Glock 48: It’s Like the G19 and G43 Had a Baby — What’s it’s Purpose?

The Glock 19 has been one of my favorite work guns for years. Our road deputies carry Glock 17s and anyone not in the patrol unit carries 19s. I also carry a Glock 43 frequently when off duty because they are compact and reliable. Glock has been producing the G48 for a few years now and lately, they have been gaining more traction. When I first saw the Glock 48, I thought it looked like the G19 and G43 had a child. The overall frame is the same size as the G19, but thinner like the G43. In fact, you can take the slide off the Glock 48 and place it on the 43, making a short handle with a long slide.

Glock 48 handgun
The Glock 48 is a perfect size for those wanting a mixture of a CCW and a full-size weapon.

The Glock 48 looks like the G19 was placed in a press and smashed to make it thinner. So, is there any purpose to having a gun like this? I have been carrying one for a while and put a lot of ammo down range with it. I have grown to love this gun and have one issue with it that I will talk about below. Here is what I thought about the Glock 48 and why I have chosen to start carrying one regularly.

Accessories for the Glock 48?

One of the frustrating things with multiple variations of guns is the lack of accessories for them. Because the Glock 48 is the same frame as the G43X, there are 50-round Pro-mag drums, and extended mags from places like ETS and Shield Arms. Holsters from companies like Black Hawk, Safariland, and Bravo Concealment are easy to find for outside-the-waist and inside-the-waist versions.  Along with holsters, there are also plenty of options for sights, pins, triggers, and such for those wanting a customized look.

Benefits of the Glock 48

This is one of the thinnest guns I’ve carried. Because it is identical to the Glock 19, but thinner, it is a perfect mixture of a full-size and a compact gun. If you have Andre the Giant hands, this thing may feel too thin for you, but for medium to small hands, it’s perfect. The grip is not as thin as the Glock 43, but much thinner than the Glock 19. For me, it’s the best of both worlds. When Glock designed the G48, they were trying to make a gun that had the grip length of a compact gun but a longer barrel and slide to give it good balance and control.

The Glock 48 has the same base as the G43X but also has a slide the length of the Glock 19.

While the size of the G48 is comfortable for me to shoot, its size when holstered is what made me appreciate it. By looking at the difference in thickness between the two, you wouldn’t think there would be much difference when carrying it. The G48 makes a big difference, though, when it’s in a shoulder holster, outside the waist, or inside the waist. I have become accustomed to carrying the G19 on duty and the G43 off duty because the G43 is more comfortable for inside the waist carry. With the G48, I can do it all and it’s not uncomfortable.

What I Don’t Like About the G48

I have said for a long time that Glock makes some of the best magazines on the planet. They have set a standard that others are using in their guns. You could even say that Glock mags are becoming the equivalent of the AR-15 mag for handguns. Well, Glock double-stack mags anyway, not single-stack. The Glock 48 uses a single stack mag which means it doesn’t hold very many bullets. If I’m going to carry a gun that has the same barrel length and height as the Glock 19, more rounds would be desirable.

handguns on a table with cartridges scattered
The Glock 48 is a perfect mix of the Glock 43 and 19, making it perfect for everyday carry.

Part of what makes Glock mags cheap to produce, yet durable, is the metal-reinforced polymer they are made from. But this also makes them thicker than solid metal mags. I don’t want to carry an extended mag that sticks out the end of the grip just to get a few more rounds, so I turned to an after-market mag. Shield Arms makes a mag (which I will review in a separate article) that can hold 15 rounds compared to Glock’s 10. This is a big difference in ammo for a mag that is the same size. It doesn’t stick out of the mag well, but because it is metal, they can make it thinner. This allows for the bullets to stagger some and hold more overall.


The Glock 48 is thin like the 43X but longer like the 19. With an aftermarket mag, it can hold the same amount of ammo as the G19 but is lighter. After heading to the range with it, I couldn’t tell any difference in accuracy between the G48 and G19. The recoil is a little stronger on the G48 but not by much. I carry the 48 in a shoulder holster because of how thin it is. I can easily cover it with a jacket or button-up shirt without any bulge in the clothing.

Glock 43 with a Glock 48 slide
If you really want a short handle with a long slide, you can place the slide of a Glock 48 on the frame of the Glock 43.

Another bonus with the G48 is that it can be used to make other weapon configurations. If you already have a Glock 43, don’t buy the 43X, buy the 48. The Glock 43 and 43X have the same slide, and the Glock 48 has the same frame as the 43X. So, if you have a G43 and a G48, you can make a G43X.

What is even more strange is that the G48 slide will fit on the G43 frame. Some have nicknamed this the Glock 45 1/2. If you haven’t looked at the Glock 48, I would check it out and see if it could be the right fit for you.

Sheriff Jason Mosher is a law enforcement generalist instructor as well as a firearms and tactical weapons trainer. Jason graduated from the FBI-LEEDA (Law Enforcement Executive Development Association) and serves as a Sheriff for his day job. When he’s not working, he’s on the range, eating steak, or watching Yellowstone.

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