base plate system. Why do they make removing a baseplate so difficult? Every other magazine in the world comes apart with ease, but Glock magazines like to be difficult.

Anyway, once I removed that snug little bastard, I installed the Tyrant Designs magazine extension. It snapped on relatively easily. It stays in place via a spring-loaded plunger. This design makes taking it apart much simpler than the stock Glock method.

Tyrant Designs Glock 43X magazine extension, installed
Once installed you are ready to rock and roll.

The new +10% spring is a little tricky, but once you get a good grip on it, you can slide the magazine extension into place. Once locked in, the mag extension stays put and has zero wiggle to it. To remove it, press down on the plunger and press the magazine out.

Nothing too complicated, and you can easily revert back to an OEM stock magazine. OEM Glock magazines measure out to 4.25 inches, and the Tyrant Designs magazine extension measures out at about five and 3/16th inches.

Putting In the Work

We got our gun, our magazines, and our Tyrant Designs magazine extension in place. All that’s left is to hit the range and test my theory regarding this being a great spare mag option. I brought out my NeoMag spare mag holder and hit the reload work. Although, first, I needed to make sure the thing works.

Loaded down with some quality brass-cased Winchester White Box, I hit the ground running. I’ve been practicing some Jeff Cooper drills for an article I’m writing, and it seemed like a good time to see if the Tyrant Designs magazine extension worked. I needed to ensure it fed ammo reliably and didn’t degrade the boring nature of Glock reliability.

Travis Pike reloading Glock 43x with Tyrant designs magazine extension
Reload, Reload, Reload. See also: The Glock 43 vs. Glock 43X explained.

I ran through multiple incarnations of the Mozambique drill, the Dozier Drill, and the El Presidente without issue. The gun chugged along without issue and functioned just like it would normally. I was pleased by the mag extension’s performance and found it had zero effect on reliability.

Oh, and the Tyrant Designs magazine extension worked perfectly with the Tyrant Designs magwell. I mean, it better work, right? I was happy I didn’t need to remove the magwell to use the mag extension.

Glock 43X OEM magazine and Tyrant Designs magazine extension
One for the gun, one as a spare.

Every time I hit the reload button, the magazine dropped like a rock. That extra weight helps that mag pop out. I’d imagine in a serious malfunction situation, that extra grip area would make ripping the magazine out possible.

The Reload Theory

The magazine with Tyrant Designs Magazine extension works! It works exceptionally well and fires and functions reliably. How does it work as a spare magazine? Well, it actually works well. With the NeoMag, I worked with both the stock OEM 10 round magazine, and my Tyrant Designs enhanced magazine.

Tyrant Designs magazine extension for Glock 43X
Who doesn’t love an extra 4 rounds?

Without a doubt, the longer, magazine extension-equipped magazine works better for reloads. I can grab that thing like an animal and put it into action. The Tyrant Designs Magazine extension provides so much more gripping surface than the standard magazine. Better yet, the extra grip space makes it easy to retrieve and easy to slam home.

It’s almost an inch longer but conceals just as easily as the standard 10 round magazine. It disappears into my pocket without issue using the same NeoMag I use for my regular OEM magazine.

Glock 43X, magazine with Tyrant Designs extension, and knife for EDC
Gun, Knife, and Spare Mag make an EDC happy.

I think my theory has proven itself fruitful. The Tyrant Designs Glock 43 X magazine extension provides four more rounds and makes the magazine easier to retrieve and easier to reload. It’s a slight upgrade that gives you a little more go-juice when the fecal matter hits the fan. While we’re talking about Tyrant Designs, check out some of their other Glock 43X and Glock 48 gear, like the G48/G43X magwell, extended mag release, and universal 9mm T-comp compensator.

What do you guys think? Does a little extra ammo appeal to you? Let us know below.

G43X/48: Glock Slimline Mags and Accessories for Work and Pleasure

The Mag Life (January 2020)

What are the best Glock 43X upgrade options available? What Glock 48 accessories should you consider? Are there any non-OEM, i.e. factory, Glock 43 magazine, or Glock 48 magazine alternatives worth looking at? Let’s do the run-down on up-gunning your Glock Slimline pistol.

Glock 43X vs G48

Glock shook things up in the handgun/concealed-carry world when they debuted the Glock Slimline models at SHOT Show 2019. News of the Glock 43X and Glock 48 quickly had everyone talking as much about the company’s corporate strategy as the pistol models themselves.

Like the G19X before them, the G43X and G48 filled gaps in the Glock lineup. Basically, the G43X is a G43 with a longer grip and the G48 has a bit more barrel. And despite many early detractors, both weapons became, and remained, very popular. That popularity is why we’ll be discussing necessities, accessories, and upgrades in this article.

Why accessories and upgrades? Because almost anything can be improved.

Ask Col. Steve Austin, Dr. Emmett Brown, or Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor.

Glock 43X vs Glock 48
Contrasting the G43X and G48. This picture was taken by David Higginbotham at GLOCK’s booth during Industry Day on the Range, SHOT Show 2019. The consistent demand for both models has led to what might have been the inevitable development of Glock 43X upgrades and Glock 48 accessories.

Glock 43X and G48 Magazines

The G43X is basically a G43 with a longer grip (although there are other differences, q.v.). The initial OEM G48 / Glock 43X magazine offerings increased capacity to 10 rounds but still kept with the original G43’s single-stack design. However, those who were (or are) hoping for compatibility between the G43 and G43X a la G17 and G19 will be disappointed. A Glock 43X magazine will not fit a 43’s magazine well.

