GLOCK 43X vs 48: Mags for work and pleasure

Glock 43X mags and Glock 48 mags

GLOCK shook things up at SHOT Show 2019 with their news of the 43x and the 48. The two guns have everyone talking about GLOCK’s strategies. One thing is certain – they now have a gun for just about every size. From the full sized 17 to the compact 43, GLOCK knows 9mms. The G43X and G48, like the 19X before them, fill in those gaps. Here are more details of the Glock 43X vs 48.

Glock 43X vs Glock 48

The 43 and 48 from GLOCK’s booth during Industry Day on the Range, SHOT Show 2019. Note: this article originally ran in early February of 2019. With SHOT Show 2020 coming up fast, and the recent release of the Glock 44, we thought it apropos to run it again.


Glock 43X and 48 Magazines

The 43X is basically a GLOCK 43 with a longer grip. The GLOCK 43X and 48 magazines increase capacity to 10 rounds, but still keeps with the 43’s single-stack design. As such, the GLOCK 43 mags will be too short to fit.

For those who want a bit more barrel, too, but the same thin profile, there’s the 48. The overall length is increased to just over 7 inches, but it is only 1.1 inch wide. This 9mm uses the same 10 round magazine that the 43X uses.

EDITOR’S UPDATE: I originally assumed that the 43X mag would fit a normal 43 the way a G17 mag will work in a G19. It won’t. Several of you pointed out my error. I’ve actually tested this out now and have the details. The 43X mag won’t fit in the 43’s magazine well. It is a different width across the top. This suggests there’s more going on in the 43X that we’d originally thought. We’ll have more details soon.

43X and 48 mags

The slim profile of the 43X single-stack grip.

I shot both of these at SHOT Show. I carried a GLOCK 42 for a couple of years. I loved the recoil response of the bigger .380. I switched to a 43 for the additional firepower, but I’m a diehard GLOCK 19 fan, and the 43’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.

Will the 43X create as much controversy as the 19X did? There were a ton of folks who couldn’t understand why GLOCK would marry the 17’s grip length with the 19’s shorter frame, but the gun has continued to sell well.

The much-reviled Glock 19X

Still controversial: the Glock 19X.

The 43X kicked off a similar debate. 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, but GLOCK doesn’t have to answer for its actions. They’re GLOCK. This is still the gold-standard for the 9mm polymer pistol, and everyone else is playing catch-up.

GMW has 43X and 48 magazines available. And stay tuned, as some of the other magazine makers will be ramping up their 10-round single stacks soon.

Meantime, read more about the Glock 48 vs Glock 43X.

What do you suppose they’ll have for us at SHOT Show 2020



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David Higginbotham is a writer and editor who specializes in everyday carry. David is a former backcountry guide in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and Boundary Waters Canoe Area who was a college professor for 20 years. He ultimately left behind the academy for a more practical profession in the firearms industry and was (among other editorial positions) the Managing Editor for a nascent Mag Life blog. In that Higginbotham helped establish The Maglife’s tone and secure its early success. Though he went on to an even more practical firearms industry profession still, he continues to contribute articles and op-eds as time and life allow.