Glock Rises With the 43X and 48
Glock isn’t big on making significant changes to their product line and their new guns are never revolutionary. They are predictable, or at least you know what you are getting with a new Glock. Following in the heels of the superbly popular Glock 19X is the 43X and the entirely new Glock 48. These new designs are a step away from the duty world and step into the concealed carry market. There are a few surprising facts about these guns and one that is somewhat disappointing.
The Glock 43X is the Glock 43 with an extended grip, which is roughly the same length as the Glock 19. The shorter barrel and slides make for a more compact and lighter weapon. The longer grip offers higher capacity and more control over the Slickgun. The X configuration seems to be the go-to for shorter slide and longer grip.
The Glock 48 features the same length grip as the Glock 43, but a longer slide and barrel. The Glock 48 is a Glock 19 in a slimmer single stack package. What’s the point? Well, the Glock 19’s dimensions are widely considered the gold standard in size versus effectiveness for a concealed carry weapon. The thinner grip, however, makes the Slickgun easier to control and more comfortable to conceal. In ban states the Glock 19 becomes inefficient due to the ten round capacity, so you can cut weight and size without reducing capacity for these states anyway.
In hand, both Glock pistols feel very comfortable. They lack those horrid Gen 3 and 4 finger grooves, and their thin design is pleasant. The grip is long enough to accommodate my large hands. At SHOT 2019’s range day, the longer grip meant increased control and a more comfortable experience. There is no rough hand slap and you have enough grip so that the Slickgun doesn’t shift every shot. The grip is slightly wider, and I mean just barely. According to Glock the Glock 43 is 1.02 inches wide, and the Glock 43X and 48 have a width of 1.10 inches.
The 43X and the 48 share the same frame, so the 48’s slide hangs over the frame just slightly. These guns will come with standard Glock sights, but there are plenty of aftermarket options to swap those out.
The Glock 43X and Glock 48 both feature the generation 5 Marksman barrel design for enhanced accuracy. Now I couldn’t set up a Ransom rest and measure groups, but I found both guns to be accurate. At range day I had no issues striking the steel targets, even with those stock Glock sights. The weapons are easy handling when it comes to tossing lead down range, and I believe they would be an excellent choice for new concealed carriers. Much better than pocket pistols which I find to be challenging to shoot, especially for new shooters.
The new Glock pistols seem to be a great compromise between concealment and control, better so than the standard Glock 19.
If I had to describe the guns in one word, especially the G48, it would be lithe. It’s thin, comfortable and fluid.
The Good and the Bad
Let’s get the good out of the way. What I found interesting is Glock using a silver nPVD finish instead of the traditional black tennifer coating. This finish makes the guns more attractive, and to some new shooters, this will make the weapons stand out. Black is great, but we can’t pretend looks don’t matter. If looks didn’t matter we wouldn’t have cerakote, duracoat, hydro dipping, wraps, etc.
Additionally, Glock added front slide serrations. I don’t use front serrations, but it seems like enough people like them for Glock to take notice. When handling the Glock 43X, I did notice the front slide serrations on Slickgun are short and close to the barrel. It may be tricky using the serrations to cock the weapon without flagging yourself.
The bad comes down to the magazines. The Glock 43 will not accept the slightly wider Glock 43X and 48 magazines. That’s a bit upsetting because this may completely write off the extended Glock 43 magazines from companies like ETS in the Glock 43X and 48. Additionally, there is also the question if magazine baseplates for the 43 will work with the 43X or 48. Glock reps couldn’t answer the last question, and I doubt they care much about aftermarket Glock parts.
What do I want To See?
I’d love to see either of these guns in a MOS configuration or better yet just a mounted Shield RMS. The Shield RMS sights are the smallest, lightest and most compact red dots on the market. I’d like to see a red dot ready Glock 43X. With a red dot sight, the short sight radius wouldn’t be an issue for accurate shooting. I’m also a growing fan of red dots on pistols, so my bias is also present.
These new Glock seem to have the community torn, but Glock seems to do that with every new release. I see a place for them in the concealed carry market. They may not be for me, but I don’t doubt that a market exists for these guns.
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