For those who want a bit more barrel but the same thin profile, there’s the 48. The overall length of the weapon is increased to just over 7 inches, but it remains just 1.1 in. wide.

43X and 48 mags
The slim profile of the 43X single-stack grip. It is for good reason they refer to these guns as the “Glock Slimline” series.

It will perhaps be a consolation to those who remain forlorn about the 43X vs. 43 disparity that the G48 does use the same 10 round magazines that the 43X does. Those who are looking for aftermarket options may be interested in the 19-round ETS magazine or the ProMag 50-round drum.

Three Glock 48 and Glock 43X magazine options, left to right: factory Glock 10-round, ETS 19-round, and the ProMag 50-round drum. (Images not to scale.)

Why would someone prefer one of these new guns over one of their predecessors?

Dave Higginbotham explains his rationale.

“I shot both [the Glock 43X and Glock48] at SHOT Show. I carried a Glock 42 for a couple of years and loved the recoil response of the bigger .380, but switched to a 43 for the additional firepower. However…the G43’s grip always felt small in my hand.

The Glock 43X fixes that for me. I can get an extra finger on the grip and the gun feels much more substantial in my hand. The Glock 48 is even better. It fits the hand and provides just a bit more length. For those of us on the larger side of the height spectrum, that extra length is no challenge to conceal.”

Glock 43 vs 43X
The 48 has a bit more slide than the 43X, but the same grip. Read additional analysis of the Glock 43X and Glock 48.

Did the 43X create as much controversy as the 19X did? Maybe not as much, but it was close. There were many folks who just couldn’t understand why Glock chose to marry the G17’s grip length with the G19’s shorter frame, but that gun has continued to sell well.

The much-reviled Glock 19X
Still controversial: the Glock 19X.

The 43X kicked off a similar debate, though there was never as much angst about the 48. One of the big questions was why Glock added capacity with length instead of moving toward a slime-line double-stack like some of the competition. Glock doesn’t have to answer for its actions, however. They’re Glock. They continue to provide the gold-standard for 9mm polymer pistols, and everyone else plays catch-up…though they increasingly have competition, particularly in the micro-compact arena.

Accessories vs. Upgrades: a note from the editor.

For this article, we will be making a distinction between accessories and upgrades. The purpose here is not to argue semantics, but to provide clarity. For the purposes of the items enumerated below, we’ll use these definitions.

Accessory: something you should have on your gun if at all possible. Finances, availability, holster availability, etc. may affect this.

Upgrade: something that does or arguably does improve the function, performance, handling, or aesthetics of your weapon. An extended slide release may be helpful because of your grip, a comp may help you shoot faster and/or flatter, but neither should come before a weapon light — at least not on a gun you intend to fight with. 

Glock Slimline Accessories

So what are the most important Glock 48 or Glock 43X accessories?

The absolute first accessory, add-on, or option that should be considered when it comes to a defensive pistol (vs. a handgun for hunting, for example) is a weapon-mounted light (WML).

First, let’s look at the lights.

Glock 43X/48 Weapon Light

For the 43X/48 it will typically be possible to add your light using the TLR-6 Universal Kit unless you have the railed version (barring the use of niche after-market products like the Recover Tactical Rail Adapter, q.v., that might be available)*.  In the latter case, you have the option of an Olight.

A 43X/48-specific light from Streamlight will be (as of this writing) available shortly, but in the meantime, one could easily make do (formerly make due) with one of the following:

Universal TLR-6 (SKU 69277). That particular model of WML is a light/laser combo that fits a wide variety of micro-compact frames.

  The 69278, a TLR-6 light/red laser for G42/G43 in FDE, is another option,

• So too is the 69270. The latter is the same device as the 69278 but in black.

Light Adaptor Rails

The early 43X and 48 did not have a Picatinny rail under the barrel, nor were they optic-ready. Later variants had the option of both. If your model does not have the rail, you’ll need to get an adapter rail so you can mount a weapon light. Here’s one option.

•Recover Tactical Rail Adapter for the G43, G43X, and G48.

A G48 without rail and WML on Recover Tactical Rail Adapter Kit
A rail-less G48 and WML: Olight mounted to Recover Tactical Rail Adapter Kit. Courtesy of u/tylarrrr on Reddit.

*There may be other options we’re not familiar with. If so, let us know in the comments below so everyone benefits.


Glock Slimline Upgrades

Glock 43X Red Dot Sight / Glock 48 RDS

In full disclosure, we should say that while most of The Mag Life crew believes an RDS to be of enormous benefit though not a necessity in the same way a weapon light is, there are those who believe it should be labeled a necessity. Particularly with micro-compacts like the G43X and G48.

As you can see from the available imagery, the addition of an RDS to a Slimline is a popular upgrade — but most of us feel it should come second to a WML.

Despite assertions that there is only one RDS available for the Glock Slimline, there are actually a handful of optics available for the series, and that number is steadily increasing.

Current options include:

More Glock 43X Upgrades / G48 Upgrades

Tyrant Designs offers a full range of handgun accessories, including these upgrades for your Glock 43X and Glock 48

This has been a collaborative effort by two or more members of The Mag Life contributor team: to wit, a JWOT (Joint Writing Operations Team). We'll advise which specific contributors in the text of the article. Subscribe to GunMag TV and follow GMW on Instagram, @gunmagwarehouse. Connect on Facebook, /gunmagwarehouse/.

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