Glock 48: Glock's 11-Round Alternative


By: Dr. Martin D. Topper


It may take years for the Supreme Court to determine if State limits on gun magazine capacity are Constitutional.  Until then, if you live in a State which restricts the ownership of centerfire pistol magazines to ten rounds there are two primary methods of complying with the law.  Use double column magazines that are blocked so they only hold ten rounds, or buy a gun that uses magazines holding ten rounds or less. For those who choose the latter course, Glock's new 9mm Luger Compact Model 48 (Glock 48) may just be the answer, especially if the buyer needs to conceal a pistol under light clothing or has small hands. That's because the Glock 48 is very similar in overall size to the well-respected Glock 19, except that its grip is .16" smaller in circumference and its trigger reach is .16" shorter.  The combined effect of these seemingly slight differences makes a big difference for concealment and controlling recoil and trigger press.


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Glock 48 Profile

The Glock 48 has a handsome appearance with its Gray nPVD finished slide and black polymer frame.


In addition, the G48 is very well-made and attractive.  When I took this pistol apart and examined it on my workbench its slide required only moderate pressure to cycle and it disassembled easier than any other Glock I've owned.  The ease of cycling and disassembly may be due to the fact that its dual recoil springs are shorter than the forward section of the slide.  I had to look twice at the recoil assembly because it's nearly a dead-ringer for the one in my Glock 43.  As always, be careful to be sure the gun is absolutely unloaded before you field strip it.  When the gun was apart, a close inspection did not find any tool marks, malformed parts or any other evidence of sloppy manufacture. In addition, the trigger pull was a smooth 5.5 lbs and the silver nPVD finish on the slide was both good-looking and glare free in the bright Florida sunlight.


Glock 48 Takedown 1

The Glock 48 is easy to disassemble,  just be very sure to remove the magazine and check the chamber at least twice.


Glock 48 Takedown

This pistol field strips into just five parts for routine maintenance.


Glock 48 Takedown 2

The Glock 48 is rather unique in that its recoil spring is shorter than the forward section of its slide and was totally reliable with three different types of ammunition. 


Shooting the Glock 48 was pleasure.  It was totally reliable with three loads; Black Hills 100 gr. +P Honey Badger, Federal 124 gr. Syntech and ICC  100 gr. frangible.  The reduced size grip was very comfortable making the pistol point fast and easy to get on target.  When chronographed the Black Hills fluted bullet Honey Badger defense load produced an average muzzle velocity of 1206 feet per second and 323 foot pounds of energy which is solid 9mm performance.  Five body armor drills at ten yards produced five head and five body hits, all in vital areas.  Total score on a silhouette target was 80 out of 100 possible points Average time to draw from concealment, aim and fire two shots was 6.11 seconds.  This was solid performance, especially since this was the first time I shot a G48.


Shooting Glock 48

Even though the Glock 48 weighs only 25.12 oz. fully loaded, recoil was very controllable and it performed well in timed drills.


Given all of the above, any person who lives in a State that restricts magazine capacity or who is more comfortable shooting a compact gun with a reduced diameter grip should take a look at the G48.  It's a good value for the money.


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Credit: Dr. Martin D. Topper

Martin Topper

Martin D. Topper, Ph.D, is the owner of Martin D. Topper, Ph.D. Consulting, LLC in Daytona Beach, FL.  He is a freelance writer and consultant who has published over 300 articles on firearms, tactics, disaster survival and ammunition over the last 27 years. His specialties include the psychology of critical incidents, urban insurgency, continuity of operations planning, firearms and ammunition design, terminal ballistics and quality management. While employed at the USEPA Criminal Enforcement Program his duties included quality management, firearms training, liaison with firearms programs of other law Federal and Local enforcement agencies, public affairs, liaison with American Indian tribes, and testing and procurement of firearms and ammunition. He has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Northwestern University and Post-Doctoral training in Psychiatry and Anthropology from the University of California-San Diego Medical School and Anthropology Department.